September 22, 2014, 10:18:40 AM

Author Topic: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?  (Read 6077 times)

littlewildcat

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2013, 10:52:33 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.

So, spending $50 to $200 on a filter for a $1K to $2K L lens (about 5 - 10% of the cost of a L lens) seems to make sense. I think for lens filters of that price range, the quality would be pretty decent.

Recently, due to carelessness, I scratched the coating of the (rear) element of a 24 70 f2.8 L, the cost to repair is over $300 ($258 plus 2 ways postage plus tax etc). If it happens to the front element, which is more likely to expose  to risk of scratching/damage, the cost of repair would be more.  So, I reiterate that a good UV/clear filter is necessary for a L or expensive lens.

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2013, 10:52:33 AM »

RAKAMRAK

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2013, 10:53:14 AM »
The OP has created two similar threads on the topic of filters. I am writing my opinion to both the threads here.

Well many people will say many things about the end result of cheap filters - but the ultimate point is whether you think that is so or not. So go ahead and buy some filters (clear, ND, variable ND), whatever you think you want and of course can buy. Put on your lens. Take photos of the same things/scenarios with and without the filters. Then come home and look at the photos. If you see you cannot distinguish between the photos qualitatively then well and good. You have achieved your goals of protecting you lenses' front element/desired photo effect and affordable price. Otherwise, dump the cheap filters and buy a little bit costlier ones and carry out the entire above exercise again.
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littlewildcat

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2013, 10:53:47 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.

+1

Dylan777

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2013, 11:16:51 AM »

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...?  :)

Now I see your lens list, I would say no filter. Just use the lens hood.

If you plan to go FF in the future, EF and L will be my choices. EF-S line has some great lenses as well:17-55mm f2.8 IS, 10-22mm etc...
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 11:19:47 AM by Dylan777 »
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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2013, 11:26:57 AM »

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...?  :)

Now I see your lens list, I would say no filter.

If you plan to go FF in the future, EF and L will be my choices. EF-S line has some great lenses as well:17-55mm f2.8 IS, 10-22mm etc...

50mm f1.8 has a recessed front element and doesn't need much protection.
18-55 is quite cheap but the front element is quite solid. I've knocked it a few times and there's no scratches. If it breaks just but a new one or upgrade to something better.
The macro you said you only use indoors so I don't think you need any filters.

I have one clear filter that I use if it's really dusty or windy. All other times I use the hood for protection.

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rumorzmonger

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2013, 11:49:37 AM »
$105.50 is really expensive
do i really really need?

what's wrong with a super cheap one?


- You should buy the expensive one to protect your expensive lens.

- You should also buy a less expensive clear filter to protect your expensive clear filter.

- You should also buy the cheap clear filter to protect your other clear filters.

- Don't forget to remove ALL of the clear filters before taking a picture, because they WILL degrade the quality of your images.


Or, you can just use a lens hood to protect your lens properly, and it will actually improve your images, instead of making them softer like a filter does.

The noobs always buy the protective filters because the salesman in the camera store, who makes more profit from a filter than he does from a camera or lens, convinces them they need one... and then laughs his a$$ off when they leave the store.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 11:51:51 AM by rumorzmonger »
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AcutancePhotography

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2013, 11:58:15 AM »
Any filter will have some non-zero effect on image quality.  The cogent question is whether this effect will be noticible.  No, a good quality clear or UV filter can both protect the front of the lens and have unnoticable effects on your image.

Marumi sells some nice clear filters which are more expensive then their nice UV filters.  I am not sure that if you are buying a quality filter whether a clear is clearly worth the money than a less expensive UV filter.

When ever I buy a lens, I buy a UV filter for it.  It stays on the lens unless there is a specific reason to remove it. It is cheap insurance against a scratch.

But like anything, you get what you pay for.  Don't go cheap on filters, but also don't go crazy.  ;D
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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2013, 11:58:15 AM »

brett b

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2013, 12:28:24 PM »
$105.50 is really expensive
do i really really need?

what's wrong with a super cheap one?


- You should buy the expensive one to protect your expensive lens.

- You should also buy a less expensive clear filter to protect your expensive clear filter.

- You should also buy the cheap clear filter to protect your other clear filters.

- Don't forget to remove ALL of the clear filters before taking a picture, because they WILL degrade the quality of your images.


Or, you can just use a lens hood to protect your lens properly, and it will actually improve your images, instead of making them softer like a filter does.

The noobs always buy the protective filters because the salesman in the camera store, who makes more profit from a filter than he does from a camera or lens, convinces them they need one... and then laughs his a$$ off when they leave the store.

+1 Funny!
...but I always have a hood attached.

Hesbehindyou

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2013, 12:56:44 PM »
[adding a filter means you don't have to worry about] your lens got [getting] hit with water, dust or rocks.

This kinda attitude is the reason why the topic is a can of worms.

YuengLinger

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2013, 12:58:59 PM »
One flaw in the lensrental essay about protective filters is the estimated cost of replacing a front element.  I believe the author says about $150, which might in fact be his cost if he is ordering the part and doing the labor himself.

However, even for Canon Professional Services members, you'd have to add about $150 for labor, and then the price of shipping the lens (insured!) to Canon, which costs about $70.

And, of course, even with rush service, you don't have your lens for a week.

I'd rather clean the filter than the front element.  A filter already saved my older 24-70mm in a tripod mishap some years ago.

As for image degradation, I've taken many test shots to compare side by side, as some experienced photographers have expressed concern about it.  I see no loss of image quality with B+W and better Hoya filters--not even star effects in night shots.  If I'm concerned about flare, I can pop off the filter briefly.

To me, the biggest peace of mind comes from being able to clean the filter.  So easy in the field to get muck splashed on it, or a stem hitting it while walking through brush.  In that tripod incident, the ef 24-70mm fell forward onto a small stone (no, I don't blame my wife, I should have explained the basics of the tripod!).  The Hoya filter smashed, but I didn't get a scratch on my front element.

And as has been said:  Canon advises using the filters on L lenses to complete weather sealing.  If my car manufacturer recommends specific tires, fluids, etc, I take the suggestion seriously.

I remember when people would swear seatbelts cause more harm than good.


AudioGlenn

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2013, 01:35:04 PM »
Question:  I bought both a B&W (skylight) filter ($45) AND a lens hood ($20) for my EOS M + 22mm f/2.  They are both about the same depth.  It seems I don''t really need both  and they are adding significant depth to my handy little camera.  should I return one?  If so, which one?
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2013, 01:42:36 PM »
Question:  I bought both a B&W (skylight) filter ($45) AND a lens hood ($20) for my EOS M + 22mm f/2.  They are both about the same depth.  It seems I don''t really need both  and they are adding significant depth to my handy little camera.  should I return one?  If so, which one?

Honestly, I'd return both.  The lens hood for the EF-M 22mm f/2 is essentially useless - it's not deep enough to provide any protection from flare, given the size of the front element and the AoV of the lens.  I haven't done the estimate on the EF-M 22 hood, but the similarly-designed hood for the EF 40mm f/2.8 isn't deep enough to protect a 14mm lens from flare, much less the 40mm lens for which it's designed.  Futhermore, since it's a thread-mounting hood, any force applied to the hood won't be transmitted to the barrel as with a bayonet-mount, but rather to the front-focusing element with the STM motor connected to it.  Not very protective at all.

As for the filter, IMO the big advantage of a pancake lens is it's thin projection from the body.  Making it thicker with a filter doesn't make a lot of sense to me (in fact, I would prefer the 'old' side-pinch cap design, since it's thinner than the center-pinch cap that comes with the lens.
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AudioGlenn

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2013, 02:10:08 PM »
Question:  I bought both a B&W (skylight) filter ($45) AND a lens hood ($20) for my EOS M + 22mm f/2.  They are both about the same depth.  It seems I don''t really need both  and they are adding significant depth to my handy little camera.  should I return one?  If so, which one?

Honestly, I'd return both.  The lens hood for the EF-M 22mm f/2 is essentially useless - it's not deep enough to provide any protection from flare, given the size of the front element and the AoV of the lens.  I haven't done the estimate on the EF-M 22 hood, but the similarly-designed hood for the EF 40mm f/2.8 isn't deep enough to protect a 14mm lens from flare, much less the 40mm lens for which it's designed.  Futhermore, since it's a thread-mounting hood, any force applied to the hood won't be transmitted to the barrel as with a bayonet-mount, but rather to the front-focusing element with the STM motor connected to it.  Not very protective at all.

As for the filter, IMO the big advantage of a pancake lens is it's thin projection from the body.  Making it thicker with a filter doesn't make a lot of sense to me (in fact, I would prefer the 'old' side-pinch cap design, since it's thinner than the center-pinch cap that comes with the lens.

Thanks for the reply, neuro. 
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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2013, 02:10:08 PM »

Rocky

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2013, 02:53:52 PM »
My own general rule:
1. Used rigid lenshood ALL the time for protection.
2. No filter 90% of the time
3. Use  UV fiter in hazard condition: rain, on beach etc.

So far I am lucky enough not to have any damaged front element.

Dylan777

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2013, 05:19:57 PM »
[adding a filter means you don't have to worry about] your lens got [getting] hit with water, dust or rocks.

This kinda attitude is the reason why the topic is a can of worms.

Giving correct quote before comment would be nice.

My original "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, 05:23:54 PM by Dylan777 »
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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2013, 05:19:57 PM »