UV filters, do I need them?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by BrentRS1985, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. BrentRS1985

    BrentRS1985 TPF Noob!

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    I just bought my camera and two lenses listed in my sig two weeks ago. I've been hearing about UV lenses to protect them. Do I need them? And if so, which ones do I need and where can I get them?
     
  2. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wouldn't bother on kit lenses.

    If/when you upgrade to the pricier lenses, if you choose to get a UV filter to protect them make sure not to skimp. Buy the best you can because there is no sense in spending a load of money on new glass just to degrade it with a cheap filter.

    In your case, I would recommend Nikon's NC Filters:

    Nikon NC filter
     
  3. lamar328

    lamar328 TPF Noob!

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    Even with a kit lens you should protect it. No point in scratching glass on your lens at all.
    At any local camera stores they should carry Ev Protection Filters. For sure get something quality, around $50.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That is entirely up to you. If you're baby coddle your lenses and clean them with only fine microfibre cloths and sing them songs at night then you most likely don't need them.

    If you're like me who has already cracked UV filters several times due to smacking the camera against hard things and when the camera gets dirty you wipe it off with a shirt covered in sand, then yes a UV filter would be a very good idea for protection.

    One thing is certain. No one needs a cheap UV filter. It's just not worth it, even on kit lenses the quality difference between putting a cheap and hasty Hoya or Tiffen filter on your lens vs a multicoated Hoya SHMC or Pro1D filter, or some fancy brand like B+W is amazing.

    One thing though I suggest hitting up ebay for filters. Photography stores have this thing about bending you over the counter violating you and then emptying your wallet when you buy accessories like filters.
     
  5. JohnnyL

    JohnnyL TPF Noob!

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    Nice thing about uv filters is I don't feel bad scratching them. I keep my uv filtered lens uncapped sometimes just for the little convenience and sometimes speed. I don't have a uv filter infront of my '' better '' lenses though because they have a bigger lens hood that protects the lens well enough for my use.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    At best, a quality UV filter will not degrade your lens image quality, but it won't improve it either, unless you are at 3000 m (10,000 ft) or higher.

    It takes a bit of work to scratch a front lens element. However, if you have a habit of abusing your camera gear, consistantly use poor camera handeling habits, or wipe the lens objective with a contaminated cloth it certainly becomes more likely to happen.

    UV filters are not lenses. They are flat, thin pieces of glass that are much easier to break than is the lens front element, and tend to get broken by forces that push the broken shards back against the lens objective it was supposed to 'protect'.

    UV filters add an air gap to the lens which promotes lens flare when the lens is pointed at/near a bright light source. The added air gap also tends to reduce image contrast.

    Using a lens hood offers a measure of scratch and impact protection, does not introduce an added air gap, actually reduces lens flare, and increases image contrast.

    In short a lens hood offers lens scratch protection and improves image quality.
     
  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    And, if you are in a situation where you need to wipe the front element of your lens with your shirt (about the only reason I could possibly think of for needing to do this is as a photo-jounalist in a war zone), then get a "clear" filter, that is just a plain, clear piece of glass in a filter ring. Don't for a second think it will be cheap, it will cost you at least as much as a good UV filter, but will have the absolute minimum impact on your images.
     
  8. BrentRS1985

    BrentRS1985 TPF Noob!

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  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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  10. Green Li

    Green Li TPF Noob!

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    UV filters are good for protection and removing the haze when shooting landscapes. If you use expensive lenses buy a quality filter (Hoya, B+W, ...) otherwise you'll be wasting your money since the lens will not deliver the quality it can. With cheap lenses, it's probably not worth buying a UV filter unless it's a low end one.
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've never seen a multicoated filter for $12.
     

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