Linear and Circular Polarizer

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by mporter012, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. mporter012

    mporter012 Member

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    If I'm using a fully manual camera, I want a linear, not circular polarizer correct? The circular is designed for autofocus lenses?

    Thanks -

    Mark
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Nope, it is not that simple.

    Circular polarizers are necessary for cameras that include beam splitters in the optical path. Some of the metering systems also use beam splitters.
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    I used circular polarizer filter long before auto-focus as invented.
     
  4. mporter012

    mporter012 Member

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    Ok. I'm looking for a polarizer for my Nikon FE2.
     
  5. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    Switched to all circular polarizers a couple of years ago because they work on everything - manual, AF, AE. Can't say I miss the old linear jobs.
     
  6. jochen

    jochen Member

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    Hello,
    if you want to use the polarizing filter only with your FE-2 (or F-3, FM-2, F-2, FA, FE, FM, FM-3 A) you only need a linear filter since these cameras do not have polarizing elements in the light measuring system like Leicaflexes or AF cameras.
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    It's very simple for the OP. You can use either!


    Steve.
     
  8. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Pentax Digital Spot Meter

    What would be the proper polarizer to use when metering through it with a Pentax Digital Spot Meter?
     
  9. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    In my experience, linear polarizers have a stronger effect than circular. As I have old cameras, I just use linear.
     
  10. Jim Rice

    Jim Rice Member

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    I have found circular polarizers to be much too subtle in effect for my tastes. Even though it will require an hand-held meter once I quit shoveling money into the darkroom, I will be picking up a linear.
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I'm not sure about circular being more subtle. The first part of a circular polariser is an ordinary linear polariser. The extra bit is a layer which randomly rotates the already polarised light.


    Steve.
     
  12. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I have heard (read in these forums) before that linear polarisers are more dramatic, or pronounced, in their effect.
    I see two disagreeing posts in this thread on this, although neither one seems certain.
    All of mine are linear, but I may in the future have a camera that needs a circular one. Does anyone know for sure?
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I can't see how the polarising part of a circular polariser can be any less effective than a standard linear polariser (because that's what it is). However, it might be possible that the re-circulificating* bit is somehow reducing the contrast a slightly making people think it's less effective at polarising.

    (* I can't think of the right word).


    Steve.
     
  14. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I use a linear on my RB67.

    Jeff
     
  15. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I am a little confused with this thread. Am I correct in thinking that the circular polarising filter is merely two linear polarising filters mounted together, where one rotates?
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    No. It's a single linear polariser with another layer which puts the light back in a random orientation so cameras with lightmeters and/or AF which use polarisers internally will still work.


    Steve.
     
  17. AgX

    AgX Member

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    No, but circular polarisation mean a steady uniform variation of polarisation. "Random orientation" is what characterises un-polarized light.
     
  18. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    You may have hit it. It could be the contrast difference.
     
  19. Jim Rice

    Jim Rice Member

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    All I can tell is from my experience. I had a B+W linear which was easy to see the effects of on the viewing screen and in the transparencies. I recently acquired a Contax circular the effect of which is much more subtle (to the point that I can usually not find the correct angle using the finder.) Perhaps my linear was great (it was) and the Contax is a dud.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2013
  20. sbuczkowski

    sbuczkowski Member

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    RE #15: No. A circular polarizer is a linear polarizer followed by a 1/4-wave retarder plate. The linear polarizer does the polarizing (really it just selectively admits light with a polarization axis aligned with the polarizer and rejects anything else. it doesn't create any polarization). The light after this part is linearly polarized and it is this that can cause problems with meters and AF systems. So, the circ. polarizer puts the 1/4 retarder next which turns the linear polarized light into circularly polarized light which doesn't cause problems in metering and AF.

    steven
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2013
  21. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Reviving this thread for a dilema question.
    Im buying into the Lee system planing to use it for all my formats from 35mm to 13X18cm, manual focus as well as auto focus in 35mm.
    Logic says Cirkular but wallet says Linear.
    So if using a tripod anyway will you consider the extra work in metering/setting aperture and shutterspeed and focussing to much of an extra hazle when using a Nikon F100?
    Best regards
     
  22. AgX

    AgX Member

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    In your case I see hardly a benefit of a circular polarizer, and no at all when you are metering handheld.