August 27, 2014, 09:10:39 PM

Author Topic: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?  (Read 5858 times)

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2013, 05:51:31 PM »
I originally bought a high quality B&W or Heliopan filter for each of my lenses.  Over time, I started removing them when I found that very fine detail was better without them, and flare was much less.
 
Its not anything major, but I now have all my clear filters put away and only take them out when the lens needs protection from blowing dust or sand, or some other nasty element.
 
I've never had a scratched or damaged lens element, I'm pretty careful.
 
BTW, there is one exception.  I kept a filter on my 17-55mm EF-s believing that it would help keep dust out.  I don't know if it worked, but I never had a dust issue with the lens over three years of heavy use.

cocopop05

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2013, 08:02:01 PM »
Here is my two cents worth - It depends. 

I have a 5D Mark III with 24-105mm f4 L lens, the manual states in order to complete the weather sealing a filter is required.

So I use a clear filter if there is a chance my camera and lens are going to get wet (eg: when using the camera at the beach or if it starts to rain or if it is snowing).   In these circumstances weather sealing is more important to me than a very very slight degradation in image quality.

All other times I have the filter off. 

I always use my lens hood.
 

fegari

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2013, 08:05:26 PM »
My advice to you is to better spend that money in the highest quality possible polarizers for each of your lenses.

-You get the extra protection AND the advantages of a polarizer
-You avoid vigneting in case you had an UV and wanted to add a polarizer on top
-Or avoid the hassle to remove the UV when adding the polarizer
-A helluva lot more useful than a UV
-Looks cooler  8)
-Remember to always use the lens hoods as well

Coupled to a 5dIII or the like, you won´t even need to remove them in low light situations if you do not want to.

I used to have a few UV´s (BW high quality) and those I could not sell are gathering dust. The polarizers get to go outside each and every single time. To me UVs are kinda useless. I have a B+W pol for each of my lenses, I´ll advice strongly on the XS-Pro series that have front threads, are as thin as the slims but contrary to those  so you can put the lens cap of a filter holder.


neuroanatomist

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2013, 08:11:08 PM »
...polarizers for each of your lenses.

Coupled to a 5dIII or the like, you won´t even need to remove them in low light situations if you do not want to.

Sure...because who needs that extra ~1.75 stops of light when there's not enough to begin with...   ::)
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fegari

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2013, 08:32:30 PM »
...polarizers for each of your lenses.

Coupled to a 5dIII or the like, you won´t even need to remove them in low light situations if you do not want to.

Sure...because who needs that extra ~1.75 stops of light when there's not enough to begin with...   ::)

Those with very good low light capability cameras, >1.75 stops better than the previous generation  ;=)

serendipidy

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2013, 03:50:24 AM »
why just one? get extra protection like this guy :o
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torger

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2013, 04:37:35 AM »
...polarizers for each of your lenses.

Coupled to a 5dIII or the like, you won´t even need to remove them in low light situations if you do not want to.

Sure...because who needs that extra ~1.75 stops of light when there's not enough to begin with...   ::)

Those with very good low light capability cameras, >1.75 stops better than the previous generation  ;=)

You could use Kenko Zeto Ex polarizer wihch loses a bit less light than the typical polarizer. But is easier to break too. I would not recommend to use polarizers. I have a clear filter on my 70-200, but all other lenses are naked. On my medium format system I go bare. The reason I have it on my 70-200 is that I tend to use that in "rough" conditions, rainy, splashing etc and I rather frequently wipe the clear filter than the front element. I prefer clear filter rather than UV as I don't want any change to the image whatsoever, it's only there as a splash-cover for the front element. I don't have it for general impact protection, my impact protection is called insurance :-).

I once used polarizers quite often for my landscape photography, but nowadays I use them very rarely. My photographic style generally don't gain from them.

sulla

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2013, 05:02:34 AM »
You definitely need a clear filter:
I once had to clean my clear filter of my 24-105L in order to remove specks on it. They couldn't be removed by wiping, dusting and not using propanol. So, I figured it must be dust under the filter. Removed the filter. Still no luck with de-dusting, the specks were on the front side. So I tried to clean in an ultrasound bath using alcohol.
No luck, the specks were a damage of the coating or the glass of the filter by something agressive, perhaps salty water?? Never used the lens close to the sea, however. I lightheartedly threw the filter away the same day! No damage done to the lens! :-)

Bottom line: I always tried to be careful with my lens, but still I somehow destroyed the front filter... Had I destroyed the front element of my lens, I would have, I don't know what, but surely not simply replaced a comparatively cheap filter.

So, yes, one needs a front filter. Absolutely.
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Marsu42

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2013, 05:09:04 AM »
My advice to you is to better spend that money in the highest quality possible polarizers for each of your lenses. You get the extra protection AND the advantages of a polarizer

Are you serious? Really? If so - a (c)pl has no advantages per se but is an effect filter for haze/reflection removal and sky postcard colors, though the latter doesn't work on (u)wa lenses. It's a "should have" filter, but hardly an "always on" - why would I want to stick something that modifies the colors vs. wysiwyg in front of L glass?

Personally, I've got clear b+w xs pro nano mrc filters in front of my lenses for the reasons given above, esp. easy cleaning since I'm shooting outside a lot.

Heavyweight67

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2013, 06:07:38 AM »
Definitely a can of worms topic, maybe like the super thin condom vs the standard....Anyway, I use Hoya HD on all of my lenses; except for my Sigma 85 1.4, this is the only lens I keep for portraits indoors, all the others find there way outdoors, where I live, it's humid and dusty and polluted all year, wiping a filter numerous times a day is (to me) safer then wiping a front element..

neuroanatomist

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Re: Should I get a clear filter for my lens?
« Reply #40 on: August 16, 2013, 07:10:55 AM »
I prefer clear filter rather than UV as I don't want any change to the image whatsoever

Do you shoot film?  A dSLR sensor is insensitive to UV, so there's no difference between clear and UV filters.
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