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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: darkhound on March 03, 2013, 07:15:04 PM

Title: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: darkhound on March 03, 2013, 07:15:04 PM
So I bought a couple lens recently (17-40mm and 24-105) and want to get some UV filters for them.

Is there any real difference between various filters?

For instance, Hoya UV filters range from $30 to to $110.  My gut reaction is that it is mostly marketing junk and the $30 one is fine.  But would appreciate anyone with knowledge or thoughts to the contrary!  Thanks.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 03, 2013, 07:27:07 PM
A cheap filter will negatively impact your sharpness, and add flare.  A good filter will not reduce sharpness, and will only very slightly increase flare.  I'd go with B+W MRC (or Nano) or a high end Hoya.  Skipping the filter is better than a cheap one (but your 17-40 needs one to complete the sealing).
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: skitron on March 03, 2013, 07:37:51 PM
A cheap filter will negatively impact your sharpness, and add flare.  A good filter will not reduce sharpness, and will only very slightly increase flare.  I'd go with B+W MRC (or Nano) or a high end Hoya.  Skipping the filter is better than a cheap one (but your 17-40 needs one to complete the sealing).

^^^ +1 ^^^

A couple of years ago I had the same question, read the advice, tried the cheap ones anyway, now have only good ones after seeing everybody was right about getting good ones.

BTW, B&H has very good price for the 77mm B+W mrc (non-nano).
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: darkhound on March 03, 2013, 08:06:18 PM
 :-\ I had a feeling that I would have to pay for a decent filter.  Just bought a 6D so this is getting to be an expensive hobby!

Thanks for the suggestions.  One question - it seems that even the B&W MRC filter on the 17-40 will cause more vignetting.  I know the 6D has an autocorrect feature that fixes vignetting for specific lens including the 17-40, but are there any filters that are especially designed for wide-angle lens?  Or is this not really an issue?

Thanks again.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 03, 2013, 08:17:18 PM
Get the B+W XS-Pro mount. It's a slim filter, but still has front threads so the regular lens cap fits.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Simba on March 03, 2013, 08:37:40 PM
Have anyone used Marumi DHG Super MC Lens Protect Slim Safety Filter?
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: khv3412 on March 03, 2013, 09:21:33 PM
You do not need UV filter because the Canon L lens already got UV inside the lens. All you need is the best clear protector filter like B+W clear MRC protector filters to protect your expensive lens.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Bruce Photography on March 03, 2013, 09:33:49 PM
You do not need UV filter because the Canon L lens already got UV inside the lens. All you need is the best clear protector filter like B+W clear MRC protector filters to protect your expensive lens.

Where did you get that piece of information?
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: sanfranchristo on March 03, 2013, 09:54:43 PM
So I bought a couple lens recently (17-40mm and 24-105) and want to get some UV filters for them.

Is there any real difference between various filters?

For instance, Hoya UV filters range from $30 to to $110.  My gut reaction is that it is mostly marketing junk and the $30 one is fine.  But would appreciate anyone with knowledge or thoughts to the contrary!  Thanks.

There is most definitely a difference between various quality filters. B+W and Hoya multicoated filters are generally regarded as the best options. (I have B+W filters on nearly all my lenses, though I have seen tests where the Hoyas have been ranked slightly better for clarity/light passing - though it's probably imperceptible between those two options at the high end). Cheap filters like Tiffen, however, may create noticeable difference in your photos vs. none, so I'd avoid those for your everyday filters.

It is true that you do not really need the UV protection with a DSLR, though I've found the UV filters to be less expensive than their clear glass counterparts. Perhaps if I were working in a studio I would side with the purists who don't use any, but I'm too nervous about scratching the lens itself to go without one for protection.

I have a B+W MRC UV (regular, not slim) on my 17-40 and haven't noticed any issues with it.

 
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: darkhound on March 03, 2013, 11:30:30 PM

I have a B+W MRC UV (regular, not slim) on my 17-40 and haven't noticed any issues with it.

Thanks!
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 03, 2013, 11:32:14 PM
You do not need UV filter because the Canon L lens already got UV inside the lens. All you need is the best clear protector filter like B+W clear MRC protector filters to protect your expensive lens.
Where did you get that piece of information?

The sensor in a current dSLR is effectively insensitive to UV light (I've empirically tested this with a 7D and 5DII, an appropriate light source with UV/Vis emission, and a set of narrow bandpass filters).  Therefore, for a dSLR there is no difference between using a clear filter and a UV filter. My advice is to get whichever is cheaper and/or more readily available for you.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: MrFotoFool on March 04, 2013, 01:27:19 AM
Or you could do what I (and many other photographers) do and not put any filter on your lens.  I used to do it years ago until I was doing some night shots and the lights were reflecting off the inside of the filter causing a double image.  Maybe it was because I had a cheap filter, but I have since lived without them and my photographic life has been much happier.  Of course I am reasonably careful with my equipment, so if you are clumsy then by all means get one for protection.  But it is just my two cents worth that they are unnecessary.  Seems to me based on casual observation that snapshooters use them and serious photographers (especially pros) do not.  I suspect this is because the snapshooters are told by the salesperson at the camera shop that they have to have one.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 04, 2013, 03:37:26 AM
Seems to me based on casual observation that snapshooters use them and serious photographers (especially pros) do not.
Sounds like you never heard of  "serious photographers" who shoot in conditions where dust, dirt, sea water splashes, mist, condensation are an issue. Have you ever seen a photographer at a dirt bike race? or a speed boat race with the photographer following the speeds boats? or a photographer at a sand dune bash? ... FYI they do have filters on their lenses for protection ... unless you consider them "snapshooters". While I do understand/appreciate your point of view/choice, statements like "serious photographers" don't use them and only "snapshooters use them" sounds very naive to say the least.
Tonnes of professional photographers and "serious photographers" use protective filters. Yes there are many pros who don't use them but that is totally dependent on their situation/preference but it has nothing to do with being a "snapshooter" or a "serious photographer".
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Random Orbits on March 04, 2013, 08:11:17 AM
Or you could do what I (and many other photographers) do and not put any filter on your lens.  I used to do it years ago until I was doing some night shots and the lights were reflecting off the inside of the filter causing a double image.  Maybe it was because I had a cheap filter, but I have since lived without them and my photographic life has been much happier.  Of course I am reasonably careful with my equipment, so if you are clumsy then by all means get one for protection.  But it is just my two cents worth that they are unnecessary.  Seems to me based on casual observation that snapshooters use them and serious photographers (especially pros) do not.  I suspect this is because the snapshooters are told by the salesperson at the camera shop that they have to have one.

And pros tend to insure their gear and/or use company/rented equipment.

Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: RLPhoto on March 04, 2013, 09:03:54 AM
Seems to me based on casual observation that snapshooters use them and serious photographers (especially pros) do not.
Sounds like you never heard of  "serious photographers" who shoot in conditions where dust, dirt, sea water splashes, mist, condensation are an issue. Have you ever seen a photographer at a dirt bike race? or a speed boat race with the photographer following the speeds boats? or a photographer at a sand dune bash? ... FYI they do have filters on their lenses for protection ... unless you consider them "snapshooters". While I do understand/appreciate your point of view/choice, statements like "serious photographers" don't use them and only "snapshooters use them" sounds very naive to say the least.
Tonnes of professional photographers and "serious photographers" use protective filters. Yes there are many pros who don't use them but that is totally dependent on their situation/preference but it has nothing to do with being a "snapshooter" or a "serious photographer".

I always use filters because in the heat of photographic battle, you don't have time to cap your lenses sometimes and I could just chuck my lens in a bag w/o worrying about the front element.

A UV filter is piece of mind, and allows me to work quickly.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 04, 2013, 09:27:20 AM
I always use filters
According to MrFotoFool, you and I (and anyone else who uses filters) are just "snapshooters" and are not "serious photographers" :D
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Studio1930 on March 04, 2013, 09:48:27 AM
  Seems to me based on casual observation that snapshooters use them and serious photographers (especially pros) do not.  I suspect this is because the snapshooters are told by the salesperson at the camera shop that they have to have one.

Wow, did you really think about this before you typed it?  Rienzphotoz already responded with a perfect reply to your statements, but I just had to add to it.  Statements like yours make you sound like the inexperienced snapshooter.  Of course I have not clue as to your actual experience and quality of work, but your comments can often give the inexperienced photographers the wrong idea.  Please don't make grand assumptions based on casual observations.  ::)

My opinion based on decades of experience:

*  Cheap filter is worse than no filter
*  No filter is sometimes preferable in certain situations
*  Quality filter is often needed for protection (sand, salt or fresh water (splash or rain), ice, dirt/mud, photojournalism...)


Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Dylan777 on March 04, 2013, 10:17:11 AM
So I bought a couple lens recently (17-40mm and 24-105) and want to get some UV filters for them.

Is there any real difference between various filters?

For instance, Hoya UV filters range from $30 to to $110.  My gut reaction is that it is mostly marketing junk and the $30 one is fine.  But would appreciate anyone with knowledge or thoughts to the contrary!  Thanks.

I like B&W Clear Filter. All my lenses are covered with: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/756818-REG/B_W_66_1066111_77mm_XS_Pro_NANO_Clear.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/756818-REG/B_W_66_1066111_77mm_XS_Pro_NANO_Clear.html)
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 04, 2013, 10:29:26 AM
So I bought a couple lens recently (17-40mm and 24-105) and want to get some UV filters for them.

Is there any real difference between various filters?

For instance, Hoya UV filters range from $30 to to $110.  My gut reaction is that it is mostly marketing junk and the $30 one is fine.  But would appreciate anyone with knowledge or thoughts to the contrary!  Thanks.

I like B&W Clear Filter. All my lenses are covered with: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/756818-REG/B_W_66_1066111_77mm_XS_Pro_NANO_Clear.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/756818-REG/B_W_66_1066111_77mm_XS_Pro_NANO_Clear.html)
+1 ... I recently got to know (thanks to neuroanatomist) about the B+W XS-Pro filters (I've always used the regular/thicker or the slim B+W filters) ... just last week, I've replaced all my filters with the XS-Pro version ... they are really awesome ... the best part is that they are really slim and you can still use the lens cap or add a CPL without having to take off the filter.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: b14 on March 04, 2013, 10:44:41 AM
If you can afford to replace your lens or are earning enough from your work to not worry, forget the filter. Also factor in the degree of malcordination that exist within you
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Albi86 on March 04, 2013, 10:48:40 AM
There's a very nice article on Lenstip whose conclusion is that HOYA filters are the best, both overall and in terms of value for money (depends on the model you buy).

I generally use the HMC. Sometimes Amazon has the Pro1 on offer and in that case I buy those.

No problem with lens caps, but I never tried stacking them.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 04, 2013, 10:56:48 AM
I always use filters
According to MrFotoFool, you and I (and anyone else who uses filters) are just "snapshooters" and are not "serious photographers" :D

Or maybe we're just clumsy...

Just the other day I was out taking some snapshots with my 1D X and EF 600mm f/4L IS II and I didn't have a UV filter on the front of the lens.   :P   

In fact, here's the snapshot to prove it!
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 04, 2013, 11:11:18 AM
If you can afford to replace your lens or are earning enough from your work to not worry, forget the filter. Also factor in the degree of malcordination that exist within you

Do keep in mind that one of the lenses the OP mentions is the 17-40mm f/4L, and that is a lens that requires a front filter to complete the weather/dust sealing for the lens.

There's a very nice article on Lenstip whose conclusion is that HOYA filters are the best, both overall and in terms of value for money (depends on the model you buy).

No problem with lens caps, but I never tried stacking them.

Right - but you have to look at the test data in the context of the utility of a UV filter on a dSLR.  The Hoya filters scored better than the B+W because they more effectively block UV light (defined as 200-390nm).  But modern dSLRs aren't sensitive to UV light, so that criterion is pretty much irrelevant in terms of current utility.  The B+W filters actually score better (slightly) than the Hoya filters in terms of visible light transmission (which LensTip defines as 390-750nm, although the standard definition is 400-700nm).  But the difference is only ~1%, which is practically irrelevant. 

So, based on the LensTip test data, for a dSLR there's no optical difference between the B+W MRC and the high end Hoya filters.  Personally, I find the MRC (and Nano) coatings very easy to clean, similar to the Hoya HD coating.  The standard Hoya coatings are reportedly harder to clean.  Also, the brass mount rings on the B+W filters are less prone to thermal expansion than the aluminum rings on most other filters, meaning it's less likely the B+W's will get stuck if stacked (but it can still happen, which is why having a set of $5 filter wrenches with you is a good idea!).
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Albi86 on March 04, 2013, 11:24:11 AM
If you can afford to replace your lens or are earning enough from your work to not worry, forget the filter. Also factor in the degree of malcordination that exist within you

Do keep in mind that one of the lenses the OP mentions is the 17-40mm f/4L, and that is a lens that requires a front filter to complete the weather/dust sealing for the lens.

There's a very nice article on Lenstip whose conclusion is that HOYA filters are the best, both overall and in terms of value for money (depends on the model you buy).

No problem with lens caps, but I never tried stacking them.

Right - but you have to look at the test data in the context of the utility of a UV filter on a dSLR.  The Hoya filters scored better than the B+W because they more effectively block UV light (defined as 200-390nm).  But modern dSLRs aren't sensitive to UV light, so that criterion is pretty much irrelevant in terms of current utility.  The B+W filters actually score better (slightly) than the Hoya filters in terms of visible light transmission (which LensTip defines as 390-750nm, although the standard definition is 400-700nm).  But the difference is only ~1%, which is practically irrelevant. 

So, based on the LensTip test data, for a dSLR there's no optical difference between the B+W MRC and the high end Hoya filters.  Personally, I find the MRC (and Nano) coatings very easy to clean, similar to the Hoya HD coating.  The standard Hoya coatings are reportedly harder to clean.  Also, the brass mount rings on the B+W filters are less prone to thermal expansion than the aluminum rings on most other filters, meaning it's less likely the B+W's will get stuck if stacked (but it can still happen, which is why having a set of $5 filter wrenches with you is a good idea!).

All very true, but I don't know how it is where you live, but here in EU B+W XS filters are more than twice as expensive as the already-quite-good Hoya HMC and around a +30% compared to the Hoya Pro1. IMHO they're not a convenient purchase.

For what it's worth, I never had a problem cleaning them. I actually find myself doing it very often by just breathing on them and brushing the surface delicately with my t-shirt.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Kristofgss on March 04, 2013, 11:31:11 AM
I haven't seen anything which an UV filter improves optically, but I use them on all my lenses to have the weather sealing and to prevent dirt/fingers/smudges from affecting the lens itself. I like the HMC-type filters, the multi-coating does help to minimise reflections. Having said that, whenever I tried to use the 70-200 with filter in complete darkness to take pictures of anything lighted by a candle, the light of the candle would reflect from the sensor back to the front glass and create a ghost image, so when doing things in complete darkness, I now take them off first.
I do wonder about the front filters who are really cheap, are they strong? i.e. would these shatter quickly under impact and thus still damage the lens front glass?
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: RLPhoto on March 04, 2013, 11:42:56 AM
I always use filters
According to MrFotoFool, you and I (and anyone else who uses filters) are just "snapshooters" and are not "serious photographers" :D

Or maybe we're just clumsy...

Just the other day I was out taking some snapshots with my 1D X and EF 600mm f/4L IS II and I didn't have a UV filter on the front of the lens.   :P   

In fact, here's the snapshot to prove it!

If they made them for Big Tele's, I'd probably buy one to be honest.  :-X
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: RJB on March 04, 2013, 11:48:04 AM
Usually half the gear I shoot with is on loan from an agency and the other half is insured. However, I always use filters.

Why?

Because if I'm out in the bush, on an embed or just somewhere generally a bit dusty/salty/sandy, a filter getting caked, scratched or cracked isn't really an issue. Getting the front end of a lens in such a state is. I'm generally out in areas where you can't just pick up a new 24-70 and travelling light(ish) means no back-up in the same focal range.

I fully agree that guys shooting studio probably won't use protective filters, but many others like the security that a filter offers. My point is that breaking down the whole filter/no filter argument into non pro/pro isn't really valid; pros have the same range of interests and areas of expertise as non-pros, and their gear tends to reflect the type of shooting they specialise in.

P.s. I'm with Neuro on the recommendation, I use the XS-PROs - they keep the vignetting down nicely, and because they're brass, even if you ding the front of the lens and bend the filter thread you can generally get them off again if you need to.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 04, 2013, 11:56:08 AM
There's a very nice article on Lenstip whose conclusion is that HOYA filters are the best, both overall and in terms of value for money (depends on the model you buy).

I generally use the HMC. Sometimes Amazon has the Pro1 on offer and in that case I buy those.

No problem with lens caps, but I never tried stacking them.
I don't know which are the "best" ... but a few years ago, I did have a couple of Hoya filters on my EF 17-85 lens and the 50-500 lens) I really liked them ... I see no problem with Hoya ... its just that I personally like B+W ... maybe because I have a lot of trust and respect for made in Germany products ... or maybe, since I cannot afford the more fancier German made products like Leica, BMW etc I kinda feel happy that I can at least afford some German products  ;D  ... either way I don't care, I really like the B+W XS-Pro filters and I'm sticking with them, especially bcoz they are so slim and yet you can put a lens cap on them.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 04, 2013, 12:11:39 PM
Whether you decide to use a filter or not, if protection is your goal, you'd be a fool to not use a lens hood.

A hood actually improves image quality, while even the best filters degrade image quality (though, granted, imperceptibly so with the high quality ones). Except for those few lenses where a filter is required to complete environmental sealing, a filter only protects against the types of hazards that come in situations where you yourself should be wearing eye protection -- such as gravel kicked up at a rodeo. A hood, on the other hand, protects against all the common real-world types of hazards photographers face, including impact and fingerprints. More to the point, an impact that would damage a front element will damage the filter in a way that will often transmit the damage on to the lens, such as by jamming the filter threads or scratching the front element with the broken filter. The hood will actually protect the lens against those types of damage. And quality filters generally cost about as much as repairing a lens with a damaged front element.

For most photographers in most situations, the hood provides all the protection one needs. For many (not most) photographers in many (not most) situations, a filter will degrade image quality. For only a few photographers in only a few situations will a filter provide protection not offered by a lens hood.

The key is understanding the actual type of photography you do and, from that, knowing if adding a filter to your hood (which you should always use) will offer physical protection worth the degradation of image quality. Or, if you regularly shoot in environments in which a filter is actually prudent, you should be able to recognize situations where the filter is going to significantly degrade image quality and be able to make the decision to remove the filter for that shot.

(Of course, this all applies only to clear / UV / protection filters. Polarizers, neutral density filters, and other filters for effects are irrelevant to the discussion. And, of course, there are all sorts of other odd exceptions, such as lenses like the 50 compact macro which is its own hood, the fisheye lenses and their bulbous front elements, photojournalists who should be getting combat pay, and the like.)

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: wsheldon on March 04, 2013, 01:51:26 PM
Quote
The key is understanding the actual type of photography you do and, from that, knowing if adding a filter to your hood (which you should always use) will offer physical protection worth the degradation of image quality. Or, if you regularly shoot in environments in which a filter is actually prudent, you should be able to recognize situations where the filter is going to significantly degrade image quality and be able to make the decision to remove the filter for that shot.

+1

I do use UV filters when shooting around water/sand (and on my 17-40L), but always use hoods on all my lenses for the reasons TrumpetPower states.

Interesting article and discussion at LenRentals.com on this topic as well (http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/06/good-times-with-bad-filters (http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/06/good-times-with-bad-filters)). Filter quality does matter, particularly if you need to stack.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: LewisShermer on March 04, 2013, 01:59:04 PM
I thought Kai from digital rev had already proven that UV filters were useless on dSLRs apart from protecting them when he was smashing it against a tree??? have a look for that video.

Proven to make your images softer but protect your lens from a tree. your call.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Studio1930 on March 04, 2013, 02:14:30 PM
Proven to make your images softer but protect your lens from a tree. your call.

Noticeably softer?  I would like to see the source of that fact (unless you are referring to cheap filters).
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: RLPhoto on March 04, 2013, 02:16:14 PM
Proven to make your images softer but protect your lens from a tree. your call.

Noticeably softer?  I would like to see the source of that fact (unless you are referring to cheap filters).

+1

I was thinking the same thing, at the same time.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 04, 2013, 02:26:48 PM
Proven to make your images softer
What utter rubbish! ... with a good quality filter on my lens there has never been any issue with images being "softer".
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 04, 2013, 02:44:38 PM
For only a few photographers in only a few situations will a filter provide protection not offered by a lens hood.
While I agree with your point of view about the kind of protection a lens hood offers, I disagree with your above statement ... a clear/UV filter offers protection which a lens hood cannot offer at anytime you are outdoors. A lens hood cannot stop dust, dirt, grime, oil, grease, finger prints, water etc falling on the lens front element (any of those situations are likely to occur more often than the lens front element getting banged up on another object). Of course the ideal protection is having a filter and a lens hood on the lens.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 04, 2013, 04:36:31 PM
A lens hood cannot stop dust, dirt, grime, oil, grease, finger prints, water etc falling on the lens front element

Actually, a lens hood is superlative at stopping most of those things. Better than a filter, in fact.

Take fingerprints, the most common. Fingerprints obviously happen when your finger comes in contact with the front lens element. When the front lens element is the forwardmost part of the camera, it's quite natural to touch it in all sorts of circumstances. But, with a hood, you've now got to actively stick your finger past the hood and reach in to touch the front element. Short of curling your fingers around the hood or pointing and sticking your finger straight down the front, there's no way to get a fingerprint on a hooded lens.

Basically, without a hood, touching the front of the lens is almost natural. But, with a hood, it takes active intent or extreme carelessness on the part of the photographer to touch the front element.

Now, let's examine the next most common situation: water droplets in rain. Unless it's a driving rain in a strong wind, or unless the camera is pointed up, no rain is going to fall on a hooded lens.

Oil and grease are both only going to happen from physical contact, which the hood will prevent even better than it'll prevent fingerprints. Casually walk around an auto mechanic's shop letting your camera bang into every oily, greasy, grimy surface, and, if you've got a hood on, you'll have to actively aim the camera in order to get anything to touch the lens.

That basically leaves fine blowing dust and water spray from waves or the like, both of which are textbook cases for where filters are not only a good idea but required in a small handful of lenses to complete the weather sealing. But few photographers do much shooting in those kinds of environments...which takes me back to my original statement that most photographers most of the time don't need a filter to protect the lens, but all photographers concerned about protecting the lens should be using a hood.

Basically, unless you shoot in certain unusual situations, if you use a hood, the only thing you'll ever have to do to clean your lens is use a rocket blower once in a blue moon, and maybe supplement that with a soft brush. Leave off the hood, and prepare yourself to get on good terms with lens pens, pec pads, and Eclipse -- whether or not you use a filter.

If nothing else, look at the hood as the best way to protect your $150 filter from fingerprints and scratches and what-not.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 04, 2013, 04:54:16 PM
Take fingerprints, the most common. Fingerprints obviously happen when your finger comes in contact with the front lens element. When the front lens element is the forwardmost part of the camera, it's quite natural to touch it in all sorts of circumstances. But, with a hood, you've now got to actively stick your finger past the hood and reach in to touch the front element. Short of curling your fingers around the hood or pointing and sticking your finger straight down the front, there's no way to get a fingerprint on a hooded lens.

Basically, without a hood, touching the front of the lens is almost natural. But, with a hood, it takes active intent or extreme carelessness on the part of the photographer to touch the front element.

Now, let's examine the next most common situation: water droplets in rain. Unless it's a driving rain in a strong wind, or unless the camera is pointed up, no rain is going to fall on a hooded lens.

Oil and grease are both only going to happen from physical contact, which the hood will prevent even better than it'll prevent fingerprints. Casually walk around an auto mechanic's shop letting your camera bang into every oily, greasy, grimy surface, and, if you've got a hood on, you'll have to actively aim the camera in order to get anything to touch the lens.

That makes sense for some lenses.  Have you seen the hood for the 16-35L, TS-E 24L, etc.?  Not a whole lot of protection there...
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 04, 2013, 05:57:34 PM
That makes sense for some lenses.  Have you seen the hood for the 16-35L, TS-E 24L, etc.?  Not a whole lot of protection there...

I'm actually shooting right this very moment with the 24.

I'll agree that there's not a huge amount of protection. However, I'd also argue that it's more than enough to keep a photographer from accidentally touching the front element, especially since this is a lens that'll rarely be used off a tripod.

The 16-35, even when hooded, I can see being prone to the fingerprints of curious children. And I could see it being less effective for protecting the lens if you're wildly and randomly swinging it around at the end of the strap. But, obviously, the answer is either to supplement the hood with a filter if you're going to be handing the camera to curious children or randomly swinging it around at the end of the strap...or to keep your equipment out of the hands of children and to pay a bit more attention to how you're handling it.

But both hoods will protect the lens against damage from being dropped far more than any filter ever would.

Of course, the ultimate example of a worse-than-useless hood would be the one that comes with the 8-15. Of course, that lens only takes rear filters, so it's not like you have much choice but to be careful. Personally, I'm just treating the hood of that lens as an extension of the lens cap, and may well tape the two together.

But, still. 99 44/100% of lenses are adequately protected against most likely causes of damage by using a hood. One should be aware of the exceptions, yes, but one also shouldn't let perfection terrorize the good. And, save for the hood of the 8-15, a hood is never going to degrade image quality and will almost always improve it, often significantly so.

Really, the default position should overwhelmingly be, "Use a hood." Filters can be useful, and one should know when they are. But filters are the exception; hoods are the rule.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: LewisShermer on March 04, 2013, 06:51:32 PM
Proven to make your images softer but protect your lens from a tree. your call.

Noticeably softer?  I would like to see the source of that fact (unless you are referring to cheap filters).

http://www.digitalrev.com/article/uv-filter-vs-no-uv/OTMwNA_A_A (http://www.digitalrev.com/article/uv-filter-vs-no-uv/OTMwNA_A_A)

6:30 in.

also stated in this is the earlier made point that modern chips don't pick up uv rays anyway.

proof: conclusive  8)
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: tcmatthews on March 04, 2013, 07:47:33 PM
I really do not see the lens hood as much protection.  That being said I have broken two filters and both time there was a lens hood attached.  The filters did there job and protected the front element of the lens.  The first one I broke when I slipped retrieving my hat from some water.  I have learn before I do something like that put the camera down.  But my now hat was floating away at 5 MPH.  The Lens hood broke into 3 peaces and left a nasty crack on the UV filter. 

The second time my tripod was bumped dropping my camera and 70-200LF4 onto the pavement.  The Lens hood bounced right off and when it bounced off a small rock on the front element I think my hart stopped a beat.  The Lens filter was cracked but not broken all they way through.  Because I was in AZ in lava fields everyday I ran out and bought the only filter I could find at 9pm.   I learned then that Tiffen filters I started out with are not all that bad.  Compared to an image obstruction device Sunpack filter.  I spent the rest of the trip swapping off the Sunpack which was truly only for protection from stray dust. 

So yes use a filter unless the lens hood is permanently attached.  As for clear or UV, most lens have some UV coatings already and there is a UV filter on the sensor.

As for the brand I would by the best you could find.  B&W or high end Hoya.  I have a few Tiffen but I am replacing them do to flare. 
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: RLPhoto on March 04, 2013, 07:50:01 PM
Proven to make your images softer but protect your lens from a tree. your call.

Noticeably softer?  I would like to see the source of that fact (unless you are referring to cheap filters).

http://www.digitalrev.com/article/uv-filter-vs-no-uv/OTMwNA_A_A (http://www.digitalrev.com/article/uv-filter-vs-no-uv/OTMwNA_A_A)

6:30 in.

also stated in this is the earlier made point that modern chips don't pick up uv rays anyway.

proof: conclusive  8)

Lol Kai is entertaining. I'm subscribed to DRTV.

I've never liked hoyas. B&Ws are so good, you would not be able to tell the difference. Lets compare some images made and point out which had a filter.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Canon_Wisconsin on March 04, 2013, 09:33:06 PM
I go middle-of-the-line for filters. I've been buying and liking the Sigma filters (from Amazon). They get good reviews. Avoid the Tiffen and other cheap brands, read reviews, and give the middle of the line ones a whirl.

ETA: I have a Hoya on my Tamron. It came with a tiny little mark where it looks like the filter "glaze" (for lack of better term) is worn off, but it was so miniscule, I didn't do anything about it. The 135L and the 85 1.8 both have Sigma filters and they were so super clear out of the packaging, it almost looked as if there was no glass there at all. :)
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Curmudgeon on March 04, 2013, 11:39:04 PM
Not sure about the writer on this thread who asserts that you can replace a front lens element for the cost of a good filter. My mail is delivered to a different planet. Ditto for the gentleman who claims that a lens hood is all the protection a lens needs. (I agree it's the first and best line of defense for the knocks, bumps and other physical slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but my world is sure a lot dirtier than his.) Try as I will I can't keep grease smudges, grit, condensation spots, etc., off the front of my lenses. And who hasn't had a lens cap--especially a Canon lens cap--fall off inside the camera bag, a presumed safe haven for lenses?

And that to me is the value of a good filter. Glass has an affinity for dirt. You gave up smoking and surprise, surprise, the inside of your windshield still gets that ugly film on it just from being exposed to the atmosphere. While I'm always amazed at the number of people who tote expensive DSLR bodies with horribly smudged lenses, most folks who are serious about photography want to shoot through clean glass. If you do, some part of the optical system has to get cleaned. And as they say, it's not the fall that kills you, it's the landing. If you can live with the dirt all over the business end of your camera, it won't damage your lens (unless it's caustic or arrives at sandblasting speed). It's the process of removing it that is at least mildly invasive and abrasive. Aside from the grit that's currently on the lens, there's all that residual stuff from previous cleanings. (It didn't just evaporate from your microfiber cloth, you know; in fact that clingy cloth probably picked up some additional material from the inside of your camera bag.) No matter how careful you are, it all gets dragged across the surface of whatever glass you're cleaning, and it all nano-etches. No one is claiming that a UV filter sharpens a lens, but neither would anyone claim that years of cleaning the front element improves a lens's optical performance.

I've had a couple of my lenses for seven years, and in that time I've cleaned the filters more than a hundred times. I plan to keep most of my lenses for the rest of my life, and I can foresee a possible need to replace filters at some point. What I won't ever have to do is worry about degraded performance from the lens elements themselves. The filter in front protects the lens not only from particular kinds of dirt, but almost eliminates general atmospheric contamination. I know that the surfaces beneath the filter are in pristine condition, because except for using a puff brush to remove the occasional mote of dust that sneaks in during a filter change, those elements, after an initial personal inspection, have never been touched, much less cleaned.

And for all you gonzo types who think filters are a collaborative scam of camera salesmen, here's a question to answer honestly: who would you really rather buy a five-year-old lens from: someone (like me) who obsesses a bit about protecting the exposed elements of his lenses, or someone like you?

Finally, it's not as if mounting a filter is an inconvenience, and for me the cost of a top-of-the-line filter is trivial, not because I have an unlimited budget, but because I have a very tight one. When I do take the plunge for a lens, it's for the "expensive as L" variety, and it's a lifetime investment. And if I've spent $1700 for a lens, why wouldn't I spend another $80 to maintain and optimize it's performance?
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: darkhound on March 04, 2013, 11:59:02 PM
If you can afford to replace your lens or are earning enough from your work to not worry, forget the filter. Also factor in the degree of malcordination that exist within you

Do keep in mind that one of the lenses the OP mentions is the 17-40mm f/4L, and that is a lens that requires a front filter to complete the weather/dust sealing for the lens.

There's a very nice article on Lenstip whose conclusion is that HOYA filters are the best, both overall and in terms of value for money (depends on the model you buy).

No problem with lens caps, but I never tried stacking them.

Right - but you have to look at the test data in the context of the utility of a UV filter on a dSLR.  The Hoya filters scored better than the B+W because they more effectively block UV light (defined as 200-390nm).  But modern dSLRs aren't sensitive to UV light, so that criterion is pretty much irrelevant in terms of current utility.  The B+W filters actually score better (slightly) than the Hoya filters in terms of visible light transmission (which LensTip defines as 390-750nm, although the standard definition is 400-700nm).  But the difference is only ~1%, which is practically irrelevant. 

So, based on the LensTip test data, for a dSLR there's no optical difference between the B+W MRC and the high end Hoya filters.  Personally, I find the MRC (and Nano) coatings very easy to clean, similar to the Hoya HD coating.  The standard Hoya coatings are reportedly harder to clean.  Also, the brass mount rings on the B+W filters are less prone to thermal expansion than the aluminum rings on most other filters, meaning it's less likely the B+W's will get stuck if stacked (but it can still happen, which is why having a set of $5 filter wrenches with you is a good idea!).

Based on this, Ill get clear b&w filters. Also, great tip about filter wrenches. Never heard of them before.  I have another lens that has a filter on it that I dropped (while in a padded bag) and the force bent the threads so that the filter is permanently locked in. Hope this wrench works. I read that it did for someone else who dropped their lens. Thanks!
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: darkhound on March 05, 2013, 12:10:42 AM
Quote
The key is understanding the actual type of photography you do and, from that, knowing if adding a filter to your hood (which you should always use) will offer physical protection worth the degradation of image quality. Or, if you regularly shoot in environments in which a filter is actually prudent, you should be able to recognize situations where the filter is going to significantly degrade image quality and be able to make the decision to remove the filter for that shot.

+1

I do use UV filters when shooting around water/sand (and on my 17-40L), but always use hoods on all my lenses for the reasons TrumpetPower states.

Interesting article and discussion at LenRentals.com on this topic as well (http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/06/good-times-with-bad-filters (http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/06/good-times-with-bad-filters)). Filter quality does matter, particularly if you need to stack.

Good advice. Problem is that I will be using my new 6d for pretty much just travel and I need to keep my camera bag as small as possible. The 6d is much bigger than my Rebel as is. The hood really takes up volume. And the sheer length of it in use looks kinda ridiculous. I'll have to just stick withy the filter and be more careful this time.  Thanks!
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: J.R. on March 05, 2013, 08:19:57 AM
Whether you decide to use a filter or not, if protection is your goal, you'd be a fool to not use a lens hood.

A hood actually improves image quality, while even the best filters degrade image quality (though, granted, imperceptibly so with the high quality ones). Except for those few lenses where a filter is required to complete environmental sealing, a filter only protects against the types of hazards that come in situations where you yourself should be wearing eye protection -- such as gravel kicked up at a rodeo. A hood, on the other hand, protects against all the common real-world types of hazards photographers face, including impact and fingerprints. More to the point, an impact that would damage a front element will damage the filter in a way that will often transmit the damage on to the lens, such as by jamming the filter threads or scratching the front element with the broken filter. The hood will actually protect the lens against those types of damage. And quality filters generally cost about as much as repairing a lens with a damaged front element.

For most photographers in most situations, the hood provides all the protection one needs. For many (not most) photographers in many (not most) situations, a filter will degrade image quality. For only a few photographers in only a few situations will a filter provide protection not offered by a lens hood.

The key is understanding the actual type of photography you do and, from that, knowing if adding a filter to your hood (which you should always use) will offer physical protection worth the degradation of image quality. Or, if you regularly shoot in environments in which a filter is actually prudent, you should be able to recognize situations where the filter is going to significantly degrade image quality and be able to make the decision to remove the filter for that shot.

(Of course, this all applies only to clear / UV / protection filters. Polarizers, neutral density filters, and other filters for effects are irrelevant to the discussion. And, of course, there are all sorts of other odd exceptions, such as lenses like the 50 compact macro which is its own hood, the fisheye lenses and their bulbous front elements, photojournalists who should be getting combat pay, and the like.)

Cheers,

b&

+1

I use both, a filter as well as the lens hood on my lenses because one must take into account the lens hood. The petal shaped lens hoods of the 17-40 and 24-105 offer protection only if the lens is dropped with the front element pointing down on a flat surface so a filter is very useful here.

I smashed my Hoya filter on the 24-105 when the camera was hanging by my side and I was going through a  doorway, the camera swung around and the lens hit the doorknob flush on the front of the lens - the filter was smashed but took the impact pretty well saving the front element.

A filter is the one of the best insurance against impact on the front element of the lens.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 05, 2013, 03:32:22 PM
Not sure about the writer on this thread who asserts that you can replace a front lens element for the cost of a good filter. My mail is delivered to a different planet. Ditto for the gentleman who claims that a lens hood is all the protection a lens needs. (I agree it's the first and best line of defense for the knocks, bumps and other physical slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but my world is sure a lot dirtier than his.) Try as I will I can't keep grease smudges, grit, condensation spots, etc., off the front of my lenses. And who hasn't had a lens cap--especially a Canon lens cap--fall off inside the camera bag, a presumed safe haven for lenses?

And that to me is the value of a good filter. Glass has an affinity for dirt. You gave up smoking and surprise, surprise, the inside of your windshield still gets that ugly film on it just from being exposed to the atmosphere. While I'm always amazed at the number of people who tote expensive DSLR bodies with horribly smudged lenses, most folks who are serious about photography want to shoot through clean glass. If you do, some part of the optical system has to get cleaned. And as they say, it's not the fall that kills you, it's the landing. If you can live with the dirt all over the business end of your camera, it won't damage your lens (unless it's caustic or arrives at sandblasting speed). It's the process of removing it that is at least mildly invasive and abrasive. Aside from the grit that's currently on the lens, there's all that residual stuff from previous cleanings. (It didn't just evaporate from your microfiber cloth, you know; in fact that clingy cloth probably picked up some additional material from the inside of your camera bag.) No matter how careful you are, it all gets dragged across the surface of whatever glass you're cleaning, and it all nano-etches. No one is claiming that a UV filter sharpens a lens, but neither would anyone claim that years of cleaning the front element improves a lens's optical performance.

I've had a couple of my lenses for seven years, and in that time I've cleaned the filters more than a hundred times. I plan to keep most of my lenses for the rest of my life, and I can foresee a possible need to replace filters at some point. What I won't ever have to do is worry about degraded performance from the lens elements themselves. The filter in front protects the lens not only from particular kinds of dirt, but almost eliminates general atmospheric contamination. I know that the surfaces beneath the filter are in pristine condition, because except for using a puff brush to remove the occasional mote of dust that sneaks in during a filter change, those elements, after an initial personal inspection, have never been touched, much less cleaned.

And for all you gonzo types who think filters are a collaborative scam of camera salesmen, here's a question to answer honestly: who would you really rather buy a five-year-old lens from: someone (like me) who obsesses a bit about protecting the exposed elements of his lenses, or someone like you?

Finally, it's not as if mounting a filter is an inconvenience, and for me the cost of a top-of-the-line filter is trivial, not because I have an unlimited budget, but because I have a very tight one. When I do take the plunge for a lens, it's for the "expensive as L" variety, and it's a lifetime investment. And if I've spent $1700 for a lens, why wouldn't I spend another $80 to maintain and optimize it's performance?
+1
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 05, 2013, 03:40:36 PM
A lens hood cannot stop dust, dirt, grime, oil, grease, finger prints, water etc falling on the lens front element

Actually, a lens hood is superlative at stopping most of those things. Better than a filter, in fact.
No way! ... a lens front element, with a lens hood on, can still easily get scratches, grease, dirt and what not. But a filter on a the lens front element will ensure you don't easily get scratches, grease, dirt, dust grime etc on your front element. I agree that a lens hood provides additional protection (for both lens and the filter) from bumps, hits etc ... if I had to choose between a lens hood and a filter, I'd go with the filter, I can always use my hand or anything else to block light but I can't stop splashing sea water or other elements falling on my lens front elements without a filter.
Title: Re: UV filters (any difference?)
Post by: Studio1930 on March 05, 2013, 04:02:12 PM
We are getting a bit off subject, but I use both lens hoods and filters for protection.  I was shooting in this past snow storm and the lens hood kept the snow off my 85L (not weather sealed) and my 70-200 f/2.8 IS II.  The inside of the fuzzy hood was white with snow but the lens/filter was dry.

(http://studio1930.com/image_share/wink/snow/20130221-267_900px.jpg)
(http://studio1930.com/image_share/wink/snow/20130221-177_900px.jpg)