UV Filter

D-50

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I use UV filters on all my lenses more for protection than anything else. What does the UV filter really do though in terms of effecting the photo? I find it some times creates lens flares when otherwise a flare would not occur. I assume it filter UV rays but what does that do?
 

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I use UV filters on all my lenses more for protection than anything else. What does the UV filter really do though in terms of effecting the photo? I find it some times creates lens flares when otherwise a flare would not occur. I assume it filter UV rays but what does that do?

I am by no means an expert on this answer as I mostly use them for the same reason you do, but I believe it blocks out the haze in shots caused by UV light. This in turn also appears to increase saturation, contrast, and sharpness.

Keep in mind though that a UV filter can also soften the picture.

If this is incorrect, please correct me.
 

dinodan

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I use UV filters on all my lenses more for protection than anything else. What does the UV filter really do though in terms of effecting the photo? I find it some times creates lens flares when otherwise a flare would not occur. I assume it filter UV rays but what does that do?

It filters out the short-wavelength UV rays that can cause colors to wash out, thereby increasing color saturation and definition. Though it's virtually invisible to the eye, cameras tend to see UV as a bluish cast. The effect is more visible in certain instances (e.g. at higher altitudes) where UV light is more intense. As you know, the filter's also good as a protective physical barrier in front of the lens.

As it's an additional piece of glass on the lens, any filter can increase the likelihod of flare to some extent. That's why the best (and most expensive) filters are multi-coated, which greatly reduces flare.

A clean, good-quality filter should not affect overall image sharpness to a noticeable degree.
 

sabbath999

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Whereas a cheap, non-coated filter can destroy the quality of your images.

If you have expensive, high resolution lenses then it is just silly to use cheap filters on them... I know, I was silly. Don't scrimp on your UV filters, buy B&W or other pro-level filters.
 
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D-50

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What are some quality filter brands? Mine are just Calumet brand, I assume since its store brand its not that great. I keep my filters clean but if a poor quality filter can take away from a shot I definately want to get higher quality filters.
 

jstuedle

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Calumet is a good store that caters to the pro market. I would expect there store brand filters to be of at least mid-level quality. A quick call to them should determine if the filters are coated or not. Often you can see the coating as a slight color cast on the glass when held at an angle.
 

dinodan

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What are some quality filter brands? Mine are just Calumet brand, I assume since its store brand its not that great. I keep my filters clean but if a poor quality filter can take away from a shot I definately want to get higher quality filters.

I don't know about Calumet, but Wolf Camera sells two grades of filters under the Quantaray brand. The "QMC" line is the multi-coated one, and they're pretty good. I don't know who actually makes them.

Most of my filters are Hoya. Their top-of-the-line is called HMC Super. You can't go wrong with those, though they're (of course) not cheap.
 

Garbz

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Is a $30 Sunpak polarizing filter affecting the sharpness of my shots on my brand new 180mm f.2.8 Nikkor lens?

Why not try it. And it depends where you bought it. I paid $30 for a Hoya Standard UV(0) filter which definitely sucks a hell of a lot. But recently I found a Hoya SuperHMC which is a great filter for $32 which is optically indistinguishable in my test photos.
 

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