Polarizer When Shooter B&W??

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by minoltafan, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. minoltafan

    minoltafan Member

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    Hello all, I'm new to the forum and I'm a film addict and the addiction only increases as the digital "revolution" keeps rolling. I shoot mostly color, but once and a while B&W.

    My question is: Can one use a polarizer when shooting B&W film and what, if any, would be the effects?

    I usually use a red filter or a ND filter for B&W and a circular polarizer for color.

    Thank you in advance for any information!!
     
  2. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Polarizers can and do have uses for B+W. There is a darkening effect of blue sky much like using an orange or red filter. For removing reflections, again, they are as useful with B+W as they with color.
     
  3. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    You certainly can use them. As Andrew mentioned, reflections are reflections and the utility of the polarizer will be the same. While saturating colours is not all that obviously helpful in B&W, it can affect tonal balances so can be desirable.

    I personally prefer to manipulate tone on b&w with coloured filters, and use polarizers to get rid of reflections only.
     
  4. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Why not try a polarizer on your next B&W shoot, and report back the results?
     
  5. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    You most certainly can use a polarizer with b/w film, I often do. I find it to be a good choice between a yellow and red. Remember, it works best when pointed 90 degrees from the sun.
     
  6. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    I regularly use a polariser with a yellow filter. You get a significant darkening of the sky similar to using an orange filter but without the same tonal 'distortion'.
     
  7. minoltafan

    minoltafan Member

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    Thank you everyone, I appreciate it!! Well, I'm already looking forward to shooting a roll of Tmax with the polarizer......as soon as I finish the roll of Velvia 50 that's in my camera now.

    Film Forever.
     
  8. jchesky

    jchesky Member

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    Yes, you can use a polarizer, but they are less useful with wide angle

    Yes, you can use a polarizer, but they are less useful with wide angle lenses. Wide angles lenses (obviously depending on how wide) cover a broader section of the sky and since a polarizer is most effective (as stated by jim appleyard) at 90 degrees from the sun, the wide angle may see too much of the sky and you'll get an inconsistent darkening. In those cases, a color filer (Red, Orange, Yellow) may give better consistency of effect.
     
  9. Confusion Circle

    Confusion Circle Member

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    I tried stacking a red (25A) filter with a CPL before and got amazing results with Tri-X. The sky went black with pure white clouds.
     
  10. minoltafan

    minoltafan Member

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    Jchesky and Confusion thanks for the ideas.

    I have a circular polarizer for my AF Minolta and 28mm is the widest on it's zoom. I don't have any other filters for the lens.

    I have two MF Minoltas (for many years) and and a bunch of filters, red, yellow, ND for various lenses. The MF's are what I use for shooting B&W, whenever that occasion arises.

    So, 90 degrees from the sun, cool. What about when the sun is directly over your shoulder?

    Obviously when you're shooting B&W you're still seeing color in the viewfinder so would you spin the polarizer until you get the darkest sky in the viewfinder?

    In any case, I plan on shooting B&W with the polarizer in the near future.

    Thanks all!!
     
  11. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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  12. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     
  13. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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  14. brooklynkid

    brooklynkid Member

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    You can definitely use a polarizer with black and white. I use it for REALLY dramatic darkening of the skies to emphasize the white clouds. The most dramatic effect is with a polarizer and a red filter. I have read that there is a difference if the polarizer is on top versus the red filter on top, but I haven't really tested it.
    The difference between using a circular polarizer or a plane polarizer is determined by the type of camera you use. Some cameras have a meetering system that is imcompatable with a plane polarizer. I have a Canon F-1n which requires a circular polarizer, but I go ahead and use the circular polarizer with all of my other cameras - A-1, AT-1, Ftb-n, mechanical F-1. Hope that this helps.
     
  15. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    ... or water or leafs, streams, rocks, and ... . I used
    to carry a linear polarizer, a B+W at that, into the woods
    thinking it a must have. I found though that it can take the
    life out of a landscape rendering it dull, flat, unreal. So use
    with discretion. Much of reflected light is blue so an
    orange such as Hoya's O may do better. Dan