Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by JLC, Mar 22, 2004.
What brand of screw on filters do you prefer? What are the basic filters I will need as a beginner?
I use Tiffen and Hoya brand filters. B+W are some of the best, but their price reflect this.
A good selection to start out with would be a skylight and a polarizer (linear for manual focus, circular for auto-focus). If you are shooting BW also, get a yellow and a red.
Skylight (1A): used for protecting the end of the lens, adds a bit of warmth to color images
Yellow: darkens blues skies slightly with BW film
Red: very dark blue skies, ups contrast with BW film
Search for "filters", there are lost of good posts here.
As mentioned, a skylight or UV filter is nice to protect the lens. A polarizer can be useful quite often as well.
Here is something to consider...take it as you will. I've read advice that says beginners should stay away from filters until they have a good knowledge of what the camera, lens, film etc. can do. Once you start to realize their limitations, then start looking at filters.
I have to agree with that, Mike. The exception being the UV filter, which you just slap on and leave on. There are already enough variables for people to worry about. A filter won't help a poorly composed shot.
Brands: Tamron and Kood are ok. Hoya are preferable.
A drawback with cheaper screw-fit filters is the thread
(sometimes) is not exactly a 'precision-fit' and can take
a few seconds longer than is ideal to mate with the filter-ring.
frustrating if you miss a photo-opp b/c your struggling to
fit the filter and shoot.
i'd suggest having an 80B (or 80A) as well. I find this is really
a worthy filter to own. It reduces the 'color temperature' (Kelvin)
of artificial lighting - allowing you to better pictures in-doors
with normal film. Cooling filters i guess are more essential
to start with than 'warming' ones, but its good to carry both
if you can. for a typical 49mm / 52mm filter-ring size you can buy
an 80B for US $15-20. (thats new, on e-bay more cheaply!)
Alrighty!... I want to make a point here. My point is that if one is a careful enough photographer and needs super-sharp negs then an UV filter should not be left on when shooting critical negatives. Reason? There is another air-to-glass-to-air-to-glass softening effect. Everytime you add a couple of diffracting surfaces you lose something. That tends to be mainly sharpness. No, you won't probably be able to see it very well with the naked eye but it does affect the negative. If shooting outdoors I would use a Polarizer but no UV. If no Polarizer, the UV will be alright by itself. Just don't try to stack other filters on your UV or Sky filters already on the lens.
Leaving the filter on the lens will protect it though from dust, fingerprints, scratches or even worse, nicks. However, with experience, one can gradually learn to take the filters off (unless necessary for the shot). The worst offender is usually when filters are left on top of apochromatic lenses (color corrected) which are extremelly sharp by definition. At that point you're reducing that ultra-sharpness to a regular lens sharpness, hence no reason to pay the extra $$ for an apochromatic lens. If you have one of these expensive babies, then I suggest you learn how to shoot always without filters or with exceptional quality filters only when needed.
I agree. I mentioned leaving it on all the time in the context of beginners. I should have made that more clear.
It takes a while to get to the point where the UV filter has enough of a detrimental impact on the image that it makes it worth not having the front of the lens protected, or having to worry about UV hazing. Most beginners won't have pro lenses, and if they do, the lenses cost enough that they should be protected until the photographer gets very used to handling them. A filter is cheap to replace compared to a lens.
Particularly with hand held 35mm.
Heh. With the style of work I do, the sharpness of an "L" lens would be wasted on it.
Not that I wouldn't want one. It's the only way to get a prime wide-angle.
I agree with Mitica100 about a subtle reduction using a 1b.
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