Circular Polarizing Filter

Pros and Cons of Using a C-PL

For landscape photographers, the C-PL or circular polarizer is an important tool to have. It is probably the second most important filter that a landscape photographer could have after the Grad ND. It is fair to say, though, that they can be quite expensive too.

A good piece of glass would set you back by several hundred dollars. However, there is one good thing and that is you would need only one for your entire lineup of lenses. There are circular filter adapters and they can easily be attached to a lens, allowing you to use the same C-PL for all your lenses. These adapters come at a very low price.

Why Use C-PLs?

There has been a brief discussion about the need to use C-PL filters on a previous article. These filters are really useful for the purpose of saturating colors, removing reflections and glares when shooting outdoors on a clear bright day. Please note, the sole purpose of using a C-PL is to

Please note, the sole purpose of using a C-PL is to remove certain wavelengths of light from the final image so that there are no glares and or reflections in them. This can only happen when there is abundant sunshine. If it is an overcast day, don’t bother bringing out the C-PL.

Attaching a C-PL to a Lens

When buying a C-PL check the filter thread specification mentioned on your camera lens. It would be a number followed by a sign that looks something like this ø. This denotes what sized C-PL would fit your lens (and for that matter any screw-in filter). Once you have the right filter you can easily screw it on to the front of the lens using the filter threads provided. This is the easiest way to attach a C-PL. Do please bear in mind that if your lens rotates during auto-focusing, you will need to again adjust the C-PL by rotating it.

Once you have the right filter you can easily screw it on to the front of the lens using the filter threads provided. This is the easiest way to attach a C-PL. Do please bear in mind that if your lens rotates during auto-focusing, you will need to again adjust the C-PL by rotating it.

If you are using a filter holder attached to a filter holder adapter, you will need to first attach the C-PL to the filter holder and then attach the holder to the adapter screwed onto the lens. These filter holders are versatile and they allow you to use more than one filters. Meaning you could, additionally, use one or more Grad ND filters along with a C-PL. For versatility and ease of use, this method is recommended. Beginners, however, may find this a bit confusing.

Using the C-PL Filters

To get the polarization effect all you need to do is to rotate the filter either in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction after you have attached the filter t the lens. When you like the effect stop and take the picture.

Please note while using a C-PL, attaching the filter to your lens will automatically reduce the amount of light entering the lens. If you are on one of the priority modes, the camera will try to compensate for the loss in light by increasing the exposure. If you are in manual mode, the meter will indicate that the exposure has gone down, hinting that you need to correct it.

Degree of Polarization

The degree of polarization will vary based on the position of the sun. If the sun is directly overhead or very close to the horizon, you may have little to no polarization effect. On the contrary, if the sun is somewhere at an angle of 45 ° to the horizon, you will see dramatic polarization results.

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