"Sports" Polarizer

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Pat, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. Pat

    Pat Guest

    Back in "the day", they used to make a special polarizer for sports
    photography. It was is NOT to be confused with the current circular
    polarizer, but it was a filter with the actually polarization on the
    filter was circular. Therefore, you did not rotate it (because
    rotating a circle keeps the orientation the same). It was used for
    sports so that you could polarize the light and cut glare, but didn't
    need to keep re-orienting it when either you moved the camera or the
    end of the lens rotated when you zoomed/changed focus. It was pretty
    nifty.

    Has anyone seen one recently. I'd like to pick one up but can't find
    them anywhere, anymore.
     
    Pat, Jul 9, 2007
    #1
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  2. Pat

    Scott W Guest

    Pat wrote:
    > Back in "the day", they used to make a special polarizer for sports
    > photography. It was is NOT to be confused with the current circular
    > polarizer, but it was a filter with the actually polarization on the
    > filter was circular. Therefore, you did not rotate it (because
    > rotating a circle keeps the orientation the same). It was used for
    > sports so that you could polarize the light and cut glare, but didn't
    > need to keep re-orienting it when either you moved the camera or the
    > end of the lens rotated when you zoomed/changed focus. It was pretty
    > nifty.
    >
    > Has anyone seen one recently. I'd like to pick one up but can't find
    > them anywhere, anymore.
    >

    The only way a polarizer like that could cut out glare would be if you
    used it with a flash that also had a circular polarizer on it. And since
    circular polarization changes from left hand to right and right to left
    when bouncing off a shiny surface you would use the same handed polarizer.

    But just by itself a circular polarizer, that passes either right hand
    or left hand light, will not reduce glare. You can get this kind of
    filter but simply mounted a conventional circular polarizer with the
    wrong side pointed towards the lens.

    Scott
     
    Scott W, Jul 9, 2007
    #2
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  3. Pat <> wrote:

    > Back in "the day", they used to make a special polarizer for sports
    > photography. It was is NOT to be confused with the current circular
    > polarizer, but it was a filter with the actually polarization on the
    > filter was circular. Therefore, you did not rotate it (because
    > rotating a circle keeps the orientation the same).


    I've never heard of such a filter, but I suppose it could be of some use if
    you only need to affect the top and bottom of the image, i.e. the sky and
    the foreground grass, and don't care about the centre region or the edges.

    I would have thought it would be difficult to make such a thing though,
    since the long chain molecules which do the polarising, instead of simply
    being straightened and aligned by stretching the plastic, would need
    somehow to be made to form a circular shape. The implications of this are
    you'd have to make each piece of polaroid separately, you couldn't simply
    stamp them out of a big sheet, so they'd presumably be very expensive.
    Are you sure these filters really worked in the way you describe?
     
    Gordon Freeman, Jul 9, 2007
    #3
  4. Pat

    Pat Guest

    On Jul 9, 2:45 pm, Gordon Freeman <> wrote:
    > Pat <> wrote:
    > > Back in "the day", they used to make a special polarizer for sports
    > > photography. It was is NOT to be confused with the current circular
    > > polarizer, but it was a filter with the actually polarization on the
    > > filter was circular. Therefore, you did not rotate it (because
    > > rotating a circle keeps the orientation the same).

    >
    > I've never heard of such a filter, but I suppose it could be of some use if
    > you only need to affect the top and bottom of the image, i.e. the sky and
    > the foreground grass, and don't care about the centre region or the edges.
    >
    > I would have thought it would be difficult to make such a thing though,
    > since the long chain molecules which do the polarising, instead of simply
    > being straightened and aligned by stretching the plastic, would need
    > somehow to be made to form a circular shape. The implications of this are
    > you'd have to make each piece of polaroid separately, you couldn't simply
    > stamp them out of a big sheet, so they'd presumably be very expensive.
    > Are you sure these filters really worked in the way you describe?
     
    Pat, Jul 10, 2007
    #4
  5. Pat

    Pat Guest

    On Jul 9, 2:45 pm, Gordon Freeman <> wrote:
    > Pat <> wrote:
    > > Back in "the day", they used to make a special polarizer for sports
    > > photography. It was is NOT to be confused with the current circular
    > > polarizer, but it was a filter with the actually polarization on the
    > > filter was circular. Therefore, you did not rotate it (because
    > > rotating a circle keeps the orientation the same).

    >
    > I've never heard of such a filter, but I suppose it could be of some use if
    > you only need to affect the top and bottom of the image, i.e. the sky and
    > the foreground grass, and don't care about the centre region or the edges.
    >
    > I would have thought it would be difficult to make such a thing though,
    > since the long chain molecules which do the polarising, instead of simply
    > being straightened and aligned by stretching the plastic, would need
    > somehow to be made to form a circular shape. The implications of this are
    > you'd have to make each piece of polaroid separately, you couldn't simply
    > stamp them out of a big sheet, so they'd presumably be very expensive.
    > Are you sure these filters really worked in the way you describe?


    Yeah, I had one. As you said, it worked well on the sky (particularly
    in the center of the frame). It would also cut glare from vertical
    surfaces to the left and right. I'm not sure what, if anything, it
    did in the middle of the image because it was, after all, a sports
    item so the image that you were shooting was in the middle of the
    image.

    Back in "the day" it was needed because when you zoomed or changed
    focus, most lenses twisted the ends so the polarizer would shift
    orientation. For sports you didn't have time to adjust the
    polarizer.
     
    Pat, Jul 10, 2007
    #5
  6. In article <Xns9968C91C9AE36E3D2@213.239.142.64>, Gordon Freeman
    <> wrote:

    > I've never heard of such a filter, but I suppose it could be of some use if
    > you only need to affect the top and bottom of the image, i.e. the sky and
    > the foreground grass, and don't care about the centre region or the edges.


    Wow. I ran a camera shop back in the 70's - 80's, and prided myself as
    a bit of a camera historian, keeping track of obscure accessories and
    such - and I never heard of that. Learn something new every day.

    Anyone have an idea of the technology, and especially what companies
    offered them?
     
    Scott Schuckert, Jul 10, 2007
    #6
  7. Pat

    Pat Guest

    On Jul 10, 8:35 am, Scott Schuckert <> wrote:
    > In article <Xns9968C91C9AE36E...@213.239.142.64>, Gordon Freeman
    >
    > <> wrote:
    > > I've never heard of such a filter, but I suppose it could be of some use if
    > > you only need to affect the top and bottom of the image, i.e. the sky and
    > > the foreground grass, and don't care about the centre region or the edges.

    >
    > Wow. I ran a camera shop back in the 70's - 80's, and prided myself as
    > a bit of a camera historian, keeping track of obscure accessories and
    > such - and I never heard of that. Learn something new every day.
    >
    > Anyone have an idea of the technology, and especially what companies
    > offered them?


    Well, that was the era. I don't remember the brand, but I think I
    would have either order it from 42nd St. Photo from NYC or Lion Photo
    in Chicago back in their heydays. That's who I ordered most of my
    stuff from.
     
    Pat, Jul 10, 2007
    #7
  8. Pat wrote:
    > Back in "the day", they used to make a special polarizer for sports
    > photography. It was is NOT to be confused with the current circular
    > polarizer, but it was a filter with the actually polarization on the
    > filter was circular. Therefore, you did not rotate it (because
    > rotating a circle keeps the orientation the same). It was used for
    > sports so that you could polarize the light and cut glare, but didn't
    > need to keep re-orienting it when either you moved the camera or the
    > end of the lens rotated when you zoomed/changed focus. It was pretty
    > nifty.
    >
    > Has anyone seen one recently. I'd like to pick one up but can't find
    > them anywhere, anymore.
    >

    I'm sorry, but your description doesn't seem to make sense. The light
    coming from normal scenes like those in sports is not circularly
    polarized, so a "circular polarizing filter" or filter designed to
    remove cilcularly polarized light wouldn't do anything. The exception
    would be artificial lighting that is circulalrly polarized, but that
    would require a lot of effort and expense; I've never heard of it being
    done.

    Since most scenes are illuminated from above on average, the linear
    polarization present in reflected light will be tend be horizontal in
    direction. That is, the E-vector of the vibration of the light waves
    will be more dominant in the horizontal direction. So if you set a
    linear polaroid filter with its direction vertical (crossed with
    horzontally-polarized light), it will tend to always work to some
    amount, though it may not be much. That is how polarized sunglasses are
    usually set up. Road glare is usually horizontally polarized. I have
    left polaroid filters fixed in that direction when I'm doing a lot of
    fast shooting and didn't want to be bothered optimizing it for each
    shot. However, if the filter rotates while the lens focuses, no polaroid
    filter will do you good unless you set it or by chance.

    That people use circular polarizers is irrelevant from the standpoint of
    the effect on the light entering the filter, the effect that counts. A
    cilcular polarizer consists of a linear polarizer, which does the
    required filtering, followed by a quarter-wave retarder, which converts
    the linearly-polarized light to circularly-polarized light, which
    behaves better inside a camera with internal reflections.

    Joe
     
    Joseph Miller, Jul 11, 2007
    #8
  9. Pat

    Guest

    On Jul 10, 1:36 pm, Pat <> wrote:
    > On Jul 9, 2:45 pm, Gordon Freeman <> wrote:
    > > Pat <> wrote:
    > > > Back in "the day", they used to make a special polarizer for sports
    > > > photography. It was is NOT to be confused with the current circular
    > > > polarizer, but it was a filter with the actually polarization on the
    > > > filter was circular. Therefore, you did not rotate it (because
    > > > rotating a circle keeps the orientation the same).

    >
    > > I've never heard of such a filter, but I suppose it could be of some use if
    > > you only need to affect the top and bottom of the image, i.e. the sky and
    > > the foreground grass, and don't care about the centre region or the edges.

    >
    > > I would have thought it would be difficult to make such a thing though,
    > > since the long chain molecules which do the polarising, instead of simply
    > > being straightened and aligned by stretching the plastic, would need
    > > somehow to be made to form a circular shape. The implications of this are
    > > you'd have to make each piece of polaroid separately, you couldn't simply
    > > stamp them out of a big sheet, so they'd presumably be very expensive.
    > > Are you sure these filters really worked in the way you describe?

    >
    > Yeah, I had one.


    So what happened to it? You wouldn't have some pictures that you
    could scan and show us?

    I'm afraid I cannot imagine any orientation of a polarising material
    that would achieve this. Surely there would be a link or some
    information about this product somewhere, and there doesn't appear to
    be.

    Me, I keep thinking it might be April Fool's day where you live...
    (O;

    Pat, when you find some concrete evidence of this creature, let us
    know.
     
    , Jul 11, 2007
    #9
  10. Pat

    Pat Guest

    On Jul 11, 5:46 am, wrote:
    > On Jul 10, 1:36 pm, Pat <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > > On Jul 9, 2:45 pm, Gordon Freeman <> wrote:
    > > > Pat <> wrote:
    > > > > Back in "the day", they used to make a special polarizer for sports
    > > > > photography. It was is NOT to be confused with the current circular
    > > > > polarizer, but it was a filter with the actually polarization on the
    > > > > filter was circular. Therefore, you did not rotate it (because
    > > > > rotating a circle keeps the orientation the same).

    >
    > > > I've never heard of such a filter, but I suppose it could be of some use if
    > > > you only need to affect the top and bottom of the image, i.e. the sky and
    > > > the foreground grass, and don't care about the centre region or the edges.

    >
    > > > I would have thought it would be difficult to make such a thing though,
    > > > since the long chain molecules which do the polarising, instead of simply
    > > > being straightened and aligned by stretching the plastic, would need
    > > > somehow to be made to form a circular shape. The implications of this are
    > > > you'd have to make each piece of polaroid separately, you couldn't simply
    > > > stamp them out of a big sheet, so they'd presumably be very expensive.
    > > > Are you sure these filters really worked in the way you describe?

    >
    > > Yeah, I had one.

    >
    > So what happened to it? You wouldn't have some pictures that you
    > could scan and show us?
    >
    > I'm afraid I cannot imagine any orientation of a polarising material
    > that would achieve this. Surely there would be a link or some
    > information about this product somewhere, and there doesn't appear to
    > be.
    >
    > Me, I keep thinking it might be April Fool's day where you live...
    > (O;
    >
    > Pat, when you find some concrete evidence of this creature, let us
    > know.


    What happened to it? Somewhere in the course of 25 years, a half-
    dozen moves, and 2 kids, it seems to have disappeared. Funny how that
    happened. If I had it, I'd know who made it.

    The pictures didn't look particularly different than any other
    picture. If they did, it wouldn't have been a good polarizer. Since
    it was generally used to darken the sky, that was about the only
    effect.

    Geez. I thought this was a simple yes/no answer. I guess it is "no",
    that no one has seen one recently (say within the last decade or two).

    There was other equipment from back when the dinosaurs roamed the
    earth that you don't see much of anymore either. In some ways it
    quite bad, because you really had to learn what you were doing, learn
    timing, learn metering etc. when you were shooting on film and your
    metering was all manual.
     
    Pat, Jul 11, 2007
    #10
  11. Pat

    AustinMN Guest

    On Jul 11, 8:09 am, Pat <> wrote:
    > Geez. I thought this was a simple yes/no answer. I guess it is "no",
    > that no one has seen one recently (say within the last decade or two).


    http://www.tiffen.com/filters.htm

    Scroll down to the polarizer section, there it is. It took me 30
    seconds on google using your terms. Instead of searching yourself,
    you waited two days for someone else to do it for you, then complained
    because they didn't.

    Austin
     
    AustinMN, Jul 11, 2007
    #11
  12. Pat

    AustinMN Guest

    On Jul 10, 7:44 pm, Joseph Miller <> wrote:
    > I'm sorry, but your description doesn't seem to make sense. The light
    > coming from normal scenes like those in sports is not circularly
    > polarized, so a "circular polarizing filter" or filter designed to
    > remove cilcularly polarized light wouldn't do anything.


    Backwards. It would only admit circularly polarized light, blocking
    all others.

    Austin
     
    AustinMN, Jul 11, 2007
    #12
  13. Pat

    Pat Guest

    On Jul 11, 1:54 pm, AustinMN <> wrote:
    > On Jul 11, 8:09 am, Pat <> wrote:
    >
    > > Geez. I thought this was a simple yes/no answer. I guess it is "no",
    > > that no one has seen one recently (say within the last decade or two).

    >
    > http://www.tiffen.com/filters.htm
    >
    > Scroll down to the polarizer section, there it is. It took me 30
    > seconds on google using your terms. Instead of searching yourself,
    > you waited two days for someone else to do it for you, then complained
    > because they didn't.
    >
    > Austin


    Ummm, maybe I'm missing something but I don't see it there. Which
    filter are you referencing.

    Searching myself? Heck I've been doing that for 20 years. You don't
    think I've checked every website I can find? If it is still made,
    it's made my some small specialty company or I might be able to find
    one that is used.
     
    Pat, Jul 11, 2007
    #13
  14. AustinMN wrote:
    > On Jul 10, 7:44 pm, Joseph Miller <> wrote:
    >
    >>I'm sorry, but your description doesn't seem to make sense. The light
    >>coming from normal scenes like those in sports is not circularly
    >>polarized, so a "circular polarizing filter" or filter designed to
    >>remove cilcularly polarized light wouldn't do anything.

    >
    >
    > Backwards. It would only admit circularly polarized light, blocking
    > all others.
    >
    > Austin
    >

    Sorry for the loose terminology. I should have said "do anything you
    want to do." If it only passed circularly poarized light, then in nearly
    all scenes no light would get through, since virtually none of the light
    would be circulalrly polarized.

    Joe
     
    Joseph Miller, Jul 11, 2007
    #14
  15. Pat wrote:

    > On Jul 11, 1:54 pm, AustinMN <> wrote:
    >
    >>On Jul 11, 8:09 am, Pat <> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Geez. I thought this was a simple yes/no answer. I guess it is "no",
    >>>that no one has seen one recently (say within the last decade or two).

    >>
    >>http://www.tiffen.com/filters.htm
    >>
    >>Scroll down to the polarizer section, there it is. It took me 30
    >>seconds on google using your terms. Instead of searching yourself,
    >>you waited two days for someone else to do it for you, then complained
    >>because they didn't.
    >>
    >>Austin

    >
    >
    > Ummm, maybe I'm missing something but I don't see it there. Which
    > filter are you referencing.
    >
    > Searching myself? Heck I've been doing that for 20 years. You don't
    > think I've checked every website I can find? If it is still made,
    > it's made my some small specialty company or I might be able to find
    > one that is used.
    >


    You are not missing anything. Those filters are the standard ones for
    removing linearly polarized light. You can get two basic types: one just
    is a simple linear polarizer, and the other first does the linear
    polarization for the effect that you want and then converts that
    linearally-polarized light into circularly-polarized light. The effect
    on the scene being photographed is identical for both types, and the
    rotation angles of the filters must be set for the desired effect. The
    circular filter is used for cameras with internatl reflections that
    could potentially interact with linerally polarized light and perhaps
    throw off light metering. On straight-through cameras, like many P&S
    ones, there is no need for the circular variety.

    I still don't understand the principle behind that filter you used to have.

    Joe
     
    Joseph Miller, Jul 11, 2007
    #15
  16. Pat

    Allen Guest

    Pat wrote:
    > On Jul 11, 1:54 pm, AustinMN <> wrote:
    >> On Jul 11, 8:09 am, Pat <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Geez. I thought this was a simple yes/no answer. I guess it is "no",
    >>> that no one has seen one recently (say within the last decade or two).

    >> http://www.tiffen.com/filters.htm
    >>
    >> Scroll down to the polarizer section, there it is. It took me 30
    >> seconds on google using your terms. Instead of searching yourself,
    >> you waited two days for someone else to do it for you, then complained
    >> because they didn't.
    >>
    >> Austin

    >
    > Ummm, maybe I'm missing something but I don't see it there. Which
    > filter are you referencing.
    >
    > Searching myself? Heck I've been doing that for 20 years. You don't
    > think I've checked every website I can find? If it is still made,
    > it's made my some small specialty company or I might be able to find
    > one that is used.
    >

    The only Google references to the phrase "sports polarizer" are to this
    thread. Looking for hits that contain both words, though not necessarily
    in that order, brings up nothing relevant. Maybe Austin MN has a secret
    version of Google.
    Allen
     
    Allen, Jul 11, 2007
    #16
  17. Pat

    Guest

    On Jul 12, 3:54 am, AustinMN <> wrote:
    > On Jul 11, 8:09 am, Pat <> wrote:
    >
    > > Geez. I thought this was a simple yes/no answer. I guess it is "no",
    > > that no one has seen one recently (say within the last decade or two).

    >
    > http://www.tiffen.com/filters.htm
    >
    > Scroll down to the polarizer section, there it is. It took me 30
    > seconds on google using your terms. Instead of searching yourself,
    > you waited two days for someone else to do it for you, then complained
    > because they didn't.
    >
    > Austin


    Austin, I think *you* need to read the op more carefully. It *isn't*
    a 'circular' polariser (as we know it), that Pat has described.
     
    , Jul 12, 2007
    #17
  18. Pat

    Rob Morley Guest

    In article <>,
    says...

    > Austin, I think *you* need to read the op more carefully. It *isn't*
    > a 'circular' polariser (as we know it), that Pat has described.
    >
    >

    It seems to me that he /did/ describe a circular polariser, and then
    added "It is NOT to be confused with the current circular
    polarizer". So he's trying to find something that is functionally
    identical to a circular polariser, yet is somehow different in a way
    that he doesn't seem to be able to explain. Or am I missing something?
     
    Rob Morley, Jul 12, 2007
    #18
  19. Pat

    BaumBadier Guest

    On Thu, 12 Jul 2007 13:19:57 +0100, Rob Morley <> wrote:

    >In article <>,
    > says...
    >
    >> Austin, I think *you* need to read the op more carefully. It *isn't*
    >> a 'circular' polariser (as we know it), that Pat has described.
    >>
    >>

    >It seems to me that he /did/ describe a circular polariser, and then
    >added "It is NOT to be confused with the current circular
    >polarizer". So he's trying to find something that is functionally
    >identical to a circular polariser, yet is somehow different in a way
    >that he doesn't seem to be able to explain. Or am I missing something?


    I recall, way back when, that some special-effects polarizers were made by
    carefully cutting thin wedge shapes of the polarizing material and then
    reassembling them into other configurations to see what they would do.
    Eventually they became used as novelty weather-man's TV icons on their
    weather-map boards during B&W TV days. Where the weather-map was illuminated
    with a rotating polarized light and their sun and rain markers would "move" in
    bands of brightness as the rotating polarized light hit them. The sun icon
    slowly rotating in a star-burst pattern, or concentric waves from center to
    edge, or the rain icon would slowly move in a downward slant in bands of light
    and dark. Or the H and L pressure area markers would have all their little
    triangles or semi-circles have waves of light and dark pass through them in the
    direction that front was moving. (Or conversely a slowly rotating polarizer was
    in front of the TV camera's lens instead of a studio-light, I know not which,
    both would work, I only figured out how they were doing it at the time by
    observation.)

    If linear polarizing material was cut into narrow wedges with the plane of
    polarization either perpendicular to or in line with the length of the wedge,
    and then assembled of thin pie-slices so that (for all intents and purposes) the
    polarization was in a concentric orientation, or in a ray-burst configuration,
    then rotating that polarizer would not change its overall effect. If it was
    constructed to have the polarization planes in a concentric orientation then the
    part above the horizon would indeed darken the sky some. In total though, all
    light entering the lens would cancel out the polarizing effect for anything in
    the center. Because that light would pass through all parts of all the
    polarizing planes. Only things nearer the edges of the FOV would be affected.

    Perhaps this is how it was done and the type of device you are refering to? If
    it is not available you could obtain some sheet polarizing material
    (www.sciplus.com offers some at times) and manufacture one for yourself using
    the above mentioned method. I'm not sure how good you could get with an x-acto
    blade and carefully mounting the thin wedges between glass so that it appeared
    nearly seamless, but if I was pressed to recreate that kind of thing I'd give it
    a good try.

    Do you recall at all if you could see some very fine lines radiating from the
    center of that polarizer? If so, that would reveal how this was done.
     
    BaumBadier, Jul 12, 2007
    #19
  20. In article <>, Rob Morley
    <> wrote:

    > It seems to me that he /did/ describe a circular polariser, and then
    > added "It is NOT to be confused with the current circular
    > polarizer". So he's trying to find something that is functionally
    > identical to a circular polariser, yet is somehow different in a way
    > that he doesn't seem to be able to explain. Or am I missing something?


    I'm confused too. I read it as he was looking for a polarizer that
    darkened the sky but didn't need to be rotated to maintain the effect.
    "Circular" in the sense that it blocked all angles of polarized light
    at the same time. isn't that a neutral density filter? <GRIN>
     
    Scott Schuckert, Jul 12, 2007
    #20
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