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Archive 2013 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...
  
 
MarcG19
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p.2 #1 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


re: the uv filters, I've thought back an forth on this. I frequently get the filters wet or cruddy. One time on a backpacking trip, I had just bought a new lens and filter and complained to the leader, a semi-pro photographer, about how I shouldn't have bought the filter. He told me that he never used one (and was carrying a full frame kit in addition to 25kg of camping stuff), and so I decided not to get filters in the future. Funny thing is, about an hour later, I took the a lens from its case and found that the cap had fallen off in the bag and the filter was shattered (no decent hood for this lens at the time. And besides, that would add to their length) But the lens was ok.......

so I usually keep them on unless I really need to be sure I need every bit of sharpness/contrast @100%. I have yet to be dissatisfied with a shot because of a filter.


And as far as ND, grad ND and poalrizers, yes, for landscape photography they are still IMO necessary, so I use them with some frequency. NDs are often used on my voightlander 0.95 lens when I want f0.95 (or even f/1.4) in broad daylight.

(eta: added amusing details from the incident. I added more detail, but I swear it's true! )

Edited on Apr 22, 2013 at 03:34 AM · View previous versions



Apr 22, 2013 at 03:23 AM
leftcoastlefty
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p.2 #2 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


StillFingerz wrote:
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.


CPLs are great for "enriching" foliage. It takes the sheen off leaves and generally increases saturation, especially in damp environments. For landscapes, I use a CPL 90% of the time. I never use a protective filter.



Apr 22, 2013 at 03:25 AM
Invertalon
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p.2 #3 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I use Hoya HD Clear protector filters on all my lenses for ease of cleaning. They have never affected IQ even when tested carefully side by side. If I cant see any loss when looking at very demanding comparisons, it is fine in my book!


Apr 22, 2013 at 03:48 AM
sb in ak
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p.2 #4 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


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?

1. Sometimes. I generally don't use them unless I have to. With digital, all I would recommend are ND, CPL, and a UV/protector for bad conditions.

2. Anything name brand that's multicoated.

3. I have a B+W, no complaints.

4. No, I generally don't use them, but I carry a decent one if the conditions get bad (ie, sandy, blowing snow, etc.)



Apr 22, 2013 at 03:52 AM
Gunzorro
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p.2 #5 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Jerry -- You reminded me again of your less than nimble fingers. I'd say one of the greatest risks of lens damage would be from bobbling a filter, from taking them on and off too often with uncoordinated hands or distracted mind. Probably far more damage has been doing from this than the lens running into things without filters in place. I'm pretty klutzy, and have to watch myself when juggling large-size filter exchanges. Maybe not best for you, unless you know you are going into dangerous conditions.


Apr 22, 2013 at 04:32 AM
aladyforty
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p.2 #6 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I have good quality filters (B/W or hoya) on all my lenses except the 100-400L as I have found that lens does get effected by them. My Fuji X100 has a clear b/W filter on as well. I use the hood with all lenses. During weddings I take off all filters mainly because of what Ive read about image quality but to be honest I have seen no degradation with the filters. I am often in the bush or near the ocean or small children so Id rather not take a risk with the lenses as they took me ages to save up for. a friend of mine purchased her 100 macro L lens at the same time as me, we were out shooting in the bush and somehow something scratched her lens, she had no filter, was glad Id used one after that


Apr 22, 2013 at 04:35 AM
jimmy462
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p.2 #7 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


So my questions to the masses/masters here on FM...

...more "mass" than "master", here...

1 - Do you or don't you use filters?
CPL where I feel I need it. GNDs for sunset/sunrise, I prefer the reverse GNDs for this (ala Singh-Ray Daryl Benson style) and will incorporate an ND strip filter should the sun prove too bright.

2 - What brands do you recommend? I'm partial to B+W, Heliopan, Singh-Ray

3 - With regards to a CPL, what brand is the best? No clue.

4 - Am I nuts for not wanting to use a protective filter? Back in my Konica and Olympus film days I purchased a lot of UV "protector" filters for all my lenses as that seemed to be the, er, "common sensical" thing to do, at the time. There was some chatter, as I recall, back in those days that all of "that" was just a way to boost sales for the camera shops. There was also the "argument" at the time that certain emulsions benefited from being protected from UV wavelengths...exposure accuracy, etc. i don't know, I just took it all on faith and bought the damned things.

Fast forward two decades, and never so much as having any near-miss or debacle occur with any of my gear and I began to not-worry about such things along the way and stopped buying them. The only mishap to occur to any gear was to a mutually-owned motion-picture camera my brother was using on a backwoods trip which apparently took a nose dive, tripod and all, into a rocky stream bed destroying the front lens and camera body...no UV filter in the world would have saved that camera.

Fast forward two more decades, and still no close-calls where a "protective filter" might have averted some particular, odd-occurrence front element crisis. Somewhere, a long time ago, I was told, "pay attention to your gear and what the hell you're doing!"...I guess it must have sunk in.

My short answer, "no, I don't use them anymore".





Apr 22, 2013 at 05:05 AM
dsr1
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p.2 #8 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I used to never use filters, thinking my hood would protect the lens and they would hurt IQ.
That was until I scratched a Olympus 55-200 f2.8 somehow. Didn't really hurt IQ but when I sold it that scratch cost me a couple a hundred bucks. I now keep Hoya of other good quality filters on all my lenses all the time.



Apr 22, 2013 at 05:07 AM
Ferrophot
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p.2 #9 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I've gradually given up using the screw in protective UV filters. I think they were causing focus errors with my 7D, especially with my 100-400L. I do use Cokin grads a lot to darken skies when the background clouds are overcast or white. I hate blown out skies!
Be great if Canon made an interbal grad filter on their cameras.



Apr 22, 2013 at 11:26 AM
StillFingerz
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p.2 #10 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Gunzorro wrote:
Jerry -- You reminded me again of your less than nimble fingers. I'd say one of the greatest risks of lens damage would be from bobbling a filter, from taking them on and off too often with uncoordinated hands or distracted mind. Probably far more damage has been doing from this than the lens running into things without filters in place. I'm pretty klutzy, and have to watch myself when juggling large-size filter exchanges. Maybe not best for you, unless you know you are going into dangerous conditions.


Bingo Jim, this is my biggest dilemma and as of late, with less strength; shaky hands, it's an even bigger issue. Thus as I get more active I'll slowly start testing my 'most' used glass. Of most concern the 17-40; which is a stellar sharp copy, the 70-200 f4 and 100L have massive hoods and are stored/used with hoods on, the 300 f4 is the same.

We'll see how my physical condition progresses, helpless as a baby now will not be my future. And even when spastic body sees fit to intervene I've my most precious of secret weapons not far from hand, my better half Linda whose able hands are most helpful when mine seem not...

Because of my high level disability I take things; cleaning, changing out gear, pretty slow, carry two body's so as not to swap lenses much. My 'generic' lens kit is pretty consistent, an ultra-wide; 10-22 or 17-40, 100L, 70-200 and 1.4x T/C.

As said before the beach/wetlands areas are of most concern, the moist salty and sandy air, for those adventures filters will be used as needed. Most other nasty weather issues are not on my to-do list, even tho I don't melt when gotten wet, I'm not one to push my 'luck' given my wheels are of an electronic driven nature.

There's not much hill climbing, river running or mucking about to be done anymore, but give me a flat dirt road or paved walkway and I'm good, cobblestones, mud, sand, gravel they can keep, as it seems when in any nastiness I must vocalize a bit with 'Excuse me might I ask for some help please, seems I'm stuck and can't get out'

Jerry



Apr 22, 2013 at 01:01 PM
 

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ggreene
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p.2 #11 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I've always used either a B+W or Heliopan protective filter on all my lenses. It's a comfort level type of thing that each photographer will have to decide. No rights, no wrongs.


Apr 22, 2013 at 01:16 PM
Gunzorro
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p.2 #12 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Jerry -- You are so refreshingly frank and funny! You are an inspiration.

You make great points and I always appreciate your observations and thoughts. Even though I'm AB (able-bodied), I still follow many of the practices and procedures you recommend. I especially like to refrain from changing lenses with debris blowing (which seems to be all the time in So Cal!), which leads to two bodies on a lot of occasions, or a super-duper-zoom.

Here are a couple more points you reminded me of.

Common sense and optical science suggest that the more glass surfaces, the worse for IQ. Granted, it may be very minimal, not observable. But logic says it has to take away something. Personally, I prefer it to remove fine laugh wrinkles in a group photo, or soften the close-up of a woman's face -- in those situations, the softer the contrast and details, the better, so no loss at all, really. Highly detailed landscapes, . . . hmmmm?

The other point is based on one of your comments in the last response. Wide angle and UWA lenses have the broadest open front surfaces, and even with hoods, they remain exposed to objects impacting their front surface. Telephotos are far more protected by a hood, and that keeps out flying debris better too. The point is that the wider the focal length, generally speaking, the more vulnerable the lens surface.

Happy testing, and happy shooting!



Apr 22, 2013 at 02:26 PM
outlawyer
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p.2 #13 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Some decry the practice of "putting a cheap piece of glass on an expensive lens," but the ones I use (on every lens that I own except the 40 2.8) are hardly cheap. IME IQ degradation is non-existent, and what price peace of mind when using an expensive or, in the case of the Drainpipe, out-of-print lens?


Apr 22, 2013 at 03:53 PM
venkidesh Iyer
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p.2 #14 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


The lenstip testing shows that Hoya filters have the best quality and blocks less light and have less impact on IQ. B+W while good doesnt seem to live up to their pricing in the lenstip testing


Apr 22, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Access
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p.2 #15 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I look at the protective filters like a good insurance policy -- haven't had (and hopefully never will have) an unfortunate circumstance where they would have helped.

I don't spend a whole lot on filters because I honestly don't use them a whole lot. Most photographers I speak to do understand their importance but with digital use has dropped considerably save the ones like polarizers and graduated neutral density that may not be do-able in post. I do have a flat ND2 and ND8 which I've used for portraits on rare occasion, but it's so rare to have to use this with modern digital that I rarely even have it on me anymore.



Apr 22, 2013 at 05:39 PM
15Bit
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p.2 #16 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


I use clear filters very rarely, only if in an abrasive environment (which i tend to avoid as i'd like my camera kit to work for a few years yet). When i tested them a few years back i found they give problems when shooting into the sun, or with the sun just out of frame, but otherwise no noticeable impact on image quality.

Frankly I can't really see how a screw on filter offers protection from impact damage - I've yet to see a filter composed of any impact absorbing material, unless you count glass and brass as "cushioning" materials. I would rate a plastic lens hood as a lot more useful in this respect.



Apr 22, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Ben Horne
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p.2 #17 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Sometimes people will drop a lens with a UV filter on it, then claim that the filter saved the lens. That's not really true. Filters just break really easilly, and the fact that the filter broke didn't do anything to actually help the lens. If anything, the shattered glass right up against your front element has a high likelihood of scratching your front element. A hood will certainly do better in the event of a drop.

Filters will certainly help when you are shooting in a hazardous situation. You can simply wipe the front of your element with a shirt and not worry about the consequences.

I do find myself using ND filters and polarizers on occasion. My favorite brand is Heliopan, and my second favorite is Hoya. Both are great.



Apr 22, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Access
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p.2 #18 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Ben I don't think most people really know about the protective filters one way or the other in a provable way. There is rationale for either way and ultimately people just need to do what comes naturally or works for them. I figure the main thing about the protective filters is that if it gets dirty or splashed/touched/etc. it can always be removed and you can quickly continue shooting. It seems like it offers a little more protection but I don't think anyone does it expects miracles. I've never had one save a lens but I've also taken advantage of being able to remove it quickly when it gets dirty. I'm one of the people who is (sometimes) willing to take a risk if necessary to get a photo, so every little bit helps.


Apr 22, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Guari
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p.2 #19 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


BW xspro mrc filters on all my lenses...


Apr 22, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Ben Horne
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p.2 #20 · Filters: Yes, No or Sometimes...


Access wrote:
Ben I don't think most people really know about the protective filters one way or the other in a provable way. There is rationale for either way and ultimately people just need to do what comes naturally or works for them. I figure the main thing about the protective filters is that if it gets dirty or splashed/touched/etc. it can always be removed and you can quickly continue shooting. It seems like it offers a little more protection but I don't think anyone does it expects miracles. I've never had one save a lens but I've also taken advantage of
...Show more

This is mostly based on my experience working at a camera shop where people come in with dropped lenses and broken filters. Often times, the broken glass scratches the front element. If they had a lens hood on, the situation would have been different.



Apr 22, 2013 at 10:57 PM
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