UV Filter or Not?

raeraespike

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I have always used a UV filter for outdoor photography, especially at higher elevations to combat UV rays. I now shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II and my backup, a Canon 50D. I'm hearing a lot of conflicting info regarding whether or not I should be using my filters at all. I'm learning that DSLR's are not affected by UV light the way that film cameras are.

Also, wondering if the filter(s) take away from the quality of the photo?

I'm hoping to get some sound advice or opinions on filters and digital photography.

Thanks!
 

davebmck

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Most people who use UV filters use them for protection. If you get a good quality one there is no loss of IQ. I use them on all my lenses. It's cheap insurance.
 

JE Kay

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I found out from Canon that on the 100mm - 400mm IS L USM that a UV filter apparently screws up the focusing somehow. No kidding, something about the lens at the long end, the filter affects focusing.
 

Pure

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If you shoot in anywhere that includes the following....use a UV filter: dust, dirt, flying dirt, flying food, moisture, people, tables, etc.

Basically if you shoot somewhere where something could damage the front element, use one.
 

davebmck

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I found out from Canon that on the 100mm - 400mm IS L USM that a UV filter apparently screws up the focusing somehow. No kidding, something about the lens at the long end, the filter affects focusing.
I use one on my 100-400 and it focuses perfectly.
 

LarryD

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I live in the Desert......... I wipe dust and dirt off the glass several times in the course of a days shooting... Same for Tropical isles where we vacation to frequently and the constant salt spray..

I would much rather do this to protective filters than the front element of my lenses..........:D
 

DRoberts

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As stated above the main reason to have one is protection. I have one on before I leave the store with a new lens.
 

Jon0807

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+1 for protection as far as a UV filter is concerned. I will always put one on any lens I purchase or rent. The place I rent lenses from puts them on automatically for protection.
 

JE Kay

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I use one on my 100-400 and it focuses perfectly

Take it off and try it. On long tele's it can degrade IQ.

I used to use them, now I don't use them at all, I always have the hood/s on. No need for a UV filter on digital anyway, they have them already. I know someone who shoots for wildlife publications, he stopped using them 20 years ago. I've seen his work files, that's all I needed to see. I don't even own one. ;)

Personal choice I guess. I've never banged a lens into anything either.
 

Torus34

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No question that it's better to have a UV or skylight filter scratched instead of the front element of your lens. The probability of such an event depends on your use of the camera. Also eliminates the need to clean dust from the lens -- ever.

On the actual photographic effect: shoot with and without in a situation where you think the UV helps prevent distant haze and carefully check the difference in the resulting prints.
 

shivaswrath

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if you have hesitations, get a clear filter (Nikon makes them, not sure about Canon). . .I've noticed some minor CA in a new prime I just got when I have a Tiffen UV filter on. . .when I took it off, it all but disappeared in the same light settings. . . .i think it's very much a lens and lighting situational thing, but keep one on for protection at least, all but my kit lenses have one!
 

DWS

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when using a filter, have you ever had the need to clean it? ;) ....better to clean the glass filter than the lens IMO....
 

Seefutlung

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I use UV for protection on all my lenses.

But, the big but, filters tend to increase lens flare/mirroring, especially on wide lenses. I belong to LAShooters, we tested cheap, in-between and expensive UV's ... no dif in IQ between any of them and there wasn't any dif in IQ between filter and no-filter ... but there was less flaring with the coated expensive filters.

Gary
 
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prodigy2k7

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If you are likely to get dirt or debris on your front element, then yes, if not, most people use lens hood to protect the front element from finger prints, scratches, etc... Also no loss of IQ...
 
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raeraespike

raeraespike

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Thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond! I'm getting feeling that it's best to use the filters for protection so I will continue to do so.

Thanks again!!
 

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