The effects of a CPL (Circular Polarizing Filter) for landscape photography.

The effects of a CPL (Circular Polarizing Filter) for landscape photography.

CPL filter test

Circular Polarizing Filter before and after comparison.

For most landscape photographers, leaving the house without a CPL would be like forgetting your wallet on your nightstand.  CPLs increase saturation, help us see directly through clear water, and also cut through glares on foliage.

What don’t CPL filters do?  They don’t compensate for poor composition or shooting into extreme shadows and highlights.  CPLs work best on wide angle (slim mount filter required) and standard zoom lenses.  CPLs may degrade sharpness on telephoto or super zoom lenses.  CPLs also slow down shutter speeds slightly, by blocking 1 or 2 stops of light.

Specs for sample photo – Tamron SP 17-50mm + Canon​ EOS M2.  17mm, F/4.5, ISO 100, Aperture Priority Mode +2/3 stops of light.  Photo taken in Morris County, New Jersey.