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What's everyone's opinions on putting filters on to protect their lenses? I've recently brought a couple L lends and didn't want to compromise the quality but a little worried knocking it
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Why would an L make any difference
Filters are not for me unless they fit a purpose and protection personally does not meet a purpose.
I use UV filters as protective glass - I take images often in wind, dust, sand or sea spray conditions, and their combination may ruin the lens fairly fast. However, lately I started reviewing filter use, and taking it off in less hazardous situations - as problems with filter related light reflections started to manifest themselves. So my answer is - go by your understanding and the situation. Better be safe than sorry.
A lot cheaper to replace a UV dilter than to have to replace a badly scratched/cracked end element to a lens, also helps in keeping dust out of some of cheaper non weather sealed lenses. Whenever I've bought a new lens I've also bought a relevant sized filter to fit at the same time and very rarely is it ever taken off! Being slightly disabled and a bit wobbly on my legs and liable to dropping things I have on occasion had a UV filter save the day.
As for compromising on quality, I don't think so, not if you buy quality, in fact I doubt you'd notice any real difference and in some instances I feel sure they improve colours, but that could be argued over until hell freezes over
If the filters for just for protection I get the cheapest filters I can find, unless I`m shooting in really bad conditions there left sitting in the bag.
This is just an old habit of mine, I used to shoot a lot of motor cross, a protection filter was essential, but I found it pointless using expensive filers as they were for ever getting scratched and ruined.
For polarisers, ND filters etc I get the best I can afford.
There is little evidence that a well-made (read: not necesarily expensive) filter will affect image quality in normal use so my view is 'try one and make your own mind up'. Some people don't use one on the basis that 'it can't improve the image so why take the risk'.
A filter can cause internal reflections with strong light to the side (particularly noticable at night) so I remove mine for night photography, but prefer to keep one on because I can be clumsy. I will definitely use one in windy conditions or on the beach where slat/sand can be difficult to clean off or (when windy) scratch the lens.
This article is a bit of an eye opener, though there is probably a difference between dirt on the lens and dirt that is on a filter in front of the lens which means compromised light is hitting the lens.
I use UV filters on all my lenses for protection. Not expensive but if you scratch your lens - then it is.
On my L lenses, I use Hoya Pro 1 filters for protection, doesn't degrade the quailty one bit!
i use B+W filters on all my L lens's except my 300 2.8 it's to big
Quote: Some people don't use one on the basis that 'it can't improve the image so why take the risk'.
Yep, totally pointless, unless you're trying to impress the eBay brigade with the sheer pristineness of your front element. Lens coatings aren't fragile - the thing you're most likely to be guarding against is your own careless cleaning. No need for them.
Why pay a great deal of money for a top quality lens and then stick a filter on the front that wont add any benefit to your images and may in fact actually degrade the quality. That said I dont photograph in extreme conditions where the risk of collision/dropping/mud getting on the lens is very high. I use a polariser occasionally and ND grads a lot. I accept the slight degradation of image quality that may result from placing them between the image and the lens because they give me a real benefit.
I have had lenses for years that dont have a scratch on them and I use them at least every week. I am careful when I handle them and when I clean them. I will continue to take the risk that I might accidentally drop one of them.
If I see that the filter can do harm - I will certainly get it off, and if it does not do any harm - I don't bother with screwing it off the lens for the sure benefit of preserving the lens front element. As simple as that. Good quality UV filter costs about 40-50 dollars - only a small portion of lens cost, and in Australian hot, dusty, windy summer with ultraviolet coming off the sky in bucket-loads definitely does not do harm to either lens or image. I cannot have sterile lab conditions for cleaning my lens a couple of times during a shooting session that may be a day or two long. And dust or slit on front element is guaranteed to lower image quality much worse than 99.99 per cent transparent, submicron - precision flat, multi coated piece of glass in front of it
Well maybe if you're the next Chay Blythe or T. E. Lawrence you have an almost-valid reason. As for ultraviolet light, are you shooting film?
Quote: On my L lenses, I use Hoya Pro 1 filters for protection, doesn't degrade the quailty one bit!
....as far as you can tell - which is all that matters. The same would probably apply to Chinese Cheapies at £3.50 post-paid.
But, like so many things that seem to get debated here with great regularity, go with whatever makes you happy.
Quote: Well maybe if you're the next Chay Blythe or T. E. Lawrence you have an almost-valid reason. As for ultraviolet light, are you shooting film?
That would be a very bold entitlement for filter use - you would send filter-makers broke And yes, I do film, too. Occasionally, and with the same lens as digital.
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