October 02, 2014, 12:40:48 PM

Author Topic: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...  (Read 5871 times)

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2013, 08:11:05 PM »
Yes, Sir-----I think my Filter might save ( ??) my Lens, When I drop the Camera with Lens hit the hard ground first.
Have a great day.
Surapon
That Heliopan Filter likely cost more than a new front element for the lens.  I'd bet dollars to donuts that the lens had internal damage. 

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2013, 08:11:05 PM »

privatebydesign

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2013, 09:56:54 PM »
I have been against filter use for many years, though I did use UV filters with film cameras when UV was an issue, the strength of peoples feelings on the matter often surprises me. I do occasionally use UV filters as protection (to complete weather sealing) on my 16-35. I use hoods over 90% of the time.

There are, of course, pros and cons that most of us know about but here is my take. Good quality filters are not cheap, new front elements that are much more durable than most people think, are surprisingly affordable. I would say both Rienzphotoz and Surapon were very lucky their broken filter glass did not damage the front element, nobody would claim a UV filter offers any kind of impact protection and a broken filter has the potential to further damage the element it is supposed to be protecting.

I was recently hanging out with a long time Nikon shooter and he was impressed with the clarity of my files, I pointed out that he used UV filters and not hoods and even though they were multicoated filters they still reduced contrast. So I showed him, this gif is two unprocessed RAW images converted to jpegs with the same settings in LR out of his D3 and 24-120 f4 (the Nikon equivalent to the Canon 24-105 f4), one with his filter, one without. The light is behind us and whilst his filter could have used a clean it was a decent (I forget what make) multicoated filter.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 12:01:53 AM by privatebydesign »
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privatebydesign

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2013, 10:06:28 PM »
I had seen that comparison. My crops above prove that even one cheap filter can affect the image quality. BUT....

Try this test. I will upload these two pics. One was taken with a cheap filter and one without. See if you can pick which is which without cheating. (IE don't save it to your PC and zoom in) Just look at them here on the website. I will reveal which is which after a few people take a guess.

I am just trying to show that in a 100% zoom, you CAN tell them apart. But can you viewing it normally? I bet most can't. Unfortunately I had to size them down a little bit to post here but the quality is still there. The full size look identical to what you see here.

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Good luck!

D

First, a1.jpg, has UV filter, second, b1.jpg, does not. IMHO  :)
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dtaylor

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2013, 12:55:36 AM »
Hoya S-HMC and HD filters do not degrade IQ or cause flare. Most other filters do. (B+W has a reputation for not degrading IQ, but I've never used or tested them to know for sure.) How much degradation depends on the filter.

Filters complete weather sealing on some lenses and offer some scratch/impact protection. Any impact strong enough to shatter the filter and shove the glass into the front element, thereby damaging the front element, would have shattered the front element any way without the filter. Unless we're talking about one of the handful of lenses with really deep, recessed front elements (i.e. some macros come to mind).

Some hoods are deep and offer good impact resistance. Others are useless for this.

I leave filters on everything except my EF-M 22mm (cost/benefit is low plus the front element is tiny). I generally use hoods except on my M lenses (they don't seem to offer much protection or shading).

I would be in the camp that says only use filters when necessary if all filters degraded IQ. But I can't make my Hoya S-HMC and HD filters degrade IQ. Every time I've thought one of those filters was contributing to an IQ issue such as flare and removed it, I've realized that I only wasted my time taking it off. It has never made a bit of difference in IQ.

Rienzphotoz

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2013, 09:31:51 AM »
It looks like an 82mm B+W XS-PRO filter runs just shy of $120.  With the original filter in pieces, a replacement would be needed, so I'm wondering...

How would the cost of replacing a front element compare to buying two of these 82mm filters?  (Anyone know what a front element would cost?)  Is it a wash?

Considering it a bit further...if the lens needs service for bent filter threads and/or misaligned groups (to put it back in perfect working order), what would that cost, and how would (case A) the cost of two filters plus service compare to (case B) service that included the replacement of the front element?

To date, I am happy to say I have no experience with such things.  (Dropped filters, hoods, and caps are another story altogether....)
Where I live any repair to a lens takes minimum 14 days (and up to 2 months), also the service center chaps are not very competent ... but if I do give it to the service center (and pray that they fix the front element in 2 weeks) the minimum labor charge is US$ 124  ... from what I'm told by the service center guy here, the cost of replacing the front element would be at least $850 (excluding labor charges and any other charges) ... also I don't always trust service centers - what guarantee do I have that they don't use one of my lens parts to fix someone else's and then tell me that my lens is not repairable?

I'd rather spend another $120 + US$ 53 shipping charges to replace the B+W filter.
 
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Richard8971

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2013, 09:57:21 PM »
Top one doesn't have the filter. At least, that's my deduction. I use filters when walking around just shooting random images/ scouting locations. When doing actual work, I prefer to not, if conditions allow

This, in a way, proves my point. The bottom photo is the one without a filter. This thread wasn't about using them/not using them, cheap filters vs expensive ones... This was to prove a point.

My first set of pics proves that, 1) YES, you can tell (under very close examination) the loss of image quality using a cheap filter on an high quality lens. (or any lens for that matter)

and 2) When you are viewing the photograph under normal circumstances, you CANNOT really (it was about 50/50) tell if a filter (expensive or cheap) was used or not.

If you don't like using them, then don't. If you like using them and the ones you use are from Best Buy, then more power to you. I doubt anyone, anywhere will be able to tell the difference. :)

D
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 11:02:08 PM by Richard8971 »
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scottkinfw

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2013, 10:34:48 PM »
It runs abour $360 usd plus shipping, and waiting.

sek
It looks like an 82mm B+W XS-PRO filter runs just shy of $120.  With the original filter in pieces, a replacement would be needed, so I'm wondering...

How would the cost of replacing a front element compare to buying two of these 82mm filters?  (Anyone know what a front element would cost?)  Is it a wash?

Considering it a bit further...if the lens needs service for bent filter threads and/or misaligned groups (to put it back in perfect working order), what would that cost, and how would (case A) the cost of two filters plus service compare to (case B) service that included the replacement of the front element?

To date, I am happy to say I have no experience with such things.  (Dropped filters, hoods, and caps are another story altogether....)
sek Cameras: 5D III, 5D II, EOS M  Lenses:  24-70 2.8 II IS, 24-105 f4L, 70-200 f4L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, EF 300 f4L IS, EF 400 5.6L, 300 2.8 IS II, Samyang 14 mm 2.8 Flashes: 580 EX II600EX-RT X 2, ST-E3-RT
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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2013, 10:34:48 PM »

privatebydesign

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2013, 11:05:06 PM »
Top one doesn't have the filter. At least, that's my deduction. I use filters when walking around just shooting random images/ scouting locations. When doing actual work, I prefer to not, if conditions allow

This, in a way, proves my point. The bottom photo is the one without a filter. This thread wasn't about using them/not using them, cheap filters vs expensive ones... This was to prove a point.

My first set of pics proves that, 1) YES, you can tell (under very close examination) the loss of image quality using a cheap filter on an high quality lens. (or any lens for that matter)

and 2) When you are viewing the photograph under normal circumstances, you CANNOT really (it was about 50/50) tell if a filter (expensive or cheap) was used or not.

If you don't like using them, then don't. If you like using them and the ones you use are from Best Buy, then more power to you. I doubt anyone, anywhere will be able to tell the difference. :)

D



Er, but under normal viewing I did tell............


First, a1.jpg, has UV filter, second, b1.jpg, does not. IMHO  :)
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2013, 11:16:05 PM »
This, in a way, proves my point. The bottom photo is the one without a filter.
Er, but under normal viewing I did tell............

Well, given an n of 2 with opposite results, it only makes sense to let the one that supports your hypothesis determine your conclusion, right?

If you like using them and the ones you use are from Best Buy, then more power to you. I doubt anyone, anywhere will be able to tell the difference.

I guess you didn't try my suggested test.  I shoot indoors a lot, there are usually strong light sources (ceiling light fixtures, floor lamps, etc.) in the frame.  In that situation, a cheap filter is a bad idea (I did try a cheap Tiffen once, since it came on a used lens I bought - if you'll pardon the New Englandism, wicked bad flare; no issues with my B+W MRC filters).
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RunAndGun

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2013, 11:48:29 PM »
As some others have said, one of the biggest differences in "expensive" and "cheap" filters is the AR coatings.  The more expensive filters with the better coatings reduce flair much better than their counterparts with lesser or no coatings. 

On my broadcast lenses(that I make my money with) I have filters on all of them.  The Schneider super-duper-double-quadruple-secret-sauce coated clear filter that I have on my W/A is $330(127mm filters are not cheap anyway).  I had just replaced the filter on my W/A that was a few years old with the Schneider the morning I was doing a corporate shoot for a tool manufacturer.  We were shooting in a junkyard demonstrating the effectiveness of some of the equipment and one of the scenes involved some metal cutting.  I thought I was a "safe distance" away.  The next scene I noticed that there were some spots on the lens when the sunlight hit it.  I cleaned the lens(actually the front filter), but to no avail.  The filter had been pitted by flying sparks.  I was a little mad because I had literally just put the brand new $300+ filter on only about an hour before.  BUT pitting a $330 filter that I could replace in a minute or two was MUCH better than pitting the front element of a $25,000 lens.  That would have been a triple whammy: trying to work around the damage for the rest of the shoot, the cost to have the element replaced and pulling the lens(my bread & butter lens, if you will) out of service for the repair. 

We stopped down for a few minutes, I removed the "new" filter and put the old one back on, then emailed my sales rep and ordered ANOTHER $330 filter.  That cut into the profit a little that day, but it could have been a lot worse.

The funny thing is, I don't have a single protective filter on any of my still lenses, though.

adhocphotographer

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2013, 01:29:43 AM »
My 2p worth....

I generally have a filter on my lenses, especially my wide angle where i get nice and close to action. I was once shooting near a road and a small stone flicked up from a passing car and hit my lens square on the front...  It made a rather horrid noise, and cracked my filter! Would it have cracked my lens as easily? Probably not, but i was damn relieved i had it on and didn't have to find out!

So now i use them when I am not in ideal conditions (which living in india is pretty much 100% of the time)...  I don't have one on my 70-200 though as i generally use the monster of the lens hood for protection...  :)

If you want to use one, buy a good one.... :) Also remember some lenses (eg 24-105) need the filter to complete the weather sealing... 

I have also had times of animals licking my lenses (a cow in particular surprised me once)...  instead of having to take the time right there and then to clean the lens to continue shooting, i could just take the filter off and carry on (taking an extra step back mind)! :)
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chromophore

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2013, 01:34:17 AM »
I don't use filters for protective purposes.  Impact protection is better with lens hoods.  Also, there's no substitute for being smart, careful, deliberate, and prepared in advance.  A filter is not extra insurance against impact damage.

What I *do* use filters for, however, is for convenience.  If the design of a lens makes it hard to get the front element clean (e.g., recessed front element, delicate coating, or large diameter), I am more likely to keep a filter on it just so that I don't have to waste so much time being careful to keep it dust free.  This lets me go out and shoot in salty or dusty conditions without a lot of downtime.  If I'm shooting at the beach, I definitely use a filter because once the atmospheric salt hits the front element, you can lose a lot of contrast, and I don't want to be slowed down trying to carefully wipe my lens clean.  I can just wipe the salt off the filter.

I keep a filter on my 85/1.2L II all the time, but my 35/1.4L doesn't usually need one.

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2013, 01:53:05 AM »
I have done many side-by-side sharpness tests with my Hoya HD filters and have yet to see any difference... From telephotos to UWA lenses, even at 200% magnification I can not see a difference.

Using cheap filters? Sure you will see some IQ loss. But using high end filters should eliminate that problem. I use them for ease of cleaning only, and while I have gone through periods of taking them all off and all that, I never saw any difference.

My testing when I did side-by-side images included a tripod, remote shutter, mirror-lockup, etc... Target was usually something with high levels of detail such as minty dollar bills, distant subjects and a variety of conditions such as back-lit trees.



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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2013, 01:53:05 AM »

Rienzphotoz

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2013, 05:54:50 AM »
Impact protection is better with lens hoods.
True, however lens hood protection is good only if the fall is on a relatively flat surface ... if the lens fall on an object that is smaller than the circumference of the lens hood, a filter will take the hit instead of the lens front element ... this is exactly what happened to my lens (see the pic below). A lens hood and a filter provide much better protection. 
A filter is not extra insurance against impact damage.
I disagree with your statement. 
A filter is indeed an extra insurance against impact damage to the lens front element. If it wasn't for the extra insurance of the filter on my EF 16-35 f/2.8 L II lens, I would have had to spend almost US$2000 to get a new lens or wait for about a month and spend at least US$1000 to get the front element replaced.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 06:01:12 AM by Rienzphotoz »
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Ruined

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2013, 08:44:46 AM »
If you use a camera outside I think a HIGH QUALITY filter is a good idea, I like to go with the B+W XS-PRO 007m CLEAR.

Reasons are plentiful:
-Minimal impact on images, at worst you might a bit more flare, otherwise not noticeable.
-Don't have to be as concerned for bumping/scraping front of camera accidentally
-Easier to clean
-A scratched/scuffed lens is much harder to sell and has much lower resale value than a pristine one.

And the big ones most people miss:
-Even if you are the most careful person in the world, and you use a lens hood, if you use your camera outside the front lens element *will still get damaged*.  Outside there is wind, wind carries dust, sand, dirt, water, and other particles.  Like the windshield of a car, over time the front lens element will get worn down/pitted from its original state due to being out in the elements. If you had used a filter, you can simply replace the filter and bingo back to new.
-Though the actual front lens element may not be the most expensive part, unless you service lenses yourself there will still be costly service feeds in replacing it.

Now it IS true that most of the time damage to the back element is MUCH more visible than damage to the front element.  But, damage can still have an impact both in your photos and for resale value.

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Re: Same ole, same ole' Filters vs no filters...
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2013, 08:44:46 AM »