I lost my filters a few days ago so I believed it would be a nice moment to post my thoughts about them. This first day I’ll start with a circular polarizer. To make a long story short two questions you could have about polarizers:
- What is a polarizer? Is a filter to control reflections, it can reduce them or accentuate them using a rotating element you have to graduated at taste. It’s quite useful to erase reflections in leaves and water that in cameras look different to what your eyes see. Also it reduce the atmospheric haze.
- Do I need a polarizer? if you use a compact camera the answer is no; if you have a camera whose lens accept filters then you could play and have fun with one.
Said that Marumi is a company with high quality filters; the best of them are DHG, Super DHG and EXUS, the first is the one with less characteristics and the latter the filter with highest specifications. I purchased a Super DHG and a day after that Marumi announced the EXUS line, lol. With filters is better to buy the best to avoid degradation of the image quality of your lens. My camera has a fixe Carl Zeiss lens so I thought the Super DHG was the better option.
THE MARUMI POLARIZER WAS FANTASTIC FOR ME TO:
In the photograph above see how the leaves have not reflections and the colors are truer to what my eyes saw. One side effect is that the sky gets a dark and tenebrous blue that I’ve to correct in my laptop.
In the maritime landscape I used two filters, one to create a long exposure and the Marumi polarizer to make the water more transparent. Not so exaggerated that the ships could look like they were floating.
In gardens a polarizer can be the difference between a nice picture or a mess of bright leaves. If you see the leaves in the rose you can notice that they have pure colors and little reflections (a polarizer reduce reflections, it doesn’t erase them)
This mountains and clouds were taken from a bus in movement. One defect of a polarizer is that it blocks a bit the light, so the cheaper can get really dark and the best have a better light transmittance. The Marumi DHG Super allowed me to take photographs in movement without rising the iso and losing quality. Except in sunsets and dusk, there is better to take off the filter. I’m not sure how better is the Exus version.
Reducing atmospheric haze
In paint there is a technic called Atmospheric Perspective, it’s used to transmit a sense of distance giving the objects in the distance a bluish appearance, this is natural because our atmosphere. But when we photograph distant objects without closer ones, for example when using tele lenses or a zoom lens fully extended the bluish cast can be felt wrong. So the polarizer helps a lot. Bellow is another example.
Although the emphasis of polarizers is used in reduce reflections they can help them too, the reflection in the little stream above and the lake next to this paragraph can show you, besides you can see the vegetation has better contrast, moderate reflections and there is no much atmospheric haze.
Rainbows can be hard to photograph, a polarizer is your best bet, period.
I LEARNED TO DON’T USE THE MARUMI POLARIZER (OR ANY OTHER) TO:
Using it in wide angles landscapes
If you see this effect, an uneven polarization of the sky (unnatural darker and brighter parts), don’t trash your filter! XD, is common to every polarizer because they work accord to the sun position so in wide angles is natural that parts far of the sun position in panoramas are weaker to the polarizer effect.
The next photograph is without the polarizer:
Now without the polarizer the sky is much more natural, but the mountains now have atmospheric haze and the foreground has less definition. But usually I give more importance to the sky.
Darken the skies
I know that photographers like that effect of dark blues in skies. To me is unnatural and disgusting, but that’s a personal opinion. I guess that it’s from the film days when a polarizer could help to avoid cyan skies in bright days, but perhaps I’m guessing so much. But now I can reduce that effect modifying the blue color o even better using to the minimum the polarizer effect.
The next photograph originally had that dark blue but I modified to a more realist effect in relation with what I saw:
- There is no impact on image quality.
- Has a high light transmission.
- Easy to rotate with its textured ring.
- It’s slim so you can stack more filters.
- Zero color casts.
- Resistance to flare.
- Hard to get dirty, I cleaned it lightly no more than ten times in almost one and half year.
- The storage box is quite simple, it got broken after some months of normal use.
This filter was perfect to me. So I’m considering to replace the lost one with another Marumi, an EXUS this time. If you have doubts about this filter you can see that next photograph, it’s one of my favorites and I could make it with the Marumi filter.