finally did a rip experiment

Thread starter #1


Shutter Mushin' Mod
:bounce::bounce::bounce: i have talked to some folks about the polarizer filters and decided to do a little hands on to see how much it affected my lens. rip drb and ron all had agreed that a polarizer can cost a certain amount of shutter speed due to a loss of about 1.3 to 1.6 stops of light. to put this in perspective i got to thinking about my attempts at wildlife photography and how i was always struggling for shutter speed :banginghe it never even occured to me to take the polarizer off when it was not extremely bright out. i just put it on and left it there thinking it was also a protective cover for my lens. unfortunately that type of thinking has cost me some shots in low light conditions that i should have been able to get.

i set up my my camera and 70-300 mm vr lens at 300 mm on the tripod and pointed it down the road. the sun was on the horizon but still up. i figured it was a good representative of when a critter should be moving ( if all the planets are aligned :bounce:)

first shot is lens all the way open and with the polarizer on --- iso 200 1/320 sec f 5.6

second shot is with a skylight filter on . just basically clear glass --- iso 200 1 /800 f 5.6

you see it was barely handholdable in these conditions with the polarizer on !!!

i did not process these pics for color or for sharpness, i thought is was a neat comparison. there is no real need for a polarizer in lower light conditions, in fact it has cost me several shots :banginghe:banginghe hope this helps a bit for those who are filter confused like myself. it will still have it's place in my camera bag for bright airshows and beach type shots, but it will not stay on my camera at all times .



Senior Member
Thanks for the comparison, F1...I'm kind of filter confused myself....I only use my polarizer when it is really bright outside and I am trying to get shots of birds in flight, etc......But I keep UV filters on my lenses at all times to protect them...


Senior Member
Pretty least for the not so smart fellers like myself.
Okay -- more info about picture taking to add to my very full brain. Holy Cow!


Senior Member
Great example, Feral One! Sometimes it is the simple things that we overlook.

Thanks! I've added it to the Tricks of the Trade sticky at the top of the page as well...


Thanks for the experiment Feral. I usually only have the polarizer on when there's something that I feel I need it for (or if I forget to take it off).

Dang Hotel wireless!!! Just typed for fifteen minutes explaining polarizers and their uses and got booted.:banginghe:banginghe
Maybe Later


Senior Member
Dang son...I had to look at those for a while...I thought those tall brick things where chimney's and y'all lived in the ground like a bunch of badgers!!

Yeah...for me, the polarizer is off except on those special occasions when a) I have some sky in the shot that I want to make sure is as blue as possible b) I'm shooting foliage on a bright sunny day c) I'm shooting into the water and hope to see the rocks on the bottom of the stream.

I think that covers it but will refrain from saying more in the hopes that DRB's wireless will recover.

The other interesting thing you see in those two shots is the effect shutter speed can have on sharpness. The first shot is probably a stop or two better than the advertised limit for the VR but if you stare at the closest big brick thing, the first shot is still a little soft compared to the shot taken at the higher shutter speed. Faster shutter speeds and tripods will make for sharper pictures. Apertures too will effect sharpness. All things equal, I try to shoot at f5.6-f8 to get the sharpest shot from the lens but experiment with each lens to make sure I have some sense for how sharp it shoots at each aperture.
Thread starter #8


Shutter Mushin' Mod
ron , i had not noticed the softness of the first one. i admit i have a heavy finger when i am shutter mushin' that is why i need all the help i can get from my shutter speeds !!!


Retired Woody's Mod 7/01-12/09
Nice examples F1

10-4 on the bright days only for the Polorizer, when I first got one I over used it too:biggrin3:

Thanks for sharing this with us:)