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11-07-2019, 05:27 AM   #1
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Do old lenses like SMC Pentax need UV filter if mounted on current DSLR?

Hi, Iím pretty new to using classic lenses on DSLR and Iím not sure if a filter, particular UV one, is needed. Iíve been reading on quite a lot of sites and some said that old lenses, unlike newer lenses, do need a UV filter, while some said it does not mater. So Iím unsure right now if I should buy it. (If I buy, it would be the Hoya fusion antistatic UV filter)

Iím currently using the SMC Pentax 30mm f2.8 on a Pentax KP.

Any help is appreciated, thanks!

11-07-2019, 05:41 AM - 3 Likes   #2
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A UV filter isn't needed, nor is it optically beneficial, with any lens (new or old) on digital cameras. In fact, whilst most of the time you wouldn't notice any difference in image quality, in certain circumstances UV filters can actually be detrimental, causing unwanted reflections and artefacts. Hence, it's best to avoid them when you can. Having said that, if I'm shooting in wet and windy, or gritty / sandy conditions, I'll usually fit a UV or clear protective filter so I can clean the front of the lens in the field without worrying about scratches...
11-07-2019, 05:45 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The only reason I ever stick a filter on any old glass is for protection when NOT shooting.
Never use one when Im shooting....ever.
11-07-2019, 05:46 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Short answer, Nah!

Longer answer:- my understanding is that UV filters were more of a film thing and they don't improve the exposure on a digital camera, even with a vintage lens. However, they do protect the lens surface from being scratched.
Pros
Protect the lens, its cheaper to replace if it gets scratched
Some people believe they add clarity
Cons
A cheap one will degrade your image
Some give a colour caste
If the lens is knocked you run the risk of them jamming or introducing broken glass.

At the end of the day it is personal preference, I use them some of the time

11-07-2019, 05:48 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I've never used a UV filter on any lens I own - new or old.
11-07-2019, 05:54 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I grew up with these instructions from my dad

use that strap dummy you paid for it

always protect that front lens and its threads, put on a uv or sky filter

well

even though he is not with us

I still use the strap/sling

but I remove my filter before taking photos ( and keep it on when the lens is being carried or stored ) when using modern cameras
11-07-2019, 05:55 AM - 4 Likes   #7
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I have an ever-growing stack of unused/unnecessary/unloved filters I've taken off of purchased lenses.... never to go back on a lens....

11-07-2019, 05:58 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
I have an ever-growing stack of unused/unnecessary/unloved filters I've taken off of purchased lenses.... never to go back on a lens....
I dump anything I donít use - my wife doesnít like piles of unused anything.
11-07-2019, 06:00 AM - 6 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
I dump anything I donít use - my wife doesnít like piles of unused anything.

it's good for an occasional shot (the stack) and my wife has an entire room for her unused stuff....

11-07-2019, 06:07 AM - 1 Like   #10
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No filters on my vintage lenses.

However, the filters are useful to catch snowflakes on for macro work.

Or if you want some extra flare in the shot
11-07-2019, 06:08 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Welcome

A UV filter isn't needed, nor is it optically beneficial, with any lens (new or old) on digital cameras. In fact, whilst most of the time you wouldn't notice any difference in image quality, in certain circumstances UV filters can actually be detrimental, causing unwanted reflections and artefacts. Hence, it's best to avoid them when you can. Having said that, if I'm shooting in wet and windy, or gritty / sandy conditions, I'll usually fit a UV or clear protective filter so I can clean the front of the lens in the field without worrying about scratches...
Thanks for such fast reply. One more question, I usually used a clear filter - at least I know itís the clearest type of filter, on my newer lenses when I go to the beach or up the mountain just to protect the lenses, but is it the same for vintage lenses? Is clear filter more preferred?
11-07-2019, 06:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Riggomatic Quote
No filters on my vintage lenses.

However, the filters are useful to catch snowflakes on for macro work.

Or if you want some extra flare in the shot
Do you preferred clear filter to UV filter in a situation you have to use one?
11-07-2019, 06:16 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nbs2222 Quote
Thanks for such fast reply. One more question, I usually used a clear filter - at least I know itís the clearest type of filter, on my newer lenses when I go to the beach or up the mountain just to protect the lenses, but is it the same for vintage lenses? Is clear filter more preferred?
Yes, it's the same for vintage lenses

In my opinion, the best type of filter for purely protective use would be a multi-coated clear one - but I've not seen these available. Uncoated clear filters, uncoated UV and coated / multi-coated UV seem to be the choices.

I mostly use Hoya HMC multi-coated UV filters when I want to protect the front element. They've scored quite well in tests regarding image quality and reflections / flare, and they're reasonably priced.
11-07-2019, 06:18 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
it's good for an occasional shot (the stack) and my wife has an entire room for her unused stuff....

Can those be substituted for Oreo cookies ?
11-07-2019, 06:31 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
I have an ever-growing stack of unused/unnecessary/unloved filters I've taken off of purchased lenses....
My stack is approaching Pringles can dimensions. Some day I'll think of a creative use for them, perhaps mounted in a stained glass panel.
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