Which filters are must-have?

timlair

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So I've only recently gotten into photography but the one thing all my photography friends tlk about a lot is filters. I've been browsing lately and there are just SOO many to choose from. Which ones do you have and which ones do you consider a "must-have"?

PS. So far I have a ND 2-stop (ND4), and of course a UV(Sunpak if you must know).
 

Petraio Prime

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So I've only recently gotten into photography but the one thing all my photography friends tlk about a lot is filters. I've been browsing lately and there are just SOO many to choose from. Which ones do you have and which ones do you consider a "must-have"?

PS. So far I have a ND 2-stop (ND4), and of course a UV(Sunpak if you must know).

None is necessary. It depends on what you want to do.

Many people use polarizers; I never have.

One interesting filter not many people talk about is the didymium filter, which selectively intensifies orange-red foliage. Often called an 'enhancing filter'.

They work well with film; not sure if the same effects will occur with digital.

CAMERA FILTERS
 

KmH

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What is the UV filter for? The image sensor in your camera already has one.

The one must have is a Circular PoLarizing (CPL) filter.
 

Petraio Prime

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What is the UV filter for? The image sensor in your camera already has one.

The one must have is a Circular PoLarizing (CPL) filter.

A Uv filter removes Uv rays to which film is sensitive and records as blue on color film. Not sure if it has any value in digital as a filter. It also helps protect the lens against fingerprints and dust, making it easier to keep the lens clean.

In mountain scenes at high altitudes, and sometimes in distant views, Uv is present in greater proportion. Such scenes record with a bluish cast stronger than what appears to the eye. The Uv filter helps correct that.

Refer to this page:

http://www.tiffen.com/camera_filters.htm
 
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timlair

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I have the UV on there to protect the lens. I actually just ordered a CPL haha go figure.
 

KmH

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I have the UV on there to protect the lens. I actually just ordered a CPL haha go figure.
What is the UV filter protecting the front of the lens from?

Less than quality filters, of any kind, degrade image quality by reducing contrast, softening focus, and contibuting to lens flare.

Using a lens hood improves contrast, minimizes lens flare, and provides a measure of impact protection to the front lens element.

Camera stores and salespeople love selling filters because they have a huge $$ markup, are nearly 100% profit, and frequently earn the salesperson spiff.
 
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timlair

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I just think its better to be safe than sorry. I'd rather buy a $5 filter than a $$$ lens
 

Petraio Prime

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I just think its better to be safe than sorry. I'd rather buy a $5 filter than a $$$ lens

If you bump the lens right square in the filter hard enough, it may shatter and cause damage to the front element. But overall, it's not likely. What you get protection from is fingerprints and dust. It's much easier to clean the filter than the lens.
 
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timlair

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I just think its better to be safe than sorry. I'd rather buy a $5 filter than a $$$ lens

If you bump the lens right square in the filter hard enough, it may shatter and cause damage to the front element. But overall, it's not likely. What you get protection from is fingerprints and dust. It's much easier to clean the filter than the lens.

Agreed
 

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Unless you work with a lot of children I would say finger prints are not much of an issue to worry about - and most animals are protected for with a good lens hood - even lemurs!
3372256987_2c3bdd8f70_z.jpg


As for dust unless you are in strong dusty conditions then I would not worry about that either - a few specks of dust on your lens won't cause any damage nor harm and the filter won't protect your shots from them either (the dust will still land upon the filter instead).

My view on UV protection filters is that they are good in conditions where you will encounter light material covering your lens which will have to be removed quickly and/or regularly to keep shooting - like salt, water, mud etc... This means you can wipe the filter clean quick and not worry about your lens behind. A filter is thin glass so it won't protect the lens from strong impacts and most times if a filter is on it will infact make things worse (if its a stone the shattered glass of the filter will scratch the front element glass; if tis a drop or a knock the filter thread can get stuck on the camera and also run the risk of shattering).

Lens hoods are a must for protection - UV filters I would use only when you need them. Furthermore I would avoid the 5$ filters - cheap glass can affect your end results - not just in terms of sharpness, but also with increased lens flare and also AF problems (yep someone has had that from a very poor cheap filter). A good filter might cost more, but putting good glass in front of existing good glass is far better that putting low grade glass in front and still cheaper than repair costs to the lens.

As for filters you need that depends what you shoot - colour filters are mostly not needed with digital as any colour casts can be edited in to the photo later - whilst ND, ND grad filters tend to be more specialist rather than generalist so make sure you know you want them and what for before you go for them. Circular polarizers are generally quite a safe purchase however since they have a variety of uses and they have an effect that can't be reproduced in photoshop
 

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I think a circular polarizer is a should have.
I keep a UV filter in the bag and put it on only if it's extremely dusty or in the presents of a salt water mist.

Using a filter as protection is common but a hood is much better.
 

KmH

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I just think its better to be safe than sorry. I'd rather buy a $5 filter than a $$$ lens

If you bump the lens right square in the filter hard enough, it may shatter and cause damage to the front element. But overall, it's not likely. What you get protection from is fingerprints and dust. It's much easier to clean the filter than the lens.

Agreed
Oh please. It is not easier to clean the filter than it is to clean the lens itself. They are the same task.

Any filter that only costs $5 is a CPOS (Cheap Piece Of Sh!t) and will ceertainly degrade image quality.

To ensure image quality is not degraded you need to buy quality, coated filters that cost many times more than $5. Consequently, the filter has the same cleaning issues as the lens itself.

Besides, how often do you clean a lens front element and what do you clean it with, sandpaper?

I get dust off my lens with a nice, soft, natural bristle brush and a blower.
Something like: General Brand Large Rubber Blower Brush NP10093 - B&H Photo

As mentioned the shards of sharp glass from a shattered 'protective' filter usually damage the very lens it was intended to 'protect', since most blows that will shatter the thin filter are going to be towards what the filter was intended to 'protect', the front lens element.

Further damage usually results when the shattered shards scrape radially along the front of the lens when the destroyed filter is unscrewed, adding to the damage.

Thinking you are safe, could well mean you wind up being sorry you had a 'protective' filter on your lens.

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzOLbMPe0u8[/ame]
 
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Petraio Prime

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If you bump the lens right square in the filter hard enough, it may shatter and cause damage to the front element. But overall, it's not likely. What you get protection from is fingerprints and dust. It's much easier to clean the filter than the lens.

Agreed
Oh please. It is not easier to clean the filter than it is to clean the lens itself. They are the same task.

Any filter that only costs $5 is a CPOS (Cheap Piece Of Sh!t) and will ceertainly degrade image quality.

To ensure image quality is not degraded you need to buy quality, coated filters that cost many times more than $5. Consequently, the filter has the same cleaning issues as the lens itself.

Besides, how often do you clean a lens front element and what do you clean it with, sandpaper?

I get dust off my lens with a nice, soft, natural bristle brush and a blower.
Something like: General Brand Large Rubber Blower Brush NP10093 - B&H Photo

As mentioned the shards of sharp glass from a shattered 'protective' filter usually damage the very lens it was intended to 'protect', since most blows that will shatter the thin filter are going to be towards what the filter was intended to 'protect', the front lens element.

Further damage usually results when the shattered shards scrape radially along the front of the lens when the destroyed filter is unscrewed, adding to the damage.

Thinking you are safe, could well mean you wind up being sorry you had a 'protective' filter on your lens.

It is easier to clean the flat surface of the filter than the curved surface of the lens, and in the constant cleaning of a lens is quite possible to grind in some dust....

It is best to leave lenses untouched as much as possible.

And. yes, cheap filters are to be avoided.
 

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