CPL's Do They Live On Each of Your Lenses?


I use a CPL a great deal and I am adding a 70-200 lens to my very limited inventory of full frame lenses. Considering the time it takes to change filters in sometimes quickly changing light, I am considering having a CPL for each of my three zoom lenses. I am curious as to how others use their CPL’s.

I use one only when I need one. Why give up 2 stops if I don’t need the effect? And when shooting into bright light, the filter may give you unwanted flaring.


Pretty much a ditto to Harley’s response. I use a CPL when it is needed and adds to the image. Plenty of circumstances when a polarizer will not help and create uneven polarization based on the sun angle and/or focal length. And… 1 3/4 - 2 stops of light loss just to have it on isn’t something I’m willing to sacrifice

I am in agreement with Harley and Keith on this.

In fact, I do not use a filter of any kind, unless it’s needed.

I used to use it more but now only when I really need it. Same what the others said.

Likewise, I use them only when needed. And never for a sky with a wide lens.

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I keep mine all the time and when I don’t need it I rotate it to a point where it does nothing. I keep it on because I can’t be bothered with taking it on and off and because of the color boost it provides. But each shot requires a polarization adjustment so its part of the workflow that needs to be remembered.

For me the answer is, it depends on what I’m photographing. For example I just spent two months in Death Valley and only needed to use my polarizer a handful of times in canyons, otherwise I didn’t use it 90% of the time because it wasn’t needed and it can have negative effects as stated above. But, if I’m somewhere that has a lot of foliage I will leave the polarizer on 90% of the time and only take it off when it’s causing problems like a slow shutter speed or over-polarized sky.

At one point I decided to get a polarizer for all my lenses to make it easy, but when I switched to Breakthrough I decided to go with one 77mm polarizer and use step-up rings for anything smaller, it’s a much cheaper way to go, you just can’t use it in conjunction with a lens hood. I leave the step-up rings on the lenses and have replaced all my lens caps with 77mm, so now I’m not shuffling to find the right cap since they’re all the same.


Great idea!

Thanks for sharing!


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I apologize for the late reply. For my two landscape lenses -(24-120 f/4 & 12-24 f/4) I have a circular polarizer for each. The filters stay in place 75% of the time. The only time I remove them are dawn photo shoots when the light is very low, and their light loss extends the exposure too much. The Hoya CPLs were expensive, so buying one for each lens was costly. But I wanted both the convenience and peace of mind of foregoing equipment changes (that is swapping a single CPL between lenses every time I switched lenses.) In the field I’d rather concentrate on composition. Like any piece of equipment, there can be some drawbacks if used improperly. Barring this, polarizers continue to be one of my favorite landscape filters.

We often have very clear blue skies here without clouds so I learned long ago that it’s not the best idea to use a polarizer all of the time due to the fact that it darkens the sky unevenly. Now I just use a polarizer only when I think it will help the image.

I follow Igor’s method for using polarizing filters. I will use them for some macro photography. I hate shiny highlights on leaves and flower petals…Jim