Which Lens Filter?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by IDLaxStar, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. IDLaxStar

    IDLaxStar TPF Noob!

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    So I am looking at taking a lot of outdoor nature and wildlife shots when I go on my vacation to Alaska. I heard that its good to get filters for outdoor shots. But I don't know what one to get. Could you guys help me out on this one.
     
  2. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Most folks get a circular polarizer as one of their first filters. They can be pretty handy. Get one that/s multi-coated which is less likely to flare, less likely to reduce IQ and is also easier to clean.

    Some info:
    Choosing a Camera Lens Filter
     
  3. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    One filter that's always good to have on the lens is a UV filter - just to protect the lens. I don't know if digital is affected by UV but film is.

    Another filter is a polarizing filter, it can make a dramatic difference for the sky and water shots. This would go over the UV filter. Just make sure that if you use a self focusing lens that it doesn't rotate after you set the polarizing filter, the effect would be lost.

    Some people used to use filters that had a blueish hue to simulate night time and there used to be gradual light filtering filters for special effects.

    Other than the UV and polarizing filters I never used anything else.

    The only other thing I would recommend is a lens hood (large rubber hood that goes onto the UV filter as well. That helps with keeping the sun off of the lens itself. I've seen photos of newer lenses and some seem like they have something similar built in.
     
  4. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    After a week or two of getting more familiar with my new camera, I went out and picked up two filters that I've found incredibly useful so far! One is what was recommended here - a good UV filter. The second, is a "diffuser." I do a lot of portrait type photos, of children and family mostly, and this filter really smoothes out lines and blemishes nicely. My 80 year old grandmother in particular likes my diffuser filter because it smoothes out a few of the wrinkles she is so self conscious of =P
     
  5. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    I personally would put more money toward a good circular polarizer and think of the UV as optional. The sensor has built in UV protection for digital, so unlike film it's not really necessary.

    If you want it for protection, then you can consider a clear multi-coated protection filter. But I would get a good one that is multi-coated or like the Circ Polarizer you could introduce flaring and reduce IQ if you get a hceap one (I learned early on from user experience). I only have a clear filter on my most expensive lens, and then I watch results close to make sure I didn't introduce flare.

    The the best protection is really the lens hood. Protection filters are often debated. Some folks with experiences where it saved their front lens element from impact, others where they say it damaged their front element after impact (when removing it the shards of glass can scratch the lens element if your not careful). I think most pros will say protection filters are not needed and to just use a lens hood and be careful.
     
  6. PJL

    PJL TPF Noob!

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    ^ When my UV filter broke, it got tiny glass dust inside the lens. I wouldn't use another one. I also don't know what kind of lens cap you have, but if you're shooting Canon, I highly recommend swapping out your lens caps for the Nikon center-pinch style. They stay in place much better (my Canon lens cap is somewhere in the Tasman Sea right now) and you can take them on and off without removing the lens hood.

    If I went with two filters for landscapes, I'd get a circular polarizer and a graduated neutral density filter, which allows you to take more evenly exposed landscapes when the background is bright and the foreground is dark. If you're going for natural-looking shots rather than post-processed, I think a graduated neutral density filter is better than HDR (just my personal opinion, of course). Make sure to get glass filters, not plastic.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  7. Scud

    Scud TPF Noob!

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    I agree, the day i got my camer i bought a UV and polarizing filter
     
  8. Felix 222

    Felix 222 TPF Noob!

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    nd8 filter
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Digital image sensors have a UV filter on them.

    UV (or clear) filters will not improve image quality unless you are 10,000 ft (3000 meters) or so above sea level.

    Cheap UV/clear filters can, and usually do, reduce image quality.

    As far as filters being used for protection? I think they cause more damage than they prevent, and are way more trouble than they are worth.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  10. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Back when film was all we had the UV filter was a standard filter that was put onto a lens to correct the UV problem and to protect the lens. The idea of protection was for it to take the hit vs the lens itself (cheap insurance), as far as glass shards getting into the lens - I can't see how they could get in but I guess anything is possible.

    Cheap vs good - well I guess anything can be made cheaply and yes you would need to buy a good filter. Causing damage ... I guess if they break and you get shards into the lens - but what happens when the item that hits the filter hits the lens? As far as trouble - don't know how ... basically they were inert filters that only contributed to outdoor shots, my polarizing filter attached to it when needed.

    I guess going digital is going to be different from the good old days!:lol:
     
  11. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    When I was in Alaska last June, I brought my Circular Polarizers, My ND's, and my Graduated ND's. I used the CP quite a bit. The others stayed in my bag for the whole trip. I'm a believer in using lens hoods rather than UV filters for lens protection.
     

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