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Newbie polarizer guesswork


New Member
My dad recently gave me his IIIg, which is in excellent condition. I've shot a few rolls of film just to get myself familiar with the camera, as it has been a long time since I shot film. Here are some photos I took last weekend, composition was not given much thought, I was just trying things out / trying to capture some color to see what film I liked.

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So, I've been using a polarizer on my Digital Rebel, and I've been thinking about adding one to the IIIg. Comments? How painful is it to "guess" what the polarizer is doing? I know that I wouldn't need a circular polarizer, but is there an advantage to a linear polarizer?

These questions probably apply to other Leicas, but I couldn't figure out which forum to ask them in.


Polarisers on viewfinder cameras need to be differently assessed, as obviously you cannot see through the lens to see the effect produced.
There are a few alternatives, the most simple being the numbered filter.
Imagine there are numbers around the rotating filter ring (like a clock) and you look through the filter (off the camera) and note which number is at the top (against a ref. mark) when the picture is as you want it. Then screw the filter back onto the lens (with the ref. mark at the top) and set the number accordingly.
The more convoluted arrangement has a filter ring which holds a swinging polariser over the lens. The filter swings through 180 degrees and is set in front of the viewfinder for assessment, then swung back 180 degrees to be over the lens. The effect is the same as seen previously through the viewfinder. Leitz and others have used this idea.
Finally, some users advocate a very large pola filter set in a very large step-up ring. A hole is cut into the step-up ring in front of the viewfinder for assessing the rotation desired and nothing further need be done. Finding the very large step-up ring is hard and buying the very large polariser is expensive though.
You're right, with Leica-M cameras, there's no benefit to linear or circular - both offer the same results.
Best wishes,


The swing out polariser is designed to be opened over the viewing window. This may or may not work with a 111G. If I am on a tripod ( camera not me) I orient vertically so viewing is over the top plate with no interfering items of any sort. Some older pola filters are not neutral grey. They were made for monochrome film and it did not matter.

What kind of lens is on the camera? 39 filter size is adaptable to the current pola screen. Summitars are more difficult, but there were pola filters made for them. There are adapters to get from 36mm to 39mm.