46 votes
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Why does a polarizer lead to these strange visuals above the clouds?

A sheet of glass or plastics will typically have internal stresses. For glass and some clear plastics these lead to the birefringence patterns you see, when you shine (partially) polarized light on ...
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  • 844
21 votes
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Why do polarising filters only work in one direction?

You're probably comparing a linear polariser with a circular polariser. The linear polariser is a basic filter that only passes light waves polarised in a particular direction. That works either way ...
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  • 2,903
20 votes
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Can I stack ND Filter and Polarizer together?

Absolutely you can. Many square filter holders are specifically designed for this: The Lee Filters systems (Sev5n, 100mm) have optional front threaded rings designed to hold a polarizer in front of ...
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  • 31k
14 votes
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Are polarizers effective against reflections from glass?

CPL filters do not differ in their photographic properties from linear polarisers; they are merely friendlier to metering and autofocus. But in essence they are just linear polarisers with a ...
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  • 1,036
14 votes

Are polarizers effective against reflections from glass?

Yes. Here's an example image with very similar conditions to the post you linked to. In this case they are using a circular polarizing filter: Shown in The Mighty Circular Polarizing Filter Explained ...
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12 votes

Why don't circular polarizers reduce light transmission by just one stop?

When we speak of typical ranges of "high transmission" polarizing filters, we do not mean "this filter might be -2/3 stops and that filter might be -1 1/3 stop." What we mean is ...
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  • 167k
9 votes
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how to use a circular polarizing filter

That's because there is no set "starting position". You simply rotate it until it is blocking whatever angle the glare is coming in at. Adjust by how it looks. You will see glare either increase or ...
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  • 34.4k
8 votes
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Can looking at a computer screen show the difference between linear and circular polarizing filters?

The difference is in the depolarizer filter that is on the back side of a circular polarizer filter, and which side you turn towards the screen. A linear polalizer filter shows the behaviour number 1 ...
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  • 20.8k
8 votes
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How to "NOT" photograph reflections on water

Use a polarizing filter, which will filter out light polarized in a certain direction (turn the filter until the desired effect is achieved). This works, because reflected light is polarized in the ...
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  • 6,770
7 votes
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Polarizer filter for a Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM lens?

Yes, you are looking at the wrong number. Since the filter screws to the front of the lens, the only number that matters is the diameter of the filter thread, not the focal length of the lens. Look ...
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7 votes

How to "NOT" photograph reflections on water

If you want to get the effect without photoshop trickery there are couple of factors to think about. Generally reflections off of medium boundary (like water) are governed by Frensell equations that ...
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7 votes
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Is the Cokin 173 filter just a backwards CPL?

Is the Cokin 173 filter just a backwards CPL? No. The effect is similar to mounting your polarizer backwards, but much more pronounced on the Varicolor filter. Here is what my Hoya HD CPL looks like ...
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  • 31k
7 votes
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What is this triangle indicator on my circular polarizing filter?

Many polarizing filters have a marking like this — either a triangle or a dot or something. You'll get maximum effect if you align the camera so you're pointing in a direction roughly perpendicular to ...
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  • 140k
7 votes

Polarizing filter - degree of polarization vs polarizing sunglasses?

The bulk of polarizing filters these days for photographic purposes are so-called "circular polarising filters", in brief CPL. They consist essentially of a proper linear polariser and a &...
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  • 1,036
6 votes

Circular polarizer works great at shorter focal lengths, but significantly degrades the image at longer lengths. Why?

Hard to know from your post, but note that a CP filter will loose you between 1 and 2 stops of light, depending on it's setting. This significantly reduces the amount of light reaching both the ...
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6 votes
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Quickly Move A Circular Polariser Between Lenses

Is there a simple way of quickly swapping a circular polariser between lenses (of different filter diameters)? Not really. The simple solution is to have a polarizer for each lens so you don't have ...
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  • 167k
6 votes

How do I choose a polarizing filter?

The polarizing filter (should be called a polarizing screen) is likely the most valuable optical filter you can possess. The polarizing screen mitigates reflections. It does not work on all surfaces ...
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6 votes
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Polarization and Rainbows

The obvious answer is that the light from a rainbow, or at least the portion that is fitting in your viewfinder at the time you are rotating the polarizer, is all polarized in the same direction.¹ ...
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  • 167k
6 votes
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Can I use a polarizing filter on a non-STM lens?

You can use a polarising filter on any lens. However, using a "directional" filter like a polarising filter or a graduated neutral density filter on a lens where the front element rotates when it ...
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  • 19.7k
5 votes
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Why does the use of multiple filters create vignetting?

Any wide angle lens will have problems with multiple filters, simply because the edge of the filters will start to encroach on the corners of the image formed.
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5 votes
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Can I use a polarizing filter as a neutral density filter to create motion blur on airplane photos?

A polarizing filter will probably cut out 2 stops of light, which would allow you to shoot at 1/200 instead of 1/800. Depending on your lens, you might be able to shoot at f/11 or f/16 and further ...
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  • 32.8k
5 votes
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Polarizing filter works only by rotating camera

Usually, turning the ring changes the orientation of the polarizer just as you'd expect. Since that doesn't happen but rotating the camera does seem to rotate the polarizer, it sounds like one of two ...
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  • 31.2k
5 votes

Quickly Move A Circular Polariser Between Lenses

I have used the Xume adapters. Awhile back I standardized on 77mm filters, and also found myself swapping them around all the time. I thought the Xume would be a perfect solution. When I bought them, ...
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  • 31k
5 votes

Can a circular polariser be used with a UV filter?

I wouldn't advocate the use of these two filters together as DSLR's don't really need additional UV filters and for each filter you increase the chances of internal reflections etc. plus the polariser ...
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  • 9,430
5 votes
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General purpose opitcal filter for blocking any light

Yes, a variable Neutral Density (ND) filter will do that.
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5 votes

How to use a square polarizing filter?

It sounds like a Cokin system holder, including adapter rings for several sizes of lens threads and a couple of filters. The Cokin system require at least three parts: An adapter ring that screws ...
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  • 167k
5 votes

Can a circular polarizing lens (CPL) be rotated to end up completely without any effect

No, the filter cannot be turned off. Actually, what is perceived as "turning off" (when rotating), is in fact only changing the direction of the affected reflections (which becomes obvious when ...
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  • 4,835
4 votes

What are the Hoya circular polarizer types?

The ones with the HD designation are better because they transmit considerably more light than any other circular polarizer. This is the minimum you should consider for high quality performance with ...
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  • 101k
4 votes
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In what type of conditions do I use a polarizer on a 300mm lens?

but haven't found any info on a 300mm zoom lens with a polarizer. Is this because it is not suggested to be used on 300mm zoom lenses? No, I think it's just that there's nothing to say about that ...
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