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Photographer
Jim McSmith
Posts: 648
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


Come on, let's get this old chestnut up and running again. Do you believe in using a UV or Skylight filter to protect your lens or not and what are your reasons?
Dec 02 12 07:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ImageX
Posts: 998
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Jim McSmith wrote:
Come on, let's get this old chestnut up and running again.

Why? The topic has been hammered to death all over the Internet for decades. Filters offer a certain degree of protection..... while adding a certain degree of image degradation. Filters are for newbies or people who shoot in dirty/risky environments and actually need the protection.

Dec 02 12 08:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
johnreefphotography
Posts: 176
Washington, District of Columbia, US


As someone who has spent a lot of time photographing in the Atacama Desert I can tell you a UV filter is invaluable.
Dec 02 12 08:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 11,611
Atlanta, Georgia, US


I use filters when needed, like a CP or ND filter but not for protection; the lens cap provides that.
Dec 02 12 08:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,481
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Jim McSmith wrote:
Come on, let's get this old chestnut up and running again. Do you believe in using a UV or Skylight filter to protect your lens or not and what are your reasons?

since you state that this is an old chestnut, how is this anything other than trolling?

Dec 02 12 08:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photo212grapher
Posts: 1,529
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


ImageX wrote:
Why? The topic has been hammered to death all over the Internet for decades. Filters offer a certain degree of protection..... while adding a certain degree of image degradation. Filters are for newbies or people who shoot in dirty/risky environments and actually need the protection.

+1

I'd add to that list of who needs a protective filter... those that cannot afford to replace their lens. If a scratch is going to cause financial ruin, get a filter. There's another use... I buy cheap filters as a screw on lens cap. I shoot without them, but transport with them on, and no worries about the little snap-on caps popping off.

Dec 02 12 08:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Richard Klein Photo
Posts: 174
Buffalo Grove, Illinois, US


When I first got an RB67, I also got the 180mm lens for it.  $600 was my cost at the time for that lens.  I got it home and was just in awe of it, when I dropped it on my bed.  And WHACK!  The unfiltered front element hit my car key ring that left a 1/8 inch scratch on the lens.  I was truly nauseous.  Mamiya had a repair facility near me so I took it over there and they put it on an optical bench.  Luckily, the scratch was on the protective layer but could not buffed out.  I then bought an optical glass clear 77mm filter for it and all my other RB lenses.  The scratch never affected any images I took over the years but just thinking about not protecting it makes me shudder.
Dec 02 12 08:48 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


*yawn*
Dec 02 12 08:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Image Magik
Posts: 1,067
New Orleans, Louisiana, US


Jim McSmith wrote:
Come on, let's get this old chestnut up and running again. Do you believe in using a UV or Skylight filter to protect your lens or not and what are your reasons?

If I can find a free filter that makes the lens image better or need protection in harsh environment I'll use it:-)

Dec 02 12 08:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jhono Bashian
Posts: 2,427
Cleveland, Ohio, US


When your spending between  $1500 and $5500 for 2.8 glass a $200 UV filter is a lot cheaper to replace the sending it back to NPS or selling it and replacing with a new lens.
Dec 02 12 09:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jim McSmith
Posts: 648
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


Richard Klein Photo wrote:
When I first got an RB67, I also got the 180mm lens for it.  $600 was my cost at the time for that lens.  I got it home and was just in awe of it, when I dropped it on my bed.  And WHACK!  The unfiltered front element hit my car key ring that left a 1/8 inch scratch on the lens.  I was truly nauseous.  Mamiya had a repair facility near me so I took it over there and they put it on an optical bench.  Luckily, the scratch was on the protective layer but could not buffed out.  I then bought an optical glass clear 77mm filter for it and all my other RB lenses.  The scratch never affected any images I took over the years but just thinking about not protecting it makes me shudder.

That seems as good a reason as any for using a filter.

Dec 02 12 09:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Drew Smith Photography
Posts: 5,118
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom


I use a lens hood to protect my lens and the glass.

If I bump in to something or something hits the end of the lens, the hood protects much more than a filter would. Plus it's difficult to scratch the glass with a hood on.
Dec 02 12 09:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,250
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Jim McSmith wrote:
Come on, let's get this old chestnut up and running again. Do you believe in using a UV or Skylight filter to protect your lens or not and what are your reasons?

Why stop there?  Keep the camera and lens inside a zip lock bag.

Full protection against dust and rain!

I got this advice from my grandmother.  She had plastic covers over all of her couches.  It was uncomfortable sitting on the plastic, but when she died, the new owner got dated couches without a single stain.

Dec 02 12 09:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,481
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Michael Fryd wrote:

Why stop there?  Keep the camera and lens inside a zip lock bag.

Full protection against dust and rain!

I got this advice from my grandmother.  She had plastic covers over all of her couches.  It was uncomfortable sitting on the plastic, but when she died, the new owner got dated couches without a single stain.

...except for this one time when her friends from band camp came over for a reunion ...

Dec 02 12 09:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jim McSmith
Posts: 648
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


Drew Smith Photography wrote:
I use a lens hood to protect my lens and the glass.

If I bump in to something or something hits the end of the lens, the hood protects much more than a filter would. Plus it's difficult to scratch the glass with a hood on.

Except rubber lens hoods which fold back towards the lens.

Dec 02 12 09:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Jewett
Posts: 2,419
al-Marsā, Tunis, Tunisia


I think we need a new rule: If you mention UV filters, RAW Vrs JPEG or Ken Rockwell for any reason; you automatically get brigged for a day.  Do it for the children.
Dec 02 12 10:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Jewett
Posts: 2,419
al-Marsā, Tunis, Tunisia


Jhono Bashian wrote:
When your spending between  $1500 and $5500 for 2.8 glass a $200 UV filter is a lot cheaper to replace the sending it back to NPS or selling it and replacing with a new lens.

Most front elements only cost about that much to replace (believe it or not) according to LensRentals .com.

Dec 02 12 10:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jim McSmith
Posts: 648
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


$200 for a UV filter? Some folk are mad! I'm picking up Hoya HMC filters for a few bucks on Ebay.
Dec 02 12 12:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,250
Miami Beach, Florida, US


A really good filter can be dusty, scratched, and covered with finger prints, and it won't have any affect on image quality.

Compare this to the front element on your lens.  Get one fingerprint there, and you may as well throw that lens away.   

A spec of dust on the lens will destroy your image quality, mud on your filter won't make a difference.  This is why it's so critical to have a filter.



A UV filter helps you get the best possible image quality from your lens.  When testing a lens, photo magazines and camera manufacturers want to present the lens in the best possible light.  This is why they always mount a filter on the lens before running these tests.



Of course, a quality UV filter is an expensive investment.  High end filters routinely sell for around $200.   To protect your investment in a high quality UV filter, you should always use a protective filter.  After all, if one filter is good, two must be better.  The UV filter protects your lens, the protective filter keeps your UV filter clean.   With so much extra glass in front of your lens, there's no way that a spec of dust can get on your lens and degrade the optical quality of your image.
Dec 02 12 01:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ImageX
Posts: 998
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Michael Fryd wrote:
A really good filter can be dusty, scratched, and covered with finger prints, and it won't have any affect on image quality.

Compare this to the front element on your lens.  Get one fingerprint there, and you may as well throw that lens away.   

A spec of dust on the lens will destroy your image quality, mud on your filter won't make a difference.  This is why it's so critical to have a filter.



A UV filter helps you get the best possible image quality from your lens.  When testing a lens, photo magazines and camera manufacturers want to present the lens in the best possible light.  This is why they always mount a filter on the lens before running these tests.



Of course, a quality UV filter is an expensive investment.  High end filters routinely sell for around $200.   To protect your investment in a high quality UV filter, you should always use a protective filter.  After all, if one filter is good, two must be better.  The UV filter protects your lens, the protective filter keeps your UV filter clean.   With so much extra glass in front of your lens, there's no way that a spec of dust can get on your lens and degrade the optical quality of your image.

I'm not so sure you know why you are talking about. You are NOT going to improve a Nikon 24-70 or 70-200s imge quality by putting an unnecessary piece of cheap glass in front of it.

A spec of dust on the element does not destroy image quality whereas mud on a filter most deinitely will!

Throw away a lens with a fingerprint on it?  lol You are lost and confused, my friend. Lens testers don't mount filters when they test lenses either. Everything you have said is way wrong. Totally backwards. Maybe you a just being super sarcastic or something?

Dec 02 12 01:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,250
Miami Beach, Florida, US


ImageX wrote:

I'm not so sure you know why you are talking about. You are NOT going to improve a Nikon 24-70 or 70-200s imge quality by putting an unnecessary piece of cheap glass in front of it.

A spec of dust does not destroy image quality and whereas mud on a filter most deinitely will. Throw away a lens with a fingerprint on it?  lol You are lost and confused, my friend.

Are you saying that thousands of salesmen are wrong?

When you buy a new camera with an expensive lens the salesman tells you that you need to buy a filter to keep fingerprints off the lens.  He makes it clear that fingerprints on the lens will hurt the images from your expensive lens.  By spending $200 for a good UV filter those fingerprints will no longer be on the lens, and will no longer be a problem. 

  Fingerprints on the lens = bad

  Fingerprints on a $200 UV filter = good


Ask anyone who has invested $200 in a filter and has it permanently mounted to their lens.  They will tell you that they have never noticed any image quality problems.

The testimony of salesmen combined with the testimony of happy customers is proof of the positive benefits of filters.


(Yes, there are some people who have run comparisons and found significant issues with filters.  These people are obviously wrong).

Dec 02 12 01:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ImageX
Posts: 998
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Michael Fryd wrote:
Are you saying that thousands of salesmen are wrong?

When you buy a new camera with an expensive lens the salesman tells you that you need to buy a filter to keep fingerprints off the lens.  He makes it clear that fingerprints on the lens will hurt the images from your expensive lens.  By spending $200 for a good UV filter those fingerprints will no longer be on the lens, and will no longer be a problem. 

  Fingerprints on the lens = bad

  Fingerprints on a $200 UV filter = good


Ask anyone who has invested $200 in a filter and has it permanently mounted to their lens.  They will tell you that they have never noticed any image quality problems.

The testimony of salesmen combined with the testimony of happy customers is proof of the positive benefits of filters.


(Yes, there are some people who have run comparisons and found significant issues with filters.  These people are obviously wrong).

lol  Too funny. Most people know that filters are good for marketing and that's about it. Salesmen love guys like you. "But But But, he said I should buy this real nice filter for my new lens and it will take better pictures and protect it!" Wise up! It's BS from people trying to get you to buy something! Filters do NOT raise image quality. Some pros use them for transporting gear and then before the shoot..... they rip them off! Why do you think they do that???  So they can get optimum IQ and performance from the lens. I would listen to experienced photographers and not the salesman wanting to make money off you.


Lastly, when people test lenses, they DON'T put filters on them! Why in the world would they??? Filters degrade..... Not improve!!! You are dead wrongs and backwards n your filter theories..... that were explained to you by salesmen going after a buck. Start looking at pics of PRO shooters. Let us know how many filters you see on the front of their lenses. Happy Hunting! lol

Dec 02 12 01:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ACPhotography
Posts: 8,571
Plainview, New York, US


Michael Fryd wrote:

Are you saying that thousands of salesmen are wrong?

When you buy a new camera with an expensive lens the salesman tells you that you need to buy a filter to keep fingerprints off the lens.  He makes it clear that fingerprints on the lens will hurt the images from your expensive lens.  By spending $200 for a good UV filter those fingerprints will no longer be on the lens, and will no longer be a problem. 

  Fingerprints on the lens = bad

  Fingerprints on a $200 UV filter = good


Ask anyone who has invested $200 in a filter and has it permanently mounted to their lens.  They will tell you that they have never noticed any image quality problems.

The testimony of salesmen combined with the testimony of happy customers is proof of the positive benefits of filters.


(Yes, there are some people who have run comparisons and found significant issues with filters.  These people are obviously wrong).

2 of my favorite and most expensive lenses (400 2.8 & 14-24) wont even take a front filter and I regularly get in the ocean with them...

I cannot tell you how many times I have bumped that big bulb of a 14-24 into things, not a scratch on it.

One of the few things what will scratch glass is glass...

BTW, salesmen are out to make a buck, not sell you what you need...

Dec 02 12 01:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,250
Miami Beach, Florida, US


ACPhotography wrote:
...
BTW, salesmen are out to make a buck, not sell you what you need...

But that would be wrong!  Don't you have any faith in humanity?


How can you possibly argue with the logic of:

"If you're going to spend thousands of dollars on a new lens, isn't it worth spending $200 to completely protect that investment?"

From my talks with salesmen, it is clear that if you don't put a filter on the front of a lens, a rock will seek out your lens and smash in that front element.

Dec 02 12 01:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
London Fog
Posts: 6,251
London, England, United Kingdom


Hoya HMC's on all filters, but for protection only. In the studio, they come off and stay off as neither a UV or Skylight offers any benefit for digital!
Dec 02 12 01:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
London Fog
Posts: 6,251
London, England, United Kingdom


Michael Fryd wrote:

But that would be wrong!  Don't you have any faith in humanity?


How can you possibly argue with the logic of:

"If you're going to spend thousands of dollars on a new lens, isn't it worth spending $200 to completely protect that investment?"

From my talks with salesmen, it is clear that if you don't put a filter on the front of a lens, a rock will seek out your lens and smash in that front element.

Why would you spend 200.00 on a filter that serves absolutely no purpose other than offering physical protection, in which case it's better to spend 10.00 on a Hoya HMC?

Dec 02 12 01:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,079
Portland, Oregon, US


Michael Fryd wrote:
Are you saying that thousands of salesmen are wrong?

When you buy a new camera with an expensive lens the salesman tells you that you need to buy a filter to keep fingerprints off the lens.  He makes it clear that fingerprints on the lens will hurt the images from your expensive lens.  By spending $200 for a good UV filter those fingerprints will no longer be on the lens, and will no longer be a problem. 

  Fingerprints on the lens = bad

  Fingerprints on a $200 UV filter = good


Ask anyone who has invested $200 in a filter and has it permanently mounted to their lens.  They will tell you that they have never noticed any image quality problems.

The testimony of salesmen combined with the testimony of happy customers is proof of the positive benefits of filters.


(Yes, there are some people who have run comparisons and found significant issues with filters.  These people are obviously wrong).

http://www.crawlersmileys.com/img/smileys/lol.gif

Salesmen love them because they are PROFIT... they are saying it not for the truth of the matter, but because they make extra money by selling people something they don't need and with a better profit margin than the lens.

I don't think I have EVER known anyone to spend $200 for a UV filter.

As others have said, unless you're working in a very dusty environment (where you should be protecting the whole lens and camera) or at high altitude where there will be high UV present, the primary purpose is for salesmen to make more money and average consumers to think they are being smart protecting their huge investment.

Dec 02 12 01:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 5,590
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Jim McSmith wrote:
Come on, let's get this old chestnut up and running again. Do you believe in using a UV or Skylight filter to protect your lens or not and what are your reasons?

There is no "correct' answer:

Use it when it calls for it.

Don't use it when it calls for it.

If a person doesn't know when to use, or not to use it... then fuggetaboutit

Keep it on, or keep it off... be glad it's not a condom.

.

Dec 02 12 01:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,142
New York, New York, US


Michael Fryd wrote:
Compare this to the front element on your lens.  Get one fingerprint there, and you may as well throw that lens away.   

A spec of dust on the lens will destroy your image quality, mud on your filter won't make a difference.  This is why it's so critical to have a filter.

Are you being serious or sarcastic?

Dec 02 12 01:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SB Glamour Photos
Posts: 710
Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia


I would argue that in breaking the lens down into elements, the filter is often the most expensive piece of glass in the camera.
Better filter render higher definition just like better lenses do. The only potential problem with good filters is extra flare due to extra glass
Dec 02 12 02:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ACPhotography
Posts: 8,571
Plainview, New York, US


Michael Fryd wrote:

But that would be wrong!  Don't you have any faith in humanity?


How can you possibly argue with the logic of:

"If you're going to spend thousands of dollars on a new lens, isn't it worth spending $200 to completely protect that investment?"

From my talks with salesmen, it is clear that if you don't put a filter on the front of a lens, a rock will seek out your lens and smash in that front element.

I shoot car racing... My 70-200 and 400 have both taken direct hits, neither has a filter except maybe a CP when needed... (CP drops into the back of the 400 so it's still not doing anything)

Surfing, I'm regularly in the water with a 400 on a monopod/tripod...

I'm comfortable with a $9000 unprotected lens, you should be too, lol...

Dec 02 12 02:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,142
New York, New York, US


Dec 02 12 02:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ACPhotography
Posts: 8,571
Plainview, New York, US


No front filter is going to save you from whatever kind of hit did that to the lens...

Dec 02 12 02:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Malloch Caldwell
Posts: 2,538
Hastings, England, United Kingdom


Michael Fryd wrote:

ACPhotography wrote:
...
a rock will seek out your lens and smash in that front element.

Exactly what happened to me years ago, part of a ricochet from a bullet fired in my direction by a rather irate Yemeni tribesman. Bang went the front element with a bad scratch, ever since filters on all lenses. much cheaper to replace.

Dec 02 12 02:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kawika Photography
Posts: 110
San Diego, California, US


I'd rather not have something that cost $50-200 at the end of my lens that cost...more than that. Unless it solves a problem that technique or lighting can't. GL
Dec 02 12 02:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jim McSmith
Posts: 648
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


What about a polariser or grey grad, is it ok to use them?
Dec 02 12 02:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
London Fog
Posts: 6,251
London, England, United Kingdom


Jim McSmith wrote:
What about a polariser or grey grad, is it ok to use them?

All filters other than a UV or Skylight will have an affect on the final image. Digital sensors aren't really able to detect UV light, so both of the above are useless, other than saving an expensive front element from getting whacked!

A polariser is a must for cobalt blue skies and sexy tanned sheeny skin, not much use in the UK though, not enough sun!

Dec 02 12 02:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marciofs
Posts: 1,804
Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany


I use prime lenses.
In most of the cases it is better to me replace the lens than to buy a good filter with almost the price of the lens.
Dec 02 12 02:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,250
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Exactly what happened to me years ago, part of a ricochet from a bullet fired in my direction by a rather irate Yemeni tribesman. Bang went the front element with a bad scratch, ever since filters on all lenses. much cheaper to replace.

That's right.  Good filters are made out of very thin pieces of very flat glass.  This provides a great deal of physical protection.  Easily more than enough to stop a speeding bullet.

If a bullet hits your filter, the worst that will happen is that your filter will break.  The filter will absorb all the energy of the bullet.  Thankfully broken pieces of filter glass cannot physically harm the front element of your lens.

Dec 02 12 02:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
London Fog
Posts: 6,251
London, England, United Kingdom


Michael Fryd wrote:
That's right.  Good filters are made out of very thin pieces of very flat glass.  This provides a great deal of physical protection.  Easily more than enough to stop a speeding bullet.

If a bullet hits your filter, the worst that will happen is that your filter will break.  The filter will absorb all the energy of the bullet.  Thankfully broken pieces of filter glass cannot physically harm the front element of your lens.

I honestly cannot believe what I'm reading! First of all there was the $200.00 filter, who makes this? Leica, Zeiss maybe? Louis Vuitton, Prada perhaps?

Secondly, you really believe that a filter will stop a speeding bullet? Are you being serious?

Dec 02 12 03:02 pm  Link  Quote 
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