Who uses filters.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Pirate, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. Pirate

    Pirate TPF Noob!

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    I am referring to filters to protect your lens. I just purchased a Canon 100-400 and ordered a UV for the end. In talking to a relative about my purchase (he's an avid bird photographer)was ask why I would want to use a filter as they tend to block a certain amount of light entering the lens. When doing some reading I realized that depending on the filter you buy you could be losing up to 7% of the available light. I tend to use a filter on all of my lenses for the protection that they offer. How bout everyone else ? Do you have a filter on your lenses ? If so which do you use for this purpose ?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    When shooting outdoors, I use a polarizer....but it does block a stop of light or more.

    A lot of people use UV filters for protection...I would, if I had an expensive lens. I don't know how much light, if any, they block...but I don't think it's very much.

    On the other hand, a good solid lens hood offers protection against bumping, scratching, even dropping...unless something small comes directly at the lens.
     
  3. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    UV filters do not block any visible light. So there is no f-stop penalty.
    Polarizers block up to 2.5 stops of light (depending on your setting).
    Any optical filter blocks UV light (in addition to it's specific function). I.o.w. you need never combine the UV filter with others ('stacking'). In fact, stacking is counter-productive since it only serves to add 2 more refracting surfaces to the lens array: more risk of flare and glare.
     
  4. Pirate

    Pirate TPF Noob!

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    Depending on the source, all filters reduce light to a certain degree, UV can be anywhere from 1 - 3% while a skylight for example can go to 7% depending on brand and coatings. I do tend to agree that the light loss is not that significant, and probably not noticable to the average eye. But that does not change the fact that they do offer some loss.
     
  5. Illah

    Illah TPF Noob!

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    Some UV's block up to 7% as well, not just skylights, but I think it's more accurate to think of them 'reflecting' rather than 'blocking'. Cheaper, non-coated UVs are the ones that 'block' the 7%, as they basically just reflect back some of the light. Hoya MC and SMC filters only block 1-2% and 0.3% respectively as the coatings cut down on reflective-ness.

    As for me, I always use a UV, but I got a Hoya SMC. Not cheap, but I didn't want to put crap in front of a $500 lens. Ideally I'd shoot without it, but I'm not that confident yet (and especially in crowds and parties I need all the protection I can get from drunk people). I can't tell any difference with or without, even when considering flare issues, so it doesn't hurt.

    --Illah
     
  6. ironsidephoto

    ironsidephoto TPF Noob!

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    i have a haze (UV) filter on all of my lenses. I don't notice much loss at all, and i'd much rather mess up a filter than the precious lens glass.
     
  7. jeeper

    jeeper TPF Noob!

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    I rarely use filters. I have 2 IR filters (B+W 092 & B+W 093) and a Circular Polarizer (B+W).

    As far as lens protection, I just try to be careful. I suspose that if I had to deal with blowing sand or something like that I would get a UV filter.
     
  8. uberben

    uberben TPF Noob!

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    I only use a UV filter if its crazy windy and i'm worried about soil messing my glass. I do use CPL filters for landscapes, a ND filter for longer exposures, and a gradiant ND filter for landscapes where I have unbalanced lighting from a brighter sky and a dim landscape.
     
  9. Remi M.

    Remi M. TPF Noob!

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    I use a circular polarizer. I also have a UV filter but I don't use it very much anymore. I have noticed that the UV filter produces allot of lens flare in night shots.
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Guys, the UV filter is nothing but plain old flat ground clear optical glass. It may be possible to measure some light loss through a UV filter but I can guarantee you it is impossible for anyone to see any such loss. 3% or 7% would be way, way, way, way off base. It blocks some invisible UV light simply because all glass does that. It doesn't block very much, actually. The glass from which your lenses are made does the same thing so you can view the UV filter as an additional lens element with no lensatic characteristics if you like. Its purpose is to protect the front lens element, not to filter anything.

    Haze filters and skylight filters have a tiny bit of coloration and block a tiny bit of visible light but you can ignore any affect they may have on exposure. Their effect rounds out to zero. It is nowhere near 3% or 7% either.

    After running extensive tests on filters some years ago, I concluded that there is no downside at all to using UV filters to protect your lens. Not even a little. A panel of pro photographers couldn't tell the difference between shots made with or without a UV filter in a controlled test. We were never able to produce flare or any loss of contrast for any reason. There just is no visible downside. Every lens I own has a UV filter all the time which is removed only if I want to attach a different filter.

    There is some downside to stacking filters so just use them one at a time. UV protection filters are a good idea.
     
  11. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a UV filter on every lens. Never had to clean a lens. Never had a front element scratched [had UV's scratched -- replaced them.] Never saw any difference in prints taken with and without the filters. Time period: 50 years or so.
     
  12. I had substantial lens flare in identical long exposures (+30 secs) at night, though that may have been uniquely to the angle of one street light I was shooting. I took it off and that fixed it.
     

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