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UV Filters


Threllie 14 5
11 Aug 2010 8:13AM
Does everyone fit a UV filter to their lenses? Are they worth the expense, do they make a difference to the picture or do they do little more than just protect the lens itself?
Very grateful for any responses before I consider shelling out for one.
Thanks
User_Removed 14 2.2k 3 United Kingdom
11 Aug 2010 9:05AM
No. No. Yes, especially if your camera already has a UV coating on the sensor. Yes, they can degrade the image.
pulsar69 17 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
11 Aug 2010 10:13AM
hmmm let me think 700-1000 pound lenses on the end of my cameras , 20-30 for a protector which DOES occassionally get knocked while working hence the little marks on the uv edges or should i leave it off because i am worried about a minor pixel peeking difference if there even is any , NO CHANCE , i have clear glass and uv pro hoya digital filters on all my lenses and challenge anyone who says they degrade quality to show me some real life proof of that ... unless we are talking cheapo jessops filters in which case they may degrade the image ?

You will also find as an added benefit of which I have a friend who has proof of this too that with the canon pro and semi pro lenses some of them actually REQUIRE a filter to complete the weather protection otherwise they suck up dust like hoovers ... its even in the lenses manual
justin c 17 5.1k 36 England
11 Aug 2010 10:15AM
I use them on all my lenses. I've never noticed any loss in image quality whatsoever. If there were specific times when there could be issues, i.e. from flare when shooting into the light, then I'd possibly temporarily remove the filter for the specific shot. For me the advantages far out weigh any possible disadvantages, i.e. the lens's front element is totally protected from sand, sea spray, dust, rain or any other airborne nasty's. I prefer to regularly clean a 40 filter rather than the front element of an expensive lens. It also ensures my lenses stay in pristine condition, should I wish to sell at a later date.
Some people state that the lens's front element is protective glass anyway, this may be true, but it doesn't count for much if you have to pay a considerable price for it to be replaced, not to mention the inconvenience of being lens-less for a while. Far easier and quicker to replace a filter should the worst happen.
Some state that a lens cap is better than a filter, trouble is the images come out awfully dark Wink

If you do decide to use a filter, it's worth getting a good quality one, i.e. B+W, Hoya Pro 1, etc. Don't be tempted by a 4.99 ebay (or Jessops) special.
thewilliam 13 6.1k
11 Aug 2010 10:57AM
The front element of large telephoto lenses is generally protective glass but this isn't true with more normal lenses. Filters are usually flat, whereas the front elements of most of my lenses have a definite curve. The front element of the 14-24 Nikon lens is curved so much that filters have to go on the back.

As a vulgar professional who's trying to spend the minimum on kit, I agree with Justin and use the UV filters for protection. My justification is the number of 77mm and Hasselblad B60 filters that I have to buy because they get damaged.
davey_griffo 12 213 165 England
11 Aug 2010 11:00AM
Whan I had a film SLR, I used them on every lens, because that was the advice I always got. I never once scratched a filter.

Since I went digital, I haven't really given it any thought one way or the other. I mostly use the lens hoods, which I'm told is the way pro's protect their lenses, as there's no chance of a filter degrading the image.

I think you have to make up your own mind. If you never get so much as a scratch in the paintwork/plastic on your lenses & camera, then you're probably careful enough not to need them. If you're a bit clumsy, it may be a worthwhile investment.

I wouldn't imagine that even the cheap ones are going to make much difference to image quality, certainly not unless you have a lab to test the shots to the nth degree.
martyn05 14 363 England
11 Aug 2010 11:41AM
I only use Hoya filters on all my lenses, tried the Jessops ones and noticed the coating started to come off after a couple of cleans. Since having the Hoya's, no problems. 50 - 60 to protect a 1500 lens is a no-brainer to me.
pulsar69 17 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
11 Aug 2010 12:26PM

Quote:
I think you have to make up your own mind. If you never get so much as a scratch in the paintwork/plastic on your lenses & camera, then you're probably careful enough not to need them. If you're a bit clumsy, it may be a worthwhile investment.



That comment is fine for an amatuer who takes out a camera once in a while and mothers it , for a pro who works 12 hour stints at busy weddings crowded with people and disasters waiting to happen every weekend - being a bit clumsy - has nothing to do with it , it is purely a matter of time before your camera gets a knock no matter how small , so a filter is worth its weight.
LenShepherd 13 4.4k United Kingdom
11 Aug 2010 8:21PM
If you are going to get a filter for front element "protection" UV is long out of date.
Canon rightly point out they are best retained for B&W film which is UV sensitive, and Nikon stopped making UV's about 6 years ago.
The "right" filter if you want a filter for protection is a clear type.Every-one makes them - and often they cost less than a UV.
They generally cost more than insuring your equipment for damage and theft for 5-7 years so in that sense they are poor value for money.
Degradation will be from very little to obvious, depending in part on the shooting conditions and particularly on the quality of the filter.
Nikon compare good and bad at
http://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/21074/p/544%2C545/c/241/kw/UV%20filter/r_id/150284
samfurlong 15 2.5k United Kingdom
11 Aug 2010 8:31PM
As has been said, really long lenses have a 'built in' filter as the front element is in fact just a filter which can be removed if you smash it with a bit of care and you can continue using the lens.
For all my other lenses I do use B+W UV filters which are very very good and can cost 70 odd.. With these I can't really see any degradation in my images even though all my lenses are canon L series.

However, I have no doubt that in a lab test with some mega accurate testing there will be a degradation shown, it's just so marginal that I believe that it's worth the trade off rather than constantly sending my lenses to canon for repair.
It is worth noting though that as a press photographer I am quite mean to my kit and I de end up replacing all my filters every 18 months or so as they get scratched up / cracked, if I were doing that with lens elements that would be expensive.
justin c 17 5.1k 36 England
11 Aug 2010 8:48PM

Quote:They generally cost more than insuring your equipment for damage and theft for 5-7 years so in that sense they are poor value for money.



How do you arrive at that conclusion??? A good quality filter will cost you 50 or thereabouts. Who offers 7 years of insurance for a total of 40 and that's not to mention your loss through excesses, increased premium, etc. etc., assuming of course they pay out in the first place.
LenShepherd 13 4.4k United Kingdom
12 Aug 2010 9:32AM

Quote: it is purely a matter of time before your camera gets a knock no matter how small , so a filter is worth its weight.

I have been shooting with multi lenses for over 40 years - average number of lenses more than 10 a year - so over 400 lens years exposure.
The one time I got a damaged front element was when an arrow from a bow hit the front element - the filter on the lens at the time did not save the front element. The repair cost was around 20% of a new lens.
In the 40 + years I have had 4 other damage incidents - covered by insurance but not by a front filter Smile
Insurance for an amateur usually costs less than 2% of value - a top quality front filter often costs more than 10% of lens value - and does not protect against knocks damaging the side of a lens or the camera body.
pulsar69 17 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
12 Aug 2010 11:44AM

Quote:it is purely a matter of time before your camera gets a knock no matter how small , so a filter is worth its weight.
I have been shooting with multi lenses for over 40 years - average number of lenses more than 10 a year - so over 400 lens years exposure.
The one time I got a damaged front element was when an arrow from a bow hit the front element - the filter on the lens at the time did not save the front element. The repair cost was around 20% of a new lens.
In the 40 + years I have had 4 other damage incidents - covered by insurance but not by a front filter Smile
Insurance for an amateur usually costs less than 2% of value - a top quality front filter often costs more than 10% of lens value - and does not protect against knocks damaging the side of a lens or the camera body.



Not really sure on youre point there ? , as i said used in a wedding enviroment a camera is subject to possible knocks bangs kids running about people walking into you not too mention various quickfire lens changes and being in and out of the bag , If i wasnt using cameras for my work then i would propably be able to get by 40 years without a scrape too , I am also still much happier only having to clean a filter and not a lens thereby never having to touch the lens below and also as I mentioned a filter is acutally a necessary part of dust reduction on the canon systems. So for 40-50 pount investment for a real quality filter ( and I use clear filters too ) it makes common sense for me ..
going_digital 11 204 England
12 Aug 2010 12:12PM
So in summary Threllie, if you are worried about damage to your lens then a clear or UV filter might give you some added protection. But as far as making any difference, a UV filter will not improve anything but may under close scrutiny cause the image quality to be worse. If like most amateurs you have mid-range/basic lenses and take car of them it is probably not worth the effort, if however you are spending a lot on your lenses then it is probably worth spending a little bit more to protect it from scratches.
66tricky 14 742 Scotland
12 Aug 2010 1:13PM

Quote:i have clear glass and uv pro hoya digital filters on all my lenses and challenge anyone who says they degrade quality to show me some real life proof of that ... unless we are talking cheapo jessops filters in which case they may degrade the image ?




some tests

more on the pros and cons

some investigation into degradation of bokeh quality with filters

FWIW...

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