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Author Topic: Another strike against UV filters  (Read 20612 times)

mifho

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Another strike against UV filters
« on: December 10, 2013, 11:07:12 AM »
I just received my new 70-200 f2.8 IS II a few weeks ago and put on a Hoya filter I had been using on my 24-105.  Well, the other day, the 70-200 fell off the table onto the hardwood floor.  I heard glass break and was fearing my $1900 investment was just ruined.  Luckily, it was just the filter.  I thought I had escaped damage but after gently cleaning out the glass, I noticed there are now some scratches on the front element.  If I had not had a UV filter on there, the lens would have been undamaged.  I think I'm going to reserve filters for situations where I'm shooting in dirty, dusty, sandy, snowy or rainy conditions but leave them off until then. 
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Another strike against UV filters
« on: December 10, 2013, 11:07:12 AM »

mackguyver

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 11:08:45 AM »
Wouldn't the front element have shattered instead? 
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bholliman

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2013, 12:50:28 PM »
Wouldn't the front element have shattered instead?

That is the key question.  Front elements are much thicker and tougher than the thin glass of a UV filter, so it depends.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 01:35:33 PM »
Wouldn't the front element have shattered instead?
We can't know, of course, but the front element is many times stronger than a filter.  If the blow was strong enough to destroy the front element, its extremely likely that there would be a lot of internal damage as well.  Most of the time, front elements are cheap to replace, but some are expensive.  I'm not sure what the cost of a new 70-200mm element is.

Marsu42

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 03:22:42 PM »
Most of the time, front elements are cheap to replace

What you probably mean is the item is cheap? The problem at least in Germany is that the labor fee is very high making damage to cheaper lenses outside warranty a complete lost case esp. since a new item would have warranty again.

For this reason I'm using filters, not because they're cheap (I recently managed to put a dent into my B+W) but I can exchange it myself, and that's the money saver.

mifho

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 03:56:52 PM »
Wouldn't the front element have shattered instead?

That is the key question.  Front elements are much thicker and tougher than the thin glass of a UV filter, so it depends.

Yes, that was my point.  In my case, the front element would not have been damaged if not for the filter.  The lens dropped about 3 feet onto a relatively soft hardwood floor (harder than a thin carpet but not asphalt) with both lens caps on.  Thus, the filter broke due to the force of the fall, not that any item on the floor punctured the filter.  In my case, if any protection was gained from the filter it was from the metal ring and not the glass.  However, i feel the plastic lens cap provided more cushion to the blow than the aluminum ring.  I know aluminum bike frames transmit a lot of the force from the road to the rider, so the aluminum of the ring transmitted the force directly to the filter glass and shattered it - scratching the front element.

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neuroanatomist

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 04:02:32 PM »
...the filter broke due to the force of the fall,

That kind of force can also damage internal components that you can't see.  You may want to send the lens in to be checked, or at least test it very thoroughly yourself.
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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 04:02:32 PM »

Ripley

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 04:09:09 PM »
My advice would be to not rely on anything to safeguard a lens from a three foot fall. It's not the filters fault you incurred damage.
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mackguyver

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 04:16:00 PM »
I haven't destroyed a filter yet, but I've taken out a couple of lens hoods.  I use filters to prevent scratches and after looking at some of my filters I've had on my lenses for 3+ years, I'm sure glad I use them.  Some of them are so bad they need to be replaced!
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BozillaNZ

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 11:25:35 PM »
Not too many days since you got the new lens and you've dropped it? Oops... That's slumpy. Whether there is a UV filter on it or not doesn't matter. A drop is a drop and there might be some internal damage.
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AcutancePhotography

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2013, 12:00:45 PM »
This is why anecdotal evidence should not be used to make decisions.

Is it possible for an accident to occur where the inclusion of a filter caused damage where if a filter were not used, there would be no damage?  Sure, I guess.

But the odds are against it.  It is more likely that a lens would be protected by the use of a filter than harmed.

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Pitspics

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2013, 07:42:34 AM »
These are the moments when i love watching this video :-)
Starts getting interessting at 0:40  8)

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privatebydesign

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2013, 08:47:10 AM »
In many of these threads I have pointed out the two points illustrated by the OP, that when filters break they can damage the front element because the glass is so sharp, and Pitspics, that front elements are considerably more durable than most people believe them to be (rubbing broken glass on them excepted).

I do not use filters for protection other than on my 16-35 occasionally for environmental sealing purposes, in 33 years of pro and semi pro shooting I have never damaged a front element. I do always use lens hoods.
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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2013, 08:47:10 AM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2013, 09:53:51 AM »
I've broken filters before and they've always kept me shooting. Usually though it's from a object flying into my lens hood like a rock.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 09:56:14 AM by RLPhoto »

Don Haines

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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2013, 10:12:26 AM »
These are the moments when i love watching this video :-)
Starts getting interessting at 0:40  8)

Canon Glass

I think he needs a bigger hammer....

For a small peice of glass, that seems reasonable... but a large peice will be more vulnerable... but on the other hand, so is a large filter.

The only conclusion we can reach here, is not to loan that person a lens :)
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Re: Another strike against UV filters
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2013, 10:12:26 AM »