Wearing Transitions or polarized sunglasses when taking pics a pblm?

Started Mar 26, 2009 | Discussions
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Dave W. Senior Member • Posts: 1,582
Wearing Transitions or polarized sunglasses when taking pics a pblm?

Does looking through a viewfinder when taking pics or looking at the results on the LCD get compromised if you are wearing glasses with darkened transition lenses or polarized prescription sunglasses? Would you not be able to see correctly the effects of a CPL filter and not be able to correct a photo with highlights blown because it looked okay to you? Right now I have glasses with snap-on polarized sunglasses and am thinking of getting prescription sunglasses or transition lenses. I don't want to have to take them off every time I take a picture outside and switch to regular glasses. Easier to pop off the snapons if I have to. Comments?
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Nikon D40
18-200 VR
70-300 VR
Tamron 90mm SP macro (built-in motor)
18-55

James Sherman
James Sherman Senior Member • Posts: 2,480
Re: Wearing Transitions or polarized sunglasses when taking pics a pblm?

Polarized sunglasses and a CPol will black out the viewfinder when the polarizer is turned "just right". Try it with your clip ons. Can't say about the Transitions.

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alan17 Regular Member • Posts: 240
Transitions are OK

I wear transitions and they are not polarised - so the CPL should be unaffected. However, I do find that they change so smoothly that I really have a hard time knowing how bright the world really is. Therefore I don't think you get as good a feel for shutter speed etc as you do wearing clear glasses. Also, viewing the monitor is also slightly more difficult, and seeing the display in the viewfinder was sometimes tricky with my D40 - not problems with my D90 yet though.

Alan

TOR8472 Senior Member • Posts: 1,616
Re: Wearing Transitions or polarized sunglasses when taking pics a pblm?

I have transition lenses and use them with no problems when taking photos.

I also have prescription polarizing sunglasses - big problem with a polarizing filter. I have to remove them when using a polarizing filter, otherwise, no problem taking photos with them.

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Kjelon New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Wearing Transitions or polarized sunglasses when taking pics a pblm?

Forgive me if this is an idiot question, but can anyone explain scientifically why polarized lenses and filters won't work together? Maybe it's just the way my mind works and the fact that I don't have a bunch of experience with a CPL yet, but I can't wrap my head around why this doesn't work. Thanks.

kalniel Senior Member • Posts: 1,053
Re: Wearing Transitions or polarized sunglasses when taking pics a pblm?

Kjelon wrote:

Forgive me if this is an idiot question, but can anyone explain
scientifically why polarized lenses and filters won't work together?
Maybe it's just the way my mind works and the fact that I don't have
a bunch of experience with a CPL yet, but I can't wrap my head around
why this doesn't work. Thanks.

Light 'waves' each travel in a fixed flat plane, but different waves are at different angles - imagine a bunch of rulers with wave patterns drawn on them held at different rotations. Polarisers only let light 'waves' in at a particular angle, so they block all the rulers that aren't at the correct angle of the filter 'slot'. Now imagine that you have two polarisers in a row (sunglasses and a CPL) - if the slots are lined up exactly then the ruler can still pass through them. However, if you rotate one of the slots relative to the other then any angle that gets through the first slot can't get through the second without rotating, which it can't do as it's fixed.

Kjelon New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Wearing Transitions or polarized sunglasses when taking pics a pblm?

Thanks, that's kind of what I was thinking, it is just the combination of a circular polarizer that can be at many different alignments versus the stable vertical alignment of the sunglasses. I appreciate the help.

grapher
grapher Senior Member • Posts: 1,057
Re: Wearing Transitions or polarized sunglasses when taking pics a pblm?
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That would be the case with a linear polarizer, but we are talking circular polarizer. The CPL shifts the light-waves back to an irregular pattern after the polarizing.

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James Sherman
James Sherman Senior Member • Posts: 2,480
Re: Wearing Transitions or polarized sunglasses when taking pics a pblm?

The viewfinder still goes black....

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Samyang 7.5mm F3.5 UMC Fisheye MFT Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +1 more
rhaa01 Regular Member • Posts: 241
Highlights

Turn on the highlight blinking mode - it makes it really easy to tell when highlights are blown, sunglasses or not.

-- hide signature --

Richard H.

parisphotog Senior Member • Posts: 2,074
Re: Wearing Transitions or polarized sunglasses when taking pics a pblm?

Can't comment on your choices but my sunglasses raise the color temp. by about 150 Kelvin and I've noticed the green viewfinder information is sometimes hard to see.

Dave W. wrote:

Does looking through a viewfinder when taking pics or looking at the
results on the LCD get compromised if you are wearing glasses with
darkened transition lenses or polarized prescription sunglasses?
Would you not be able to see correctly the effects of a CPL filter
and not be able to correct a photo with highlights blown because it
looked okay to you? Right now I have glasses with snap-on polarized
sunglasses and am thinking of getting prescription sunglasses or
transition lenses. I don't want to have to take them off every time
I take a picture outside and switch to regular glasses. Easier to
pop off the snapons if I have to. Comments?

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