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03-04-2012, 07:40 PM   #1
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Lens Protector

I have a Hoya 58mm Pro Digital mc protector on the end of my 55-300. When I bought it I was told to leave it on at all times. I have been told
since to take it off when shooting.
Seems kind of senseless to me to take it off when shooting because that is when I want the protection.
Otherwise I have the lens cap on.
Advice? Thanks.


03-04-2012, 07:51 PM   #2
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This is a very common question and some people think that you should take it off, some say you should leave it on. I think the idea behind taking it off is to leave it on when walking around in case you accidentally hit the camera into something, and then take it off, only when actually shooting.

Any filter will cause image degradation. The better the quality of the filter, the less the degradation, but filters that will cause minimal degradation are pretty expensive. That brings up the argument, is it worth 50$ or more to protect a lens (some filters cost hundreds). On a 1000$ lens, maybe, on a 50$ manual focus lens, probably not. On a 100$ ish kit lens, maybe not? On a 200$ lens, opinions very.

There are reasonable arguments on both sides. Without it, you risk your lens. With it, you may have to spend a lot and or have to take it off and or have image degradation to varying extents depending on how good the filter is. If you do chose not to use one, a lens hood can provide some protection.
03-04-2012, 08:00 PM   #3
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You can use a hood for protection. A filter can be helpful if you use a lens that can focus closely, but it's not much use on a telephoto zoom like the 55-300.

Since you already have the filter, you can do some tests and see if you can see any difference with the filter on and off.

As far as impact on images goes, if you don't shoot at night or against the sun, you probably don't have anything to fear. The main issue I encountered with filters is that they can be prone to flare in challenging light conditions. OTOH some lenses will flare on their own in those same conditions. So test and see for yourself if you can find any evidence of negative impact on the quality of your images.
03-04-2012, 08:05 PM   #4
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There are so many topics on this.

One fact is that everything you add to the lens in terms of ellements will hurt the image quality, if you see it is another matter.

Beside that it's most personal.
I don't believe that such thin filter glass will provide any protection besides against for example salt from the sea when you're at the beach and things like that.
Besides todays lenses (and 50 year back or so) have a special coating that is very hard and protect the lens from scrtaches, these coating you also have for your glasses so the lens doesn't need extra protection to begin with really but some find the idea comforting.
Some also say that the filter really protected the lens when they dropped the lens for example but how can you prove it would be damaged if the filter wasn't their.

Anyway look here for post and comment when people have actually damaged the front ellement of their lens, you really need to search, it's mostly the lens body that get damage when they drop so a cushion around the lens might be a better protection...

03-04-2012, 08:11 PM - 1 Like   #5
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You should always use the lens hood for protection; it will also improve contrast on your photos.

Unless there is a clear danger like a sand storm or salt spay on the beach, there is no reason to use "protection" on your lens. Any piece of glass or plastic in front of the lens will degrade quality to some degree.

If you still wary about damaging the lens you can always buy insurance. That way even if someone steals the lens you get it replaced.

Take off the filter and enjoy your lens the way it meant to be

Last edited by demp10; 03-05-2012 at 08:14 AM.
03-04-2012, 11:38 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Besides todays lenses (and 50 year back or so) have a special coating that is very hard and protect the lens from scrtaches
That may be true for Pentax lenses and their SMC coating, but is not true in general. I very easily scratched a Tamron.
03-05-2012, 02:49 PM   #7
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Thanks to all. I will be taking it off, but taking it with me. ( salt spray & sand) I do use a lens hood all the time.

Thanks again

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