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Author Topic: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!  (Read 6268 times)

Richard8971

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Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« on: July 18, 2012, 11:26:00 PM »
I have always used UV filters on all of my lenses. For me, it is cheap insurance against accidental damage to the lens glass. However, this past weekend shooting with a friend is making me reconsider this...

I met a gentleman who was told to me had been shooting for decades. He had some pretty impressive equipment (Canon) with him to boot! He looked at my gear and asked if I always shot with UV filters and I said yes. He then said, "Why? Why would you spend $$$ on a top quality lens and then shoot through a UV filter that can distort the image?" Needless to say, I had nothing to say. He then said that keeping the damage off of your outer lens glass was the hood's job and to not worry about it.

I looked at my friend and he said he agreeded with him and that he never used filters. He told me that you truly can get a better quality image without using UV filters...

Guys? Opinions?

D
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Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« on: July 18, 2012, 11:26:00 PM »

bdunbar79

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2012, 11:44:07 PM »
Well, it is another piece of glass between the sensor and the photographed scene.  However, if you get a good one it will not distort the image.  B+W UV filters I guarantee you will not affect your image whatsoever.  A thin piece of glass is transparent, so why would it noticeably affect your image if it were truly clear and even, like B+W filters are.  So my answer is "No" if you have a high quality filter.

That aside, why would UV light hurt your lens?  The glass is already protected, at least in L series lenses.  The coating actually will prevent UV light from entering your lens.  The lens hood does block some light out, so yeah, the hood helps.  I think it isn't an issue.  The only reason I use filters is to protect my lens from other things that can break it. 

In the summer I shoot with high quality UV filters on and I don't notice a negative impact at all.  There's more glass in an IS stabilized lens afterall with no degradation of IQ.
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Richard8971

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2012, 11:48:35 PM »
The only reason I use filters is to protect my lens from other things that can break it. 

In the summer I shoot with high quality UV filters on and I don't notice a negative impact at all.  There's more glass in an IS stabilized lens afterall with no degradation of IQ.

I get great results from all of my lenses that I have UV filters on. Like I said, it isn't because I want protection from UV so to speak, but mainly to protect the glass.

I was just curious what you guys thought.

D
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Wife shoots Nikon, D7000, D7100, (lenses and flashes)... we constantly tease each other that our cameras are better than each others!

bdunbar79

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2012, 11:55:53 PM »
My opinion is go ahead and leave them on.  If you wanted you could take it off before you shot, then put it back on.  I've never had a problem with it. 
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RLPhoto

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2012, 12:14:23 AM »
B&w filters don't degrade IQ. It protects the front element from dirt, dust, moisture, or anything that gets past the hood. A stray rock once destroyed a UV filter for me but saved the front element. No hood would have helped as it was a direct hit.

It's obsurd to spend $$$$ and not protect it with a good filter. As soon as the lens is out of the box, a filter will screw on for the life of the lens. When re-sale time comes around, perfect front element. Done.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 12:16:56 AM by RLPhoto »

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2012, 01:17:14 AM »
I shot with B+W filters at first as a protective measure, but would end up with aberrations, flares, and mirroring which ruins pictures.  I have never had a damaged lens front, and to me the expensive coatings on the lenses are one of the most important features that you compromise with a filter.  Plus they trap dust in between the lens and the filter, and are annoying, that on top of the problems I mentioned earlier have made them sacrilegious for me (especially on L glass).

just my 2 cents.

@!ex

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2012, 01:18:37 AM »
Also, I see so many photographers that are so worried about protecting all their gear, and so protective of everything that I wonder how much they actually care about what is important, the images themselves....

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2012, 01:18:37 AM »

Random Orbits

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2012, 08:30:05 AM »
Everything that you put in the path between the subject and the sensor will "degrade" the image, but good filters affect the images less so that ther effects aren't visible to our eyes' sensitivity.  The same can also be true of lenses that have a lot of elements (i.e. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II but no one complains that of the poor IQ even though it has so many air/glass interfaces).  There are videos on YouTube where people stack dozens of filters and obviously the images degrade.  You might need more B+Ws to get the same degradation than some other brands, but if you have enough of them, it won't matter -- the image will also degrade.  Filters can affect flare, so if flare is an issue, I just take it off and see if it improves, take the pics and put it back on.   

A few lenses need filters to complete the weather sealing (i.e. 50L), but I find the filters a lot easier to clean.  In dirty environments I'm much more willing to wipe off dirt, fluids, etc with whatever is on hand off of filters where I don't have to worry about scratching lens elements.  The front elements have a lot of coatings and I'd rather not worry that my quick and dirty methods of cleaning the lenses in the field would degrade/scratch the coating layers.  Small scratches of the coating layers won't affect IQ either, but it would affect resale value.  I get a lot of my equipment used, and I'd rather buy a lens that looks perfect than one that shows wear and tear.  I'd rather buy stuff that has been babied rather not used extensively in harsh environments... wouldn't you?

sandymandy

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2012, 08:43:47 AM »
i will never ever put a filter on one of my lenses. except ND for long term exposure. but uv filter or such? BAH!

Hillsilly

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2012, 09:02:06 AM »
I've no idea if a UV lens significantly distorts or degrades the image, but for what its worth, I rarely use one.  The only time I put one is when I'm shooting in dusty or dirty conditions (eg rally car races).  They are easier to clean and give me a little peace of mind when there are rocks flying around.

The only time I've ever dropped a lens (a 17-40), it had a UV filter on.  It fell on its side.  But the UV filter smashed into tiny pieces.  The lens itself was fine.  Cleaning all of the tiny shards of glass from the front element and filter thread was a time consuming process, as I didn't want to scratch it.  I thought I was quite lucky as the broken glass could have easily damaged the lens.
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michi

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2012, 09:09:52 AM »
This question has probably been around since the day someone produced the first UV filter.  I used to always have filters on my lenses, now I do not.  Just recently I bought a 50 1.4 and a B+W filter which everyone recommended.  There was quite a noticeable degradation in image quality with it on, so I'm back to no filters again.  Yes, they do protect quite well and it surely helps resale value if you have a perfect front element, but if they degrade the image quality even just slightly, I don't see the point.  Do your own testing.  If you don't see any difference, keep them on.  If you do, well, that's for you to decide, image quality versus protecting the lens.

Dylan777

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2012, 09:23:41 AM »
Also, I see so many photographers that are so worried about protecting all their gear, and so protective of everything that I wonder how much they actually care about what is important, the images themselves....

Hi @!ex,
I'm one of those photographers like to keep my equipment nice and clearn - just like car.

I agree with most posters on B&W filter. I like B&W Clear filter

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/475496-REG/B_W_66_1005754_82mm_007_Protection_Clear.html

With or without filter on the lens, I got same IQ or at least same result under my ameture POV  :)


 
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 09:28:35 AM by Dylan777 »
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The Bad Duck

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2012, 09:59:12 AM »
Easy question - in controlled environments I keep filters off. Otherwise they are on.

In the field shooting ariculture I keep filters on my lenses. On parties/events aswell (you never know when beer gets on your camera). And on hiking trips (a filter is needed to complete the weathersealing of my 70-200 for instance). And in crowded areas where lenses might bump into stuff or people. Or in the rain.
I´m also afraid to scratch the front lens with the lens cap when attatching it inside the lens hood.

No filter in the studio or when shooing backlit with lightsource visible in the picture (unless its very dusty/rainy/snowy).

I would love to skip filters since they cost money, and I now have 8 lenses. The cost of my filters could pay for another flash or a cheaper lens. But in the end of the day, I want to protect my gear and be able to shoot first and think later. Putting the camera and lens in more interesting places is more important to me than getting that last 1% of IQ. Filters give me a little advantage because I don not have to worry so much.

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2012, 09:59:12 AM »

JAustin

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2012, 10:20:05 AM »
Like probably most new shooters, I religiously attached a UV filter to every lens I bought in the beginning. (I also wasted many hours overcleaning my lenses' front *and rear* elements.)

Eventually, I began to relax & settle down, and after a little research, decided that -- for me-- neither never nor always are the best times to use UV filters.

I own one, high-quality UV filter for every front thread size in my lens inventory, not every lens. For example, I have three L zooms with 77mm front elements, but I own only one 77mm filter.

If I'm shooting portraits in the studio, what's the point of a UV filter?

If I'm going to be shooting on the beach in salt air and all that sand about, the filter goes on before I go outside.

But by all means, it's your money and your equipment. Do what works for you, makes sense for you, and gives you peace of mind.

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2012, 10:20:43 AM »
I use UV filters, mostly for protection but sometimes forget to take them off when taking night shots with lights shining into the lens. Big problem with the UV filters is ghosting. Make sure that you watch out for that.

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Re: Question...To UV or not to UV...that IS the question!
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2012, 10:20:43 AM »