UV filters on DSLR


TPF Noob!
Jan 8, 2008
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Hi all,

I know that UV filters are good for outdoor photography with color film, but I never managed to find if they are also necessary for digital cameras (apart from protection for the lens).

The way camera CCDs are built, they are sensitive to anything from near-infrared to gamma rays. I know that CCDs have infrared filters permanently fixed on top, I also know that every self-respecting digital camera has to do different tricks to eliminate different types of noise from its CCD. But.... what abut what about UV? To me it simply sounds illogical that someone would go through all the trouble of designing noise-reduction software/hardware and not account for UV.

So I am asking for your opinion: Do UV filters on your digital cameras make a difference in the image you get? Can you also mention what type of lens you use?

This is the scenario I am interested in: You can take pictures of the sky on a bright sunny day, one WITH UV filter and one WITHOUT, both with same shutter speed and apperture. It is best if you are somewhere up in the mountains. Are the two pictures identical? Is one more blue-tinted than the other?
Nope. Most people don't notice a difference...
Maybe a blurrier shot or something...
It's mostly for protection.
Forget the UV filter (unless for protection) and get a polarizer for outdoor shooting.
I know that Sabbath compared some different quality UV filters, mostly found differences in sharpness.

But my question would be, Should we all be using skylights instead of UV filters?
Hi all,

I suspected that would be the case. Differences in sharpness probably have more to do with the quality of the glass rather than its coatings.

Skylight? Isn't that merely a UV filter with a color-softening coating? If so, wouldn't a white balance correction produce the same effect (assuming that digital cameras already deal with UV)? If so then my question is extended to skylight filters as well.

What I was trying to figure out is what part of all the bells and whistles being offered out there are more than a sales pitch crafted to exploit newbies' ignorance. I hear everything from "How can you breathe without a <insert filter name> filter" to "Forget about filters period".

I personally have a circular polarization filter only, because I know that one is relevant. I am not so sure about some of the rest.

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