September 20, 2014, 12:37:25 PM

Author Topic: Lens filters or not?  (Read 4632 times)

scottburgess

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2014, 11:01:30 PM »
I don't use UV filters much--but I certainly do around any kind of water spray, especially salt water.

This thread has renewed my wondering about servicing costs for recoating or replacing the front element on a lens...  Anyone have need of CPS for such a service?  If so, what was the turnaround and cost?

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2014, 11:01:30 PM »

flowers

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2014, 11:04:02 PM »
I don't use UV filters much--but I certainly do around any kind of water spray, especially salt water.

This thread has renewed my wondering about servicing costs for recoating or replacing the front element on a lens...  Anyone have need of CPS for such a service?  If so, what was the turnaround and cost?

Good question, I don't expect to damage the front element of my lenses, but just in case: how much would this cost for Sigma lenses under warranty and without warranty? Does anyone know?

gshocked

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2014, 11:15:31 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.

+1

I'm not 100% on their testing methods...

adhocphotographer

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2014, 12:59:43 AM »
I use them on almost all of my lenses and i am glad i do (do not have enough for all my lenses at the same time).

I was once shooting and a stone got kicked up by a passing car and hit my lens head on, cracking my filter but leaving my lens untouched. I don't know what would have happened if i had not had the filter on, but since then, i have one on! If i want to mount a CPL filter on, i just switch them (or stack them if not too wide). Also, some L lenses need them to complete their weather sealing.

I have some HOYA HDs and B+W MRCs. I have tested with and without and see no difference in the image quality from my eyes, which is what i use and is therefore fine for me! :)

All my L lenses are 77mm thread. When i need an 82, i will buy a filter accordingly. People who say they see a difference in sharpness (flair is a different matter and can be resolved by removing the filter temporally if so desired) are either using poor quality filters (stupid) or pixel peep to an unhealthy extent (just my opinion).

At the least, i have 1 filter with me at all times that i can put on my lens if conditions warrant it.
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Ivan Muller

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2014, 11:24:31 AM »
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?

go to 'lenstip' they have actually tested a whole bunch of filters. My personal preference based on their reviews are the Marumi filters made in Japan. But for what its worth, I sometimes shoot with the filters on sometimes off and have never been able to see a difference, therefore I keep em on.... mostly!

Mr_Canuck

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2014, 02:02:08 PM »
I don't use UV filters much--but I certainly do around any kind of water spray, especially salt water.

This thread has renewed my wondering about servicing costs for recoating or replacing the front element on a lens...  Anyone have need of CPS for such a service?  If so, what was the turnaround and cost?

I had to replace the front element on a Pentax DA35 limited... for $270, on a $550 lens. Bit of an ouch.

The only lens I don't keep a filter on is my 50 macro. The lens element is deeply recessed into the lens. As an aside, I had a Pentax 50/1.4 that created some crazy flare... and I LOVED it. Some of my best, fluke shots came from the interesting cast of the flare. Very artistic. Something to think about. Flare isn't always a bad thing. It could be considered a 'photography' way of looking at the world. I digress...

Get good UV filters (like Hoya or B+W). If you feel better about the super high end, go for it. I've had some single coated and multi coated, and couldn't care too much if there's a difference. Much of it simply has to do with how easy they are to clean. So the Hoya HD might be a good bet for easy to clean, or doesn't get as dirty in the first place.

What I hate... lens caps. So having UV filters allows me to ditch the lens caps in the field and cut my fiddling between lenses by 50%.

Get some UV filters. If you have a super amazing shot where you think it's causing flare, take it off. That's pretty easy to do. Otherwise... wear a seatbelt.
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Sella174

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2014, 03:12:05 PM »
What I hate... lens caps. So having UV filters allows me to ditch the lens caps in the field and cut my fiddling between lenses by 50%.

Yip.
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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2014, 03:12:05 PM »

JPlendPhoto

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2014, 03:45:04 AM »
Thanks for your replies. I think I will stick with getting a filter for what ever my new lens will be.
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justaCanonuser

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2014, 06:33:12 AM »
Lens filters

Sometime soon I am going to be buying the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8, with that I was going to by a UV Filter for it, just like I have on my 2 L lenses. Do UV filters have an impact on the sharpness of pictures; if so is it better to avoid filters?

Thanks

This discussion frequently pops up. I asked that myself when I went digital, because digital sensors do not need anymore UV filters, they have their own filter glass (including strong infrared filtering on the other end of the spectrum relevant for photography). I've checked many reviews on the web over the years, and none could prove that high quality filter glass really degrades IQ. In fact, Canon's and Nikon's superteles do have such a protection filter glass built-in as a fixed front element, and the industry wouldn't do that with its top products if such glass would produce real losses.

So I personally decided to use filters as protectors in particular on those lenses I carry on wildlife trips with me. It is always relaxing to know that a sand, seawater salt and bird's s(beep  :P) smudge crust is only on the filter, not the lenses front element.
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privatebydesign

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2014, 08:06:31 AM »
In fact, Canon's and Nikon's superteles do have such a protection filter glass built-in as a fixed front element, and the industry wouldn't do that with its top products if such glass would produce real losses.

Not actually true anymore, the Canon MkII supersedes do not have the protective meniscus lens that the previous ones have had. Mostly, apparently, to save weight, but the newest nano coatings are very durable.
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tron

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2014, 09:23:55 AM »
First and foremost a filter is the best protection for the lens not only from scratches but from dirt as well.

As a secondary bonus it is easier to sell a lens that has a filter from day 1.

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2014, 10:58:42 AM »
I only use circular polariser, ND and grads with my lenses. All of these from B+W and Lee. I used to own UV filters in past but only for protection of front element when there was no lens cap on the lens while trekking.

flowers

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2014, 11:34:27 AM »
I only use circular polariser, ND and grads with my lenses. All of these from B+W and Lee. I used to own UV filters in past but only for protection of front element when there was no lens cap on the lens while trekking.
I actually found out that CPL and ND400 and UV multicoated pro filters work well for me. Mostly bc from the brand I use I can get them bundled together like that so I use the multicoated UV as lens protection and the CPL and ND400 when I need those filters. ND400 is the most useful ND filter for me, but I've also considered getting the VND (ND2-ND1000) of the same brand. I have been happy with the ND400 so far, but if I feel I need the flexibility I'll get the VND.

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2014, 11:34:27 AM »

Dylan777

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2014, 12:29:31 PM »
A good filter is as much an investment as the lens itself ... I always sell a lens without the filter and keep it for continued use on another lens.

Ditto.  Even when I didn't think I'd need it, as was the case for the 58mm filter I had on the 85/1.8…then I bought an MP-E 65mm.  OTOH, I do have a couple of 77mm UV filters currently unused, since Canon seems to be releasing new versions of lenses with 82mm filter threads instead of the smaller ones of their predecessors.

+1...I like BW XS-Pro Clear MRC-Nano 007 Filter. It's pricey, but I think it well worth it. People usually offer buying  high-end filter @ fraction of original cost. They usually say, "I can get $20 filter for same quality"  ??? ???

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Surfwooder

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2014, 12:03:19 AM »
I was on Cocoa Beach two years ago with a shooting buddy, (shoots Nikon)  We were taking some shots of seagulls taking to flight.  I was using my 7D paired to my 70-200 lens.  The friend was using his new $2100 Nikcor lens.  We were set to shoot the flock, as the took to air, they lightened their load and crapped on us.  My Canon lens got hit, but the friends lens was covered on the outer element.  I removed my filter and cleaned it and went back to shooting.  The friend had a real problem, seems the high acid in the gull crap ate away the outer coating on the lens.  But, only in spots.  After got it back to the motel, and took some photos it was plain to see the effect of the coating on the outer element.  Buy either a UV filter, or clear glass in filter ring, and cover your outer element.  You can remove it when shooting with a CP filter to prevent possible vignetting.  I did get tree sap on my EF 100mm f2.8L IS USM Macro it was on the outer element, but came off quickly, and cleanly.  I was shooting a bug in a orange tree in the backyard.  Thank goodness for Zeiss wipes.

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Re: Lens filters or not?
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2014, 12:03:19 AM »