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To UV or not to UV


Britman 14 1.7k England
16 Jan 2008 6:58PM
What's everyone opinion on the use of UV filters as a protective cover for lenses? I'm of the old school of having one on every lens. But I'm told that there's a growing consensus that having one might actually effect image quality and or cause flare and soft images.

Discuss.
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2008 6:59PM
If you do a seach on this you will see a lot of opinions.
Brom 16 804 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2008 7:09PM
even if it effects image quality a little in the case of an accident id rather have them than not
uggyy 15 2.1k 9 Scotland
16 Jan 2008 7:22PM
I only take mines off when on sunset shots.

Otherwise it stays on...

Weekend my other half scratched her brand new Siggy 10-20 with no UV on it. Lesson learned.

Tommy
JohnHorne 16 1.0k
16 Jan 2008 7:23PM
I used to keep a Skylight filter on the front of each lens, but now I omit them in preference of image quality. In the event of an accident I guess I would claim on the insurance ... the excess probably equates to the cost of a filter. A lens hood provides a certain degree of protection anyway.
cameracat 17 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
16 Jan 2008 7:25PM
Have to say I was of the old school opinion too, But always questioned the idea of putting a filter costing a few quid onto a lens costing nearer a grand.........Sad

Enter the new age of NC filters, I have Nikon NC filters on all my lens........Other half has similar Canon ones on her " L " lens at least......Smile

Ok! they may seem a tad expensive for a totally clear piece of glass, But it's better than scratching the front lens element......!
uggyy 15 2.1k 9 Scotland
16 Jan 2008 7:33PM
Well to me its the cleaning too, I prefer to clean a filter over cleaning the glass...

I tend to stick on good quality UVs though..

Tommy
Doclassie 16 1.1k England
16 Jan 2008 7:38PM
I decided to buy a UV filter for my 17-55mm f2.8 lens. Mainly because I knew it'd be my most used lens and I didn't want to worry about it when in crowds or rain or on the beach or whatever. I use the lens hood too to offer protection against knocks and bumps when the camera is hanging around my neck. Using the hood means I can also put the camera away and get it out quickly without using the lens cap.

I was worried about image quality so bought a Hoya Pro1 Digital filter. They're about 50 in 77mm thread size but well worth it. I got salt spray all over the lens in Thailand and was able to take the filter off and easily rinse the salt away. I would've been very nervous about cleaning this off the front element. This alone justified my decision in my opinion. I also bought a circular polarizer (same Hoya series and slimline.) It stacks fine with no vignetting.

A couple of things I've noticed.... firstly there's no loss of sharpness or detail with the filter on. None that I can see under close scrutiny on comparison shots anyway. Secondly, keeping the filter clean and free of dust is much easier than keeping a rounded front element clear! I don't know why but it just seems that way! It hardly ever gets dusty and is really easy to clean when it does.

The only downside to using the filter is possible flare..... but I'll keep the hood on and risk it for peace of mind.

PS.. I don't use them on my other lenses. I don't see the need as when I'm using them they're under such controlled conditions its not neccesary. I only use it on my 17-55mm because its a hell of a pricey lens and I want to use it a lot without feeling nervous about damaging the front element.
irweazel 14 167 England
17 Jan 2008 10:06AM
the hoya pro 1d's are brilliant and have saved a lot of hassle
The only time i have taken it off was on a 10-20mm when i wanted to put ND filters and there was some vingetting with both on.
nickfrog 14 333
18 Jan 2008 1:17AM
My 10 yar old daughter has recently droppedmy camera with a 10-20 on it. This broke the filter and despite loads of bits of glass on the front element, no scratches, zero damage. Luck escape as it is my fave lens.
tepot 16 4.4k United Kingdom
18 Jan 2008 2:21AM
you might not notice image quality reduction but i have noticed an increase in flare when shooting near a bright light with a filter attached. I would leave the filters off and just be careful, i use cokin N.D Grads which is where i notice the flare.
glsammy 14 209 1 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2008 7:59PM
I have them on all my lenses.
I'm glad I have, as last summer I found a chip smack in the centre of the filter. I'm not sure how it happened, but happen it did. I rejoiced in replacing a UV filter and not my Sigma 150mm.
I'm probably going to get flack for this, but I don't even buy top quality ones. I checked image quality and I can see no difference, plus they didn't cost a fortune.
UV filters for me every time.Smile
Paintman Plus
14 1.5k 180 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2008 8:22PM
I always use skylight/UV filters. The protection and peace of mind they offer is well worth any minor ( undetectable ) degradation in IQ IMO.

As I'm not a pro tog I don't have money pouring out of my bank balance ( I may get a comment or two about that bit ) to buy extra L glass if I get a scratch on the lens. Better safe than sorry I reckon.

Alan.
Kris_Dutson 18 8.2k 1 England
20 Jan 2008 8:48PM
I don't use them as I use grads a lot and don't want to degrade the image any more than I have to. Leaving the grads on until you pack the camera away will protect the front element as well as any UV / skylight filter.


Quote:As I'm not a pro tog I don't have money pouring out of my bank balance


Why automatically assume pro's have stacks of dosh?

They're just more likely to have decent insurance policies. Wink
andytvcams 18 10.4k 1 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2008 9:19PM
Using a skylight filter wont do any harm.

And much cheaper than having to replace the lens.

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