Filter, or not?


mowog

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 00:21
I have just purchased my first brand new lens. (Tokina 19-35), and I'm uncertain, as to whether to buy a Uv filter, for protection.
It is sometimes said, that using filters is the mark of an amateur. Well - I am an amateur!, but what I suppose is meant, is that Pros would not put anything, however good, in front of their lens, as it is bound to reduce image quality. I want to get the best images from my lens too, even if it is a cheapy! - But, It has a big front element. I wouldn't want it to get scratched, and when the lens is focused at infinity, there is quite a gap between the front element, and the name ring - I can see that dust could easily find its way in there. - So, To filter, or not to filter - That is the question!
No man is worth his salt, who has not been banned from at least one Forum, and two Flickr groups.

Mowog.

Greytop

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 01:06
I have a Hoya Pro1 DMC UV filter on every lens I own. As far as I can tell it doesn't affect the image quality (if it does maybe I'm not looking closely enough ) and anyway I feel happier with some level of protection for my front element(s)
Regards Huw

flickr

Anvh

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 02:04
The lens hood will provide much better protection and also helps against flares at the same time. I've bought only two UV filters and that was for my first two leneses, havent bought one for my latest two.
The coating on the lens it's self is already very tough so I believe that UV filter wont ad much protection.
Although there are some condition where a UV filter might be a good idea, like for example the salt water off the sea or when you get in a sand storm.

also a little scratch wouldnt harm your lens, torn off a little corner of a post-it note and stick it onto the lens and look though the viewfinder at what you see or what you don't see, to be more exact.
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ

womble

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 02:19
This is an old chestnut and you won't find any degree of agreement between us (do a search for past threads). It depends partly on the sort of person you are (ultra careful, clumsy, etc.), what sort of environment you work in (filthy archaeological sites etc.) and whether you worry about the filter breaking as has been known to happen.

Personally, I am very clumsy, often work in filthy places and have never seen a good quality filter smash in circumstances that wouldn't equally damage the lens (and have a sore knee to prove it ) so I have filters on almost all my lenses. The "use your lens hood" idea is a non-starter for me as I can barely squeeze my five digital lenses, the K10D, grip and flash in the bag as it is, and I often want to take a film body along too.

You pays your money and takes your choice with this one. Now I am going to hide while the "don't use filters" brigade have their say

Best wishes, Kris.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

chirpy

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 08:45
I don't use them. Most of my photography is out in the countryside, but I still wouldn't consider using them for the reasons Stefan gives.

If I were at the beach or other environment where corrosive elements in the air could attack the lens, then maybe I'd use them for those situations.

Otherwise, I simply use the lens hood. It's a relatively cheap piece of plastic that can be replaced, if damaged it's unlikely to affect the rest of the lens, and it has the benefit of reducing glare.

Dan may relate his experience of a shattered filter severely scratching the front lens element when it broke on dropping the lens.

Also, with macro photography and also long telephoto shots, I believe that I do see noticeable degradation of the image and light when sticking extra glass in front of the lens that the manufacturers didn't design it for. As an example, the Sigma 500mm f4.5 actually comes with its own protective front element built in - but that was designed specifically by Sigma for that lens.
Jonathan

Macro & Wildlife Photography

johnriley

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 09:37
It's a personal choice.

When I shot film I usually had an orange or red filter in front of black and white emulsions and an 81A in front of colour ones.

Now I dial in "Daylight" or "Cloudy" as a routine and sort out black and white in Photoshop, so there is no longer a photographic reason for a filter.

I do, however, always use a lenshood, and always did.
Best regards, John
Last Edited by johnriley on 28/02/2009 - 09:37

Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 10:23
womble wrote:
...and have a sore knee to prove it



chirpy wrote:
Dan may relate his experience of a shattered filter severely scratching the front lens element when it broke on dropping the lens.

That wasn't me (Mattmatic I believe, and I think Gartmore knows of another), but I too use hoods for protection.

I do use filters, most often a polariser, but only when needed, and I use the Cokin type filter system, which I have found to be an excellent 'bumper' when I dropped my camera with the adapter, holder and filter attached. The adapter and holder bent and took all the impact, camera and lens was fine.

Dan
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

Greytop

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 10:30
chirpy wrote:
Also, with macro photography and also long telephoto shots, I believe that I do see noticeable degradation of the image and light when sticking extra glass in front of the lens that the manufacturers didn't design it for. As an example, the Sigma 500mm f4.5 actually comes with its own protective front element built in - but that was designed specifically by Sigma for that lens.

Any degradation must also relate to quality of filter used, the parallelism of the glass, it's thickness, flatness, surface properties and transmission properties of the coating(s). So I would say using a good quality filter certainly lessens any perceived or real effect (which I am yet to see ).
BTW I also use lens hoods so I must be Mr belt and braces
Regards Huw

flickr
Last Edited by Greytop on 28/02/2009 - 10:30

johnriley

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 10:39
Probably the biggest optical problem with filters will be flare. We are putting a flat pice of glass quite a way forwards of the front element, so the effect of a lenshood will be reduced, and the filter may not be coated as effectively as an SMC lens.

At one time Pentax produced a "Ghostless" filter for the 50mm Takumar lens that had the same curvature as the front element of the lens. The theory of this is that godting would be reduced. It never caught on, presumably becayuuse every lens would then need its specific filters in every filter type....that would indeed be a nightmare.
Best regards, John

chirpy

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 10:44
Daniel Bridge wrote:
chirpy wrote:
Dan may relate his experience of a shattered filter severely scratching the front lens element when it broke on dropping the lens.

That wasn't me (Mattmatic I believe, and I think Gartmore knows of another), but I too use hoods for protection.

Ah! My ailing memory

Greytop wrote:
Any degradation must also relate to quality of filter used, the parallelism of the glass, it's thickness, flatness, surface properties and transmission properties of the coating(s). So I would say using a good quality filter certainly lessens any perceived or real effect (which I am yet to see ).

I used to use B+W filters. Regardless, they did cause perceived issues for me at 1:1 macro work, so that's one of the reasons I now longer bother and have never had need for them.
Jonathan

Macro & Wildlife Photography

MattMatic

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 10:49
It was me - nearly
It happened twice and both cases the Hoya Pro filter splintered like anything. Thankfully in both cases it didn't scratch the front element! However, in one case the filter actually cracked the casing - had it repaired by Asahi Photo and is now pristine
Haven't used a filter since (but always keep the hood on!).
Have several filters for sale if anyone is interested!!
Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)
Last Edited by MattMatic on 28/02/2009 - 10:49

beginner

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 10:52
If you think about it ,it's like shooting through a window!...but what do I know!..........
K20D...ist DS ,DA18/55,DA16/45.DA* 50/135,"A"1.7 50MM..."A" 70/210..M 50mm f2...Tamron 90mm macro,28/300 Tamron,200/500 Tamron 6.9....A Pentax DA*300... Sigma10/20,FA31mm 1.8 Ltd*********,FA 77mm Ltd!

mowog

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 15:45
Blimey.! - A fat lot of good, you bunch are.! As many for, as against! - And I'm still none the wiser.

Seriously though, - It does seem to be a tricky one, and I reckon it could be easy to become over concerned about something like this.
I think I'm more fearful of dust and moisture ingress, than any accidental damage to the lens.

Just seen that a 77mm Hoya multi-coated filter would cost nearly half what I paid for the lens.!

Thanks for your opinions, Chaps.
No man is worth his salt, who has not been banned from at least one Forum, and two Flickr groups.

Mowog.

ttk

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 18:22
All mine removed and up for sale.
Tel,

Kenty

Link Posted 28/02/2009 - 18:28
I've stopped using UV etc filters. If it's sunny (ish) I use a screw on Polariser and leave it on.
On a dark desert highway, cool Pentax K5 in my hand.
My Kit
K5 & 18-55 Kit lens, K7, Pentax 18-250mm lens, Sigma 10-20mm lens, Sigma 105mm Macro lens, Pentax 50mm 1.7 lens, Cokin P Series Filters
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