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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
 

Polarizing Filter


I had a UV filter on my camera and shot 35 images that came out OK. I then added a polarizing filter, and all the rest of about 800 shots of baseball game were soft out out of focus. Should I have only used the polarizer without the UV filter still on camera?? Thanks.

7/2/2011 5:30:01 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  It might be that you actually should have not used the polarizer at all, if you were trying to use auto focus. There's a linear polarized filter and a circular polarized filter. The circular allows the use of auto focus.
And it could also be that having more than one filter got in the way of your auto focus, if that's what you used. Or the polarizer could be of low quality optically, causing fuzzy images.

7/2/2011 9:35:26 AM

 
Carlton Ward
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member since: 12/13/2005
  Hi Tom,
Greg is correct and another point I would like to make is the quality of filters used. I have all L glass and placing a $40 UV filter in front of a $2000 lens that will most likely degrade sharpness and image quality doesn't make sense to me. I use B+W filters which are a bit pricey but they are very good quality and cheaper than the Singh Ray filters. I only use UV filters when it is hazy out and circular polarizers when shooting landscape images of dark scenes and waterfalls. Otherwise, I don't use them at all - not even for protection as I always have either a lens cap on while walking around or lens hood attached when shooting.
Hope this helps.

7/2/2011 8:30:29 PM

 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Thanks for the response. I have an expensive lens also. I was hoping the polarizer would help with the glare from the sun at a baseball game I was shooting. I think the filter was $65. I was hoping it would help. I will try it by itself next time without the other filter. Thanks.

7/3/2011 4:05:00 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 12/13/2005
  Hi Tom,
I didn't actually answer your question but I would not stack filters and I suspected you were using quality lenses which is why I gave you the answer I did. My 77mm B+W Circular Polarizer runs about $175 but it is well worth it and it fits all my lenses. Someday I will belly up the $400+ for a Singh Ray :)
Cheers.

7/3/2011 8:22:06 PM

 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Hi Carlton,
When I get the chance I will try just the Polarizer and see what happens, not that in matters but I shoot with a Nikon D7000. I know you have to spend a little to get the quality, just tried to scrimp a litle. I just took a look at your gallery pretty nice , no Very nice. Well Thanks for the help I am sure we will talk again. Tom

7/4/2011 4:32:37 AM

 
Randy A. Myers
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member since: 8/20/2002
  Other than checking to see if it's linear or circular, I would check to see if your shutter speed was too slow after adding the polarizer. A polarizer takes up two stops of light and if you weren't paying attention to that you may be seeing camera movement. Remember, your shutter speed needs to be at least 1 over the effective focal length of the lens. (Don't forget the multiplier if you're not shooting a full-frame camera.) I use Tiffen and Hoya and haven't had a problem. I rarely stack filters but I've never had it affect an image as you describe. Check your metadata. I think you will find the answer there.

7/4/2011 11:09:50 AM

 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
 
 
  messed up
messed up
shutter priority,f/2.8, 1/1250, ISO 400 about 2:15PM.
© Tom R. Fleeman
Nikon D7000 Digita...
 
 
Thanks Here is a photo to look at they all turned out just about like this one.

7/4/2011 12:20:55 PM

 
Randy A. Myers
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member since: 8/20/2002
  Well, plenty of shutter speed so that's not the problem. You still haven't told us if it's a circular polarizer or not. That's all I can see that would do that. The stacking of the filters will not do that. You may see a slight difference in quality but you would have to pixel peep to notice it and it wouldn't come close to your problem. If your polarizer is circular, then make sure you didn't accidently put the camera or lens into manual focus. That has happened to some folks before. Other than those two additional things, I got nothing else off the top of my head.

7/4/2011 1:54:26 PM

 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  I'm sorry yes it is a circular filter. When I try it again I will be real sure it is on AF. I will try and get some shots this week to be sure. I haven't used it but that one time. I will when I get to some of the water shots I want to take. Nobody has said, will the polarizer help on sunny days shooting more toward the sun?. I know it is not a good idea to shoot toward the sun but I needed that angle to get some face shots of the right handed batters. Thanks Tom

7/4/2011 3:32:33 PM

 
Kathy Wesserling
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 4/21/2005
  One thing I wondered about is if you were using a tripod, did you remember to turn the the Stabilizer off? Frankly, I'm not sure if that would cause the problem you experienced, but if everything else is correct, maybe it's time to look beyond the CP for answers.

7/5/2011 6:05:29 AM

 
Ken De Pree
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member since: 5/15/2008
  Why were you shooting at f2.8? Is this what the camera selected as required to give you enough light.

I think that is why the fellow in the foreground is much sharper than the background. It is what you would expect when shooting with a telephoto lens at f2.8. Like doing a portrait.

If the camera thought it needed f2.8 to get enough light, maybe you need to consider other ways. What about ISO? Did you have it on automatic or 100? If 100, maybe you need to try a higher number or automatic so the camera has options besides f2.8.

7/5/2011 2:45:29 PM

 
Randy A. Myers
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member since: 8/20/2002
  Just shooting at 2.8 will not cause the problem shown in the sample and it states it was at ISO 400. Shooting at 2.8 will isolate the subject, not make everything blurry. While these settings are not what I would have chosen, that's not the problem here.

7/5/2011 5:36:26 PM

 
Lynn R. Powers
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member since: 9/12/2006
  I don't know about Nikon but Canon recommends that you remove all other filters when using the CPL. The only exception to this is if you are using ND filters also and they go in front of the CPL.

Do check out your focus with the camera on a t-pod without a filter of any kind.

7/5/2011 6:57:32 PM

 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Thanks to all, you guys are really helping me out. I will try to shoot some this week and see how it goes. I am still learning but getting better. I am taking the Sports Photography course from here starting today. I should have a good handle on what I need to set camera on after I finish. Thanks Tom

7/6/2011 4:52:51 AM

 
Kathy Wesserling
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 4/21/2005
  Tom, I want to thank you for posing the question. The answers have also clarified things for me also (new to CPL usage.)

A special thanks to Carlton, who answers more questions from us members who are still learning. He isn't an official instructor but I'm betting that collectively, he's improved the photography skills of more people than anyone else at BP (not to diminish the value of taking the courses!)

7/6/2011 6:39:39 AM

 

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