UV Filters - Are they bad?


TPF Noob!
Nov 28, 2007
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I purchased a UV filter to help protect my lens from scratches and the elements. I read a couple articles where people recommend them.

But I did some more searching after purchasing mine and I'm finding a lot of people saying NOT to use one unless the shot requires it. I have a lens hood for my lens so that's pretty good for the protection aspect... but should I keep the UV filter on the lens? Can it make pictures worse off with it on? Will indoor shots with a flash look better with the filter off or will it not make a difference at all?
For maximum sharpness and quality, you'll want to take the filter off. I personally haven't seen a difference in any of my photos, but I haven't specifically tested for it either. I can get razor sharp photos with or without UV filters. Usually my technique is the limiting factor for sharpness. :wink:

I use UV filters mainly outdoors when I don't want bugs, gunk, or other debris that might be flying around particularly if it's windy from landing on my lens. Easier to clean a filter than a lens. It can also help protect the lens if you bang it against something, but I'm not a klutz and treat my gear nice so I don't worry too much about that, heh heh.
You won't see any difference if you take off, don't worry about it. As long as the filter is clean that is. However, the more filters you have on the greater is the risk to get flares when shooting in direction of the sun.
For the piece of mind of have protection on the front element of your lens, for God's sake use a UV filter. If you find your images are soft, either buy a better filter, or do some sharpening in post.
If you have a cheap filter it will make a quality difference. I made this mistake
a while back. i could not figure out why my pics were soft. Then I took the filter off and got great pics. but i do not see a difference with my other filter on or off.(it's a better quality)
The only difference I've ever seen is that I tend to get ghosts and various oddball artifacts (greenish) in my photos when the light fades and I have a UV filter on. If conditions permit I take the filter off, or just clean it up later in post processing.
If it's a cheap filter, then you'll be hating the thing. If it is a multicoated filter, you should be fine.

That's my biggest problem, is that I bought a UV filter for my kit lens to try it out...but it ruined all the pics I took. So, the next filters I will buy are going to be B+W MC filters. Ordering a polarizer today, actually.

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