Q) Would you recommend the use of a drop-in polarizer with the Canon 400mm ƒ/2.8 for wildlife or landscape photography?

A) I would possibly use a drop-in polarizer with the 400mm if I was photographing landscapes that needed the effect. But with the 1.5 to 2 stops of light loss associated with using a polarizer, I would seldom even consider using it when photographing wildlife. The general need for speed and/or depth of field when capturing active wildlife will always mean that the loss of 2 stops is unacceptable. I carry a drop-in polarizer for my 500mm ƒ/4 telephoto, but have only used it a few times in the years I’ve been shooting in the field.

The Canon EF 500mm ƒ/4L lens with a 1.4x attached and a polarizer dropped was used to photograph a close-up section of Mount McKinley in Denali National Park, Alaska. I shot with the Canon EOS 20D at a setting of 1/250 sec. at ƒ/5.6 and an ISO of 100.

One of North America’s best-known contemporary outdoor and nature photographers and a leader in the field of digital imaging and photographic education, Lepp is the author of many books and the field editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine. One of Canon’s original Explorers of Light, Lepp finds inspiration in advancing technology that fuels creative innovation and expression of his life-long fascination with the natural world.

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