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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Default Filters - yay or nay

    Hi All,
    Time to pick at the collective knowledge again.

    UV Filters. What are your thoughts on always leaving a UV filter on your pride and joy.
    I've been reading the internet a lot again and it seems there is two sides to this question. What I didn't realise was how much light a filter can block, some reports say nearly 2 stops. Wow!


    I'm primarily interested in the use of UV filters in this thread, polarising and other filters I'll save for a rainy day(if we ever get another in Melbourne). So back to the question(s).

    Do you leave a filter on all the time?
    Is that mostly a protection issue? I'd guess yes, but thoughts behind the no answer would be interesting too.
    Do you only use one when you think the requirement is there?
    Do you just not bother?
    What are you using, why that choice?

    I'm a bit precious so I like the idea of having something up front to ward off the unexpected. I'm thinking of the hoya HD UV for my new baby when it arrives.


    Drifting dry's down current lanes.

  2. #2

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    Default

    I don't use any UV filter. IMO they're useless and the so called "protection" is well ... insignificant. Plus, cheap glass on top of expensive glass does not compute.

    I suppose the majority of UV filters used are the cheap ones. But I could be wrong.

  3. #3

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    Dec 2004
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    Default

    I only use a CP & ND filters, and when I am not using one for a shot, there is no filter. I see no point attaching a filter for protection, unless you are unlucky enough to drop your camera square onto the front element over a sharp object, you are more likely to damage the mechanism of the lens rather than the glass

  4. #4

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    Default

    Get a lens hood instead. I agree with the other two
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  5. #5

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    I'd bought a couple of UV filters as well (sold to me mainly as protection...which is a bit inconsistent), and have to say I almost never use them. I just prefer the flexiblity and clarity of running the camera without more stuff on it. As dche5390, said cheap glass on top of expensive glass makes no sense.

    And if it is about protecting your baby, i think the idea of a hood also makes sense too.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by swoffa View Post
    Hi All,

    UV Filters. What are your thoughts on always leaving a UV filter on your pride and joy.
    I've been reading the internet a lot again and it seems there is two sides to this question. What I didn't realise was how much light a filter can block, some reports say nearly 2 stops. Wow!
    Well you're certainly not going to loose 2 stops with a UV filter. I would have thought the light loss is negligible.

    As for the arguments about cheap glass on front of a lens..well...if you use a multicoated filter, such as a Hoya, or even better a B+W then you shouldn't have any issues. Of course the b+w's can be as expensive as some entry level zooms. B+W's are made from white crystal glass whereas most regular filters are made from regular window glass that always has a very slight green tinge.

    The *protection* that everyone is talking about isn't so much from impact, but just as a buffer to seal against dust settling on the front element and accidental fingerprints for example. It *protects* the font lens element from exposure to dirt and fingerprints.

    Remembering the oil from your fingers can actually be very difficult to remove properly (especially when left a while) without alcohol based cleaners, this is much easier to do to a removable filter. Also, many of the lenses made today have plastic surrounds and these can be affected by alcohol based cleaners if they come into contact with the cleaning solution.

    That all said, people get VERY precious about the front lens elements when because things are largely out of focus, blemishes usually have to be freakin huge before they will have a noticeable impact on your photos. Yet the back element is MUCH more fragile, usually has no protection and is more likely to accidentally be fingerprinted or palmed. Blemishes and imperfections show up much more readily on the rear elements.

    So, yeah I have UV filters on my lenses, mainly because I'm happy to trade off a slight hit in image quality (which most people would NEVER even pick) to keep my lens elements virginal.

    jb
    www.johnbrawley.com
    Cinematographer
    Sydney Australia ==> I have a BLOG

  7. #7

    Default

    Would you rather scratch your main lens element or a filter? And less cleaning = less chance of actually scratching/damaging it. Having a GOOD UV filter in front of your lens helps reduce the risk of damage/dirt/smudges blah blah and having a hood also helps with regards to impact related damage.

    Invest in a good UV/clear filter, like those from B+W. Some guys were comparing brands the other time and noticed a SLIGHT colour shift when using a filter, not sure what brand it was but B+W is pretty good.

  8. #8

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    Default

    A good UV filter is not a bad idea from the protection angle (again, mainly due to finger prints and other stray items), but a lot of people don't bother, and for a lot of people that wont matter. I leave one on 100% of the time.

    There is more than one type of UV filter, so drop the cheap glass on expensive glass thing, not everyone buys cheap filters, and while we're here, if your using something like an 18-55 kit lens you don't fall into the "good glass" category anyway.

    Lastly, they do diddly squat in terms of reducing UV and I highly doubt you would lose two stops with a UV filter.

  9. #9

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    Default

    I use a Hoya UV filter which i leave on all my lens all the time. I don't see any of the aforementioned colour tints. But then again, im just using kit lens. For now...

  10. #10

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    Default

    I'm in the pro-filter camp. It's a significant level of lens protection and peace of mind versus an immeasurable to negligible difference in optical purity.

  11. #11

    Default

    A UV Filter wont rob you of too much light, the amount is measurable, with the right gear, but will be some stupidly small amount like 1/10 of a stop (or less)
    while filters are a good idea for lens protection, i dont use them except for when im shooting either drifting or rallying, to keep the dust/rubber/etc of the front element of the lens.

    I always use a Hood, with all my lenses. it offers protection from fingers, and light impacts, it also stops lens flare when shooting towards the sun (not straight at the sun, but at a slight angle)


    A Polarizing Filter can rob up to two stops of light, its main uses are to turn the sky blue, and to kill reflections a bit. i use one frequently.

    Neutral Density Filters are basically a dimmer switch for the light, they can generally block 3,6,9 or more stops of light, and are used to extend daytime exposure length (generally to show motion, with rig shots, running water etc)
    Neutral density Grads are used as a dimmer switch on sections of the frame, for example, a landscape, with a dark shadowed valley, and a bright blue sky, the nd grad is used to keep the sky from blowing out, while allowing the valley to be made brighter so you can see in it,
    basically they are used for compressing the dynamic range of the scene, to fit the dynamic range of the imaging sensor.
    they are generally square, and look like a half tinted piece of glass.

    hope this helps
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by brawlster View Post
    Well you're certainly not going to loose 2 stops with a UV filter.


    jb

    Thanks for your post JB, I learnt a few things. Thanks mate.

    Edit: And I just saw the other posts too on filter uses and types. I'm learning from all of you! Thanks everyone

  13. #13

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    Default

    As usual very good forthright answers from you lot. Good mix of thoughts once again to ponder. Thanks all very much.
    Looks like the the lean at MT is towards using them, and as I'm one to err on the side of caution, I'll be getting one. Most likely the Hoya HD I mentioned in the first post. I'm not going to bother getting anything but quality, and from what I read this is a reasonably good one.

    Those that are using them, which brand-model are you using?


    Drifting dry's down current lanes.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by swoffa View Post

    Those that are using them, which brand-model are you using?
    Hoya are probably the best of the Japanese. Hoya also make a lot of the glass for the other lens companies as well.

    Otherwise it's B+W (aka Schneider)

    jb
    www.johnbrawley.com
    Cinematographer
    Sydney Australia ==> I have a BLOG

  15. #15

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brawlster View Post
    Hoya are probably the best of the Japanese. Hoya also make a lot of the glass for the other lens companies as well.

    Otherwise it's B+W (aka Schneider)

    jb
    +1 for Hoya. Worth the money imo.
    2013 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 15" 2.4/500GB, 2x 27" iMacs, iPhone 5 Black, several iPads.

  16. #16

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    Also using Hoya here as well.

  17. #17

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    Default

    Hello Hoya user's.

    What's you preference between the HD and the pro1's, or do you prefer another model(?)


    Drifting dry's down current lanes.

  18. #18

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    Default

    I used UV filters while I was coming to grips with how the cameras worked. As mentioned it's a level of protection for dust, fingerprints etc.

    I now don't use UV filters. Firstly it can introduce flare and slightly degrades image quality for little benefit, and secondly all my lenses are of different thread sizes now and I haven't been arsed to get filters for them all yet. It just means I have to be a bit more careful and I keep the lens cap on when I'm not shooting.
    This opinion intentionally left blank.

  19. #19

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    Default

    I use them, mostly for protection. As people have mentioned, they won't stop a serious impact.

    What they will stop is random bits of cruft, fingerprints, any loose bits of kit, sticks, etc from poking your main lens.
    Grrrr, Arrrrghhh!!!
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  20. #20

    Default

    Ok I guess the consensus is that the UV although useless, will provide physical protection with very slight loss in IQ if noticeable at all.

    My question is, how do you bloody clean the lens and these filters. I tried tonight and I still get streak marks wiping with a glass cleaning cloth / microfibre cloth and using alcohol spray. Anyone recommend any kits or things that can clean these surfaces without scratching?

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