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05-20-2013, 05:16 AM   #1
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Sigma 150 - 500mm

Hi All

Thanks for looking at my little problem, any advise much appreciated! I have a K200D and bought the Sigma about 2 months ago and used it for wildlife and rugby photography with some excellent results. I have a UV/Haze filter on all my lenses for protection and put a Kood Haze filter on this lens as well. It took a while to come as it's 86mm and not that common. With the filter on the lens will not focus to a sharp picture. It gets close and the "in focus" indicator comes on but the image is not sharp. Cleaned the front element and the filter with lens cleaner and a lens cloth but no change. If I take it off the lens is as sharp as you like, I have tried shooting through a glass windo with no problems with focus. Should I have spent more on the filter do you think or have I got a dud?

Any thoughts please?

Thanks

André

05-20-2013, 05:51 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by UKAndre Quote
Should I have spent more on the filter do you think or have I got a dud?
Are you shooting in an environment where sand or salt-water is blowing at the front of your lens? If not, there is no reason to use a "haze" or "UV" filter on the lens at all. The glass used in any brand filter is much lower quality, and less durable, than the front element of a lens like that. Yes, a filter is cheaper to replace, but almost anything that will shatter a "protective filter" will probably also damage the front element (oh yeah, and scratches and smudges? Not as bad for your lens as a filter.). You are degrading your image for a little bit of misplaced comfort...

Just my opinion!

Last edited by panoguy; 05-20-2013 at 06:07 AM.
05-20-2013, 06:24 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Are you shooting in an environment where sand or salt-water is blowing at the front of your lens? If not, there is no reason to use a "haze" or "UV" filter on the lens at all. The glass used in any brand filter is much lower quality, and less durable, than the front element of a lens like that. Yes, a filter is cheaper to replace, but almost anything that will shatter a "protective filter" will probably also damage the front element (oh yeah, and scratches and smudges? Not as bad for your lens as a filter.). You are degrading your image for a little bit of misplaced comfort...

Just my opinion!
+1, but always use the hood. Seriously, if you get that much of a change in the performance then ditch the filter and make certain the hood goes on whenever you pull out the lens.
05-20-2013, 06:49 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
+1, but always use the hood. Seriously, if you get that much of a change in the performance then ditch the filter and make certain the hood goes on whenever you pull out the lens.
+1, the hood does a great job of protecting the front element not only from glare-inducing sunlight, but from branches, hands, and other worrisome intruders. On the Sigma 150-500 (great lens, BTW), the hood is huge, but so is the rest of the lens...


Last edited by panoguy; 05-20-2013 at 07:15 AM.
05-20-2013, 07:19 AM   #5
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+1, Use lens hoods to protect the lens and better IQ. The only filters I use are ND and CPLs.
05-20-2013, 08:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primes4ever Quote
+1, Use lens hoods to protect the lens and better IQ. The only filters I use are ND and CPLs.
I own some UV filters, and try to get the best I can, for times with blowing sand, etc. that can't be stopped by a hood. I use them very seldom but when I need them I need them. CPLs are useful optically as are ND filters, they degrade the IQ as well but often the tradeoff with what they can allow creatively is worth the decrease in IQ.
05-20-2013, 10:25 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Are you shooting in an environment where sand or salt-water is blowing at the front of your lens? If not, there is no reason to use a "haze" or "UV" filter on the lens at all. The glass used in any brand filter is much lower quality, and less durable, than the front element of a lens like that. Yes, a filter is cheaper to replace, but almost anything that will shatter a "protective filter" will probably also damage the front element (oh yeah, and scratches and smudges? Not as bad for your lens as a filter.). You are degrading your image for a little bit of misplaced comfort...

Just my opinion!
+1 from me too. There is a time and place for a protective filter but not for everyday shooting and if you do use one, go for a top of the line filter. They aren't cheap.
05-20-2013, 01:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Are you shooting in an environment where sand or salt-water is blowing at the front of your lens? If not, there is no reason to use a "haze" or "UV" filter on the lens at all. The glass used in any brand filter is much lower quality, and less durable, than the front element of a lens like that. Yes, a filter is cheaper to replace, but almost anything that will shatter a "protective filter" will probably also damage the front element (oh yeah, and scratches and smudges? Not as bad for your lens as a filter.). You are degrading your image for a little bit of misplaced comfort...

Just my opinion!
I disagree that any brand filter is much lower quality. I have highly regard B+W filters which I use in many of my lenses.

Having said that I have a Sigma 150-500 and run it 'filter-less'. Reason being the 86mm filter required by the Bigma equates to, in Canada a price of well over $ 200 for a B+W. They are cheaper in the USA. No....I don't know why.

So, as a result I have broken my rule and not bought a clear filter for the front of my Sigma.

I will not put a cheaper filter on the front of the 150-500, because as I am concerned as you are about lower quality glass on the front of an expensive lens.

But I do consider the B+W's filters as excellent quality glass.

05-20-2013, 01:43 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I disagree that any brand filter is much lower quality. I have highly regard B+W filters which I use in many of my lenses.

Having said that I have a Sigma 150-500 and run it 'filter-less'. Reason being the 86mm filter required by the Bigma equates to, in Canada a price of well over $ 200 for a B+W. They are cheaper in the USA. No....I don't know why.

So, as a result I have broken my rule and not bought a clear filter for the front of my Sigma.

I will not put a cheaper filter on the front of the 150-500, because as I am concerned as you are about lower quality glass on the front of an expensive lens.

But I do consider the B+W's filters as excellent quality glass.
The reviews and tests show otherwise. ALL filters degrade image quality - some more than others - and some offer compensating benefits while others do not. As for B+W, they seem to be in that category of quality glass that people perceive as better than it is because of its outrageous price. It is simply the case that filters added in front or behind lenses for which they were not designed alter the optical properties in negative ways. Cognitive Dissonance theory covers this very nicely, basically the more one pays for something the more one will defend its greatness even without any objective facts. There is a nice article on this that is targeted at medical fees but the principles apply to filters and lenses.
Pricing, Cognitive Dissonance, & How To Charge
05-20-2013, 02:46 PM   #10
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I will add my 2˘ - loose the filter - use the hood!

I just don't understand why there are so many people who think they must use a UV or clear filter. Yes, in extreme conditions I can see it as panoguy says, but all the time?
05-21-2013, 03:01 AM   #11
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Hi All

Thanks for all the responses, I do already use the lens hood on all my lenses when in use and in future will not use one on the big Sigma. I have tried it in front of other lenses and they seem to focus fine through it but the big Sigma is not having it at all!! I rarely shoot in very dusty or sandy conditions but am on holiday in South Africa in June and will be spending a week on safari where I suspect grit and dust might well become a problem. Hopefully with a blower and good quality lens cleaning kit I can keep things clean and scratch free.

Thanks again for all the comments

André
05-28-2013, 11:49 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
The reviews and tests show otherwise. ALL filters degrade image quality - some more than others - and some offer compensating benefits while others do not. As for B+W, they seem to be in that category of quality glass that people perceive as better than it is because of its outrageous price. It is simply the case that filters added in front or behind lenses for which they were not designed alter the optical properties in negative ways. Cognitive Dissonance theory covers this very nicely, basically the more one pays for something the more one will defend its greatness even without any objective facts. There is a nice article on this that is targeted at medical fees but the principles apply to filters and lenses.
Pricing, Cognitive Dissonance, & How To Charge
I see.
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