Review: Comparing Circular Polarizing Filters – Hoya HRT CIR-PL UV vs. Singh-Ray LB Warming CP

Hoya HRT CIR-PL UV filter

Hoya HRT CIR-PL UV filter

Singh-Ray LB Warming Circular Polarizing filter

Singh-Ray LB Warming Circular Polarizing filter

Comparing Circular Polarizers

I have two circular polarizing filters in my camera bag that seem to perform about the same…but do they? I did a simple test with my camera to find out. Here’s how they compare:

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Why Center-Weighted Average is the Right Metering Mode 85% of the Time

metering modes

metering modes

I Think That “Center-Weighted Average” Metering is Best (Usually)

As you can see from the image above, most cameras have at least three metering modes (the region where the camera measures light to calculate the exposure.) Some have four or more. For years, I only used “center-weighted average” because it was how I was taught, and it worked well. Well, it still works the best. After trying the other types of metering and thinking about it a bit, I think I know why.

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The On1 Perfect Effects Preset for Great Night Photos of the Milky Way with the Ground Visible


My On1 Perfect Effects Filter Stack

To make my nighttime Milky Way photos the best they can possibly be, I use OnOne (On1) Perfect Photo Suite and their Perfect Effects filters. I want Milky Way images that are vibrant and unique. On1 Perfect Effects allows me to get that great look in my nighttime photos. Here’s one set of filters that I use…

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The On1 Perfect Effects Preset for Great Landscape Photos


My On1 Perfect Effects Filter Stack

To make my landscape and nature photos the best they can possibly be, I use OnOne (On1) Perfect Photo Suite and their Perfect Effects filters. I want images that are vibrant, sharp, clean and unique. On1 Perfect Effects allows me to get that great look in my photos. Here’s one set of filters that I use…

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When to Use a UV Protective Filter on Your Lens


… Because a Protective Filter Can Be Your Friend … or Enemy

There are only a few times when I want to use a protective filter on my camera lens, and here’s why:

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My Lightroom, DxO Optics Pro, OnOne Perfect Photo Workflow

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Working with Lightroom, DxO Optics Pro, and OnOne Perfect Photo Suite

My workflow is quite simple and streamlined when working with these excellent image processing programs. Like the logos stacked above, this is the order that I use each of them.

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The Rule About Rule-breaking in Photography

Here's looking at you.

A photo posted by Lars Lentz (@larslentzphotography) on

Why Should You Break the Rules of Photography?

Photographs can start to look all the same. Look at any great site like 500px for example and you will find a lot of really great photos. But, they’re all about the same in technical quality and composition. Sure, different subjects, but still there is a “sameness” to them.

This is not surprising at all. Everyone in photography strives to get the best shot possible and to follow the rules of good composition. These are the things that make great photos. But it is consistently the rule-breakers that stand out in any crowd, isn’t it?

So you should stand out and you should break the rules at some point in your photography. But, when?

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Nikon D810 vs. Sigma DP2 Merrill

Nikon D810 vs. Sigma DP2 Merrill

I’ve done some comparisons of cameras lately and decided to compare my compact Sigma to the Nikon flagship camera. The Nikon D810, when compared to the Sigma DP2 Merrill, loses in the dynamic range category. The D810, rated as highest dynamic range by DxOMark and generally touted by sites across the internet as the best dSLR camera out there now, still loses to the Sigma DP2 Merrill. Here is a test result of the sensors. D810 vs DP2M The DP2M wins on pixel pitch and pixel size. This means the DP2M captures higher dynamic range and has a better signal to noise ratio than the D810. When you factor in that the DP2 is a small, compact camera, where the D810 is a full-sized dSLR, it is amazing that the DP2 beats the Nikon flagship dSLR. The ability to capture great photos doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot. The DP2 Merrill camera with built-in f/2.8 lens is 25% of the cost of the Nikon D810 camera body alone (and you still have to buy lenses for the Nikon).

Werner Herzog’s “Life Rules” and Photography


Werner Herzog’s “Rules” and Photography

Werner Herzog’s “life rules” (my term, not his) appear on the back of the latest book about this great film director as written by Paul Cronin. I find them uniquely suited to photography and have written my own interpretation and use of each.

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Photography Book Reviews

I’ve read several photography books and here are my short reviews on some of them. I am mostly a landscape, nature, and travel photographer, so I have read more of these types of books than others, but there are books in here for any photographer that I would recommend! Continue reading

Naming and Describing Photos – A New Idea


The Dreaded Photo Title and Description

I should have better titles for my photos but I absolutely hate trying to come up with a catchy name for a photo. I often just name a photo whatever it looks like, for example “Shore Birds” for a photo that shows a bunch of birds on the shore. The description also follows the same form – just describing what it is that is in the photo.

This is not very good.

I would like to have better titles and descriptions because this could potentially excite prospective buyers into buying my photos. But, coming up with titles is difficult and I needed a way to do this.

Below: An Example of a Bland Description from My Instagram Account @larslentzphotography

A bright green tree #frog hiding in the garage door.

A photo posted by Lars Lentz (@larslentzphotography) on

I looked at what other photographers are doing for their titles and descriptions, and they fall into one of two different categories:

  1. Weak – Titles and descriptions are just like I’ve already described and are not very exciting at all.
  2. Over-the-Top – Crazy descriptions and fantasy-sounding titles that really don’t make me want to buy or even take the photographer seriously.

These are both bad, and clearly a better system is needed to describe and title photos. Continue reading

Essential Photo Post-Processing Programs

DxO Enhance Before and After

I believe strongly that there are a few photo editing software programs that are absolutely essential to any photographer: Continue reading

Getting the Correct Color in Lightroom and DxO Optics Pro


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DxO Optics Pro and Adobe Lightroom

When used together, DxO Optics Pro and Adobe Lightroom work very well. However, I noticed an issue in my workflow and it was the color of the images. The greens and reds were noticeably stronger in DxO Optics Pro than in Lightroom, for the exact same photo. Here’s what I found out was the problem… Continue reading

Care What YOU Think

Who can't be happy on a beach?

A photo posted by Lars Lentz (@larslentzphotography) on

The Caring Trap

As a photographer, you probably care a lot about what other people think of your photos. Right? This is not a bad thing. The opinions of others is often the only way you’ll get the feedback you need to help you progress in the quality of your photography. But, don’t take it too far, or you’ll fall into a nasty trap.  Continue reading