How to protect an expen$ive lens

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by DScience, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hello there,

    So I made the decision, and my next lens is going to be:

    Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 :drool2:

    Right now I have never used any filter or protection on my lenses. When I first got my camera I looked into it, and I found that having an extra element on the glass could take away from the IQ. Thus I never thought it was a good idea to spend a lot of money on glass to just ruin it by putting a filter on.

    However, now that I am about to drop $1200 on the 85 1.4, I am reconsidering my options.


    1.) Do you personally use filters or protectors on your lenses?

    1a.) Have you noticed any difference in image quality?

    2.) Are there reasons why NOT to use these protectors?


    BTW, i'm only talking about top of the line here. If I do get one, i'll be getting the Nikon version.
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    1. No. Never have, never will.
    2. I have seen differences in others images, none to the better. many don't loose anything
    3. Yes. Increased flare, loss of contrast as the major light source approaches the lens axis, unneeded expense. Unfortunately, Nikon is not top-of-the-line when it comes to 'protective filters' but at least they're 'clears'. I have seen lens objectives scratched by the shards from a broken 'protective filter'. I believe I even posted a link to a thread on another forum about that happening to a photographer.
    You might consider the lens design was not optimized for having a filter hung out in front of it, not even a polarizer. Sometimes the benefits of using a polarizer out-weigh the negatives.
     
  3. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First, thanks for responding.

    I assume that you have many lenses, and I bet some were quite a bit more than $1200. So I am asking, do you protect yours in any way? Or just hope for the best?


    Is the only reason you don't use it because of the IQ affects?
     
  4. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    No matter if you spend $2k on a filter, it's still another peice of glass in front of that lens.

    I USED to use filters, but never have had a mishap and just took them off. For smudges, I wipe it off frequently. It I were to break the front element, well.......I'll just have to buy another lens, be it $1,200 or $3,000.

    If I have dropped it hard enough to break a filter, then more than likely, I may have a crack in the front element or small scratches on the front glass from the broken glass.

    No more filters for me.

    ~Michael~
     
  5. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I bought few used lens that came with a UV filter. I left them on the lens in the past, but later on I remove them because of the flare. The only filters I want on my lenses are CPL or ND (when needed).

    Using filter to protect the lens is a personal choice. It doesn't matter what other people do, if you really think you need one, go get one. It is like extended warranty, some people like it, some don't.
     
  6. sownman

    sownman TPF Noob!

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    I use them. Yes, it is indeed one more piece of glass but at usual image sizes it does not make a noticible difference. Plus I always figured a flat filter was easier to keep free of dust/oil than a curved front element and those do make a difference. Plus if you are focused on something real special with tripod where ANY degradation MIGHT hurt, take the filter off, then replace it when done. I'm a clutz with pens and keys and belt buckles etc., if you look at my camera bodies and clothes its obvious. I'd rather scratch a filter. Just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

    Steve
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I used UV filters, mostly Nikon L37c multicoated filters for many years. About two decades actually. Those were fairly easy to clean, compared with the Hoya Multi-Coated HMC filters or Hoya Messy Coating as I called them-with the HMC filters, which I used on lenses that were not in the active rotation, cleaning was a nightmare. It seems like the stuff on the filter just smeared around, and around,and around, and never came off. Just left a streaky film.

    About 10 years ago, I found out about the B+W brand UV filter, the 010. Now, Schneider has invented a new filter coating for their B+W brand called MRC coating or Multi Resistant Coating, which is said to be highly resistant to fingerprinting and water droplets and other foreign substances. If I were going to put a filter on my 85/1.4, it would be a B+W filter. Filters need to be cleaned when they get dirty, and if the coatings just create big,smeary streaks when cleaning, they do no good.

    Anyway....I got tired of paying $75 for those expensive B+W 77mm filters. I just stopped using filters, on all my lenses. So far, no accidents. I use lens hood all the time, and that helps tremendously. A good, fine-quality microfiber cleaning cloth helps clean filters and lenses. The main problem areas with filters is when shooting towards light sources--candles, stadium lights, the sun, flashes and strobes; the flat surface of a filter often causes lens flares. And by the way--have you tried to find a used 85 1.4? Look at the good deal you got on that 105/1.8...
     
  8. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's what I was looking for! :thumbup: Thank yo so much!

    I guess I am not going to use the filters. To me, it's a waste to spend that much on a lens and just cover it up.

    I have looked for a used 85 f/1.4; however I have only found a few that people were selling for about $1000

    I personally wouldn't buy a used 85 1.4 for more than $700, unless I knew the person and KNEW it was practically brand new. For me, I would invest the extra few hundred dollars to know it's BRAND NEW and in perfect condition. What do you think about this?
     
  9. wescobts

    wescobts TPF Noob!

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    I put filters on all my lenses, even my $100 50 mm 1.8. I have a couple of flare ups, but my fault for shooting in that direction. :grumpy: As Darrel said they need to be cleaned, and I buy the Tiffen brand. Cheap insurance, nothing is perfect, and try to do my due diligence when using my gear, and congrats on the decision, I know you'll be pleased.
     
  10. SlimPaul

    SlimPaul TPF Noob!

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    Use the hood ;)
     
  11. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I use hoods and common sense to protect the front element of my lenses ..... but that's just me.
     
  12. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup:
     

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