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Should You Use Filters with Panoramas?

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

Grad Filters

In terms GRADUATED FILTERS, any graduated filters are a judgement call. If the lighting is such that your picture would benefit, then judicious use of grad filters are a go. Panoramas always work best if the lighting is completely even as you don't run any risk of uneven lighting in the foreground or sky. However, there are times when such conditions are not possible and in that case, grad filters may be useful.

Some photographers would argue that grad filters are best avoided with panorama photography and added in the software later as you can get an uneven sky (one area of the sky darker than the other area). However, I personally DO use grad filters with panoramas -- it's too useful of a tool to throw away. However, you need to be careful how you use them.


Polarizing filters may create uneven skies -- if the sky is blue and not cloudy. Again, it's a judgment call here -- if the polarizer will bring out a much more dramatic sky, then do so. I say if there are fluffy clouds and blue skies then use it.

The price you pay for using a polarizing filter in a panorama image is that polarizers will change the sky coloration depending on the position of the sun. However, with a multi-stitch panorama, the color of SOME of the images will show slightly different "blue" colors which, when the final panorama image is created, will have part of the sky darker than other parts.

Note this can be fixed in post processing, however.

Other Lens Filters

Full neutral density and UV are OK and shouldn't cause any real problems.

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