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Author Topic: UV filters (any difference?)  (Read 6787 times)

LewisShermer

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #30 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.
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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2013, 01:59:04 PM »

Studio1930

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #31 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).
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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #32 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.

Rienzphotoz

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #33 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".
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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #34 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.
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TrumpetPower!

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #35 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&

neuroanatomist

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #36 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...
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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2013, 04:54:16 PM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #37 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&

LewisShermer

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #38 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

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)
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tcmatthews

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #39 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. 
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 07:51:00 PM by tcmatthews »
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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #40 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

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.

Canon_Wisconsin

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #41 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. :)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 09:39:13 PM by Canon_Wisconsin »
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Curmudgeon

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #42 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?

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2013, 11:39:04 PM »

darkhound

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #43 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!

darkhound

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #44 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). 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!
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 12:41:08 AM by darkhound »

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Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2013, 12:10:42 AM »