Lens Filters

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Boomn4x4, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    First question... just to make sure I've got this right... I've got a Nikon D40, with the "kit" lenses (18-55 55-200).... Those are both accept a 52mm filter correct?

    Secondly, in my reading, I'm seeing a lot of contradicting information. One of the most common one is the need of a UV filter. One side says its critical to protect your lenses... the other side, says they are a waste of money and do nothing more than destroy the quality of your shots.

    Thirdly, there seems to be a discrepency in what filters you should use. It seems the only one that people universally suggest using is a circular polarizer... all the rest are junk and the results can be acheived PP anyway. Any thoughts on this?

    Finally, the age old "price vs. quality" question. Prices for filters seem to go from about a buck to $300... with that large of a degree in difference, what is the compromise point where spending more stops giving you that much better results. I have no desire to buy a $1 filter, but the same holds true for a $300 one. It seems there is a $30 price point in which the filters seem to get good reviews, any truth to this, or are the reviews mostly by people who don't know what they are talking about and are simply trying to justify wasting $30 on a crap filter that they could have bought for $1?
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The filter size is written on the bottom of each lens near the lens mount end, it has the diameter sign (a circle with a slash) and the filter size, 52 mm in your case.

    IMO, UV filters are a waste of money since good camera handeling habits and using a lens hood, preclude lens damage from scratches and impacts.

    CPL and ND filters are very usefull and their effects cannot be added post process. Graduated ND (GND) filters can be very handy if you use the rectagular ones so you can orient the graduation dividing line where in the scene you want it. GND comes with a hard line or a soft line and though their effect can be mimicked post process using a filter at the time he image is made usually produces better results.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  3. Nod

    Nod TPF Noob!

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    I agree with KmH, get a good CPL & ND (3 stop) and your all set. A cheap filter will affect your image so get good ones.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You're right, there are basically two camps as far as the UV filter debate goes: The 'Pros' who believe it offers protection, and the 'Nays' who say it causes degradation. I'm with KmH on this. Good camera care and a lens hood should be all the protection you need. Chances are, if you hit something hard enough to break that filter element, you're going to do something to the lens as well. Since all digital cameras have a UV filter in front of the sensor, the filter itself is doing nothing.

    As far as quality goes, buy the very best you can afford. There's no point in having a good lens and putting a cheap piece of glass in front of it to cause flare and reflection. If you're curious, buy a good one and then pick up one of the fleaBay $15.00 ones and compare the results.

    In terms of what you should get? Again, I agree with my learned collegue. The very first filter anyone should buy IMO is a circular polarizer. After that a set of Graduated Neutral Density filters and by then, well, you'll probably have learned enough to know what you want.

    The best names (and most expensive) are Singh-Ray, Lee, Heliopan and B+W. Tiffen and Hoya (in the multi-coated lines) are good, and most of the others are pretty much junk. In your size, a good CPOL should run you $100ish.
     
  5. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    Noted... however "cheap" is a realtive term, how do I know the difference between a "cheap" and a not cheap filter?
     
  6. Nod

    Nod TPF Noob!

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    re-read tirediron's post !
     
  7. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    The Internet dosen't work the same way it does when you are in person... You see, sometimes someone will post something WHILE someone else is asking a question. The person asking the question isn't able to read the post until he's done posting himself...

    But thanks for taking the time to offer the advice.... I'm sure someone will find it usefull.
     
  8. Rudha

    Rudha TPF Noob!

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  9. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It says in details under Multi-coated not applicable so my guess is its cheap. And I think a .3 ND would be more useful than a .6 but thats just me. Others will confirm or deny this.
     
  10. Ryan L

    Ryan L TPF Noob!

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    I didnt care for any of the Tiffen filters I ever bought. My Hoyas and B&Ws were much better quality. I have found good deals on ebay, just make sure they are multi-coated as some of the older ones are not.
     
  11. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    I believe a good, high-quality Uv filter offers protection mostly against dust. It's easier to clean the filter than the lens. It's better to keep the lens clean by preventing exposure to dust than to clean it constantly. In some cases, there is some increase in flare. If so, just remove the filter for a short while. Good quality filters (Leica filters for Leica cameras, for instance) are superb.
     
  12. Rudha

    Rudha TPF Noob!

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    thanks people ....so multicoating is necessary
    oh and boomn4x4 sorry for hijacking your thread it's just that i had the same question about how cheap is cheap. Now i know what to look for and hopefully this helps you too :)
     

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