Do you use UV Filter on your lens?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by YS2003, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #1
    I heard UV Filter is recommended on lens for SLR cameras to protect it from UV rays. Do you use them on your lens?
    How do you select which filter is good for each lens (ie. not to degrade the image quality)? I have Tamron AF28-75mm F/2.8, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L usm, 50mm f/1.4, 100mm f/2.8.
     
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #2
    Oh god yes, if you have that much invested in lenses -- protect them! Hoya, B&W are great brands.
     
  3. beavo451 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I don't use protectrive filters. I keep a hood on the lens at all times. If something where to get past the hood and damage the front element, it would be my fault. I would use one if I were shooting on a beach, desert, or any other conditions where there are things flying through the air.
     
  4. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #4
    I use B+W and have a UV on much of the time. A simple UV 77mm front thread runs around $120 from B&H, if I recall correctly.
     
  5. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #5
    I would only use extremely high quality UV filters on my lenses, and even then only for sandy or extremely wet conditions for simplicity and safety's sake. A filter will just generally cause problems...they get stuck, degrade image quality sometimes, oftentimes they cause more flare and ghosting. While an extremely high quality filter reduces that versus a cheapo one, it still happens.

    The only lenses I use filters with are my 45mm f/2.8 P 'pancake lens' because it has a matched silver filter, and my 200mm f/2 VR because it is internal to the lens and part of the optical formula. Both are NC (neutral color) filters.
     
  6. RealDeal macrumors member

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    #6
    Yup for lens filters- save your lens

    Use UV (75% Haze) as basic protector ($20); with circular polariser ($40)for deeper colours- swap them as needed. Can get good ones much cheaper ($20 for both) on eBay.

    Old digital camera have auto-covers & no threads; new one (Sony H5) doesn;t yet has 58mm thread for filter- so use. The Sony has mega flash that washes out images wiht over-bright- so filter useful. Previous Canon and Olympus digi-cameras more "balanced" in colour-balance.
     
  7. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    I found Canon's OEM UV filters for their lens. For non-L series lens, Canon's UV filter is priced around $10 or so. For L-series lens, their filter is around $30. Hoya filter for Tamron lens is about $13. Are they too cheap to prevent the image degradation?
     
  8. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #8
    I think those prices are reasonable. I'm pretty sure the main use for UV filters is to keep dust, dirt, and other stuff from accidentally scratching the lens itself. I doubt UV rays do visible damage. I'd recommend a polarizer filter, though, as well. It's amazing how much color those can bring out. I don't get exactly how it works..
     
  9. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

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    #9
    It's not about UV rays. A UV filter will help you with the colour of your shots: by filtering out UV light, you lose a blue "haze" that can otherwise be apparent on film (not sure about digital shots.) However, that's not the main reason why all of my lenses have a UV filter on the front.

    I've spent a lot of money on my glass (the 100-400, in particular, is not a cheap lens.) Compared to the $2300 (Australian) it cost me, $90 for a high quality UV filter is nothing. It protects the front element from dust, scratching, and similar - if the UV filter gets damaged, I just take it off and put a new one on. If the front element gets damaged, though, it's not so cheap. Consider it a cheap form of insurance. The UV light won't do the system any significant damage; it's just that UV filters are probably the cheapest filter out there that won't alter the quality of the light coming in.

    Does doing this drop the quality of your shots? Probably, but the difference - at least to my eye - is so slight, it's not something I consider worth arguing about.
     
  10. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #10
    Where did you find these? I can't seem to find Canon filters over 58mm.
     
  11. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #11
  12. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #12
    Yes. When I buy a new lens I immediately buy a filter for it and put the thing on right away as soon as I take the new lens out of its box. I'd much rather deal with and replace a scratched filter than a scratched lens. I use B+W filters and also Nikon filters and the Pro Digital filters (Hoya?).
     
  13. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #13
    the usefulness of a UV filter for most cameras really seem to be more for protection than actual results. I have occasionally heard of some haze help, but not much. The lenses themselves have a lot of UV absorbing materials (including the coatings and the bonding stuff they use for cemented element groups) plus the low-pass filter in front of the sensor itself blocks UV as well as IR etc.

    That's why if you want to shoot UV at decent shutter speeds, you usually strip out the low-pass filter in front of the sensor and use a dedicated UV lens.
     
  14. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #14
    Hmm, I've never heard of UV photography before. I've heard of and seen IR photos, but not UV. What do they look like?
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #15
    I don't know how much "UV absorbing materials" the lenses have built-in, but I do agree with you that I have seen little, if any, benefit from using a UV filter other than for protection of my lens.

    My Sigma 24-70 mm has no UV filter on it since it has been hard finding an 82 mm filter that isn't so darned expensive. :eek:
     
  16. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    At the low altitude like East Coast, I think UV is not that strong to affect the pictures, while at the high altitude locations such as Colorado, UV filters may be a necessity.

    I decided to get the UV flilters for all of my lens as a protection from elements (ie. dusts, rain water, wind-blown sand, and etc). I heard UV filters is very neutural in terms of how they affect the image quality.
     
  17. ipacmm macrumors 65816

    ipacmm

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    #17
    The only thing I have head about Canon filters are that they are just re-branded 3rd party filters with a Canon logo on it...for the price they are great but I would personally buy B+W now.
     
  18. javabear90 macrumors 6502a

    javabear90

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    #18
    I don't use UV filters for several reasons:

    1. It is extremely hard to scratch glass. Especially the glass that has been hardened like the piece in front of you lens.

    2. Even if you did somehow manage to scratch the front element, there is not much, if any loss in quality.

    3. Most often, a UV filter will degrade the image quality (including lens flare) more than a little scratch.

    4. The camera already has a UV filter built in. So the UV part does not do much.

    5. Dust or scratches on the filter will degrade the image quality much more than dust and scratches on the lens itself. I doubt most of you keep your filters super clean and without any dust. (I realize you probably do throw away a damaged filter)

    Try this: take a tiny piece of a sticky note and put on the front of a lens (works best with telephoto lenses) and look through the viewfinder. It will most likely disappear or at least be a dark blur.

    The bad part about scratches is they make the resale value of the lens go WAY down.

    -Ted
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    But I live in Australia and still don't see much of a difference. ;)

    Even Hoya filters without multi-coating (which I've been told pretty much do nothing in terms of UV) cost a bit when I'm using a lens that requires an 82 mm filter. Dang. A circular polarizing filter is even more expensive. However, I'd get the Hoya filter without multi-coating because all I'm looking for is protection, not UV filtering. My only concern is the amount of light transmitted. 99.7% sounds much better than 95%. :eek:
     
  20. beavo451 macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I wonder what all the protective filter users would do if they got a hold of the super telephotos (400 2.8, 500, 600, etc.)? Theses lenses don't even have filter threads and those are the ones you want protecting. Granted they do come with a removable front element, but that piece of glass is significantly more expensive and better than any filter out in the market.
     
  21. snap58 macrumors 6502

    snap58

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    #21
    It is for protection and as you noted it is replaceable on the supers, 300 2.8 on up, can't imagine what one would cost if you could get it. Most people keep the hoods on when out with them.

    I use UV's on all of mine, Hoya HMC, but I have found I get much less flare on my 24-105 4.0L with it removed. So when conditions favor flare, I take it off and rely on the hood for protection, otherwise it stays on. I carry the camera and lens around in a backpack often with other stuff, and I have had the cap come off and a filter get scratched in the past. Not a good method on my part, but it happens.
     
  22. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #22

    I've got the Nikkor 200mm f/2 ("Big Bertha") and, yeah, it unnerves me that I can't put a filter on the front of that lens, which is HUGE.... Using the hood helps, of course, but I still do worry.....
     
  23. ksz macrumors 68000

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    #23
    I also don't use UV/protective filters any more. Lens hoods offer good protection in the outdoors or any time a flash isn't necessary. At other times the lens cap remains on.

    If you use a UV filter for lens protection, consider that most any force strong enough to break the filter will have enough forward momentum to do serious damage to the front element of the lens. The filter will soften the blow somewhat, but not enough. A UV filter can, however, provide protection against lesser accidents.
     
  24. triotary macrumors regular

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    #24
    it is a MUST for outdoor shooing with windy conditions. just weigh the price between the filter and the lens :D
     
  25. beavo451 macrumors 6502

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    #25
    As KSZ said above, anything strong enough to break through the filter will damage the lens anyway. With that said, what could there possibly be blowing in the wind that could damage the front element under normal conditions (i.e. not hurricane/tornado/dust storm conditions)?
     

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