Which filters are must-have?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by timlair, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. timlair

    timlair TPF Noob!

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    So I've only recently gotten into photography but the one thing all my photography friends tlk about a lot is filters. I've been browsing lately and there are just SOO many to choose from. Which ones do you have and which ones do you consider a "must-have"?

    PS. So far I have a ND 2-stop (ND4), and of course a UV(Sunpak if you must know).
     
  2. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    None is necessary. It depends on what you want to do.

    Many people use polarizers; I never have.

    One interesting filter not many people talk about is the didymium filter, which selectively intensifies orange-red foliage. Often called an 'enhancing filter'.

    They work well with film; not sure if the same effects will occur with digital.

    CAMERA FILTERS
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    What is the UV filter for? The image sensor in your camera already has one.

    The one must have is a Circular PoLarizing (CPL) filter.
     
  4. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    A Uv filter removes Uv rays to which film is sensitive and records as blue on color film. Not sure if it has any value in digital as a filter. It also helps protect the lens against fingerprints and dust, making it easier to keep the lens clean.

    In mountain scenes at high altitudes, and sometimes in distant views, Uv is present in greater proportion. Such scenes record with a bluish cast stronger than what appears to the eye. The Uv filter helps correct that.

    Refer to this page:

    http://www.tiffen.com/camera_filters.htm
     
  5. timlair

    timlair TPF Noob!

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    I have the UV on there to protect the lens. I actually just ordered a CPL haha go figure.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    What is the UV filter protecting the front of the lens from?

    Less than quality filters, of any kind, degrade image quality by reducing contrast, softening focus, and contibuting to lens flare.

    Using a lens hood improves contrast, minimizes lens flare, and provides a measure of impact protection to the front lens element.

    Camera stores and salespeople love selling filters because they have a huge $$ markup, are nearly 100% profit, and frequently earn the salesperson spiff.
     
  7. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    Fingerprints and dust. I use them most of the time, except when shooting towards the sun.
     
  8. timlair

    timlair TPF Noob!

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    I just think its better to be safe than sorry. I'd rather buy a $5 filter than a $$$ lens
     
  9. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    If you bump the lens right square in the filter hard enough, it may shatter and cause damage to the front element. But overall, it's not likely. What you get protection from is fingerprints and dust. It's much easier to clean the filter than the lens.
     
  10. timlair

    timlair TPF Noob!

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    Agreed
     
  11. Rosshole

    Rosshole TPF Noob!

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  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Unless you work with a lot of children I would say finger prints are not much of an issue to worry about - and most animals are protected for with a good lens hood - even lemurs!
    [​IMG]

    As for dust unless you are in strong dusty conditions then I would not worry about that either - a few specks of dust on your lens won't cause any damage nor harm and the filter won't protect your shots from them either (the dust will still land upon the filter instead).

    My view on UV protection filters is that they are good in conditions where you will encounter light material covering your lens which will have to be removed quickly and/or regularly to keep shooting - like salt, water, mud etc... This means you can wipe the filter clean quick and not worry about your lens behind. A filter is thin glass so it won't protect the lens from strong impacts and most times if a filter is on it will infact make things worse (if its a stone the shattered glass of the filter will scratch the front element glass; if tis a drop or a knock the filter thread can get stuck on the camera and also run the risk of shattering).

    Lens hoods are a must for protection - UV filters I would use only when you need them. Furthermore I would avoid the 5$ filters - cheap glass can affect your end results - not just in terms of sharpness, but also with increased lens flare and also AF problems (yep someone has had that from a very poor cheap filter). A good filter might cost more, but putting good glass in front of existing good glass is far better that putting low grade glass in front and still cheaper than repair costs to the lens.

    As for filters you need that depends what you shoot - colour filters are mostly not needed with digital as any colour casts can be edited in to the photo later - whilst ND, ND grad filters tend to be more specialist rather than generalist so make sure you know you want them and what for before you go for them. Circular polarizers are generally quite a safe purchase however since they have a variety of uses and they have an effect that can't be reproduced in photoshop
     

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