Gear Talk > Lenses

UV or clear protection filter?

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neuroanatomist:

--- Quote from: TrumpetPower! on February 16, 2013, 12:39:53 PM ---Out of curiosity, how did you perform your test?

--- End quote ---

My first test was just a 'quick and dirty' one - laying a B+W UV filter on a UV transilluminator (the kind used to visualize ethiduim bromide-stained DNA gels in the lab) and taking a picture (with no filter on the lens), to see if the UV filter blocked any of the light.  It didn't appear to, but the light tubes in a typical transilluminator emit a lot of visible blue light, too.

My second test was more specific. I used a mercury arc lamp (a bright 'white' light source for fluorescence microscopy) which has emission peaks at 254nm, 365nm, 405nm, and 436nm (and other peaks, too), and a set of 20nm bandpass filters centered on 250nm, 360nm, 405nm, and 435nm. The 250nm and 360nm filter images were black even with long exposures, the 405nm filter was very dim, and the 435nm filter was reasonably bright.

jrda2:
yes, that is exactly how I would have set up the test too.....with only one minor change - in place of the mercury arc lamp, I would have used the much more precise settings of high, medium, and low emission peaks from my night stand light  :)

bornshooter:
Just use a hood if something is going to break your filter then your lens will be scratched anyway,i use a filter though when raining near a beach etc i paid a lot of money for that glass no way i am sticking a filter in front of it no matter how good any one says they are.

TrumpetPower!:

--- Quote from: neuroanatomist on February 16, 2013, 01:05:37 PM ---
--- Quote from: TrumpetPower! on February 16, 2013, 12:39:53 PM ---Out of curiosity, how did you perform your test?

--- End quote ---

My first test was just a 'quick and dirty' one - laying a B+W UV filter on a UV transilluminator (the kind used to visualize ethiduim bromide-stained DNA gels in the lab) and taking a picture (with no filter on the lens), to see if the UV filter blocked any of the light.  It didn't appear to, but the light tubes in a typical transilluminator emit a lot of visible blue light, too.

My second test was more specific. I used a mercury arc lamp (a bright 'white' light source for fluorescence microscopy) which has emission peaks at 254nm, 365nm, 405nm, and 436nm (and other peaks, too), and a set of 20nm bandpass filters centered on 250nm, 360nm, 405nm, and 435nm. The 250nm and 360nm filter images were black even with long exposures, the 405nm filter was very dim, and the 435nm filter was reasonably bright.

--- End quote ---

Ah -- you have (access to) actual equipment designed for that sort of thing.

I don't, so I was instead trying to think of kludges involving cheap fluorescent UV tubes, possibly with the assistance of papers with OBAs....

b&

LostArk:
Lots of messed up reasoning surrounding the UV filter "debate."

Here are some incontrovertible facts to help you decide if UV filters are right for you:

In favor of UV filters:

- Even with a lens hood, the front element is susceptible to damage from projectiles
- Even with a hood, dust and gunk (fingerprints etc) WILL accumulate on the front element
- Cleaning the front element improperly may result in micro-abrasions
- It is inconvenient or impossible to properly clean the front element in the field
- Quality UV filters do not degrade image quality or cause flare, they DO however exacerbate existing flare. 
- While micro-abrasions won't affect image quality, ask yourself if you'd rather risk your front element or a UV filter
- Using UV filters means you don't have to worry about fiddling with lens caps if you don't want to. I never use lens caps.

Against UV filters:

- It's true UV filters don't protect from impact, and may actually exacerbate damage from impact
- Inconvenient having to switch UV filter for ND or CP (stacking filters is inadvisable)
- Exacerbates flare in certain situations
- Low quality filters may affect sharpness and contrast
- Cost

I use UV filters but I'm not averse to removing them if they're exacerbating flare. I never attached a filter to my 50 1.8 and after two years it still looks brand new. I know as soon as I take a filter off one of my L lenses, a projectile will chip the front element. YMMV

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