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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old May 29th, 2007, 01:54 PM   #1
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Using Circular Polarizer on A1

I do a lot of outdoors shooting when the sun is very bright and there seems to be a lot of glare and reflections from water, metal, etc. I've heard that a circular polarizing filter is a nice filter to have for such circumstances, but I have learned that there are certain "conditions" it really isn't conducive too, such as if the sun is in front or behind the camera... as the CPF is best when the sun is at 90 degree angle to the shooting direction.

** So here is my question about circular polarizing filters: **

If I have an outdoor shoot on a bright sunny day... and it is a bit of a run-n-gun type shoot where I'm not locked down on a tripod and shooting angles are constantly changing, etc... is it okay to put the circular polarizer on and just leave it on for the whole shoot? Or is a CPF one of those things that should only be put on for that "specialty shot" where you can adjust your camera accordingly and get everything "setup" to your liking.

I want to get the B+W Multi-coat CPF, but for 100 bucks, I only want to buy it if I can just put it on when I'm outside in bright conditions and not have to worry about taking it on and off depending on shooting angles, etc.

Thanks for any help and guidance.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 03:04 PM   #2
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I have been shooting today with My A1 and a Circular Hoya Polarizer, out door shot with the sun over my right shoulder - 2pm.

I love using this filter as it also helps take the blue sky with clouds down a couple of stops whilst helping to remove flare produced by green foliage.

You have to be careful not to overdo it or the shots can become a flat but I always pack one and will leave it attached on following shots.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 03:33 PM   #3
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Polarizer

I leave mine on all the time, but it is important to adjust it as if the sun was directly over head, assuming you are not going to adjust it. It will just act like a neutral density filter at worst - under most conditions.

Problems you can get into:
- Too much glare reduction- sometimes you really want the glare, like when you want to see the reflection in the water, rather than the bottom of the lake. In that case you do have to adjust it for what you want.

The cases when the sun is sort of toward the front or toward the rear will just cause most of the polarization enhancement to disappear, so its just like using a neutral density filter.

It is really hard to adjust with the sun shade on.

Rick
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Old May 29th, 2007, 06:52 PM   #4
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I bought one of the pricey (F-pro) B+W filters and I never liked it. I found I lost all sorts of colour saturation (this on a Digital SLR). I bought the Hoya Super HMC circ polarizer and I haven't tested it to a large an extent, but at first blush my colours look better. The upshot of this is that I think a polarizer filter is going to filter the colours (Just look at the thing and you can see that). You can of course whiteblance, but I think there's still some loss of color. And, I think the Hoya has less colour loss, but that remains to be seen.

Interestingly, I was using a graduated neutral density filter on my DSLR the other day and lo and behold, the clouds in the sky suddenly showed up. It looked like I had a polarizer on the lense. That was an unexpected find. I think I might start using my grad filter instead of a polarizer in some situations.

I would welcome someone elses thoughts on this.

Dave

PS I should not have bought the ultra thin Hoya polarizer. It's a pain not having threads on the end. Anybody want to buy mine?
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Old May 29th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #5
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Hi, I use the B&W Pol circular MRC 72E. I think it is superb. You know you have to adjust it, not only the direction to the sun is important. Sometimes in severe sun light, it is hard to see the changes you make.

There is no problem in doing shots without removing the polarizer, better keep it on, so there is more unity in the shots. Important is to keep it clean, free from fingerprints and -like said above- with the sunshade sometimes you can't avoid touching the lens.

I don't use the slim version so I can add an extra ND too. Screw filters on the Canon give you the fast-focus freedom by not blocking the sensor. Don't over-use the polarizer.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 03:59 AM   #6
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I use a Moose circular polarizor, it warms up the colors. Panning the cam. with a CP on changes the colours (sky) as the angle to the sun changes with the pan.

Don't wear polarizing sunglasses while using a CP on the cam, they cancel it out.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 05:18 AM   #7
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You should only use a polarizer filter if the sun is perpendicular to the side of the camera. If you have too much light use a ND filter and iris. If you use the polarizer at other angles the shot will go flat and you will loose color saturation.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 01:56 PM   #8
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Dave:

To answer your question, yes you will lose color saturation using any polarizer, some more than others. And you can't bring it back in post.

I live in a coastal area and do a lot of bright over the water shots. I have learned to only use the CP when I really have to in difficult sun reflection situations. The only other good use is for when clouds are included in shots and you want to enhance the contrast for effect. The bummer is matching these shots to non CP shots.

I think a lot of people are wowed by the increase in contrast and don't initially notice the loss of color. But some shots even almost take on a greyish tone when you look very carefully.

The other issue is with some pans. Depending on your sun situation, sometimes the exposure will change more than it would without the CP and you get junk. This only happened to me once though, at the worst possible time of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mody View Post
I bought one of the pricey (F-pro) B+W filters and I never liked it. I found I lost all sorts of colour saturation (this on a Digital SLR). I bought the Hoya Super HMC circ polarizer and I haven't tested it to a large an extent, but at first blush my colours look better. The upshot of this is that I think a polarizer filter is going to filter the colours (Just look at the thing and you can see that). You can of course whiteblance, but I think there's still some loss of color. And, I think the Hoya has less colour loss, but that remains to be seen.

Interestingly, I was using a graduated neutral density filter on my DSLR the other day and lo and behold, the clouds in the sky suddenly showed up. It looked like I had a polarizer on the lense. That was an unexpected find. I think I might start using my grad filter instead of a polarizer in some situations.

I would welcome someone elses thoughts on this.

Dave

PS I should not have bought the ultra thin Hoya polarizer. It's a pain not having threads on the end. Anybody want to buy mine?
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Last edited by Jeff Kellam; November 6th, 2007 at 04:03 PM.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 02:33 PM   #9
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These are no need to use "circular" polariser. This is still a linear polariser with added "depolariser". This technology is important for still SLR cameras - beacuse they uses mirrors (one more polarisation) to expose and can`t handle polarised light from filter.
Linear polariser makes a little bit less saturation distortion - but a polariser is definitelly not a filter for all time use.

Last edited by Ivan Mosny; November 6th, 2007 at 03:17 PM.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 04:09 PM   #10
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Ivan:

A SLR camera uses a single mirror to provide light to the viewfinder which also houses the metering and focus prism.

When the shot is taken, the mirror flips out of the line between the lens and the sensor. It is a straight shot from the lens to the sensor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Mosny View Post
...This technology is important for still SLR cameras - beacuse they uses mirrors (one more polarisation) to expose and can`t handle polarised light from filter....
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Old November 6th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #11
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Yes - you are right. Thanks. I can`t write in my bad english so exactly. But you still need a picture in SLR wiewfinder = you need circle polarisation = depolarisation after polarisation filter. There is no need for this in a video camera. Due to this is linear polariser a better chioce.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #12
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Hi guys................

I'm suprised no one's mentioned this - do be carefull using a polariser of any flavour when shooting humans - the loss of sheen on human skin gives your talent that "freshly exhumed corpse" look.

Most unattractive.


CS
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