Hi Mary Ann, Firstly it is important to understand exactly what the polarising filter does - this should then answer your question about rotating the filter when it is in place on the camera lens. One way of thinking about light is that it travels in waves, (almost like the waves that you see at the beach) but not all are travelling in one "plane" or straight line. The properties of the polariser filters out the majority of those waves so that what passes through the filter is uniform and, in effect, reduces what we call "glare". Colours are apparently enhanced and generally this gives good tone and clarity to the image that you want to photograph. Wikipedia gives a complicated definition but also a good example where you can hold your Polaroid sunglasses up to a scene where the sun is reflected and then turn them through 90 degrees to observe the effect. So, having done the theory (hopefully) the answer to your question is "Yes" the filter rotation (just like the rotation of the sunglasses) will affect your final picture. Some lens barrels will rotate when the image is being focussed and some do not so the idea of the filter being able to be moved like a clock allows you to firstly focus on to the image you want to photograph and then to rotate the filter to get the "best" image (entirely up to your judgement - but a good filter will show immediate improvements in reducing glare). Hope this helps! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polarization
I recently bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 digital camera with LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm and 45-200mm lenses. I would now like to add a polarising filter, but I have no idea whether Panasonic's DMW-LPL52 is actually any good. It also costs £73 from Panasonic, and I have found it no cheaper than £67 elsewhere online. I could buy a Hoya 52 SHMC PRO-1 Digital PL-CIR polarising filter (which has had excellent buyer reviews) from Amazon for EACH of my lenses for less.
As I still regard myself as a novice photographer, however, I would appreciate it if anyone could confirm that the Hoya filter will fit my lenses before I order. I tried contacting the Amazon seller (Camera King), who could offer no better advice than I ring their supplier. I could approach a local camera store for advice, but I don't believe in taking up their time when I have no intention of paying their prices!
Hello Mary Ann, What RoyCo did not tell you in his very nice explanation of the operation of a polarising filter is that you can use it to reduce the reflections from glass and from water. As you are monitoring your image through either a viewfinder or on a live screen, just rotate the front ring of the filter and watch the effect it has on the scene you are looking at. One of the great uses of a polarising filter is to reduce reflections in a glass window, say of a shop for example if you want to picture what is on the other side. Again, you can change the reflections in water to a varying degree. Just get out there, play with it, enjoy it and learn by experience. As recently as las August, I was in an old mill building and thought that I would like to take pictures of the lake outside it through a window. Because the window glass is very old and has a peculiar filtering effect on light of different wavelengths, I have two pictures of the same view with completely different effects regarding the refections, so consequently two completely different images just by rotating the polarising filter. To look at the view with the naked eye everything just looks normal, but with the filter, what a difference. Photography is good fun as well as being serious and the best way to learn is by experimenting. If you are afraid that you might forget what you have found out, take a notebook (journal) with you to literally keep a diary of what you have done. The beauty of digital photography is that when you have taken a shot, you have not committed a comparatively expensive piece of irretrievable film to that image, so you can afford to play around to literally see what results you will get at the time. Having said that, the discipline of using film does have the advantage of making you consider the results vis a vis composition etcetera before actually releasing the shutter, so that you give what you are doing that extra bit of thought, whereas the ability to alter images easily by use of a computer can make you rather slack. In my case I have found that I am not always as careful with filling the frame enough as I used to be with film - especially with transparencies - where the discipline is so important, so I have really had to get a grip on myself all over again. RoyCo used the analogy of the waves in the sea travelling in straight lines like the rays of light. Imagine to yourself the waves of the sea coming towards you and undulating up and down vertically. Then imagine that alongside the vertical waves there are some doing exactly the same thing but laid on their sides instead. If you erected a barrier in front of those waves with vertical slits in it much higher than the tops of the waves and much lower than the troughs between them, then the vertical waves can pass through the slits because their height allows them to, but the horizontal waves cannot get through the slits because they are lying at 90˚ to the vertical waves and are swishing from side to side too much to get through the slits. That in essence is how a polarising filter works. When light is reflected off glass or water, the reflected light can lie at a different angle from the incident (straight) light. The polarising filter will only let through the light which travels up and down in one direction but as it is adjusted will partially or completely block out any reflected light which is at right angles to the first light. Reflections from some surfaces are not always polarised away from the light which shines on that surface, and in those cases you will find that all the light coming back from those surfaces will pass through the polarising filter. Just to understand what wavelength is, imagine that the waves are standing perfectly still and then if you looked at the waves sideways on and put a buoy (or mark) exactly on the top of each wave, then the distance between those two markers is the wavelength. David Hodder. email@example.com
Dear Kevin Snowdon. (You are honoured by having such an illustrious name in the photographic world!). I have a Panasonic DMC-GH1 camera which is a real little beauty, with both the Panasonic Vario G 14-140mm. and 45-200mm. lenses. At the other extreme, I have a Canon EOS 1Ds MK III and an EOS 5D MK II and for both of these I use Canon L Series II lenses. The Panasonic lenses are first rate, as, of course are the Canon lenses. Because the lenses I have are all so good, it would be totally wrong to compromise their performance with cheap filters, so I have opted for Hoya filters of the best quality, I am very fussy and they are so good. (Excellent in fact). Your comment about not buying from dealers although correct is just a little unfair, because what you get from a good shop is the expertise as well as just selling the goods. Notice I said a GOOD shop, because there are some which just want to take your money and virtually shoo you out of the door straight away! The fact that you regard yourself as a novice could probably mean that some free tuition will be helpful to you. Amazon is a first class company for buying from, it is envious of its top rate reputation for honesty, and has a second to none customer customer relations policy. The only problem arising from buying technical products on line is that if something goes wrong the items have to be packed up and returned, but things like Hoya filters and SD and Compact Flash cards are, of course, no problem and are easy to post. At present, I have just discovered a problem with a small camera that I have had to return to a company which sells through Amazon. Like all companies using the Amazon Marketplace, this one (a German company) is absolutely above reproach. When I informed them (easily by e-mail) that I had a problem, they e-mailed me back immediately with instructions and a downloadable printable prepaid label. As I always keep the packaging, there was no problem and I took it to the Post Office and it went away. Fortunately, I still have the receipt of posting because sadly now, after having just contacted the company to find what progress there is, I have just had an e-mail to say that they have no trace of me, my e-mail address or the returned item, so now I have to go through all the rigmarole of getting all the details to give to them. Had I bought it from a shop, I could have just taken it in and it would be there safe and sound. If the shop lost it, just as John Lewis did with a radio of mine, it would have been immediately replaced, again just as John Lewis did with my radio, because there is that extra accurate record of progress and again like Amazon, of course, goodwill. Another thing that I recommend when buying cameras and lenses, is to go for an extended warranty contract. These agreements not only extend the length of the guarantee period but cover you for accidental damage as well, and are underwritten by reputable companies such as Domestic and General. Cameras and accessories are by the very use of them often quite unwittingly placed in hazardous conditions, so it is imperative to insure them over and above domestic contents especially in case of a breakdown. The Hoya filters shown on Amazon are top quality items at a very competitive (probably unbeatable) price, so go for them! Hope I have been of help to you, David Hodder. firstname.lastname@example.org