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So my questions to the masses/masters here on FM...
1 - Do you or don't you use filters?
I use when needed CPL,ND,vari-ND and when I am shooting IR and UV light only
2 - What brands do you recommend?
B+W,Heliopan,Singh-Ray and Lee 4x6, though the odd occasion I will use a special filter such as Baeder UG-11XX for UV photography. The odd occasion I will break out the Kodak Wrattens when shooting full spectrum to get a differing look.
3 - With regards to a CPL, what brand is the best?
There are many diiffering opionions as to what is best, it comes down to each persons individual preference. I mainly use B+W KSM, Singh Ray (The Trio, Warming and Blue-Gold), and a 105mm B+W on my Lee FIlter system.
4 - Am I nuts for not wanting to use a protective filter?
No each for their own.
Any thoughts, help would be greatly appreciated...
If conditions are detrimental to a lens I will put a filter on for protection, but if not required I will do as mention as above or have the hood attached. I also always carry a cleaning cloth with me to wipe the front of lens if needed.