Filter or no filter

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by robdavis305, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. robdavis305

    robdavis305 TPF Noob!

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    My photography teacher said it was best not to use any filters because it cuts down on the quality of the pic saying that the lens is shaped like an eye and accepts light in that way but that a filter is a straight piece of glass and accepts light in all directions. I have a uv filter on all my lens for added protection from scratches and other damages and was wanting to know what everybody else thought.
     
  2. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I shot both with filters and without. I've yet to see the difference on computers and in print. Just like you, I do have a filter on all of my lenses just for protection plus I have a two year old running around and although she knows she isn't allowed to touch the camera more often then not I have to clean the front end of the lens from her sticky fingers
     
  3. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    Do a "search" and you'll find that this subject has been covered ad nauseum.

    As for me, I agree completely with your instructor. Further, digital cameras have internal filters that eliminate IR and UV rays so the UV aspect of your filter is useless. Having said all that, I do have high quality (Hoya Pro-1 series) clear glass protector filters. I use them only when I'm in a risky environment.

    By the way, I'm a strong believer in lens hoods and they're especially important when using filters because of the flat glass surfaces.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Many lenses have a flat front element anyway, so I don't think your teacher's argument holds any water.

    It is true that anything you put in front of your lens will affect the image quality to some degree. High quality filters shouldn't hurt your image, but low quality ones most likely will.
    And yes, filters can increase the chance of lens flare and similar problems. Using a lens hood can help to prevent this.

    As for protection...some use them, some don't.
    I don't use 'protection' filters on my lenses, I almost always use hard plastic lens hoods, which do offer some protection. That being said, I have dropped a lens and shattered the filter...probably saving the lens.
     
  5. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    Tie her hands behind her back! :lol:
     
  6. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    Isn't it behind a curved outer surface? Wouldn't the outer surface eliminate/reduce the problem?
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    No 'protection' filter. I just always use a lens hood when not using on camera flashand mindful camera/lens handleing. A hood improves contrast too.

    Most of the anecdotes proclaiming a broken filter saved their lens objective don't take all the controlling factors into account, like the strength of the glass, the glass support structure and force vectors.

    Most lens objectives are made from very much different, and thicker, glass than what is used in filters.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  8. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    I'm not worried about breakage. I'm worried about scratches and potentially permanent dirt.

    One classic situation where I used (and needed) a protector filter was when I was on a sight-seeing ride on a 19th century train with a steam locomotive. I was between cars, hanging out the side facing toward the front. The steam wasn't the problem but the cinders and ash from the burning coal that was used to make the steam kept blowing back against my camera. A lens hood would have been worse than useless - it would have helped direct the cinders and ash against the lens.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've been at it 40 years and I'd be hard pressed to find a UV filter in my collection.

    Like KmH pointed out, a bit of awareness is all it takes if you're seeking protection.

    I will admit filters are easier to clean than lenses, but nothing too different.

    But I do agree too with IgsEMT that it's difficult to distinguish the difference. It would take laboratory scrutiny.

    -Pete
     
  10. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Tripod mount your camera and take 2 pictures, one with the filter and one without, do this in several differnt contitions and lighting.
    Then print them and take them to your teacher and see if they can tell the difference.
    If you can't tell and he can't tell , then you can make up your own mind.
     
  11. Randall Ellis

    Randall Ellis TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup:
     
  12. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use Nikon Clears for protection and other filters depending on what Im shooting. I live in a dusty area and would rather clean off the filter than the lens element.
     

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