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what size UV filter for zoom lens?


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Apr 12, 2009
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Denver, CO
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I'm wondering what size UV filters I would get for the two lenses I have:

18-55 mm AF-S VR
55-200 mm AF-S VR

Why I am asking, is because when I search places for UV filters, they sell them by the different sizes.

Or take a look at the from of the lenses, they usually have the size printed on them.

This is probably really stupid, but does the filter go on the front of the lens? or between the lens and the camera body?
My quantarary from Ritz is pretty clear and I got it with a Circular polarizer for around $30. Your lens cap will attach to both as well, and you can stack the filters but you will see some vignetting at your lowest focal length if you do so. Both have been a good investment although I know people spend wayy more on these kinds of things.
Most of them are screw on. But some of them are not such as the Colkin filter system
It screws on to the front of the lens.
Typically yes, but there are lenses that have drop in filters on the rear element. Usually these are high end super telephotos (300mm f/2.8 and longer) and the Cokin style filters.
Thank you so much ! I swear this is the best forum I have every been a part of!

Sherman, thanks again for the wonderful help!
Don't waste your money. All you need is the lens cap, the hood and good camera/lens handeling habits to avoid damage to the objective glass of your lenses.

Lens engineers go to great lengths to minimise the number of air gaps and pieces of glass in a lens.

Adding a UV filter undermines both, adding glass and an air gap. Both your lenses will be more suseptable to lens flare and there will be a measure of image quality degradation depending on which brand of UV filter you chose. Considering those are both kit lenses and not top of the line glass I'd seriously reconsider adding UV filters from the IQ aspects alone.

You may also want to consider: If your UV filter should shatter (and they are very thin compared to the objective of your lens), all those shards become sharp objects that can scratch and damage the glass they are supposed to be protecting.

If you feel you must put something in front of the objective glass get 52mm clears (not UV) from Nikon or B+W.
+1 on everthing KmH said.

A UV filter can degrade image quality and add ugly flare to your images.

I dont use UV filters because I feel anything thats powerfull enough to break my front element is strong enough to break a very thin peice of glass and scratch up your front element.

I prefer a lens hood (I have built in lens hoods on my most used lenses) because it provides protection from real dangers, like hitting a wall or (if using a non built in hood) if you drop it element first on the ground.

And hoods dont break if you hit them, and are not too much more than filters. So youll never have to replace it!

and its a 52mm, if you still want a UV filter.
I think that the "UV filters will only cause problems" folks are being a bit too general.

My trusty UV filters have saved my butt more than once. But then again, I am usually shooting in situations where it's extremely difficult to keep the camera perfectly safe at all times -- usually bushwhacking it, climbing, standing on slippery rocks, etc. No matter how good your camera handling is, you WILL screw up -- and I've been very glad to have UV filters on those occasions.

But, for more "normal" situations, you probably should listen to KmH. But know what you are going to do, and decide as appropriate.
Yeah, you say that till you prang the end of the lens and cant unscrew that filter. I hate the things. Ill use a polarizer occasionally, but other than that...lens hoods only.

There's only one time Id use a UV filter, and thats wet environments when I dont want salt water, etc on my front element. Let it chew up a cheap UV filter instead...LOL

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