To polarize or not to polarize at

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Old August 12th, 2006, 12:34 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2006
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To polarize or not to polarize

Hey all,

I've the Panasonic PV-GS500 and am on the fense as to whether or not I should get a circular polarizing filter or not. I understand it aids in colour contrast -blues, greens, whites- but the camera's various whitebalance presets aid in this as well.

So, I pose these questions:

-Should I stick with the presets because they essentially do the same thing as the polarizing filter?

-Shoot everything on the manual whitebalance setting and do colour staining in the editing studio later?

-Buy the polarizing filter because what it does can not be immitated by the camera or editing software at a later point?

Thanks all for those who reply.
Colin Percewicz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 12th, 2006, 12:50 AM   #2
American Society of Cinematographers
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Polarizors aren't doing the same thing as white balance.

They reduce glare off of reflective or shiny objects, hence why they make grass and leaves look more saturated, by removing the glare on the surface. They also make blue skies look bluer for the same reason, but only at certain angles relative to the sun (generally at a 90 degree angle to the sun.) They can also take glare off of car surfaces and windows.

Presets refer to color balance for shooting under different color temperatures, usually 3200K (tungsten) or 5500K (daylight, although some cameras make daylight warmer than that, more like 6300K) or inbetween.

You could manual white balance instead, or use white balance only when the presets don't correct enough for you.

Polarizing-out the glare in a scene is something that can't be done in post later, hence why Pola filters are so common in shooting.
David Mullen, ASC
Los Angeles
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Old August 28th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #3
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Location: Bangkok, Thailand (work in US in the summers)
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What Dave said. In still and video photography pols outside are a must to me if you have the light. They are the one thing that can't be recreated in post easily. They also work if you're shooting with polarized strobes or lighting (more in still photography) can balance them and get shots that normally would always produce reflections to not produce reflections...they are amazing additions to your kit...but invest in quality glass

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