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Polarizing Filters and Tungsten Light


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#1 Michael Christensen

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 07:35 PM

I know that polarizing filters are often used to mitigate reflections from sunlight on water, windows, etc. I was just wondering if they would have the same effect on relections from a large, diffuse tungsten source.

Thanks.
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#2 dan kessler

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 01:14 AM

Light is light.

In the old days of downshooter animation stands, it was standard practice
to put polarizing filters on the lights and the camera lens to kill reflections
in the glass platen and acetate cels.
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#3 Tom Jensen

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:40 AM

It's not normally done because of the 2 stop light loss. You should be able to move your lights around to minimize the reflections. What is it that you are trying to do?
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#4 Michael Christensen

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 06:39 PM

I have to shoot a product that is inherently very shiny, and my client wants me to kill the reflections as much as possible. They’ve had a stills photographer, with a studio full of every kind of light, work with this product, and it seems there is only just so much that can be done. I’m really just trying to hedge my bets for the next shoot.

Thanks for humoring me, by the way. I know it’s a newbie question, but I’ve never had to use a polarizer before.
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#5 Tom Jensen

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 07:28 PM

How about a Fisher Light? http://www.fisherlig...l2/balloon.html
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#6 dan kessler

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:11 PM

I have to shoot a product that is inherently very shiny, and my client wants me to kill the reflections as much as possible. They’ve had a stills photographer, with a studio full of every kind of light, work with this product, and it seems there is only just so much that can be done. I’m really just trying to hedge my bets for the next shoot.

Thanks for humoring me, by the way. I know it’s a newbie question, but I’ve never had to use a polarizer before.


You could definitely try a set-up like the one I described above. You put sheet polarizers in front of your lights
will the same filter orientation and a polarizing filter in front of the camera lens. Rotate the lens filter as needed
to knock down the reflections on your subject. In this situation, you can easily compensate for the light loss.
Don't know what kind of camera you are using, but beamsplitter-type viewfinders might act weird with polarized light.
Not a show-stopper, but be aware and devise a work-around, if necessary.
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#7 dan kessler

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 10:56 AM

Now that I think of it, I think cameras with beamsplitter viewfinders
require the use of a circular polarizer. Don't know if that would
work in this particular case. Mirror-type viewfinders are no problem.
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