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Author Topic: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?  (Read 6965 times)

omar

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Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« on: August 15, 2013, 08:46:31 AM »
Should I get a clear filter to protect my lens?
I've seen one other photographer who uses all the time?
Do I need one?
Should I just get a brush and a blow thing (I forget what its called) to keep my lens clean?

Will a clear filter somehow make my images be less in quality?

Thanks


Omar

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Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« on: August 15, 2013, 08:46:31 AM »

Dylan777

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 08:56:02 AM »
Should I get a clear filter to protect my lens? ==> YES
I've seen one other photographer who uses all the time? ==> YES

Do I need one? ==> YES

Should I just get a brush and a blow thing (I forget what its called) to keep my lens clean? ==> YES, you should, at the filter

Will a clear filter somehow make my images be less in quality? ==> NO

Should I get a clear filter to protect my lens? ==> YES
I've seen one other photographer who uses all the time? ==> YES
Do I need one? ==> YES
Should I just get a brush and a blow thing (I forget what its called) to keep my lens clean? ==> YES, you should, at the filter


Highly recommend this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/756818-REG/B_W_66_1066111_77mm_XS_Pro_NANO_Clear.html

I have BW XS_Pro_NANO_Clear on all my lenses. It's so clear that you wouldn't even know it on there. For outdoor shooting, you can add other filters on top of clear filter: CPL, ND etc...without worry your lens got hit with water, dust or rocks.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 09:02:37 AM by Dylan777 »
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duydaniel

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 09:06:36 AM »
unless you plan on mounting another filter on top, the B+W F-Pro is cheaper

omar

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 09:19:15 AM »
$105.50 is really expensive
do i really really need?

what's wrong with a super cheap one?

Dylan777

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 09:21:15 AM »
$105.50 is really expensive
do i really really need?

what's wrong with a super cheap one?

You mind if I ask? What are your lenses?
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Primes: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

cid

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 09:51:09 AM »
$105.50 is really expensive
do i really really need?

what's wrong with a super cheap one?

well, read this, it will give you some more insight  ;)
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/06/good-times-with-bad-filters


edit: and maybe it will answer your question about ND filters too
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cid

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 09:55:02 AM »
$105.50 is really expensive
do i really really need?

what's wrong with a super cheap one?

You mind if I ask? What are your lenses?

good question, there is no need to waste money on expensive filter for cheap lens
5D mark III + 24-70L f2.8 II + 70-200L f2.8 II + 100L f2.8
my photos on 500px

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 09:55:02 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 09:55:52 AM »
A good filter (e.g. B+W) protects without significant IQ degradation (except increased chance of flare), a cheap filter will degrade your IQ.

I have B+W MRC or Nano filters on most of my lenses (not the 40/2.8 or 22/2 pancake lenses, though).
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littlewildcat

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 10:04:51 AM »
Should I get a clear filter to protect my lens?
I've seen one other photographer who uses all the time?
Do I need one?
Should I just get a brush and a blow thing (I forget what its called) to keep my lens clean?

Will a clear filter somehow make my images be less in quality?

Thanks


Omar

It's advisable to put UV/clear filters on "L" and expensive lenses for protection. For kit lens, don't worry about it.
For lenses without filters, lens hood and front cap will protect the front element to a certain extent.

For buying a decent UV filter, people invest 5 to 10%(or even more) of the cost of an expensive lens for peace of mind.

But, it's entirely up to you and depend on what you have.

Good lens cloth, rocket blower and lenspen(with brush) are useful  to keep your gears clean.

schill

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2013, 10:10:30 AM »
It's advisable to put UV/clear filters on "L" and expensive lenses for protection.

But then there are other people who will ask why you would spend so much on an L lens and then risk degrading the image even a little bit by putting a filter on it. 

In general, I don't have clear/uv filters on my lenses.  The only one that has one right now is my 70-200/2.8.  That filter was over $100.

The recommendation others have made to not go cheap is a good one.  If you can't afford a good quality filter, I think you are much better off not using one and being careful.

Random Orbits

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2013, 10:15:23 AM »
It depends on the cost/value of the lens.  Good filters cost 50 and up, depending on size, brand, etc.  I like B&W, but I've also had Hoyas.  The Hoyas are less expensive but I found them harder to keep clean.

I get filters for L lenses, but I don't bother with the EOS-M lenses.  500 is about the threshold when I start considering getting a filter for a particular lens.  It also depends on how you intend to use the lens.  I tend to use those that are more weather resistant and filtered when the weather gets bad.

Super cheap ones may be uncoated or single coated, and would be more prone to flare and would lead to a higher transmission losses.  Some would argue that any filter would degrade the image even if it is undetectable in practice, and it's true theoretically.  Any piece of glass will change the transmission characteristics, but so will a dirty front element, and I would rather clean a 100 filter rather than the front element of 1000 lens.  In the field, I'll clean it with what's at hand, including my shirt, which is what happened when my 70-200 mounted on camera worked itself loose from a BR strap and fell lens first into the muddy ground.  The hood was reversed because I was walking from the car to the soccer field and hadn't yet set up the camera to shoot.  I tried cleaning the filter, but couldn't get it clean enough so I just took it off, got my shots, and cleaned the filter once I got home.  The B&W filter cleaned up fine and I still use it today.

HawkinsT

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2013, 10:21:38 AM »
I would advise against clear filters. Presumably you have insurance anyway (if not, this is something I really would recommend), and the chance of one actually stopping your lens getting damaged is fairly low, you're far more likely to drop a lens, breaking some of the internal elements, than you are to smash only the front element.

So why not just use a clear filter to be safe?
Cheap ones noticeably degrade image quality and often make a lens far more prone to flare... mid range ones do this too, but to a lesser (but still noticeable) degree - if you're using them with cheap lenses, fine (although I would rather just risk having to buy a new lens), and if you're using them with expensive lenses, you are loosing a lot of the quality you've paid extra for. The more expensive filters, such as those by B+W, are fairly good and don't tend to introduce any noticeable change in image quality, but then you're spending £70 on a filter to protect against a very unlikely scenario you're most likely insured for already.

For the record I use B+W filters (having gone through several cheaper varieties in the past), but only when I'm working in especially wet/dusty environments to protect the lenses better then - any other scenario and they're really not needed.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 11:18:54 AM by HawkinsT »

interpilot

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2013, 10:27:17 AM »
I used to have B+W multi-coated UV filters on all of my lenses. However, in all my years of using them, I've never had a scratched filter. What did happen though is that I once bumped the front of a lens (a 50 1.4), which caused some gear in the AF mechanism to break/loose it's teeth; nothing the filter could do about that.

At the same time, the cost of those filters combined would be enough to buy a nice new lens, in case one would get scratched. They also do cause flare in night shots, diagonally opposite to strong point lights, if you forget to take them off.

So, I've stopped using them, using them as extra bargaining chips when selling off lenses.

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2013, 10:27:17 AM »

omar

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2013, 10:37:22 AM »
guys, i didn't know my question was a can of worms to answer
lol

i have:

- 50mm F1.8 - cost £75 - i don't want to pay $100 for a lens protector
- 18-55mm standard lens - costs £70+ - i don't want to pay $100 for a lens protector
- 100mm Canon IS macro - costs £700+ - but this is ONLY used indoors

i do want to go into wedding and portrait photography...
but then... that would be another question in itself: what lenses should i buy...?  :)

neuroanatomist

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2013, 10:41:34 AM »
So why not just use a clear filter to be safe?
Cheap ones noticeably degrade image quality and often make a lens far more prone to flare... mid range ones do this too, but to a lesser (but still noticeable) degree - if you're using them with cheap lenses, fine (although I would rather just risk having to buy a new lens), and if you're using them with expensive lenses, you are loosing a lot of the quality you've paid extra for. The more expensive filters, such as those by B+W, are fairly good and don't tend to introduce any noticeable change in image quality, but then you're spending £70 on a filter to protect against a very unlikely scenario you're most likely insured for already.

The main reasons I use filters are two-fold.  First, they are required for weather sealing of some lenses, and beneficial for weather sealing in other lenses.  Second, they are easier to clean than most front elements (except the newest Canon lenses with the fluorine coating), and if I need to clean the filter in a hurry (usually following a water splash) and there's a bit of grit, the easily replaceable filter gets scratched, not the front element.

Regarding insurance, that can be a sticky issue.  Yes, all my gear is insured.  But at least in the US (not sure if it's the case elsewhere), it's a common and very cost-effective for non-professional shooters to get insurance from their homeowner's/renter's insurer, as a separate policy or a rider.  The problem there is that any claims against the policy are reported to the CLUE database, which is used to determine rates and eligibility for the primary policy.  So, despite having no deductible, if you make a few claims for damaged lenses you may find yourself paying more for your home coverage, or being denied coverage entirely.  So, personally I view insurance as coverage for major loss - if I damage a lens that Canon will charge me $400 to replace, or my EOS M drops to the ground and shatters, I'll cover the repair/replacement myself.  If someone steals my 1D X and 600/4L IS II from the back of my car, I'll file a claim.
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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2013, 10:41:34 AM »