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12-22-2011, 09:55 PM   #1
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Pentax 12-24mm lens - filter?

Just purchases a 12-24 wide angle lens. Just got it tonight so haven't had an oppotunity to really use it. The question I have is, isit necessary/suggested that I purhase a good quality uv filter mainly for lens protection. I've read little on the subect but I would like to hear from the real users. Any posities or negative please let me know.

Thanks in advance.

12-22-2011, 10:19 PM   #2
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Filter is not required, use the hood for protection at all times, the hood will i filer maymprove image quality, depending on the quality of the filter, the filter may degrade the image quality
12-22-2011, 10:23 PM   #3
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I think that this is a dam if you do and dam if you don't situation. I have had the 12-24 for a number of years now. It is one of my favorite lenses. If you choose to go the UV filter route, 77mm one will not be cheap. If you go the low quality route, you will just be diminishing the image quality of the lens. If you go the high quality route, it will be expensive. There are folks who will swear that this is the best action - to have a filter for protection. Then the other half of the population, will swear that it's one of the worst ideas around.

You can bypass the UV filter route and some folks get a polarizer filter to provide some protection. The problem with this idea is that with a lens under about 24mm is sufficiently wide that the polarization can not stretch evenly across the entire image, and thus you will get an uneven application which shows up in the sky - so the results will be part of the sky dark and the other part normal. Also, you really do not need a CPL most of the time.

A bit more reading and you will find that with wider lenses, filters may tend to vignette. So you tend to go with the thin filters, which drives up the cost even higher.

I did get a CPL for my 12-24 - a low profile, high quality (Nikon) and it works very well. The sky does turn out uneven, however I try to find a branch of a tree to break up the sky so that its not as noticeable, or minimize the sky in composing the shot in some way. Here in Arizona, we get so much sun, that the reflections can wash out the colors. That's why I picked up the CPL for this lens (and did pay a price).

Bottom line - just watch yourself, be careful - and like selar said - use the hood.


Last edited by interested_observer; 12-22-2011 at 11:06 PM.
12-22-2011, 10:25 PM   #4
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I'd get one of the skinny ones for protection, as the regular ones may cause vignetting.

Hoya 77mm Ultraviolet (UV) Pro 1 Digital Filter XD77UV B&H Photo

I dropped my camera once and the filter saved it from a truckload of dust (luckily the lens itself didn't hit the ground)


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12-23-2011, 07:17 AM   #5
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Congratulations on the new lens! As Adam said, low profile for Ultra Wide lenses is the way to go, if you want a filter. However, regardless of how high end the filter is, you're still putting a piece of glass in front of the front element of your camera thereby degrading the picture (no matter how little is claimed it is still measurable by those who do the lab analyzes of such things). A good hood is an essential for any lens but even more important in my experience with ultra wide lenses. That particular filter is about $16 less at Amazon right now.
12-23-2011, 08:10 AM   #6
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not to add fuel to the debate which shows up every few months, but it makes slightly more sense to attach a protection filter with ultrawides because objects are much closer than they appear thru the viewfinder and it is not fun to bump into your foreground objects with your front element while trying to frame that perfect shot. beware!
12-23-2011, 09:31 AM   #7
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I have the 12-24mm and after shooting many, many images with the sun in the frame, trust me, ditch the UV filter. If you need physical protection, rely on the hood and keep telling yourself that the front element is actually more robust than you imagine it to be. To me, even using a high end super multi-coated UV filter increases the incidence of secondary flare caused by internal reflections, and I've seen it in many of my shots with strong point light sources pointed at the camera. Sure with ultrawides, using filters like GNDs, NDs and polarising are pretty common but if you're not using such filters for effect, your photos benefit more by NOT using another piece of glass in front and using the hood all the time. For this lens, don't lose or damage the supplied hood because I've yet to find any other hood that can fit on the lens and doesn't vignette.

Last edited by creampuff; 12-23-2011 at 09:37 AM.
12-23-2011, 09:43 AM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
JThe question I have is, isit necessary/suggested that I purhase a good quality uv filter mainly for lens protection.
Multiple threads on the subject already. Do what you want because you will get 50 opinions...buying one will make the salesman happy, if nothing else.

Congrats on getting that lens.

12-23-2011, 09:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
... the front element is actually more robust than you imagine it to be....
no it isn't. a single grain of sand from a splashing wave can wreck the coating in an instant. there are times when protection filters make sense and other times when they don't.
Also, the petting zoo is another place where those darn goats sometimes think a front element is something they can lick...ewww.
12-23-2011, 10:04 AM   #10
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Pentax lens coatings are pretty tough...

12-23-2011, 10:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Pentax lens coatings are pretty tough...

PENTAX SP coating (Super Protect coating) test - YouTube
a FELT marker? oh please.
12-23-2011, 11:56 AM   #12
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Get CPL + ND filter if you shoot landscape
12-23-2011, 12:46 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
not to add fuel to the debate which shows up every few months, but it makes slightly more sense to attach a protection filter with ultrawides because objects are much closer than they appear thru the viewfinder and it is not fun to bump into your foreground objects with your front element while trying to frame that perfect shot. beware!


Good point about the UW lenses.
12-24-2011, 04:43 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the input. Lot's of varied opinions. I think I will go with no filter unless the conditions dictate otherwise. I'll jut have to be careful with nothing to protect the lens.
12-24-2011, 05:50 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jim.haase Quote
I think I will go with no filter unless the conditions dictate otherwise.
Good thinking.

If you feel that you need protection for your lens you can always buy insurance. As far as I know, no lens was designed at the optical formula level with an additional optional piece of glass in front of it. Some lenses were specifically designed and require a drop-in filter but that's another story.

If you add a UV filter, the best case scenario is that it will be totally transparent to the overall lens performance and you will see no degradation. If you find a lens/filter combination that will work like that, then go for it. Typical everyday cases though will range from vignetting, to flares and ghosts.

When the situation asks for additional measures (e.g. shooting in a dust storm) then you should do whatever is necessary including a lens protection filter among other things, like covering your camera with plastic, but for everyday shooting less is more. To put it in another way, the ultimate protection for both camera and lens will be an underwater housing. Would you go that far? After all if something breaks you can replace it in most cases.

Just enjoy your lens and take a lot of pictures.
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