UV filters--Good or bad?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by crawdaddio, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. crawdaddio

    crawdaddio TPF Noob!

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    I just got a very sweet nikon 24mm-120mm AFs ED VR. I love this lens. Any way, My question is about using a UV filter for protection. I had UV filters on my other lenses for a little while (50mm 1.8, 70-300mm 4), but I noticed quite a bit of flaring, so I took them off. I shoot outdoors ALOT and this new lens' glass is very close to outer ring (exposed), I am worried about scratching, cracking, damaging it---it was very expensive (for me). I haven't noticed any flaring yet, but does the UV filter degrade the image at all? What's the better of the trade off--protection and possible image degradation/flaring--or no protection and crisper images (if this is even the case, hence my question)?
    Advice from some folks who have been through all this before would be fantastic. Such as all you fine people here on TPF:sexywink:

    Thanks,
    ~DC
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I'd be more inclined to get a lens hood. Did it come with one? Usually for wide angle lenses, a petal type hood is used.
     
  3. cecilc

    cecilc TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Mr. Matt ....

    I've got lens hoods for every lens I own ....

    But I don't have any filter on any lens I own ....
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I haven't really noticed a difference with having a UV filter on (I did pay a lot for a Nikon branded one though). I've given up on them as they tended for some reason to get stains on them a lot. I've never yet damaged a primary element, but it all depends on you as a person.

    Lens hoods are essential for outdoor photography, the difference they make is huge, especially with zooms like the 70-200 or 28-70 type lengths.

    Rob
     
  5. Harpua

    Harpua TPF Noob!

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    Wow I am learning so much here. I always thought that you were supposed to keep the UV on at all times. Now I see that is not always the case.

    As I am still new to all of this I will probably keep using it as I don't think my eye can tell the difference with out without it so I might as well get the protection that it offers, but I hope to one day have an eye as good as all of you so I can see the difference.
     
  6. PachelbelsCanon350D

    PachelbelsCanon350D TPF Noob!

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    I learned the same thing only yesterday. This is a wonderful and informative forum isn't it?? :)
     
  7. crawdaddio

    crawdaddio TPF Noob!

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    I do have a petal type hood that came with it that I use. I am a very careful person, so I'm not TOO worried about it. So, does anyone know if the UV filter when attached is more prone to lens flare and/or image quality/clarity reduction? (I am using Tiffen BTW)

    Thanks alot for all the good info here.....................

    ~DC
     
  8. Harpua

    Harpua TPF Noob!

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    It sure is!!!
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    Any time you add something for the light to pass through, you are probably degrading the image quality. That's just common sense, but with a good quality filter, it's nothing to really worry about.

    Lens flares are more likely with a filter....there is just more reflective/refractive surface for light to bounce around on. Stacking filters can really bring on the flares. As mentioned, using a lens hood while outside can really make a difference. Besides a hood, I always try to use my hand or a hat to block direct sunlight from hitting the lens.
     
  10. photobug

    photobug TPF Noob!

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    I have both a 500mm mirror lens and a 300mm meduim format lens that I shoot on my dslr. In both cases they had UV filters attached, the mirror mostly to keep me from having to clean that goofy front element & the 300 because it came with one (112mm).

    I found that except at very close ranges the pics taken with either were unacceptably unsharp. I figured out it was the UV filter by accident. While removing the lens cap (screw on) for the 300 I inadvertently removed the filter as well.

    Lo and behold the pics are much sharper without the filter. Tried it on the mirror with the same result. I have no idea why this might be. The mirror works fine on film, so I suspect it's something to do with the AA filter in a dslr.

    I don't use any screw in filters except for a polarizer, for any other effects I want I use a Cokin holder/filters. I always use a lens hood with either the lens cap or a neoprene hood hat to protect the lens as I move around.

    I've never had a problem scratching a lens without a UV filter on it.
     
  11. JTHphoto

    JTHphoto TPF Noob!

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    i usually have a uv filter or polarizer on my camera about 80% of the time. I just like it because it keeps the lens cleaner and protected... i'm paranoid about scuffing it up... of course i think anyone will tell you, the more glass in front of your lens, the greater the opportunity for decreased clarity/image quality. I am very amateur so i don't really notice the difference between with/without filters, but i'm not using expensive lenses either...

    if you do use a uv filter, i'd remove it for night photography, i use to get ghost images on my negatives...

    i didn't like using hoods because of the vignetting, but i just learned something new too...
    thanks, Matt!
     
  12. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, the lens hood should be specific to the lens you are using so that it doesn't obscure anything.
     

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