Filter Questions

Glimmerman

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I bought a 72mm UV filter for my walk around lense, when I buy other lenses that are smaller, can I use a step down ring or something so I don't have to buy another filter? Or am I stuck with buying a new filter?

Does everyone just keep their UV fulter on their lense permantently to keep it clean/undamaged?

What would be the next filter I should buy, polarized?
 

Big Mike

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Welcome to the forum, nice to see another Edmontonian.

Yes, absolutely you should use step down rings rather than getting several smaller filters. For this reason, always buy a filter big enough for your largest lens. It's easy to fit to a smaller lens...but if you try a smaller filter on a bigger lens, you will get vignetting.

UV filters are most often used for lens protection...in which case you will want to leave it on most/all the time.

Yes, get a polarizer...it's the one filter that you shouldn't be without...if you shoot outdoors. It's also the one filter that you can't easily replicate with Photoshop.
 
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Glimmerman

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Good info, thanks Mike. I can see you are an oilers fan, I can't wait for the game tommorow against Calgary!

I will have to consider what lenses I will likely have in the near future, I think 72mm might be a good size to get a polorized filter for? Or should I go bigger and get a step down say from 77mm?
 

Big Mike

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I see that you shoot with a Nikon. All of Nikon's top end lenses (AFAIK) use the same filter size...either 72 or 77, I can't remember. I would get that size...in case you decide to get some nice Nikon lenses one day.
 

W.Smith

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The added protection is a benefit of a permanently attached UV filter. There is also a downside, however: it adds 2 refractive surfaces to the lens array: the front and the back of the UV filter. These increase the risk of flare. That risk is reduced considerably by also keeping the lens hood attached at all times.
 

Big Mike

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It can be a concern...if there is a strong enough light shining into the lens...but typically it's sunlight that causes the problems.
 

fmw

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Lens flare caused by a UV filter on a lens can be an issue in very rare circumstances. Rare enough, that in a 1/2 century of photography I can't remember encountering one of these instances. I also can't recall ever having scratched a front lens element since I always keep them protected with UV filters.

Admittedly, it's a little difficult to judge since the contrast reduction due to flare can be quite subtle, but my advice is to protect the lens with a UV filter and leave it there unless you need another filter. It isn't likely to cause you an adverse contrast problem. If it does, your post production should be able to correct it.

I'm a big believer in lens hoods. Not only do they also protect the lens but they really cut down flare - way more than a filter can enhance it. The only problem with using large filters with step down rings is that you may have a hard time finding appropriate lens hoods for wide angle lenses and zooms. But, basically, the advice above is sound. Just note that one issue. I'm lucky in that all my lenses use 77mm filter except for the macro lens which has 62mm threads.

Since you're shooting digital, it is hard to imagine the need for any filter beyond a UV protector and a polarizer - possibly a ND filter if you need to use a slow shutter speed in bright available light. Everything else can be applied to the image in post production.
 

Big Mike

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The only time I would take the hood off...is when I put the camera in the bag. A solid hood will not only block unwanted light...it will also help protect the lens from crashing into things.
 

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