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02-28-2012, 01:05 AM   #1
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Protective filters for FA 31 and 77 limiteds

Sorry if the topic was already covered somewhere. I failed to find one.
Here is some background. I used to have 16-50 mounted most of the time and use 77mm occasionally. I was somewhat disappointed by 16-50 performance towards wide end so I decided to trade it for 18-135 to use it as a versatile zoom lens and spend extra on K-5. But very first sessions showed that 18-135 is no match for 16-50 and the difference with 77mm on comparable focal lengths was so striking that I ordered 31mm almost instantly. Now I'm selling 18-135 and/or 16-50 (though I think I should keep one for harsh weather conditions) and going to use 31mm as primary lens.
Now the filters: I already have two protective filters "worn out" on 16-50 - some scratches, non-removable spots, etc. Actually images DO look better without any filters (as to my experience) but I used to thought that high-grade filters (Hoya Pro-1 digital, Hoya HD protector) wouldn't affect the image quality. Now I'm afraid that 31mm without a filter may be damaged if it would be mounted on camera most of the time. 77mm still looks like new without any scratches on front element but it was used mostly for portraiture shots in studio/indoors conditions.

So.. what filter should I buy for 31mm? I do want to avoid possible flare resistance lowering (the lens will be used outdoors frequently) and don't want to compromise a tiny bit on image quality. The local shop offers wide specter of Hoya, Marumi, and B+W offerings (though I think I'm done with Hoya ones).
Lately 77mm is getting mounted much more often for outdoors shots too so I think it also has to be paired with a decent protective filter.

Could you point on some specific UV/protective filter models or share your experience? The price is not the issue (no compromises, considering price of FA Ltds). Maybe the best would be to go on without any filer?


02-28-2012, 02:24 AM   #2
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In terms of fingerprint resistance and easiness to clean, I find Heliopan's SH-PMC filters to be the best and prefer it over B+W MRCs. Sigma's are also very good and seem to clean easier than B+W MRC filters as well. I can't tell you about impact and scratch resistance though. If someone has some filters they want to send me for destructive testing, I can try to check micro-hardness and fracture toughness in my lab.

I think for the 31mm, you have to make sure you get a filter that clears the front element as some slim filters may not.

I also hear great things about Tiffen HT Titanium filters, but haven't had any experience with them.
02-28-2012, 02:27 AM   #3
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Hi, I use B+W filter on my 31mm and Pentax SMC filter on the 77mm.

So far so good and no issues at all. Actually, I like the B+W brass filter ring, good quality.

Do note however that if you are getting the B+W, be aware of the "slim" model, it may not fit within the 31mm because of the built in hood. I cannot mount the bayonet hood of my 18-55mm WR after screwing on the B+W "slim" UV filter, maybe the outer portion of the filter is slightly bigger in diameter. It is best to bring along your lens to test if you are purchasing the filter from shop. Hope this helps

Last edited by jon_tan; 02-28-2012 at 02:33 AM.
02-28-2012, 05:00 AM   #4
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Just use a deep hood will do.

02-28-2012, 06:21 AM   #5
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why not Hoya

I use a Hoya HMC on mine, with my choice affected by the following review: UV filters test - Description of the results and summary -

You'll find that if you want to use polarizing or ND filters they won't fit within the fixed hood on the 31mm -- nor will an inexpensive hood extender. Based on a suggestion elsewhere on the forum, I purchased two of the cheapest Tiffen UV filters I could find (about $7 per), knocked out the glass, and mounted the filter rings in front of the Hoya. Now I can mount any filter I want or a hood extender, the arrangement looks okay, and the two extra filter rings have the added benefit of filling in the gaps in the cutaways on the fixed hood and thus providing a bit more hood coverage in bright sunlight.
02-28-2012, 09:34 PM   #6
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Thanks you all for the input! I think I'll try some B+Ws at local shop because of the issue mentioned by jan_tan.

wlachan: What lens cap do you use to accomplish that hand-made lens hood? Can you mount a polarizer on top of that?
02-28-2012, 09:43 PM   #7
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I don't use lens cap at all as the hood itself provides enough protection. My hood cannot accept filter but there are some can.
02-28-2012, 11:33 PM   #8
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I have similar setup as wlachan's 31. A 58mm centre pinch lens cap can be used.

You can refer to the PF thread here and here for discussion of the hood. Personnally I use the 58mm adaptor tube and it works just fine, I can screw a filter in front of the tube without issue.

02-28-2012, 11:44 PM   #9
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hoya hmc and kenko pro 1d works for me.
I use water and soap to wash them. A blower to dry it out.
If you can afford for it, get a pentax SMC UV.
i have one for my FA43, it's only 49mm so not very expensive.
03-05-2012, 12:30 PM   #10

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I use Marumi Super DHG filters, have used it both on FA 77 and 43. No issues whatsoever, find they clean very easily. They are rated highly and about 50% the cost of Hoya, B+W, etc.

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