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47 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 ...
ad42's user avatar
  • 854
22 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 ...
JerryTheC's user avatar
  • 3,023
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 ...
scottbb's user avatar
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16 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 ...
user95069's user avatar
  • 1,106
16 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 ...
nathancahill's user avatar
13 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 ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
9 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 ...
Chris Novak's user avatar
  • 1,013
9 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 ...
ths's user avatar
  • 7,171
8 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 &...
user95069's user avatar
  • 1,106
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 ...
ElendilTheTall's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

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 ...
scottbb's user avatar
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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 ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
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 ...
Alan Marcus's user avatar
  • 39.3k
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 ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
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 ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
5 votes

What is the difference between a linear and a circular polarizer?

A 'circular' polarizer is just a linear polarizer with a quarter-wave plate behind it that repolarizes the light in a circular kind of way. But the polarized light removed by passing through the ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
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 ...
James Snell's user avatar
  • 9,709
5 votes
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General purpose opitcal filter for blocking any light

Yes, a variable Neutral Density (ND) filter will do that.
Mike Dixon's user avatar
5 votes

Why do polarising filters only work in one direction?

The digital camera sports automation that adjusts exposure and focus. These mechanisms are likely dependent on semi-silvered mirrors. These work like mirrored sunglasses; they pass some light and ...
Alan Marcus's user avatar
  • 39.3k
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 ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
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 ...
szulat's user avatar
  • 5,059
4 votes

Why do polarizers cause vignetting?

As you know, a polarizing filter darkens the blue sky and this causes clouds to stand out in bold relief. The polarizing filter will increase the vividness (color saturation) of a vista without ...
Alan Marcus's user avatar
  • 39.3k
4 votes

Pros and cons of circular polarizer filter vs a linear one

What is called a "circular polarizer" in photography is just a linear polarizer combined with a quarter wave plate which converts the linear polarized light that comes out of the first part of the ...
Count Iblis's user avatar
  • 3,616
4 votes

Are linear polarizers more effective than circular for mitigating glare from glass?

They are the same as to effect. The circular type is actually a linear up front followed by a "retarder" filter. The first one does the deed and the second one scrambles the polarized light so it won'...
Alan Marcus's user avatar
  • 39.3k
4 votes

What is this triangle indicator on my circular polarizing filter?

According to this you are meant to align the triangular marker with the direction of the sun.
MikeW's user avatar
  • 33.4k
4 votes

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

I'm going to answer your questions a bit out of order. Why does a standard circular polarizer cut so much more than 1 stop of light? Michael C addressed this quite well in his answer. I'd only add ...
scottbb's user avatar
  • 32.9k
4 votes
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How do I remove specular reflection from metal and plastic glasses product photos?

I. You can not remove EVERY specular reflection. Light bounces, that comes with the concept of Photo-graphy. Imagine you are taking a photo of a mirror, eliminating every reflection would mean every ...
Rafael's user avatar
  • 25k
4 votes

Are polarizers effective against reflections from glass?

Light travels following a wavelike path. Water waves on a pond travel in a similar manor however, water waves undulate up/down whereas light waves freely vibrate in every possible plane. Such light ...
Alan Marcus's user avatar
  • 39.3k
3 votes

Is it wise to use polarizing filters with wide-angle lenses?

The effect you mention is real, but You can work around it or work with it, as demonstrated by Conor Boyd's answer. Removing haze from the sky isn't the only thing polarizing filters do. Any ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
  • 17.4k
3 votes

Ok to use linear polarizers with mirrorless OM-D?

Yes, you can use linear polarizer with mirrorless cameras, including OM-D E-M1. No, phase detect autofocus in mirrorless cameras is not affected by linear polarizers. Phase detect autofocus sounds ...
szulat's user avatar
  • 5,059

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