Are UV and polarized lens filter a necessity?

DScience

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
122
Location
Denver, CO
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
The title says it all...When I purchased my DSLR last week, the sales guy tried to convince me that a UV lens filter is something that all photographers use to protect their lenses, and he said the polarized ones are great for almost all occasions?

So I'm wondering if most people here have either filters, and if you do when do you use them?

Also, are they important and are they something you keep on ALL the time??

Thanks everyone!
 

bhop

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
2,303
Reaction score
327
Location
Los Angeles
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I have UV filters on my lenses with larger front glass (67mm 77mm threads) to protect it from stuff flying at it. I shoot car events and sometimes there's bits of rubber and dirt flying around. I'd rather it hit a filter than the actual lens glass. I don't use uv filters on my smaller lenses (52mm filter size). I leave the UV filters on all the time, unless i'm putting my polarizers on, which are used to reduce reflections on shiny things (cars usually for me), or to add more contrast in the sky, in which case I take the UV filter off so i'll be shooting through less glass.
 
OP
DScience

DScience

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
122
Location
Denver, CO
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Thanks for the reply!

So if I understand correctly, having the UV filter on will never have a negative effect on the picture quality? it's simply for lens protection?
 

kundalini

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jul 18, 2007
Messages
13,609
Reaction score
1,936
Location
State of Confusion
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
UV and Polarizers serve different functions. If you want a front filter for protection, I would suggest looking at a clear glass filter. I don't use them usually, but have a couple if in situations as bhop mentioned or at the beach on a windy day.... or similar where dust, debris, moisture, etc causes you to have to wipe the lens often.

There have been several threads on this discussion. Try using the Search tool.
 

kundalini

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jul 18, 2007
Messages
13,609
Reaction score
1,936
Location
State of Confusion
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
So if I understand correctly, having the UV filter on will never have a negative effect on the picture quality? it's simply for lens protection?
Depends on the quality of the filter. Look at it this way. You are placing another item in front of your lens. Make sure it is a quality filter. I have spent close to $200 on a filter, but it is riding on a $1700 lens. The cost/benefit is up to you.

A poor quality filter will have a direct impact on your image quality.
 

dcclark

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
480
Reaction score
0
Location
Houghton, MI
Website
blog.dcclark.net
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
For the record, in your original post, it sounded like you were calling a Polarizer a type of UV filter. It is not -- a polarizer has a specific function, which is to admit light which is polarized in only one direction. This has the effect of darkening skies and removing reflections from glass and water. It also absorbs around 1-2 stops of light (depending on quality), so it is not a good idea to have one in low light situations. But, polarizers are awesome when you need them -- it's one of my absolutely standard filters which I carry almost everywhere.
 
OP
DScience

DScience

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
122
Location
Denver, CO
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
UV and Polarizers serve different functions. If you want a front filter for protection, I would suggest looking at a clear glass filter. I don't use them usually, but have a couple if in situations as bhop mentioned or at the beach on a windy day.... or similar where dust, debris, moisture, etc causes you to have to wipe the lens often.

There have been several threads on this discussion. Try using the Search tool.

Yea I have no worries about foreign objects hitting the front...i'm more worried about the UV rays. But, I don't see the point in getting them if they will make the quality of picks worse, with the added piece of glass.
 

kundalini

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jul 18, 2007
Messages
13,609
Reaction score
1,936
Location
State of Confusion
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Fogot to mention....... I always use a lens hood as the first line of defense for protection. The second line is common sense along with just being careful.
 

dcclark

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
480
Reaction score
0
Location
Houghton, MI
Website
blog.dcclark.net
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Yea I have no worries about foreign objects hitting the front...i'm more worried about the UV rays. But, I don't see the point in getting them if they will make the quality of picks worse, with the added piece of glass.

UV protection really isn't necessary nowadays. At one point, UV light could cause trouble on film -- but it's not an issue on digital sensors, nor even most modern films. UV filters really are just protection from foreign objects nowadays.
 

FrankLamont

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
556
Reaction score
0
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Basically, a UV filter can do both things; protect your lens and reduce UV. Really useful when you're hiking up high, with more UV radiation... still, the problem is ghosting and flaring - two common issues that come up with cheap and basic UV filters. I suggest that you get yourself a multi-coated UV filter, with at least 95% transmission... Hoya series is good, but make sure it's the multi-coated version. The pro multi-coated version is only around $60, and hey, don't put a bad glass in front of an awesome lens.

Polarising filters are different. Yes, they can protect your lens as such, but note that it really hightens the saturation of skies and such... here's a full run down, with sample pictures:
Polarisers - a guide to using polarizing filters
 

Joves

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
2,400
Reaction score
22
Location
Flagstaff/Az
Website
joves.smugmug.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Thanks for the reply!

So if I understand correctly, having the UV filter on will never have a negative effect on the picture quality? it's simply for lens protection?
Actually it will have a negitive effect. Your sensors filter already has UV or, AA filtration. Clears will not degrade the image if you get the Multi-Coated filters to kill glass reflection. Circular Polarizers are great for killing haze at the edge of the sky and, reflection on shiny objects.
 

Garbz

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
9,713
Reaction score
203
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Website
www.auer.garbz.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Can only repeat whatever has already been said. I use GOOD UV filters on all my lenses for protection. Why UV than clear glass? Cost-benefit. UV are optically clear, but produced in greater numbers and thus cheaper. You gain no optical benefit. You only get optical degradation if you use a cheap filter (no anti-glare coating).

Polarisers are different beasts entirely. They are used for artistic effect, and should be part of every landscape photographer's arsenal, although they could be used for a myriad of other things as well.

Actually it will have a negitive effect. Your sensors filter already has UV or, AA filtration. Clears will not degrade the image if you get the Multi-Coated filters to kill glass reflection. Circular Polarizers are great for killing haze at the edge of the sky and, reflection on shiny objects.

Wrong. Digital sensors both CMOS and CCD are not natively UV reactive. You are right that there is an Anti-Aliasing filter on the sensor already, but this is to stop Aliasing effects of the Infrared range not the UV range. The only filtering on CCDs are optical Low-Pass Filters which filter out around ~780nm (well into the deep red) to the mid-InfraRed region. This varies with the sensor, but when this filter is removed all images come out reddish.

Long story short no performance is lost at all as a result of blocking UV unless it gets too close to the purple end of the spectrum. But since the original UV filter was only blocking extreme instances of UV in cases of snow or beach photography, they are all well out of the visible range anyway, and thus appear perfectly clear.
 
OP
DScience

DScience

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
122
Location
Denver, CO
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Thank you everyone for your reply's. I think i'll pick up a nice quality UV filter, and just use it on special occasions.
 

flea77

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
593
Reaction score
34
Location
Huntsville, TX
Website
www.allanhallphotography.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I leave a UV on most of my lenses all the time, multi-coated Hoyas, not only do they protect against flying debris, fingerprints, dust, rain, etc, but the thing I like the best is when the filter gets dirty and I have to clean it (which will happen to everyone unless you shoot in a clean room) I am cleaning off a filter and not the actual lens. This means there will never, ever, ever, be cleaning marks on my lenses. If a scratch happens because I didnt get all the sand off before I wiped it with my cloth, bummer, $30 filter down the drain, $1000 lens just like new!

Allan
 

Garbz

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
9,713
Reaction score
203
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Website
www.auer.garbz.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Thank you everyone for your reply's. I think i'll pick up a nice quality UV filter, and just use it on special occasions.

Isn't this a strange way of thinking? Giving that some people insist that they cause a loss in quality wouldn't it make more sense to have it on for protection all the time, and take it off for special occasions?
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top