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Old 30-12-2005, 13:02   #1 (permalink)
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Filters

Is there a guide anywhere as to what different filters do to the shot, and when/where different filters should be used.

I've not really played with mine - I have 3:

UV
Skylight
Polarizing

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Old 30-12-2005, 13:30   #2 (permalink)
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Well look no further than our very own guide, here on The Photography Forums.

Guide to photography filters
 
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Old 30-12-2005, 13:36   #3 (permalink)
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I have a UV and a Polariser - don't think I've used the polariser yet as both times I've been on holiday since I had it, I forgot to take it with me.

Generally leave the UV filter on at all times if only to protect the lens.

I'm going to get a couple more when my financial situation improves (I'm out of work and overdraft is getting worrying) - will probably go for a couple of ND filters cos I want to try some longer exposure shots at some point.

But at the end of the day, I don't think that in the days of digital photography/image enhancement, filters will do much more for you than Photoshop can.
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Old 30-12-2005, 15:14   #4 (permalink)
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The UV and skylight do much the same thing - cut down haze a little.
Most of us just use them to protect the front element of the lens - better to write off a £15 filter than a £1500 lens.

The Polarising filter blocks light from a specific direction - imagine light as a series of waves travelling towards you from a single point (the sun) - the polariser blocks some of that, making blue skies darker (depending on the rotation of the filter and the direction of the light) and can be used to cancle reflections from non-metallic surfaces. Useful for shooting through glass. (simple version)

It can, however cause some dramas with DSLR's as the matrix of pixels sometimes conflicts with the filter causing terrible moire effect. Using a circular rather than a linear polariser will solve this, but they cost about £50+ (my 72mm and 77mm Nikon filters are even more expensive and I hardly ever use them).
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Old 30-12-2005, 18:00   #5 (permalink)
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our guide could do with some explanations to go with it
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Old 30-12-2005, 18:22   #6 (permalink)
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A circ Pol filter is a must for shots with water i find,
I also find it handy when taking pics of cars, being able to get rid of the reflection off a window can make the colour really stand out.

All my lenses* have a uv filter on to protect the front element.


*not got round to getting one for my 60mm macro yet
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Old 30-12-2005, 18:57   #7 (permalink)
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Hey, great thanks, I'll read that filters page
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Old 05-01-2006, 19:19   #8 (permalink)
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As a side note tacked onto this thread - I have a Hoya Circular polariser to use with my 350D. I rotate the element to get a bit of polarisation (ie. mainly darker blue skies) and take the shot - the recorded file doesn't show the polarisation though, almost as if the camera is compensating for the reduction in exposure.

Does anyone else experience this? Whats the best way round it? I used to get it with my Minolta A1 - with that I could see the exposure live in the LCD so could just underexpose a bit.

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Old 05-01-2006, 19:24   #9 (permalink)
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It should do in the colours being much more saturated.
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Old 05-01-2006, 19:29   #10 (permalink)
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I know it should I was just wondering whether the wonderful 350D decides that I am messing about where I shouldn't. The other possibility I guess is that the polariser is a duffer in some way - it does tint the pictures slightly brown in many cases interestingly.

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Old 05-01-2006, 19:41   #11 (permalink)
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When you're using a polariser to darken a blue sky it works at it's best at an angle to the sun of around 45 - 90 degrees. Polarisers are one filter where you definitely get what you pay for, but's that's really true of all filters.
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Old 05-01-2006, 19:46   #12 (permalink)
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I'll give it another go when we have a blue sky. I was pretty sure I had the position nailed though. The filter itself works great at blanking out my TFT monitor screen - makes it very easy to dust!

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