To Filer or Not To Filter, That is the Question

leopardforest

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Ever since I picked up a camera it has always had a filter on the lens, usually a UV filter. Now my question is there a benefit to shooting without a filter, with one, shooting with a UV filter, or shooting with just a clear filter? I have shot with a polarizing filter so I know some of the effects of what it can do. I do like the idea of having a filter on my lens for protection, but that has been my main reason for one, but other than that why should i use one?


Thanks!!

Jason
 

D-50

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Filters will do diffeent things to a photo. Filters such as a ND Grad, polarizer, or IR will are drastically effect your photo. If you dont want the effect they create do not use one. As for the UV filter I had a similar question myself. Sounds like a UV filter will take away some haze produced by the sun but overall does not drastically effect the photo. I always keep a UV filter on for protection and stronngly suggest you do too. I once dropped my lens onto pavement, it landed right on the rim of the UV filter and shattered it, nothing happened to the lens at all, had the filter not been on I would have been out $400 for a new lens insteaed of $30 for a new filter.
 

Bluhmja

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I have a skylight (1A) filter on all of my lenses for protection/easy fingerprint removal. I think it's a good habit to have that can save you a lot of money (case-in-point: D-50's post). Some people argue that it reduces image quality to have the light pass through yet another element on its way to the film, but I have never been able to detect a difference. The safety factor is well worth it to me.
I would like to pick up a couple UV filters for landscape shots because I hear it cuts down on the haze on very sunny/clear days. A polarizing lens is also on my list for waterscape shots to cut the sun glare. (Make sure you get a circular polarizing filter if you have an auto focus/spot-metering camera; a cheaper linear filter works fine if you have an old manual film camera like me. :p)
 

Sideburns

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I have seen many examples where a skylight/UV filter ruins a picture. Flare, ghosting, blurriness...
But if you spend a good amount on a quality double coated filter, you shouldn't have too many problems. That's the biggest issue, is everyone wants to buy cheap filters, and wonder why their pictures have flare in them...

Just my two cents.

(I shoot without UV filters)
 
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leopardforest

leopardforest

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I will repeat myself, that I do believe that the ounce of prevention is worth it.

Right now I have a Quantaray DCM-1A which I think is categorized as a skylight filter and it has become scratched and I am in the market for another. This one cost me $45 (which I think was too much, but I didnt have any other options) and I was looking for something a little cheaper and possibly more durable. Also is there a difference between Skylight and Haze filters? I have been looking on B&H but it can become a little overwhelming.

Thanks!

Jason
 

Sideburns

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I will repeat myself, that I do believe that the ounce of prevention is worth it.

Right now I have a Quantaray DCM-1A which I think is categorized as a skylight filter and it has become scratched and I am in the market for another. This one cost me $45 (which I think was too much, but I didnt have any other options) and I was looking for something a little cheaper and possibly more durable. Also is there a difference between Skylight and Haze filters? I have been looking on B&H but it can become a little overwhelming.

Thanks!

Jason

They're the same thing.

Cheaper, and more durable? I don't really think you'll find anything...

Look at it this way.

When teachers in high school are talking about safe sex. They tell you NOT to use plastic wrap...
Now...this is the same thing for lenses. Do NOT use "plastic wrap" on your lenses. Let's say you go out and buy a nice 50mm 1.4...you go out and put a 20 dollar haze filter on it. You've just effectively plastic wrapped your gorgeous piece of glass, and have cut the image quality down significantly. You're only as good as your weakest link...especially when it's the front most element.

I believe an ounce of prevention is a great idea...but if you spend the money on a decent filter, it's not as much of a sacrifice. Also, you should use a lens hood, to avoid scratches on your filter, as you have experienced.
 

usayit

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When I shoot with primes, like to leave the front lens cap off to save time fumbling. I rely on the UV filters to protect the front element.
 

JerryPH

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When I order my lenses, I order the UV filter, simple as that. The UV filter gets put on the FIRST time the lens comes out of the box.

All my lenses (except one, and thats on order) have UV filters on them.

Easier to replace a filter than replace a lens. Call it cheap insurance.
 

Sideburns

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Do you use a clear filter? Is it better to have Haze, UV, or Skylight if your are going to have a filter at all?

Sorry, what I meant to say was that I don't use any type of protection filter.
I plan on buying some high quality skylight/clear filters for my lenses...but still am hesitant, because I've experienced quality loss before with filters.

If you're gonna put a filter on, it may as well be skylight/haze/UV...if you put on another type of filter, usually you lose light.
 
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leopardforest

leopardforest

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Does anyone have a suggestion for a 72mm around $45 that would be good for all around shooting?


How about this one
 
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Does anyone have a suggestion for a 72mm around $45 that would be good for all around shooting?


How about this one

Your choice seems reasonable. I have some Hoya's. Check out B+W as well, especially for CPL's. One more thought, call up B&H or your local shop and ask their opinis as well. Keep in mind that as the filter size increases, so do the $$$$'. Just get glass, not plastic.
 

_SnapShot_

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New lens, gets a close cleaning, using a magnifying glass, same for the filter, filter is put on and then never removed from the lens.

Don't believe that you will suffer noticeable image quality loss, because people have been using protective filters for twice longer than the people who say don't use them have been alive.

$200, $500, $1000 or $2000 lens or $29 filter. Which do you want to replace.

Don't let the macho men tell you that you don't need to protect your lens unless you have an unlimited income or wealth.
 

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