Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)

Started Feb 9, 2016 | Discussions
jomsjoms Regular Member • Posts: 209
Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

I actually have 2 questions,

Given that my camera is an a7ii and a7rii and will be used on landscape:

1) Could you use a polarizer on the 16-35/f4 lens? Ive read somewhere that the max lens that I could use a polarizer is 24. If i go below then there would be botching or vignetting. Any truth to this?

2) If its ok to use a polarizer on an UWA lens (16-35/f4), what would you then recommend? B+W? Zeiss? Etc?

Thanks.

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MoreGooderPhotos Contributing Member • Posts: 905
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

A great question.  I have no answer, but will be watching the thread.  Thanks for posting the question!

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kelstertx Veteran Member • Posts: 4,923
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

jomsjoms wrote:

I actually have 2 questions,

Given that my camera is an a7ii and a7rii and will be used on landscape:

1) Could you use a polarizer on the 16-35/f4 lens? Ive read somewhere that the max lens that I could use a polarizer is 24. If i go below then there would be botching or vignetting. Any truth to this?

2) If its ok to use a polarizer on an UWA lens (16-35/f4), what would you then recommend? B+W? Zeiss? Etc?

Thanks.

Here's some light reading on the subject until new comments come on board:

http://www.digitalphotomentor.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-circular-polarizing-filters-wide-angle-lenses-sun/

http://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/polarizing-filter-wideangle-lens

http://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/4760/is-it-wise-to-use-polarizing-filters-with-wide-angle-lenses

-Kelly

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rcphoto Junior Member • Posts: 40
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

You can absolutely use a circular polarizer on the 16-35; I do it all the time. However, if the filter mount is not thin enough, you will have vignetting. I can confirm that the 72mm B+W F-PRO is NOT thin enough to avoid vignetting at 16mm. I swapped it for a Zeiss filter and haven't had any problems.

PeteC21
PeteC21 Contributing Member • Posts: 893
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

I do not have the 16-35 but do shoot A/E-mount APS-C and have the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 and Sony 10-18 f/4. You do have to be careful using Circular Polarizer filters on wide angle lenses.

I rotate the the filter to get optimal effect, such as blue skies, etc, and always use "Slim" versions to avoid vignetting.

As for brands, I tend toward B+W and Hoya but that is mainly due to my budget.

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chrisrabe Senior Member • Posts: 1,754
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

I always use marumi dhg super polarisers. They are slim, though that in conjunction with the 'protector' filter I have on the 16-35mm results in vignette, which pretty much disappear after correction.

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Nevada Landscapes
Nevada Landscapes Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

I use a polarizer on my FE 16-35mm F4, but I'm cautious at the wide end because the polarizer will cause the intensity of the sky to vary across the frame.  I use a graduated ND filter in these cases. 24mm may be a good rule of thumb, but I just use my eye to gauge that.

I'm partial to B&W filters as they seem better made to me, but I have other brands as well.

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TommieH Regular Member • Posts: 311
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
3

jomsjoms wrote:

I actually have 2 questions,

Given that my camera is an a7ii and a7rii and will be used on landscape:

1) Could you use a polarizer on the 16-35/f4 lens? Ive read somewhere that the max lens that I could use a polarizer is 24. If i go below then there would be botching or vignetting. Any truth to this?

2) If its ok to use a polarizer on an UWA lens (16-35/f4), what would you then recommend? B+W? Zeiss? Etc?

Thanks.

1. You can use a polarizer on any lens. Your question is however flawed and what you might be asking is if it's a good choice? The answer to that question is "it depends". Basically it's like this: if you use a polarizer to darken skies don't use them with wider lenses then ~28mm (some would say 50mm and some others even 80+).
2. Same as above. The other answer is that many are happy with B+W XS Pro MRC Nano and the Marumi DHG slim variants.

But to sum up, your questions boils down to: Do you want to use a polarizer to darken skies or is it just to remove glare off surfaces like water? If the latter opt for a polarizer, if not don't.

Lightshow
Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 6,966
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
2

jomsjoms wrote:

I actually have 2 questions,

Given that my camera is an a7ii and a7rii and will be used on landscape:

1) Could you use a polarizer on the 16-35/f4 lens? Ive read somewhere that the max lens that I could use a polarizer is 24. If i go below then there would be botching or vignetting. Any truth to this?

Polarizer and wide angles doesn't work well together, here's the proof:

A pano with Canon 16-35LII

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Slide

2) If its ok to use a polarizer on an UWA lens (16-35/f4), what would you then recommend? B+W? Zeiss? Etc?

Thanks.

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OP jomsjoms Regular Member • Posts: 209
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

Thanks for the replies.

I intend to use the polarizer to blue the skies and to remove glare in window, water and trees/plants.

1) Using slim polarizers will solve vignetting but will it solve the blue blotching (is this the right term) in the sky? (Heavy blue in one area, mostly the center part of sky)

2) Will i still be able to use a lens hood when using a slim polarizer?

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Koban
Koban Regular Member • Posts: 489
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

Also take a look at the Hoya HD cpl filters. Mine works just fine. No vignetting and easy to clean. When using my Lee filters on the 16-35. I use the Lee landscape cpl. Also no vignetting with two filter slots.

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olstrup Veteran Member • Posts: 3,731
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

jomsjoms wrote:

Thanks for the replies.

I intend to use the polarizer to blue the skies and to remove glare in window, water and trees/plants.

1) Using slim polarizers will solve vignetting but will it solve the blue blotching (is this the right term) in the sky? (Heavy blue in one area, mostly the center part of sky)

2) Will i still be able to use a lens hood when using a slim polarizer?

1) No. The light in a WA picture reach the camera from many directions and will be polarized to different degrees depending on where it comes from. It has nothing to do with the filter as such.

2) Yes.

Knoxis
Knoxis Contributing Member • Posts: 628
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

The idea that you can't use a polarizer with a lens wider than 24mm comes from the wonky effect that it creates in the sky. Polarizers have the effect of darkening the sky, but at too wide an angle the sky can be darkened unevenly and will display gradation, which looks very unnatural and fake. However, a polarizer can still be useful for other situations when the sky is not shown and the gradation effect is less apparent, such as for cutting out reflections in water.

Another point is that UWA lenses are more prone to vignetting because of the filters as the filters may intersect with the field of view of the lens and result in vignetting. This kind cannot be corrected as opposed to optical vignetting as light is blocked by the filter. I have played around with my own 16-35 F4 and has found that with the Lee Filters 105mm polarizer it can be used down to 20mm before the edges start showing up, and that filter is really thick. LEE also makes a thinner "landscape" 105mm polarizer that is much thinner, which I think can allow for the usage of 18mm.

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ElGato99
ElGato99 New Member • Posts: 22
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

Hey Joms,

I use a polariser (Pol) on my 16-35FE for every shot and yes it often ruins the sky or ocean for two reasons,

1) As discussed here below 24mm you get that warp shadow in the sky, but also

2)  My Hoya HD Cir-Pol at any focal length often turns the sky a muddy shade of blue grey that I do not like.

But I still use the Pol because it always makes the land features more vivid in a way I can't replicate in post processing and I done use grad nd's anymore, I just use Lightroom to darken a sky, it does it way better than a polariser or ND can.

So I learned a process from Matt Klizkowski's courses on Lightroom (highly recommend fir any landscape photographer) where I take two shots of a landscape with and without Pol and use the sky and sometimes the ocean from the image with no Pol.

(here's how)

Take two shots of the scene from a tripod, one with Pol on full and one without it, in Lightroom select both images and "open in>photoshop as layers" make a selection Of the sky on the polarised image then add a layer mask

So never mind the warped sky issues of using a polariser on a super wide angle under 24mm, most of the time yo don't want the polarised sky warped or not in my experience.

However I am reading this as i have been using a 67mm Hoya HD Cir-Pol on my 72mm 16-35FE with an adaptor ring for 2 years now meaning I can't zoom lower than 20mm without it showing which is driving me nuts

Thanks for previous posts re using a thin polariser, I think I will get the LEE given how important a Cir-Pol is to my landscapes, I wonder if it will shade the skies any different than my Hoya? If anyone has experience of the Lee landscape polariser sky shading or any other brand please do reply.

i will feedback once I have my new filter

Cheers, Steve,
Lawlors Landscapes
www.lawlor.me

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Mordi
Mordi Senior Member • Posts: 2,305
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

olstrup wrote:

jomsjoms wrote:

Thanks for the replies.

I intend to use the polarizer to blue the skies and to remove glare in window, water and trees/plants.

1) Using slim polarizers will solve vignetting but will it solve the blue blotching (is this the right term) in the sky? (Heavy blue in one area, mostly the center part of sky)

2) Will i still be able to use a lens hood when using a slim polarizer?

1) No. The light in a WA picture reach the camera from many directions and will be polarized to different degrees depending on where it comes from. It has nothing to do with the filter as such.

2) Yes.

I value your knowledgeable opinion - will linear polarizers have less regional sky darkening than a circular polarizer? I have an old Canon 52mm linear filter, and have put a 40.5 to 52mm adapter ring on on 16-50PZ - and it seems to result in more even skies at 16mm than my circular filters...or is that just my imagination?

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ElGato99
ElGato99 New Member • Posts: 22
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)

I am unsure of the difference between Linear Pol and Circular,

But I would like to make the point again, Polarisers do not darken or Blue skies well in my experience, they often (but not always) make it a grey muddy color, I do not recommend a polariser for enhancing skies, i recommend shooting raw and using Lightroom for this. My Pol smetimes works fir skies in midday full sun where I don't see these negative effects but that may be because the Pol has little effect then.

Pol's always make land appear way more colourful and often make water loook good but again they can often remove shine in water and darken the ocean too much, example here of bad sky and ocean due to ppolariser, no shadow in this sky at 19mm but the shade of blue is dull and the ocean went too dark to the point it has lost its natural look...in my opinion.

http://www.lawlor.me/cooks-bay-moorea-french-polynesia/

I wish I took this shot without Pol also, I would have blended and used the ocean and sky without Pol and the land with.

I am now deciding between the following top end Cir-Polarisers, because I realise the importance of a polariser on 90% of my shots and my 16-35fe cost $1.5k so up to $300 on a top end Pol makes sense to me now.

1) Heliopan 72mm Neutral Circular Polariser

2) Singh Ray Neutral Circular Polariser

3) B&W Neutral kasemann high transmission mrc nano circular polarizer

The lee 105mm is a monstrosity so not looking at that, I'm sure it works well but it's just huge.

All are around $250 but interestingly the B&H is around $85 currently, heavily discounted at B&H & Adorama & Amazon?

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1141524-REG/b_w_1081477_72mm_xs_pro_mc_kaesemann.html

Seems like a deal, I am just verifying that it's the same product that B&H are listening my at $250 on their website (Schneider optics) before I order, I will confirm later.

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Cheers, Steve,
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olstrup Veteran Member • Posts: 3,731
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)
1

Mordi wrote:

olstrup wrote:

jomsjoms wrote:

Thanks for the replies.

I intend to use the polarizer to blue the skies and to remove glare in window, water and trees/plants.

1) Using slim polarizers will solve vignetting but will it solve the blue blotching (is this the right term) in the sky? (Heavy blue in one area, mostly the center part of sky)

2) Will i still be able to use a lens hood when using a slim polarizer?

1) No. The light in a WA picture reach the camera from many directions and will be polarized to different degrees depending on where it comes from. It has nothing to do with the filter as such.

2) Yes.

I value your knowledgeable opinion - will linear polarizers have less regional sky darkening than a circular polarizer? I have an old Canon 52mm linear filter, and have put a 40.5 to 52mm adapter ring on on 16-50PZ - and it seems to result in more even skies at 16mm than my circular filters...or is that just my imagination?

Well Mordi, as it turns out I'm not as knowledgeable about polarizers as you think because I have only experiences with circular polarizers on WA lenses. I do have a couple of very old polarizers in 52 and 55mm size which I don't believe to be circular but they are not fitting my WA lenses, so I can't tell how they would work.

I'm not a great polarizer user. I have small one in the bag in 39mm size for my Leica lenses but only use it in very select situations for dampening unwanted reflections when absolutely necessary. More often I live with the light as it is and try to make something meaningful out of it in the picture. For me sun reflecting and blinking from a water surface is an integral part of the ambience if the theme is "a summer day at the seaside". So mostly the polarizer stays in the bag. I think it has to do with my unwilingness to be hung up on a bringing a great diversity of gear with me. I try to force the best out of whatever gear I have with me instead of lamenting about the gear I didn't bring or don't own. I believe that the better pictures comes from knowing a modest amount of (good) gear really well from endlessly repeated daily practical use rather than constantly switching between a great multitude of lenses and gear depending on what the latest reviews reports. But then, I'm an old fart (heck, I even still use a slide rule for calculating things now and then).

Oh, but now I digress again .....

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ElGato99
ElGato99 New Member • Posts: 22
Re: Best polarizer for wide lens (16-35/F4)

Now looking looking closely at the B&W options it appears there are three to choose from,

https://www.schneideroptics.com/Ecommerce/CatalogSubCategoryDisplay.aspx?CID=530

1) B&W Neutral kasemann high transmission mrc nano circular polarizer (on huge discount as previously mentioned)

rcphoto previously mentioned there is vignetting at 16mm with this model on a 16-35. Personally I mostly shoot at 17-18 on the wide end so this may not matter that much to me given the price of this one and i am used to deleting and content filling vignetting when I need to from using the 67 Pol on my 72mm 16-35

but given the price I suspect this one is about to be discontinued or something, I would love to hear anyone else's opinion on this?

2) The Slimline version,

cost is $350 or so, dies not have the nano coating, is not on sale anywhere

3) The extra wide mount, $345, not on sale anywhere,

also lacking some of the flashy words of option 1? I understand this wide mount addresses the vignetting issue so would make sense but for the price.

so it seems option 1 is the winner but would love to hear other opinions on this before I place my order.

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Cheers, Steve,
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