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Archive 2013 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...
  
 
StillFingerz
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


As I've moved beyond the cheaper Canon lenses, picking up more f4 level L primes/zooms, sticking with only a few faster non-L primes, I've been shooting mostly bare; no UV filters. This practice came to light as I was going through my gear bags/cases, UV protective filters intended for their lenses are still sealed in their cases.

A new habit I guess, as back in my film days, initial foray into EOS AF gear, I always had Hoya's of some level. I've not been one to abuse my gear, kept it clean always. As of late here on FM I've noticed images and a few comments noting some pretty ugly behavior when using protective filters.

I shoot mainly hand-held in non-hostile environments, the beach on occasion, but mostly arboretums, gardens and parks, some kids sports, and have as of late only been using hoods for protection...77mm is the largest filter I will/would probably use.

So my questions to the masses/masters here on FM...
1 - Do you or don't you use filters?
2 - What brands do you recommend?
3 - With regards to a CPL, what brand is the best?
4 - Am I nuts for not wanting to use a protective filter?

Any thoughts, help would be greatly appreciated...
Jerry


Edited on Apr 22, 2013 at 12:59 AM · View previous versions



Apr 21, 2013 at 10:03 PM
kewlcanon
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


So my questions to the masses/masters here on FM...
1 - Do you or don't you use filters?

Sometimes.

2 - What brands do you recommend?

B+W

3 - With regards to a CPL, what brand is the best?

B+W

4 - Am I nuts for not wanting to use a protective filter?

Most of the time hood will do the trick unless you go to some sandy place.



Apr 21, 2013 at 10:06 PM
RCicala
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Sometimes
Usually B&W or Heliopan
B&W

There are times protective filters are necessary - blowing sand, salt spray. Most of the time they aren't. Obviously there are times an ND or CP filter is needed.

I think the real question for UV filters is what are you protecting? Nikon shooters have more reason to consider it - a lot of Nikon front elements are $700 replacements. Most Canon front elements are under $200, and many (if you are the slightest bit handy) you can replace yourself for around $100 (70-400 f/4, 17-55 IS, etc.). The major exception (that will take a filter) is the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II which is pretty pricey, about $400, but the hood is quite effective protection for that.

Putting good filters on all of my lenses for 'protection' would cost enough to buy another lens.

Edited on Apr 21, 2013 at 10:20 PM · View previous versions



Apr 21, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Cadaver
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I've never used a protective filter in my life. To protect my lenses, I always use a lens hood. I do however, use circular polarizers. I've had great luck with B&W CPs.


Apr 21, 2013 at 10:19 PM
RogerC11
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Hi Jerry,
I used to use UV/protective filters on all my lenses but stopped using them about 3 years ago. I have also witnessed first hand the sort of degrading effects it can have on otherwise perfectly usable images. I now shoot all my lenses bare with a protective hood instead. Better IQ, better contrast, no haze, overall a better image.

I only use filters when I am using them on my cokin-p filter system to prevent burned out skies. Other than that, it's all naked lenses with hoods in place.



Apr 21, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Cadaver wrote:
I've never used a protective filter in my life. To protect my lenses, I always use a lens hood. I do however, use circular polarizers. I've had great luck with B&W CPs.


+1



Apr 21, 2013 at 10:32 PM
erikburd
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I use UV filters since I deal with sand and sea spray. All of mine are B+W.

I have a Marumi CP, which was 1/2 the price of the B+W at 77mm. It got good reviews at LensTip and did well with B+W.



Apr 21, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I've mostly used B+W CPL, but have found the new Hoya HD and Kenko Zeta very good and they transmit 2/3 stop more light than normal CPL.


Apr 21, 2013 at 10:38 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Hey Jerry,

StillFingerz wrote:
1 - Do you or don't you use filters?


Yes, when required. Usually, no.

StillFingerz wrote:
2 - What brands do you recommend?


B+W MRC

StillFingerz wrote:
3 - With regards to a CPL, what brand is the best?


Not sure what's best. B+W KSM is excellent.

StillFingerz wrote:
4 - Am I nuts for not wanting to use a protective filter?


Who am I to say if you're nuts, or not? You could be nuts for many reasons. As far as using protective filters goes, it depends on the circumstances. Usually, I don't. Sometimes, I do. When I do, it's usually B+W MRC UV-haze 010M or B+W 007 Neutral MRC.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1188602/0#11334857

Cheers, Jim



Apr 21, 2013 at 11:13 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Sometimes, and mostly the best B+W available at the time.

EBH



Apr 21, 2013 at 11:27 PM
 

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Gunzorro
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Jerry -- Here's my take on the subject:

1 - Do you or don't you use filters? Yes, sometimes. For example, a recent trip to Yosemite, I used Hoya Super Pro 1 UV and Nikon NC UV on my 16-35L II and 24-105L IS respectively, all the time I was there. These were my most used lenses. The 16-35 with Hoya became completely coated in spray from several waterfalls -- dripping off the front (I used the 1Ds3 on that lens!), wiped off a few times. I'm happy to have had the filters in place. I didn't install on on the 100-400L IS due to reports I've had of poor optical performance, and I didn't use the lens under intense conditions.

For adverse weather conditions, and all event-type use, I cover the lens with a UV filter.

Also used are CPL, ND, and Grad ND filters on occasion.

Otherwise, usually no filter is used, only a lens hood.

2 - What brands do you recommend? Hoya, starting with their Super HMC types -- reliable and best value for me. Secondarily, B+W.

3 - With regards to a CPL, what brand is the best? Meaning: cost is no object? I find B+W Kaessman multi-coated are best. But I generally shoot with Hoya Super HMC or Pro 1.

4 - Am I nuts for not wanting to use a protective filter? Yes, if you are in the elements. Even after a year or so, there is a strong build up from the atmosphere here in Southern California. Partly this must come from home and office interior "off-gassing" of upholstery and carpeting, etc -- I see the need to clean the filter or front lens element once or twice a year while it's been kept under excellent care. I've also seen minor scratches over time in the front surface of my filters. You do the math! If the filter isn't seriously hindering my IQ, I'll use it until there are noticeable fine scratch marks which could affect IQ to some degree. I don't want that happening to my front lens surface! I tend to keep lenses a very long time.

I suggest a prudent approach -- test to make sure the filter doesn't seriously impact your IQ on a lens by lens basis, and protect those lenses in the greatest danger.

Based on damage that would have been done to lenses if I'd not used a filter in "active environments", I'd estimate I've broken even on the cost over the years. But I've saved a ton of time and hassle by not having to send in lenses for replacement of front elements. In fact, I lost a couple hundred dollars and incurred a lot of hassle trying to sell a Zeiss ZE lens that has a teeny-tiny little scratch from metal lens hood touching it -- following the general advice of forum experts. Ha-ha! Only you can decide what is important to your for you time and money -- everything is repairable or replaceable.

On a weekly basis, I'd say I DON'T use filters about 75% of the time.




  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens    20mm    f/8.0    1/125s    200 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Apr 21, 2013 at 11:28 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I only use filters for effect, polarizer or ND grad,

I use Lee and Singh Ray for rectangular filters and have a B&W screw in 82mm polarizer. I seldom use an nd as I am not a big fan of blurred water. But I own one. I also have a Lee 4x4 linear polarizer for use on my 17TSE with the Lee system.

I use neither a hood or protective filter. I seldom carry my camera outside the bag. I am careful and don't do much photography in rain or dust storms. As much for my own comfort as the gear.



Apr 21, 2013 at 11:44 PM
kezeka
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


1 - Do you or don't you use filters? B+W MRC on every one of my lenses
2 - What brands do you recommend? B+W
3 - With regards to a CPL, what brand is the best? Marumi is optically the best CP according to the only scientific testing of filters I have seen over at lenstip (link below). That said, Marumi uses aluminum which plays fine and dandy with my brass B+W MRC filters until the temperature changes drastically and the CP gets jammed due to different coefficients of expansion between the two metals.
4 - Am I nuts for not wanting to use a protective filter? Depends for what you are taking photos of. I would rather not have to worry about my front element when the weather goes sideways, or a wind kicks up a ton of dust/dirt/sea breeze and having to replace a front element that costs AT LEAST 4x as much as a top of the line B+W filter. I also don't want to have to worry about abrasions to the front element over time due to repetitive cleaning. I understand the sentiment that image MIGHT appear slightly less sharp or lose contrast through a filter but if you go to the website below, you will find that they look exactly the same in direct, indirect, backlit, and diffuse lighting.

CP filter test (they also have UV filter tests):
http://www.lenstip.com/115.24-article-Polarizing_filters_test_Marumi_DHG_Super_Circular_P.L.D_72_mm.html

Honestly - and this is my opinion - I think someone has to have lost their mind to risk having to replace a front element instead of ponying up $50-80 for a filter that is designed to take a good bit more abuse. ON TOP OF THAT, I don't care if I can replace my front element for $200-400, I would still have to send my lens to canon to have it repaired in the first place. That is at least 5-7 days without a lens. Furthermore, a filter can absorb the overwhelming force of an impact, shatter, and then still only scratch the cheaper front element (but not break it). Without a filter, you are SOL. Finally, if canon lenses weren't designed to have a filter on the front, then why would they be required to fully weather seal a lens OR why would canon's super telephotos be sold with optically neutral but protective front elements?

Bryan Carnathan and Ken Rockwell seem to share my opinion:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/B-W-UV-Filter.aspx
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/filters.htm

I have friends that swear up and down that protective filters are worthless and degrading to image quality, so take this as my opinion of what works best for me and not what you should do.



Apr 21, 2013 at 11:55 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Jerry, I always use B+W MRC protective filters on all of my lenses that can take them. (I.e., one can not mount a protective filter on the fisheye lens easily. Also, there are no protective filters available for MkII supertelephoto lenses.).

I have used B+W 67mm and 77mm CPs. Never had a problem until the other day when I mounted the CP on 100-400. That was an IQ disaster, as you know.



Apr 22, 2013 at 12:12 AM
Depp
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


1 - Do you or don't you use filters? Rarely
2 - What brands do you recommend? In regards to screw on CPL...B&W Slim KSM MRC or B&W KSM MRC
3 - With regards to a CPL, what brand is the best? The B&W KSM MRC
4 - Am I nuts for not wanting to use a protective filter? No

Lenstip CPL tests

Overall ranking Lenstip CPL tests

Edited on Apr 22, 2013 at 03:50 AM · View previous versions



Apr 22, 2013 at 12:34 AM
StillFingerz
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


To all a big thank you

Seems I've some testing to do with each of my lenses, the L's in particular. As has always been hobby/passion I've a sizable bit of funding in my current and it's growing. If filters do not degrade IQ for a given lens I'll probably go back to my old ways. All my FD/MF gear is in near pristine shape and it's 3 decades or so old...still fingers don't cater to removing filters to often, it's pretty tough going.

Gunz, good point about our SoCal air, although much better these last few years, on certain days that yellow haze and brilliantly colored sunrises/sunsets should give pause, a clue to just how particulate based our skies are. And as many know, it 's not easy staying away from our beaches and wetlands

Jim/jcolwell, I checked and all are perfectly intact and my much better half tells me my nutty behavior is part of my charm, 25yrs together and going strong, I'll continue to trust her judgement, wisdom

Peter, it was your 100-400L and CPL drama that got me tiny mind thinking...dangerous I'm sure!

Seems a B+W KSM CPL is in my future, and perhaps a few more UV's as well, I'll check reviews for the manufactures everyone mentioned...

Thanks again for your assistance!
Jerry



Apr 22, 2013 at 12:50 AM
Lunchb0x8
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


1 - Do you or don't you use filters?

I used to, but have since discovered noise/graininess in photos at even a massively low iso.

2 - What brands do you recommend?

I used HOYA, but my comment above might shy you away from them.

3 - With regards to a CPL, what brand is the best?

Not sure, others here may be able to offer more info.

4 - Am I nuts for not wanting to use a protective filter?

Not really, depends on when/what and where you are shooting and how clumsy you are/can be.

I have never dropped or bumped the front of a single lens, but I am super careful with all of my gear.



Apr 22, 2013 at 01:09 AM
Shutterbug2006
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I rarely use any filters, and when I do, it's for a specific purpose, IE: circular polarizer or neutral density.

In ten years I've dropped one zoom lens, and a protective filter would not have helped it.




Apr 22, 2013 at 01:57 AM
pipspeak
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


1 - Do you or don't you use filters?

Sometimes... there's a clear filter on my 16-35 because it completes the weather sealing and I tend to use a clear filter on my 70-200 IS because I occasionally manage to make its unwieldy length collide with hard objects Other lenses are bare, unless I'm someplace harsh like the ocean or a windy desert.

2 - What brands do you recommend?

B+W MRC or high-end Hoya (HD2, for example)

3 - With regards to a CPL, what brand is the best?

I've only ever used B+W

4 - Am I nuts for not wanting to use a protective filter?

No... just search for threads on the topic here... opinions are more polarized than a spinning polarizing filter. Some swear by them, others argue they're a waste of time. Ultimately I'm on the fence... nothing against filters, as long as they're high quality (multi-coated) and easy to clean.



Apr 22, 2013 at 02:15 AM
Larrys
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I'll answer the last question. I never use UV filters, because I never scratch my lenses anyway.

The lens hood does the trick for me.



Apr 22, 2013 at 02:42 AM
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