CPL pros & cons

Started Aug 30, 2014 | Discussions
Petroglyph
Petroglyph Veteran Member • Posts: 6,085
CPL pros & cons

I took these shots with a B+W KSM CPL filter on a Sigma 70mm EX DG macro via a 62/67mm step up ring. I thought the filter punched the colour up a bit but might have confused the AF a bit. Conditions were windy though and the K3 was always locking focus so could be the wind. I wonder if post processing isn't just as good as the CPL. What do other forum members think?

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BCcrow New Member • Posts: 14
Re: CPL pros & cons

Nice pictures.  I've used a CPL filter a few times recently with a K5 and a Pentax 50-200 DA and it didn't seem to interfere with the autofocus.  I found it useful for darkening a blue sky to control the tones, to make a light colored subject stand out better when it was silhouetted by the sky.

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soheil Veteran Member • Posts: 3,022
Re: CPL pros & cons

Excellent shots, I don't see anything wrong with these shots. I may expect a little underexposure with CPL but yours are perfect.

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Petroglyph
OP Petroglyph Veteran Member • Posts: 6,085
Re: CPL pros & cons

BCcrow wrote:

Nice pictures. I've used a CPL filter a few times recently with a K5 and a Pentax 50-200 DA and it didn't seem to interfere with the autofocus. I found it useful for darkening a blue sky to control the tones, to make a light colored subject stand out better when it was silhouetted by the sky.

Thank you.  The second shot with the light coloured flower against white/orange BG may be illustrating your point about light coloured subjects backlit (by sky) also.  What about trying to get details from a darker subject (bird etc.) silhouetted by the sky?  Do you find the CPL helps in those situations?

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DAVID MANZE Veteran Member • Posts: 5,430
Re: CPL pros & cons
1

With a depth of field of 4-6 mm or less wind is the likely culprit with macro!

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Petroglyph
OP Petroglyph Veteran Member • Posts: 6,085
Re: CPL pros & cons

soheil wrote:

Excellent shots, I don't see anything wrong with these shots. I may expect a little underexposure with CPL but yours are perfect.

Thank you.  I checked they were shot with 0 eV bias so the K3 metering gets a lot of credit.  I might have pulled them right 1/3 to 1/2 before down rezzing for the internet.  I would probably do that without even thinking about it.

Cheers.

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Petroglyph
OP Petroglyph Veteran Member • Posts: 6,085
Re: CPL pros & cons

DAVID MANZE wrote:

With a depth of field of 4-6 mm or less wind is the likely culprit with macro!

Whoops!  f/4 on the first tiny dragon that certainly lets the wind in play.  But the lens is really sharp there.  Don't know if the CPL costs much IQ.

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Tan68
Tan68 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,778
Re: CPL pros & cons

I tend to not use CPL very much.
I have the same filter as you do.

I may use it to help with reflections in water or glass.
I understand they can help with 'shiny leaf' look... tone that down.

But it is easy to darken blues in sky with little masking.
Depends on the software you have.
It is also possible to help some glare with software...
Shiny surfaces some and things like that.

So, I always carry my polarizer. There are still things it can do that are hard on the computer. I just don't use it as much as I used to...

Depends on if you prefer all 'in camera' or are more comfortable doing software stuff...

+ for your pictures, it would be easy for me to select either the greens or the yellows or whichever and lighten or darken independently.

for the picture with the sky, if you want the gray sky a little darker, i would darken the whole picture and then pick greens and lighten them back and then pick yellow to lighten as well...

and to do this without masking. Capture One makes this easy to do with color. LR may as well, i don't know.

i mention this at all because you asked about the subject standing out from the sky.. it could be done in reverse to lighten the entire image (for the lighter sky) and then darken the green/yellow...

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Petroglyph
OP Petroglyph Veteran Member • Posts: 6,085
Re: CPL pros & cons

Tan68 wrote:

I tend to not use CPL very much.
I have the same filter as you do.

I may use it to help with reflections in water or glass.
I understand they can help with 'shiny leaf' look... tone that down.

But it is easy to darken blues in sky with little masking.
Depends on the software you have.
It is also possible to help some glare with software...
Shiny surfaces some and things like that.

So, I always carry my polarizer. There are still things it can do that are hard on the computer. I just don't use it as much as I used to...

Depends on if you prefer all 'in camera' or are more comfortable doing software stuff...

+ for your pictures, it would be easy for me to select either the greens or the yellows or whichever and lighten or darken independently.

for the picture with the sky, if you want the gray sky a little darker, i would darken the whole picture and then pick greens and lighten them back and then pick yellow to lighten as well...

and to do this without masking. Capture One makes this easy to do with color. LR may as well, i don't know.

i mention this at all because you asked about the subject standing out from the sky.. it could be done in reverse to lighten the entire image (for the lighter sky) and then darken the green/yellow...

I'm leaning that way also.  The kind of consumer tele-zooms I'd be using (unless the new Pentax 100-400 is a constant f/4 for under 1000$  )  seem so starved for light that a CPL takes too much away.  And a lot can be done in post.  But I'll keep trying it in different situations and see if I can get some comparisons going.  Maybe it offers improvements that turn out to be harder to replicate in software in some situations.

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Tan68
Tan68 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,778
Re: CPL pros & cons

always a useful tool.

last time i used it was to take a picture of a cat in a drug store window...  fat cat and needed CPL to cut the reflections.  or a really big shade!

they can help wet streets look darker.  stuff like that...
so can software

the 'highlight' tool of the new generations of software is amazing, though.  i have a polished wood lamb carving on a church pew.  I was sad i had not thought to take some tissue to hold over the lamb to block highlights that were a bit hot... a polarizer may have helped here but i think i would have gone with the tissue (had i thought about it) because churches are dark.

well, the highlight tool cut back a lot of glare.  there really was useful, nice looking wood underneath..?!  not as nice as the tissue would have been but much, much better than previous generation 'highlight' tool.

[i was able to use a tripod but exposure was long enough]

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