Do You Use Filters?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by smoke665, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. mrca

    mrca No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In my cases, the filter remained intact and no pieces came out til I removed it from the lens. So that premise is just part of a lot of speculation. My impacts have come from leaning over and the lens swinging into something. I have a 400mm 2.8 that accepts the clear or polarizing filter near the back of the lens And the front element is huge. I don't expect the filter to be bullet proof, but in my case, neither the object nor any glass got back to the front element and went no further than the filter. Since there was enough force to shatter the filter, it is logical that that is enough force to scratch the front element even if it doesn't break it. I shoot a 46 mp camera, and don't want a scratch on the front element to degrade my image or reduce the value of my lens.


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    A front element scratch does almost nothing to the quality of the image; it's the _REAR_ element where minor imperfections have horrible consequences. I had an 08-200 f/2.8 one-ring Nikkor that I bought second hand for $300 about 17 years ago...it had a dime-sized, white, (frosty-colored white) impact crater on the front element...one word...."motocross"....it also had five or six rock chips that looked like BB-shot impacts (again, "motocross"). This was a professional sports shooter's old lens, and it was THRASHED....and you know what? The front element's impact crater, literally the size of a 10-cent coin, made no visible impact on the images shot under normal circumstances.

    Again...check the Lensrentals.com's article...a scratch on the front of a lens? The light rays hitting the FRONT of a lens are coming in in a somewhat random pattern...making front element defects almost a non-issue....but once the light is aligned (collimated?) and is exiting the lens and headed toward the film plane, defects on the rear element play a HUGE part in image problems....a slight smudge of finger oils on the rear element creates a major softness issue...a POSTAGE stamp half licked and stuck on the front element of a lens does almost nothing.
     
  3. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Wow. Sand..... dust..... moisture.... flying booze. Those certainly will shatter any front lens element.

    Yet you use the exact same argument to claim filters protect lenses.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Based on that video, I've learned that my filters are wayyyyyyyyyyy more fragile than I thought, therefore I'm going to start putting lenses in front of them as protection for the filters!
     
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  5. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Just based on the dome shape of the lens versus the flat glass of the filter, it would automatically be stronger. However I see nothing wrong with using a UV filter if it makes you feel better. I still use them when I want to add an effect that involves smearing stuff on or pasting a cutout over the lens for a shaped Bokeh.
     
  6. TreeofLifeStairs

    TreeofLifeStairs No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Since buying my new lenses I’ve not bought any filters. I did previously own a CP, and a couple ND filters which I may buy again. I also had an orange filter that I used to take pictures of my reef tank.


    Sent from my iPhone using ThePhotoForum.com mobile app
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    When one shoots directly toward bright light sources, or light sources in front of a dark field [classic example: birthday cake candles in front of a darkened room as the background], even a high-quality B+W 010 filter can give ghost spots; I know, since I used a $110 B+W filter in a candle-lighted scenario with my wife and young son, and it _RUINED_ an entire sequence of irreplaceable photos.

    I used Nikon L37c filters for over 20 years, then switched to B+W filters....and then several hundred dollars later in 77mm filters, I realized...these filter are not doing $Hi+ for me....just NOT doing _anything_ of real value. All of the two-plus decades of anal-retentive filter use...went right out the window. I stopped using "protective filters"...and the sun came up the following day, and has for 18 years since.

    There are _ONLY_ two times during which I will use a "protective" filter.The first time is during the spring time, when deciduous and coniferous trees frill the air with millions of minute sap particles. That environmental condition lasts only a short while. The second time is when I am at the Oregon coast, right down on beach level, and there's a lot of sea-spray coming in. The filter is easy to wipe clean--provided you use a filter that cleans well. Some older filters, like the Hoya HMC (Hoya Multi Coated) were VERY difficult to clear. I used to joke that Hoya HMC meant "Hoya Messy Coating", because almost all cleaning the filter did was to smear things around and around and around. Does a smeary,dirty filter help or hinder?

    NEW filters of high grade, some of them I should say, have been coated with new-era coatings that resist water and other droplets, and clan much more-easily than old-tech filters.


    Again...many people are sold on the idea of filters. Whatever. I used to be one of them. Now that I no longer bother with them, I rest easier. I don't worry about imagined boogeymen scratching my front element ,and am happier and less-stressed now that I'm out there, filter-less.
     
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  8. DaveAllen

    DaveAllen TPF Noob!

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    I use CPLs and Grad NDs when necessary, but that's about it. I agree with the folks that no UV filter is needed for protection and has more downsides than upsides IMO...
     
  9. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    I sometimes use a CPL, or a denisity filter (most of my stronger ones are far from neutral!)
    More common than either are a whole host of infra red filters 720nm, 650nm, 590nm, BG3, UG11 & U340 are probably the most common.
    Very occasionally a starburst or diffraction or multi-image or softening filter... More for the fun of playing with them than for the result.

    I've even found UV filters useful - take the glass out of them & glue the thread on a projector lenses to mount it on my helicoid or simply use them to hold a bokeh mask in place.
     
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  10. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Effects filters, rarely in my commercial work.

    Clear "protective" filters, yes and no. I think of them like seat belts, if all I want to do is back my car out of the garage onto the driveway I don't buckle up, like in the studio no filter. But when shooting in environmental conditions that could cause an issue I use them, just like buckling up around other ahem, "drivers".
     
  11. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Was seeing more details in the shadows really a case of the lens color, or was your eye after surgery more light sensitive, so it could see better in the shade?

    The eye is different than the sensor.
    As I understand the eye sees more contrast with a yellow base. The black on yellow street signs are more readable to my eye, than the black on white signs. So a yellow tint lens will increase the contrast of the scene.

    If you use a yellow tinted lens (amber and brown lenses have yellow), that filters the blue in the haze and shadows.
    But, if you live in a smoggy city, the brown lens may/will see more of the smog, because the smog is not blue. My eye doc warned me about this when I got my brown lens sunglasses. Don't know how amber will do with smog.
     
  12. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I think both. The cataracts (especially in my left eye) were worse then I realized. Like walking around with really dirty yellow windows. So now outside the colors are much more brilliant and the light really bright. The brown/amber/yellow lenses of the sunglasses take the edge off the light, kills the reflections, and as you say adds a little contrast. Really bright light outside takes on an slightly uncomfortable blue white, without the glasses, and with the glasses a warmer more comfortable appearance. I think I still have some filters from way back in the day, I guess I need to experiment with them. I'm not sure they'd be right for all occasions, but they might be interesting in special use circumstances.
     

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