How Does a Camera Polarizer Lens Works

Looking at images on a digital camera can be quite a daunting task. There is always a plethora of image detail available on the camera’s display screen, but the camera’s optical viewfinder shows only what the camera sees and it can be difficult to tell what exactly is in the camera’s scene. Most cameras also have built-in polarizing filters to assist in eliminating reflections in the camera’s viewfinder and in reducing the glare from the scene. However, these polarizing filters make the viewfinder image less visible, making it difficult to see what is actually in the frame.

Polarizing Filter Lens for Blocking Light

With the camera polarizer lens, you can actually reduce the appearance of the viewfinder image and still see what is actually in the scene. It can help you avoid relying on the viewfinder to see what is actually in your picture. Polarizing filters work by selectively blocking light in certain directions. Light enters the filter, but all of it bends towards the positive or negative regions of the filter, where light is either allowed to pass or blocked. The result is that the viewer cannot see the light that is reflected from a leaf’s surface but only from the light that has passed through the leaf. Let’s discuss how does it works and what are the advantages of camera polarizer lens.

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How Does a Camera Polarizer Lens Work

When you view a polarizing filter lens, such as a Schott Polarizer or 3-Panel Vortex or 4-Panel Strand Polarizer, the filter will also reduce the intensity of all the other colors in the scene. Therefore, when viewed through the filter, the scene appears much brighter than the scene that is not distorted. All colors become the same in the picture. However, any image you see through the filter will still be affected by the reverse polarization. For example, looking through a 4-panel or 4-panel prism polarizer, no amount of altering will always reduce the intensity of the 4-panel’s green color. But with a good polarizing filter, even green color appears to be rendered equally in the image, reducing the green appearance.

It’s obvious that any effect of reverse polarization is much more pronounced when the filter is extremely small, as in small lenses such as 50 mm or 85 mm. However, that is not always possible because if a filter is placed too close to the camera’s optical viewfinder it will obstruct the view of the scene, or it may be too large and difficult to see. However, there is a way around it by using a filter that fits just above the camera’s optical viewfinder. Such a filter allows you to view the filter image clearly in the viewfinder. It’s an effect called a “peek-a-boo filter” because of its shape.

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How to Use a Polarizing Filter Lens

If you are using a camera that is able to accept camera polarizer filter, but you find the filters too large or inconvenient to carry around, then a simple solution is to use a tiny polarizing filter that fits in your camera. This filter acts as a tiny lens that you can carry in your pocket. You can then use the filter whenever you would like to view the scene with the reverse-polarized view in the viewfinder.

To use a tiny polarizing filter, attach it to your lens by setting the filter with respect to the filter ring and pressing the shutter button on your camera. Simply move the filter and the image will be in focus, with the reverse-polarized view in the viewfinder. The camera polarizer lens creates an invisible dome in front of the image, causing the images to be in focus.

Another option is to buy a camera with a built-in polarizing filter. Most of the cameras sold today feature front filters for this purpose. But some new models offer adjustable and versatile polarizing filters that are fixed to the camera’s lens. You can use the front filter to view the reverse-polarized view in the viewfinder, or you can switch it for the regular field-of-view filter so that you can enjoy the regular image.

Advantages of Camera Polarizer Lens

The advantages of polarizer filter lens are obvious:

  1. Reduces glare – The filter does not block all light, but bends light in the direction that it needs to pass through the camera polarizer lens to be filtered. The result is that the light passes through the polarizing filter relatively quickly, creating a brighter picture than without the filter. The darker areas in the picture do not have as much light as the lighter areas, but at least they do not appear as harsh, as the sun or other bright objects would make them.
  2. Makes color appear closer – The polarizing filter also bends the light in the opposite direction, and because the polarization of the light is reversed the light appears slightly blurred. The overall effect is to make colors seem slightly closer, so that they are easier to see, even in bright sunlight.
  3. Allows more light into the camera – Polarizer filter lens reduce glare and shift the focus of the image in the camera. This creates more light and creates more visible detail in the photograph.
  4. Filters out reflections – Polarizing filters reduce the light from reflected surfaces. This makes it easier to see the images in the viewfinder because the reflection does not distract the viewer.
  5. Doesn’t always work as intended – Polarizing filters reduce the intensity of the light in the scene, so they do not always work as intended.

If you use a polarizer filter lens, make sure to always point it into the viewfinder. It will always act to limit glare, and in most cases it will not restrict the image in any way. But make sure you always point the filter into the viewfinder or you may damage your lens. The lens filter may only reduce the intensity of the light to some extent, so it is still better to use a fixed filter than not to use one at all.

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