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  1. #1

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    Polarizers vs Red filters for B&W???

    Shooting mostly color over the past 5 years or so I've acquired polarizing screens to fit all my lenses.

    When I used to shoot B&W almost exclusively, I used a red filter fairly often to enhance my skies and clouds.

    What do you guys think of the relative effects of the red filter vs the polarizer in B&W?

    Will I be missing something if I just standardize on the polarizers in color and B&W?

  2. #2
    AgX
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    The effect of a polarizer is dependent of the angle of the sun with the optical axis. In contrast to a colour filter.

  3. #3
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgX View Post
    The effect of a polarizer is dependent of the angle of the sun with the optical axis. In contrast to a colour filter.
    Which also means that the effect can vary across the sky...particularly with wide angle lenses. Colored filters also work where the light is diffuse.

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    This is like comparing apples and oranges to me. Both fruit, but different, both filters but different.

    You would have to compare the effects to decide which you prefer for a given scene.

    PE

  5. #5
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    A polarizer can be used to alter reflections which a red filter won't deal with -- I see them as pretty different in application. I suppose we could say they both darken a sky, but the polarizer can be more selective, and as mentioned above, less uniform in some conditions.

    DaveT

  6. #6
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    Red filters for B+W, polarizers for color work as far as I'm concerned

  7. #7
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Filters also affect more than just the sky - foliage, for example.

  8. #8
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    It is difficult to use polarizers with RFs and TLRs...
    Last edited by phenix; 03-07-2009 at 11:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    B&W is silver.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiberiustibz View Post
    Red filters for B+W, polarizers for color work as far as I'm concerned

    This answer is too simplistic. You cannot make the dividing line between B&W and color but rather between effect desired.

    For example, a polarizer will allow you to "look into" water regardless of sun angle but this is independant of film type. OTOH, the red filter will not affect the reflections from the water.

    Red should not be used for color though. That is right.

    PE

  10. #10
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    A linear polarizer is variable in affect. Try using the Red filter along with a polarizer for drama. Better use a tripod though.

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