Are UV filters equivalent to the old Skylight 1A?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ismael, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. ismael

    ismael TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    Back in my old days of full manual SLRs (I still use my Pentax K-1000 ocasionally) I used Skylight 1A filters in all my lenses. They were supposed to reduce glare but they were (are) mainly used as protection for the lens.
    Now that I'm into DSLRs territory I see UV filters available and Skylights are not mentioned anywhere. Are these the evolution of it? Are they the same? Do they serve the same purpose?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You are quite safe, in non-critical applications, to assume little to no difference.
     
  3. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    I'm not familiar with Skylights, but the purpose of a UV filter is to (ideally) transmit light perfectly except for removing UV light, and also to be colorless -- no shading at all. Because UV filtering doesn't matter much on DSLRs, it's mostly just for protection.
     
  4. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    The skylight filter, in addition to absorbing UV, provides a slight warming effect, but it's very minimal. I have one on my 50mm just because that's what I had lying around in the 52mm thread size. Someone did a comparison here, and I'm having a hard time telling the difference.
     
  5. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    Skylight and UV filters have both been around for quite a while, also Haze filters..

    They are not the same..

    UV (clear) filters absorb UV light and nothing else, UV Haze 1 and UV Haze 2 absorb more at about 70% and over 90% respectively..

    The Skylight 1a and 1b also absorb UV at about 50%, but they are color correction filters absorbing blue (or adding red if you will). They are a pinkish color, and as mentioned, absorb the blue for a more warming affect.. 1a being slightly less warming than a 1b.

    Most modern Digitals have UV protection for the sensor built in, so I am surprised that more users aren't going for the Skylights for their protection needs.. But, in post processing you can warm the entire frame too, so I suppose it's down to cost and preferences..
     
  6. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    LarryD has the info correct.

    One addition, color film since about 1970 has had adequate UV filtration built into the upper layers of the emulsion. As a result for nearly 40 years now the common UV filters have been useless for conventional photography.

    The heavier UV filters that have a slight brown to gold tint cut at a lower frequency clipping a very slight amount of the visible violet. These can have a very slight effect on film at high altitudes but are in general of little or no value for general photographic work.

    The classic "skylight" filter is primarily a tinting filter that doesn't completely block any light that the film can see. They merely reduce some of the upper violet and ultra-violet. They were of a small advantage when shooting in open shade with color films, particularily Ektachromes, up until perhaps the mid-60s. Since then, films have not really needed the filtration. On the few occasions that you need some filtration with modern film under such situations, you generally need filters stronger than a skylight (e.g. Wratten 81 series filters).
     
  7. ismael

    ismael TPF Noob!

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    Thanks all for the responses. I was under the wrong impression the skylights were no longer available since I couldn't find any locally.
    So, since my main goal is to protect the lens from dust and scratches I should go with the plain UV but a Skylight 1A is an alternative.
    Any particular brand recommended (or should be avoided)?

    Thanks,
     
  8. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

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    When I used to shoot film, a buddy and I were out one day shooting water scenes with long exposures under blue skies. The resulting photographs showed a heavy blue tint to the water where it would otherwise be white, even though the scenes were all in shade. I imagine a skylight filter would have helped there, but it turned out to be a (somewhat) cool effect.

    With filters, avoid anything cheap, and make sure they are multicoated to reduce ghosting and flares.

    I've always bought Hoya filters.
     
  9. RacePhoto

    RacePhoto TPF Noob!

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    UV is just UV, 1A and 1B are slightly different from each other and do block UV, Haze is different, there are also Clear made now.

    Here's a Bob Atkins article that may tell you more than you wanted to know, but it's good reading. I like the part where he compared three brands that show on a spectrograph as being almost identical. The assumption might be that they came from the same factory and just have different names and prices.

    By the way, he likes a Haze Filter, and like many other people I haven't seen on in years, except on my old lenses from film days.

    Filters - UV or not UV? - photo.net

    Filter or no filter? Canon or Nikon. Chevy or Ford. Mac or PC... it often comes down to personal taste. I'm of the old school that likes to "ruin" a good lens by sticking a filter in front of it, which I find less objectionable than ruining an expensive lens because it gets scratched or cracked. :D
     
  10. ismael

    ismael TPF Noob!

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    Agree. My main purpose is protecting the lens just as I have been doing for the last 21 years with my trusty K-1000 and a Skylight.
    By the way, I am a filter / Pentax / Chevy / PC guy :)
    I just ordered a Hoya multicoated (3 coats) UV filter. Hoya has about 6 different types from non-coated all the way up to 8 coats.

    Thanks,
     
  11. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I never use the UV or Skylights with digitals. They have the pass filters on them. What I use for protection are the multi-coated clears. I use Circular Polarizers to kill haze on the horizon and, glare on objects that have it.
     
  12. LordNikon

    LordNikon TPF Noob!

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    Hey Ismael:

    Saludos Boricua. I have always used Hoya and Tiffen filters, they are the best. Right now I have UV Multi-Coat Hoya on each of my lenses, and 1 Neutral Density Tiffen for specific ocations....

    I'm a Filter / Nikon / Chevy / PC guy
     

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