Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, a Circular Polarizer, and a Valentine’s Day Rose

Posting an article I wrote around Valentine’s Day…

I just got a very good deal on a factory demo Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens from Cameta Camera (very good company to do business with). There are already plenty of reviews out there on the lens, so I won’t make too many comments about it until I’ve used it more. I’ll post a few review links at the bottom of the article for the curious though.

It was a pretty bland day to do any outdoor photography, but an overcast day is the perfect type of light for macro and portrait work where you have soft, diffuse light and no harsh shadows. I also ordered a Hoya Pro1D 77mm circular polarizer from Cameta Camera. Polarizing filters block light that is polarized perpendicularly to the axis of the filter, meaning simply that it cuts down on unwanted reflections off a particular plane, like the surface of a lake or the windshield of a car. Polarized sunglasses are particularly helpful when driving. The filter can be rotated to block different angles of light, so you can control the intensity of the effect or choose which surface you want to block the reflections from. They also make a blue sky more intense so white clouds will pop out against it, and they make leaves, plants, and flowers more vibrant.

So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I tried it out on a rose. I set it in front of a window and tried front lighting it, back lighting it, changing backgrounds, and used an off-camera flash (diffused with a Lightsphere) dialed way down to fill in the shadows caused by the window. Half way through the rose still seemed to be missing something, so I spritzed it with some water. Here are the results…

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Here are some reviews on the lens:

From the shots I’ve taken so far, it’s every bit as sharp as everyone claims. :-)

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