Do you use UV filters?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Lyncca, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Lyncca

    Lyncca TPF Noob!

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    When I bought my camera, I was told to use a UV filter to protect my lenses. I did this faithfully. The only time time it was removed was to put another type of filter in its place.

    Recently though, I have gotten in my head that my pictures aren't as sharp with it. Is it in my head? I have had where I looked at my screen and didn't think my focal point was as sharp as I wanted, so I removed the filter and continued to shoot and then the pics seemed fine. Now, I am going without protection :lmao:.

    So, my question is, who uses the UV filters faithfully and does anyone think they change image quality? If I am completely nuts, I will go put them back on. I just figured I would ask and see what others say.

    And yes, before someone asks, the filter was spotless.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't use them.
     
  3. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    All my lenses have one on. Can't say I've thought about what you're saying in my own case, but I've never thought I was losing anything in particular from an image quality perspective.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Some lowgrade filters will degrade your image quality and I would say that if your going to use filters use the best that you can afford. Cheap filters won't do you any favours.

    As for using or not using, myself I don't use UV filters as standard, though if I were to be shooting in an environment where dust, sand, water (salt water) mud etc... were to be about and would likley be impacting my front element then I would use a filter. Its far easier and less risky to just quickly wipe a filter clean and keep shooting than it is for the front element of your lens. Further it will help prevent scratches from particles getting onto the lens and then being wiped across.
     
  5. DWS

    DWS TPF Noob!

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    I use Tiffen and/or Hoya filters outside
     
  6. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I didn't use to until I was taking photos at the ocean one day, and when I got home there were spots all over the lens (salt water I guess). Scared me enough that I don't mind sticking a $20 filter to protect my $300+ lens.

    If you just shoot indoor stuff, in studio or whatever, probably not an issue. Everywhere else - I would highly recommend one.

    Also, my filter lets you screw other filters onto it so you don't even need to change them. Just add on top (and yeah I know that the more you shoot thru the more you lose quality, but for me it's worth it).
     
  7. lockwood81

    lockwood81 TPF Noob!

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    Ditto
     
  8. matt-l

    matt-l TPF Noob!

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    Looking at 2 shots I've taken with a filter and without, i see very little difference.

    I say use them.
     
  9. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For protection I use Nikons clear filters. I dont like UVs at all, here in NAz I use CPs far more.
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes RELIGIOUSLY.

    I prefer to replace a filter rather than replace a lens. It is easy to damage a filter or lens... I've now done it and you would NOT believe how easy it is... all it took was a VERY small bump from my sister into me as I had the camera around my neck.

    Not only was the filter scratched, it was cracked... a $180US UV filter broke as the camera gently swung into the edge of the table. Man, you never saw a man's jaw drop and I never felt my knees go weak just like when I heard the sound of glass cracking!

    UV filter 0... Lens 1. I just replaced the UV filter on it and am fine again (after very gentle and careful cleaning and checking closely with a magnifying glass and a good 100 test shots at all apertures and checking at up to 400% magnification on screen for damage).

    I used to say it in a precautionary manner, that it is better to replace the filter rather than the lens... I've now lived and proved it to myself. The price of replacement was a meager $200Cdn... better than the cost of paying $1600+US Nikkor 70-200 VR F/2.8!

    From now on *all* my lenses (ten dollar or ten thousand dollar), get quality UV filters on them... and from now on ALWAYS wear a lens cap when not in use AND the lens hood is there whether it needs it or not... and doesn't come off unless it impedes during normal usage.
     
  11. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Could be due to the filter.

    I don't use them. I do have one lens that I keep a cirular polarizer on unless it's during twilight hours. The rest I just be careful with.
     
  12. notelliot

    notelliot TPF Noob!

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    There are many good reasons to use UV filters theses include:

    Protection
    Haze reduction - great for aerial shooting
    ...that's all I got

    I don't use them because:

    Any additional element you stick in front of your lens will degrade image quality, however there are exceptions (ie, CPL is great for saturation and contrast)
    BUT in the case of UV filters..
    They dramatically increase flare, chromatic abberations and sometimes lateral abberations, reduce contrast, reduce clarity when used in situations irrelevant to their purpose, and are 100 dollars I'd prefer to keep in my pocket.

    Jerry makes a good point about being partial to replacing a 100 dollar filter over a 1500 dollar lens, but if I feel that my lens might get bumped or something thrown at it (like a tumbler at a retarded house party - has happened - but maybe they were just aiming for me :D) I put my lens cap on, or keep it in my hand so I can slip in on in a hurry, or I duck, dodge, weave, nip and tuck (in that order) like in the case of the flying tumbler.

    For me, the degradation of IQ hurts too much.
     

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