UV filters or not - what would you buy?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by phrehdd, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I know there is always a debate on whether filters such as UV or Haze are of value or detract from the lens they sit upon but curious what people are using for their digital camera lenses.

    I have in the days of film left them off for all work such as weddings and for nature, I always had them on as more of a protection for the lenses I used.

    My brands of choice were - Heliopan and B+W and for special items, Tiffen warming 812 filter and a couple of offerings by Hoya.

    So what are you folks using? I just ordered (2) B+W UV filters (010m). 52mm and 58, respectively for a 35mm and a 18-55mm (Fuji XF lenses). Next round will be CPL filters.
  2. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000


    Jun 5, 2012
    Good thread here UV Filters and still relatively current.

    I use B+W UV for protection, which is definitely a questionable need, but mostly to make me feel like I'm taking care of my lenses.

  3. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    No 'protection' filters in use for me. I have a cokin filter system, but with regards to protection filters they do little to protect against large impacts. In fact if they shatter, chances are your lens will have more scratches on.

    I just make sure I keep the lens cap on when not in use.
  4. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I don't do it. I say don't waste your money. Instead, be careful with your lenses.
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I'm more old school I suppose and have always used them. A good quality, thin, UV filter over the lens has worked for me. Easier to clean and not be totally concerned with messing up the lens while cleaning. All it takes is one wrong swipe.

    I love it when people say they're just careful and wouldn't bother. To each their own, but I've shot where water has sprayed me, dust has hit my face (and presumably my lens) and other elements have met my view. I am careful, but I do not control air.
  6. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    In 40 years, I've owned 30+ lenses and I've yet to damage one. It is not at all difficult to be careful.
  7. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    +1, I bought pretty good UV filters for my 15-85 and 70-200 Canon lens, barely used them and in past 2+ years have NOT used them.

    Lens cap is your friend, that and common sense / awareness of where you are and your surroundings.
    Plus, "camera management", meaning when you are in sititation of potential damage you manage your camera differently that just letting it dangle from strap around your neck.
  8. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    I've been shooting since 1976. Heard the same stories every time I bought a new lens about always having a UV filter to protect the lens, especially if I drop the lens. The only time i've every used one was shooting either at the beach or desert. Outside of that, fagitaboutit.
  9. MiniD3 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2013
    Hi there,

    40 years ago I used UV filters, even then it was to block UV,
    Today, our digital sensors are not affected by UV so not necessary

    Now I shoot "naked" unless I am shooting in a hostile environment like saltwater spray and airborn sand,

    The filter of choice I use in the above conditions is a protector filter, some are better than others, usually the highend ones are a lot thinner and less prone to flaring which can be a problem with filters

    lastly, insurrance is a must, filters wont cover against theft but good insurrance will cover you against both, and, good filters are quite expensive
  10. joepunk macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    I use them when at rock concerts. You never know what is flying through the air (mostly human sweat, beer, soda, and spit). And at times I don't use a lens cap because I would like quick lens changes during songs and don't want to fiddle around with a cap. The ONE TIME I didn't use a filter I forgot that I didn't use a lens cap and I had put the lens in the bag without a filter it got scratched ever so slightly. I still use the lens as the scratch is barely noticeable.
  11. someoldguy macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2009
    I use them , have for decades .Everything that resides in my travel bag ( 17-40 , 24-105 , 100-400 , 35/2IS ) has got one . All are Hoya superHMC . Keep them on for several reasons , 1 In case I drop the lens , it's happened , the filter got bent ,lens was OK , saved me a trip to Canon Service ;2 I'd rather clean off dust , spray and whatever other shmutz from the front of a filter than from a nicely coated front lens element ; 3 some canon lenses , 17-40 in particular ,
    require a filter on the front of the lens to ensure dust and moisture sealing .
  12. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I've been known to shoot in areas where a lot of dust was being kicked up. In those cases I prefer to constantly clean a filter rather than the lens itself.

    I actually use NC - Neutral Clear filters. I use a thin ring type to make sure I don't get vignetting on the wider lenses.
  13. tgara macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    Connecticut, USA
    Whether or not to use a protective filter is an endless debate, as evidenced by the slew of opinions on this issue on the various photography boards.

    Essentially there are two schools of thought. (1) use a protective filter because it protects the lens from the elements or damage, and does not seriously impact image quality, and (2) don't use a filter because it's not necessary and negatively impacts image quality.

    Both positions have merit and neither is wrong, so go with whichever one you are most comfortable. For me, I do not use protective filters routinely. Instead, I use a hood and try to be careful with my lenses. However, if I am in an environment that warrants more protection than my caution can provide (e.g., at the beach, dusty places, or crowded places where there is a higher liklihood my lens will get bumped or banged), I'll use my Hoya UV or clear filters.
  14. pmjoe macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2009
    A UV filter technically would serve no function on a modern digital camera. Historically they were used on film cameras to protect the film from UV and for lens protection. Today there are "clear" filters with various coatings for digital cameras which should theoretically let more light through than any UV filter. Alternatively, hoods can also offer some lens protection.

    If you're a professional, you want as little between the outside and the sensor as possible. I'd assume quality is a priority over cost, so unless there is some other environmental factor - sea spray, etc. that places the lens at risk, why use a protective filter at all?

    Personally, I'm more of an amateur who does a lot of outdoor/nature photography and am always bumping into trees and such. I keep clear filters with minimal coatings on my lenses. The difference in quality vs. the added risk to expensive equipment I make virtually no income on justifies it.
  15. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Using a UV filter seems to have an effect of flattening the colors and reducing the sharpness in digital photography. For film, it does reduce haze.
    I for one have never put a UV filter on any of my lenses, not even at places like the beach. Never had problems with lens damage.
  16. cocky jeremy macrumors 68040

    cocky jeremy

    Jul 12, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    No chance. Only filter I will use is a circular polarizer/ND filter. UV filters are a waste of money.
  17. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Only time I see a use is when youre selling the lens, you get to say "had a filter on from day one". Otherwise they just get in the way.

    Now an ND filter, that can do some things.
  18. Mattjeff macrumors 6502


    Jun 2, 2008
    haha! wow, thats a dirty move there. Filters are good for a lack of integrity. I think I read that wrong, I hope you mean you can truthfully say that and not just use it when selling.

    I use protective filters but then again im pretty rough with my gear and body. My lenses have seen sandstorms, hurricanes and afghanistan among other things... my lifestyle is a bit more accident prone ;). I do it for the smaller things that can happen. Like some one else said splashing liquids, small rocks and who knows. Its a small price to pay if you damage that not so much if you damage the other.
  19. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    Never bothered using a UV filter, but I use a Circular Polarising Filter on my Canon. It's great if I am taking photos near water and want to make it look more transparent.
  20. InTheMist macrumors member


    Jun 22, 2013

    UV filters are only useful for "protection" and only arguably then. I never use protection except at the beach or near salt water, where I often have a CIR-PL anyway.
  21. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I have two UV Haze UV filters by Tiffen and Canon but I haven't use them. :apple:
  22. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you have a lowewr priced kit lens, the front element costs about the same as a good filter. In this case it's better to just take a chance if the lens gets scratched, replace it. Likely this will never happen and you save the cost and if you do have to replace the front glass it is not as expensive as you might think. Different story on a 70-200 f/2.8 lens but the 18-50 is cheap.

    I use them like lens caps. Take them off and on as needed.

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