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  1. #1
    minoltafan's Avatar
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    Polarizer When Shooter B&W??

    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. #2
    Andrew Moxom's Avatar
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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. #3
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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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.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  4. #4

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    Why not try a polarizer on your next B&W shoot, and report back the results?
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  5. #5

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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. #6
    Blighty's Avatar
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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'.
    Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.

  7. #7
    minoltafan's Avatar
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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. #8

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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. #9

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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. #10
    minoltafan's Avatar
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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!!

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