Posted by: juliegriffey | November 2, 2013

What are polarizing filters, how do they work and is AR Kleen safe to use on them?

Is AR Kleen safe on polarized filters?

Is AR Kleen safe on polarized filters?

Recently we received a question from a customer as to whether Amcon’s AR Kleen was safe to use on polarizing filters.  Being in the optical industry, we were familiar with polarized lenses, as many of the sunglasses and protective eyewear we carry are polarized. But we were a little unclear about what he meant by “polarizing filters.”  Time to do a bit of research.

According to camera manufacturer, Nikon, a polarizing filter can add “pow” to your photographs. Polarizing filters “can reduce, and sometimes even remove, unwanted reflections from your images, and in doing so often increase color saturation.” The article on the Nikon web site explains that a polarizing filter can enhance the contrast between skies and clouds for dramatic effect.  It is for this reason, nature photographers “never leave home without a polarizing filter.”

Here’s how it works. A polarized lens is like a set of blinds.  They are usually made of glass or plastic and embedded with vertical strips (like blinds) that prevent the glare-causing horizontal light waves from passing through.  The net result is that there is less glare and objects appear darker, which makes polarized lenses optimal for sunglasses – glare reduction and a darkening of the overall view.

Back to the question of whether AR Kleen is safe on polarizing filters.  In all of the descriptions of AR Kleen, it is stated that AR Kleen is “excellent for anti-reflective, glass and plastic lenses.”  Based on this description, it seems like it would be safe for polarizing filters.  Just to be safe, we asked our purchasing department, who reported back that because it is safe on polarizing lenses, it is save on polarized filters.

So, there you have it, photographers, the next time you pack your polarizing filter for your next photo shoot – don’t forget your AR Kleen!


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