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Reducing polarization effects from Variable ND

M Joel W

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I was using a variable ND filter with a lens that had a rotating front element. I noticed that as I focused, the amount of polarization changed. (As if rotating the lens with a polarizer.)

But most of my lenses don't have rotating front elements. 

I had a few questions.

If shooting with a polarizer, and rotating the lens to reduce the amount of polarization to the least possible, is that close to the same as no polarization?

Variable NDs are essentially two polarizers on top of each other, right? So does this mean there is always some significant amount of polarization? 

Would there be a way to take a high quality variable ND like this:


And somehow rotate not just the front piece of glass, but independently rotate the entire filter to reduce the effects of polarization for each shot? Or at least try to keep them consistent? The big issue I have with variable ND filters is the variable amount of polarization. But if there a way to reduce it to a minimum consistently, I might use one more. Is there a way to do this just by adding a polarizing filter with the glass removed before the variable ND filter, and then rotating the variable ND filter to the correct strength, then rotating the empty polarizing filter to reduce polarization? Thanks.

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