Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ChinoD, Feb 15, 2018.
Again, you're assuming that the beefy lens will be just as damaged as a flimsy, thin filter.
I'd recommend the fuji mirrorless cameras too. The XT-2 has physical dials for shutter speed, ISO, and exposure comp. Lots of the fuji lenses have physical aperture rings and it is also easy to do what I do with my XT-10 and adapt manual focus lenses and focus with focus peaking. Maybe you could try renting one for a while before committing?
I've read the pros & cons of employing filters. I've reviewed tests that show they don't degrade image quality, tests that show they do, and others that find "it depends." In the end I believe them to be a net benefit, but only with the top end examples, such as Hoya HD3 or ProMaster HGX filters. They're allegedly tougher than lens glass.
I know the HGX filters I use shed dust, dirt and moisture like nobody's business. Went to swap one to a new lens a week ago and had to look twice. Even after being on a lens for a couple weeks or so, it was a still so clear it didn't look like there was a filter on there.
It turns out the glass is pretty tough. But one thing that can scratch glass... is other glass. If you bump the front of a lens on... say the corner of a piece of furniture... you're probably not going to damage the glass (on the Mohs scale of hardness Mohs scale of mineral hardness - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia glass rates in the 6-7 range). But if you bump the filter, the filter will shatter and now you've got sharp edges of glass smashing against the glass... and that might leave a scratch.
I wouldn't bother cleaning lenses every week.
Keep in mind, dust on the front of a lens wont show up in your image. To prove this point... I did an experiment.
1. I took a photo with a clean lens.
2. I took a "post-it" note and cut it down to a small bit about 1/4" square to serve as my simulated "dirt" and stuck it to the front element of a lens and took another photo.
3. Compare photos 1 & 2.
The prediction was that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. And it turns out... you can't tell the difference.
Light from any point in your scene passes through all points of your lens and re-converges on the sensor as a focused image. When light is partially blocked by dirt in one area, there are lots of other areas where the light can still pass. This means with precise measuring instruments you might detect a small loss of contrast. But you're not actually going to see a smudgy area in your photo where the "dirt" was located.
I do have a number of high quality UV filters (one in each size needed for any lens)... but I hardly ever use them. A few of my weather sealed lenses suggest that a filter should be used to "complete" the weather seal. So if I'm shooting in a place where I suspect this might occur... I bring along a filter. But the rest of the time I don't use them because they will generally just degrade your images.
A "high quality" filter will have quality anti-reflective coatings. Another experiment I did a while back was placed a high quality UV filter and a low-quality UV filter side-by-side on a piece of black card-stock. I placed a desk-lamp out of frame so that it's light was shining on the two filters. I took a photo of the two (side-by-side filters). The result is that the high-quality filter was nearly (but not quite) invisible. It almost looked as though I placed the ring on the card with no "glass" in the filter ring. The "black" card stock behind that filter photographs nearly as black as the surrounding areas of black yardstick that had no filters at all. Meanwhile the low-quality filter (that didn't have anti-reflective coatings) was easily visible as a shiny piece of glass. The "black" card stock below lost a lot of contrast and photographs "gray" in comparison to the other filter (where it photographed closer to the original black).
If you can see a reflection, it means that you're not getting 100% of the light to pass through... something has to be reflecting back or wouldn't be able to see a reflection. These reflective filters not only result in a loss of light and a loss of contrast, they also create reflections that show up in your images as "ghosting" (including people reporting objects in photos that they claim to be actual ghosts -- but are really reflections caused by low-quality filters.)
I used to be a filter believer. When I started in photography, we used film... film was sensitive to UV. UV focuses at a different distance than visible light... you'll get better images if you block the UV. But digital cameras already have a UV & IR filter in front of the sensor. There's no benefit to the "UV" blocking part of the filter. That means a clear filter would be just as good if you only want it for protection... but I find the trade-offs are just not worth it. If you want to prevent the front of the lens from being banged and scratched... a lens hood does a better job ... without all the side-effects of poor quality glass.
I have subsequently become a convert and no longer recommend using a filter for most photography needs (I still own them... for those rare times that it might come in handy. They just stay in my bag.)
Since we each have our own opinions on filters, I suggest we just put that topic to bed, as there will not be an answer that everybody agrees on, and it will just be a "rat-hole" of disagreements.
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