Polarizing Filters for Digital Cameras


Snapshot of a cluster of high-rise buildings in the neighborhood of El Dorado in Panama City, Panama during a gray and dark rainy day. I was testing a new polarizing filter purchased for my Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSRL camera. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Even though there were intense reflections on the buildings’ glass windows and from the overcast gray sky, the polarizing filter I was testing was able to neatly absorb these reflections providing a clear image of the buildings.  This was exactly what I was looking for.  Similar or even better results can be obtained when taking pictures of seascapes, rivers or waterfalls.  The filter that I used was Hoya Pro1 Digital Filter Circular PL which I purchased at Amazon for $59.98.  Yesterday I looked the price up, and it had descended to $47.95.

Circular PL filters remove unwanted reflections by selecting which light rays enter your camera lens.  This increases color saturation, bringing better clarity and contrasts while leaving the overall color balance unaffected.  Some of the main features of this filter are:

  • Digital Multi Coated:  These filters greatly reduce lens flare and ghosting caused by reflections.
  • Black Almite Frame:  A black matte aluminum satin finish almite frame for reducing reflections.
  • Black Rimmed Glass:  Black rimmed glass reduces light reflection around the filter edges.
  • Low Profile Frame:  Ultra thin filter to help avoid vignetting on super wide-angle lenses.
  • Knurling Edge Frame:  Equipped with a gnurling edge for easy attachment and removal.
  • UV Protected Case:  Filter cases are UV protected to further lengthen the life of filters.

In photographic practice, there often occurs a situation in which we’d like to take a picture through a pane of glass, eliminate reflections from some surfaces or raise the contrast of clouds by darkening the sky. These effects are impossible, or difficult to get in post-processing. Polarizing filters come to the aid of this, making them all possible.

The history of cheap polarizers began when Edwin H. Land invented polaroids. Before then only crystalline elements of small diameters and aperture angles had been available. Apart from that, they were ghastly expensive. Unfortunately, their optical quality is still followed in cheaper solutions. Nowadays, thanks to foil polarizers and phase plates technology, many filters from most significant producers are available on the market.

Hoya is one of the most famous producers of photographic filters, ocular lenses, contact lenses and other optical components. It was established in Japan in 1941. The fact that it absorbed Pentax at the end of March, 2008, may prove its power. I understand Hoya is owned by Tokina Co. Limited and manufacture its products in Japan.

If you have read this far, it’s a good sign that you are inclined to photography.  If I’m right, and I hope that I am, below is a video dubbed “Filters” produced by Digital Photography Today in South Africa which will further expand your knowledge on different types of filters (UV, ND and ND Grad filters from Cokin to the screw-in filters) to improve your photography skills.  I am looking forward that it will be time well invested if you wish to enhance your photographs.  Marius van der Westhuizen, the owner of this site, has an excellent series of YouTube videos on photography which you might be interested in reviewing to obtain jaw-dropping shots.  I fully urge you to take a close look at Marius’ outstanding visual work.

Hoya is one of the most famous producers of photographic filters, ocular lenses, contact lenses and other optical components. It was established in Japan in 1941. The fact that it absorbed Pentax at the end of March, 2008, may prove its power.

This an exciting new experience for me.  Hope to take more pictures in the future including subjects related to water such as the oceans, rivers, streams or lakes.  Oh, one more thing before I forget.  Don’t forget to acquire your UV (Ultraviolet) filters to protect your valuable lenses.  Those filters should also be part of your basic gear.  Please jot it down on your To Do List.

Now you understand why I feel so passionate about photography.  The sky’s the limit in this amazing field of dreams.  Good Day.

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4 thoughts on “Polarizing Filters for Digital Cameras”

  1. Great info Omar..thanks!. My wife is the photographer in the family and she has the same camera. .
    BTW Could not access the video and tried a search and no luck.

  2. Sorry about the video. I tried on my side and it works. Maybe you could search the video directly in YouTube searching for “Episode 14-Filters (Digital Photography Today). That’s where I extracted it from.

    Good for your wife John. I love photography as you well know.

    Best Regards,

    Omar.-

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