August 22, 2014, 08:12:00 AM

Author Topic: Lens filters or not?  (Read 4497 times)

mackguyver

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2014, 02:45:39 PM »
Damn, reading this thread made me paranoid! :D

What brand/model would you recommend? I found this purposedly built filters from Hoya, the HD Protector series. Has anyone tried them?
Hoya's better filters, like the Pro1 and HD line, and B+W filters are generally the best bet - just make sure they are the multi-coated (on both sides) filters.  Cheaper filters (like most of Tiffen's line) compromise the image and add too much flare, and more expensive filters (like Heliopan) don't offer much above B+W.  Hoya filters work just as well as B+W, but are harder to clean.  The trick is to use your breath and a dry microfiber cloth to do a final wipe after cleaning them - otherwise a film remains. 

Also, this advice applies to UV/Protector filters only - polarizers and ND filters can vary a lot between companies.  Also, UV or Protector are fine - camera sensors filter UV already, so UV filters don't filter anything extra, like they did in the film days.

Also, a lot of people leave the filters off unless they're going out into rough(er) conditions.  Personally, I take mine off when I shoot in the studio and when I shoot into the sun.
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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2014, 02:45:39 PM »

m

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2014, 03:26:07 PM »
Damn, reading this thread made me paranoid! :D


Your lens can take a few "scratches":
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2008/10/front-element-scratches

neuroanatomist

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2014, 03:58:48 PM »
Damn, reading this thread made me paranoid! :D

What brand/model would you recommend?

B+W MRC (or Nano), in the XS-Pro mount so you don't have to worry about vignetting.
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JustMeOregon

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2014, 04:22:22 PM »
I consider uv/clear filters to be pretty much shoot-through lens caps... I have high quality B+W XS-Pro MRC-Nano filters on all my lenses. While I'm actively using the lens, I'll keep the protective filter on and not fiddle-around with a lens cap at all -- it may not seem like much, but it really makes "getting the shot" a lot quicker... I take primarily landscapes (& shoot in a very messy world) so if the filter gets dirty I'm not paranoid about quickly wiping it off with whatever I have at the moment. Of course if I'm setting up for the "hero-shot of the day" or shooting into a heavily backlit situation (where flare might be an issue) I just pop the filter off and slip it into my pocket.

sagittariansrock

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2014, 04:34:09 PM »
Cheaper filters might cause more damage than just a little IQ degradation:
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/10/bad-times-with-bad-filters
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FTb-n

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2014, 04:57:24 PM »
I strongly recommend the Hoya HD over the Hoya Pro1 or Hoya HMC.  It's very tough, I found no noticeable difference in IQ with or without the filter, and it's very easy to clean.

Based on other reviews and not personal experience, B+W is the only other filter I would consider.
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mwh1964

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2014, 07:08:32 PM »
B&W F pro for sure if you got the $. Otherwise Hoya is more or less half price and honestly I don't see the diffence in IQ except with the CPL. But build quality the BW is way ahead from anything else I tried.
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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2014, 07:08:32 PM »

gshocked

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surapon

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2014, 07:46:19 PM »
Hi,

Have a read of this:

http://www.lenstip.com/113.4-article-UV_filters_test_Description_of_the_results_and_summary.html


Thousand Thanks, Dear gshocked.
Thanks for great like like this---So many time in real life, Cheap might better value than the high cost one.
Have a great weekend.
Surapon

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2014, 07:48:31 PM »
Have a read of this:
http://www.lenstip.com/113.4-article-UV_filters_test_Description_of_the_results_and_summary.html


Just be aware of how their scoring is derived.  One factor (25% of the scoring) is how effective the filter is at blocking UV light, and that is irrelevant for dSLR users.  In fact, in one sense better UV blocking is worse, because some of the deep blue light is also lost.

Hoya, Zeiss, and B+W all publish their transmission curves. No filter has a perfectly vertical cutoff on a transmission curve - most good commercial multicoated filters that 'block' wavelengths ramp from ~0% transmission to their max of >99% over a 25-125 nm range (although some of the longpass and bandpass filters I use in microscopy are close to vertical, with a slope covering <5 nm - and they come with a price tag commensurate with that performance). 

The Zeiss has the steepest slope of the three, ramping up over the 410-435 nm range (it's cutting out some blue light, which is considered to start at 400 nm). The Hoya has the least steep slope, running from 350-460 nm or so, meaning its passing some UV in the 350-399 nm range, and blocking a bit of blue light as well.  The B+W is intermediate, ramping up from 360-430 nm, but at 400nm (the start of the visible range) the B+W UV transmission is >90%, and the sensitivity of the CFA blue channel on the sensor is very low below 420nm anyway.

Of course, while that might be good to know if you're shooting film, none of that matters if you've got a dSLR.  The dSLR's sensor is insensitive to UV light, so there's no difference between a UV filter (be it the 410 nm Zeiss or the 360 nm B+W) and a clear filter that fully passes the long end of the UV spectrum.  I have empirically tested my 7D and 5DII for UV sensitivity with calibrated UV/Vis light sources and some of those precise bandpass filters mentioned above (running a lab that has such equipment comes in handy sometimes) - there's no need for a UV filter.  I do use UV filters for protection (B+W MRC or Nano), instead of clear - but that's only because every time I've needed to buy one, the UV version was cheaper than the clear one (although that's not the case with all brands or in all geographies).

For the Lenstip tests, I recommend looking at the test results, not the summary table.  For example, compare the top scoring Hoya with the 3rd place B+W - the Hoya scored 90% (36/40), the B+W scored 83% (33/40).  But, when you look at the subscores which they provide that sum to a possible 40 pts, you see that B+W loses 1 pt for visible transmission, 1 pt for flare, and 5 pts for UV transmission.  The Hoya loses 2 pts for visible transmission, 2 pts for flare, and gets 10/10 for UV transmission.  But for a dSLR user, UV transmission is irrelevant...meaning that for a dSLR user, the B+W is the better filter according to Lenstip's testing, since it's better on both visible light transmission and flare.
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JustMeOregon

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2014, 08:09:19 PM »
Have a read of this:
http://www.lenstip.com/113.4-article-UV_filters_test_Description_of_the_results_and_summary.html


Just be aware of how their scoring is derived.  One factor (25% of the scoring) is how effective the filter is at blocking UV light, and that is irrelevant for dSLR users.


+1 Throwing out the test results for UV-transmission, it looks to me like all the more highly regarded brands have pretty much the same visible-light transmission. The way that I abuse use a UV filter, as a "shoot-through lens cap," the most important comparative test would be "ease of cleaning." And the B+W Nano filters are the easiest cleaning filters I've ever used...

surapon

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2014, 08:33:09 PM »
Have a read of this:
http://www.lenstip.com/113.4-article-UV_filters_test_Description_of_the_results_and_summary.html


Just be aware of how their scoring is derived.  One factor (25% of the scoring) is how effective the filter is at blocking UV light, and that is irrelevant for dSLR users.  In fact, in one sense better UV blocking is worse, because some of the deep blue light is also lost.

Hoya, Zeiss, and B+W all publish their transmission curves. No filter has a perfectly vertical cutoff on a transmission curve - most good commercial multicoated filters that 'block' wavelengths ramp from ~0% transmission to their max of >99% over a 25-125 nm range (although some of the longpass and bandpass filters I use in microscopy are close to vertical, with a slope covering <5 nm - and they come with a price tag commensurate with that performance). 

The Zeiss has the steepest slope of the three, ramping up over the 410-435 nm range (it's cutting out some blue light, which is considered to start at 400 nm). The Hoya has the least steep slope, running from 350-460 nm or so, meaning its passing some UV in the 350-399 nm range, and blocking a bit of blue light as well.  The B+W is intermediate, ramping up from 360-430 nm, but at 400nm (the start of the visible range) the B+W UV transmission is >90%, and the sensitivity of the CFA blue channel on the sensor is very low below 420nm anyway.

Of course, while that might be good to know if you're shooting film, none of that matters if you've got a dSLR.  The dSLR's sensor is insensitive to UV light, so there's no difference between a UV filter (be it the 410 nm Zeiss or the 360 nm B+W) and a clear filter that fully passes the long end of the UV spectrum.  I have empirically tested my 7D and 5DII for UV sensitivity with calibrated UV/Vis light sources and some of those precise bandpass filters mentioned above (running a lab that has such equipment comes in handy sometimes) - there's no need for a UV filter.  I do use UV filters for protection (B+W MRC or Nano), instead of clear - but that's only because every time I've needed to buy one, the UV version was cheaper than the clear one (although that's not the case with all brands or in all geographies).

For the Lenstip tests, I recommend looking at the test results, not the summary table.  For example, compare the top scoring Hoya with the 3rd place B+W - the Hoya scored 90% (36/40), the B+W scored 83% (33/40).  But, when you look at the subscores which they provide that sum to a possible 40 pts, you see that B+W loses 1 pt for visible transmission, 1 pt for flare, and 5 pts for UV transmission.  The Hoya loses 2 pts for visible transmission, 2 pts for flare, and gets 10/10 for UV transmission.  But for a dSLR user, UV transmission is irrelevant...meaning that for a dSLR user, the B+W is the better filter according to Lenstip's testing, since it's better on both visible light transmission and flare.


Thanks you, Sir , Dear Mr. neuroanatomist, my Teacher.
As the great Scientist like you, You are right to the point of research, Testing and evaluation again.  As Most of CR. Members and Me, We just Average people and trust some final  report of company like this, with out look in to the base research that good points for the user like us---and we always miss some things that we can use.
BUT, We have the great member like you, who guide us to the right Point.
Thanks again, Sir.
Have a great night.
Surapon

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2014, 08:42:02 PM »
I use cheap filters for protection, either UV or sometimes macro filters (I have 72mm ones lying around, have to use them for something.) I always have a hood on the lens I have on the camera, the right side up if there's room in the bag and of course when shooting. I take the protective filter off when shooting. I don't worry with normal lenses, but with wide angles I make sure I use slim filters that have no risk of scratching the front element. I put them on so that the largest clearance is on the inside (usually that's right side up). With ultrawides there's no chance to use a filter but I have a hood on the lens always. I rarely use filters when shooting other than ND, GND and CPL. I have all kind of filters lying around but truthfully I should probably just get rid of them. Who needs FD filters on digital? I'm not even shooting film anymore.

I echo Khun Surapon's words, thank you neuroanatomist for all that information.

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2014, 08:42:02 PM »

mpphoto

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2014, 09:32:51 PM »
I started out with Hoya's HMC UV filters, then I heard B+W's filters were easier to clean and switched to those despite the greater cost.  I do find B+W filters easier to clean.

One thing I have read about the thinner B+W XS-Pro line is the lens cap is harder to put on.  Can anyone shed some light on that?  I have only used B+W's F-Pro line.

Besides being thinner, the XS-Pro has the nano coating that is supposed to be easier to clean. 

The only lens I have experienced vignetting on is my EF-S 10-22mm with a Hoya circular polarizer on it, and only at the wide end.  I'm not sure if the extra cost of the XS-Pro is worthwhile for every photographer.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2014, 10:54:51 PM »
One thing I have read about the thinner B+W XS-Pro line is the lens cap is harder to put on.  Can anyone shed some light on that?  I have only used B+W's F-Pro line.


The XS-Pro thread has a lower profile, so there's a gap - but it's not big, I'd say about 0.75mm. The F-Pro has a gap, too, though its slightly smaller:



There's no difference in terms of putting a lens cap on, and I've never had issues with caps popping off either filter, and I take lenses in and out of various bags a lot.
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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2014, 10:54:51 PM »