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11-21-2008, 10:06 AM   #16
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Yep, at risk of ridicule, I must admit I recently put Hoya Pro1D filters on my two newest lenses, and it feels GREAT! (what a relief!) I tend to take inordinate risks with my camera dangling around my neck (climbing up and down cliffs, sliding down slopes too steep to stop on, trying to take closeups of children with sticky hands...) and it's nice to know I've got protection on.

I used to believe the naysayers and fall into the naked camp, but this thread and this review, and the $100+ that I lost in the value of a DA 18-250 when I scratched the front element while cleaning it swayed my opinion. Perhaps if I were making money from my photography, I could write off damage as the cost of doing business, but I'm not doing business, and if I miss a shot because of some effect of a filter, I can just hit my head and say, "Stupid!, why didn't I take off the filter for that shot.", and that's it. No pissed off editor or bridezilla, no harm, no foul.

Last edited by heliphoto; 11-21-2008 at 10:12 AM. Reason: hit "post button too early by accident"
11-21-2008, 11:14 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by patrickt Quote
My lenses come with a nifty protective device called a lens cap. I use it.
Me too. That, plus trying not to drop the lens, is all the protection it needs while not shooting.

While shooting, I do often use a hood, which cuts down on lens flare *without* comprosiming image quality, and provides some modest amount of protection in some cases as well. But shees, we don't laminate our cameras; I don't go around with a clear plastic bag over my head all the time; I wear my watch on my wrist not in a little box in my pocket. Not sure where the idea came from that lenses need more "protection" than anything else we use.
11-21-2008, 11:19 AM   #18
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I have used high quality Hoya or similar filters for years on all my lenses. I probably could buy another lens with the cost of filters that has accumulated over the years, especially when you consider 4 lenses with 77mm front ends, and 2 more at 67mm, BUT after 25 years with some of these lenses, the glass is still mint.

some day that will matter
11-21-2008, 11:36 AM   #19
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After years of using UV filters, my lenses mostly go naked now. Reason? I noticed a drop in sharpness/contrast when the filters were on. I am, however, absolutely anal about having a rigid hood on.

One interesting note regarding lens caps...I have recently noticed that my caps have increasingly become a source of dust on my lenses. The plastic builds static that apparently attracts dust that eventually migrates onto the front element when attached. I was shocked one day when I removed the cap from my 18-55 to find the front element totally dusted! That evening all the caps came off all the lenses and were given a thorough washing!


11-21-2008, 11:43 AM   #20
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I figure if pros like benjikan can use 'em and not see a degradation, I ought to be ok .
11-21-2008, 12:04 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by patrickt Quote
My lenses come with a nifty protective device called a lens cap. I use it.
OK - guess I should have gone that extra step with my comments, too.

No filters for protection, however, I use lens caps religiously and hoods if so equiped. My lenses are clean and scratch-free.
11-21-2008, 12:41 PM   #22
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No protective filters unless shooting near the sea or in sandy conditions.

To damage the front element of the DA*50-135 with hood on you'd need nothing short of a spear - and if my camera is being threatened by such weapons, damage to myself is of greater concern than damage to my lenses. I can't replace my perfectly in-tact abdominal cavity for $1000 .
11-21-2008, 01:44 PM   #23
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My thoughts on filters goes like this:

For lenses currently in production that can readily be replaced, and that are going to be used by advanced amateur, or professional photographers that are earning income from their images, I see no need for filters, especially on lenses attached to digital cameras..A lens hood coupled with reasonable care should be sufficient protection..

The one exception to this rule would be ANYTIME the camera & lens were going to be used in harsh environments..For example, blowing sand or dirt, wet weather of any kind, salt spray from ocean environments, any kind of toxic airborne chemicals that might degrade the lens coatings, etc..

On the other hand, for lenses no longer in production it makes sense to protect the front elements of the lens with a high-quality clear UV filter in addition to a lens hood..Especially, if the front elements of such a lens are in pristine condition..Whether these lenses are collectors items with high price tags, or inexpensive ones with little current value makes no difference to me..As the various lens threads on this forum have shown, many, if not most, of the lenses manufactured during the "Golden Age" of film photography are capable of rendering very good to absolutely stunning results when coupled with the right digital camera..This includes high-end lenses for Leica cameras, as well as re-badged inexpensive lenses from 2nd & 3rd tier Japanese & German manufacturers..

Most older lenses are being used on digital cameras & the resulting images are intended to be manipulated by post processing in a computer..Any minor artifacts that are the result of a clear UV filter should be easily removed in post processing..

Since most of my focus for the next several years is going to be 35mm & medium format 6x7 black & white film photography my lenses will always be wearing a Kodak Wratten Light Yellow #3 filter for daylight photography..Unless, I wish to use another Wratten numbered filter for dramatic effect..At night the lenses will go filter free for maximum light transmission, especially when shooting medium format..The exception would be if I was shooting at night in a harsh environment as outlined above..

There is no denying that high-quality filters from B&W, Heliopan, & Formatt are a considerable investment..They tend to degrade an image the least due to superior multi-coatings..But, the main reason for their higher costs is that they are using Zeiss Water White Optical Glass which is ground to a much higher degree of flatness than the glass used to construct less expensive filters..The flatter the glass in the filter, the fewer artifacts in the resultant images taken through that filter..If you look at the prices for Tiffen filters that are sized at & above 95mm you will see a big price difference compared to Tiffen's smaller filters..This is because Tiffen is marketing these filters primarily to the video & motion picture industry where the quality must be top notch..Although I do not know exactly what grade of glass Tiffen is using in these larger filters, I suspect that it is similar in quality to the Zeiss Water White Optical Glass being used by B&W, Formatt, & Heliopan..

Most digital lenses have filter sizes ranging from 49mm to 67mm, with the occasional larger filter required for the faster zoom & prime lenses..If you want expensive try pricing medium format filters for Pentax 6x7 lenses, which range in size from 67mm to 128mm..

Some of the Pentax Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 6x7 lenses that I anticipate purchasing over the next five years will require filters that are quite expensive individually..For instance, the Takumar 6x7 55mm f3.5 wide angle lens was designed to use 100mm threaded or bayonet mount filters..The Takumar 6x7 400mm f4.0 telephoto lens has a 108mm front filter thread, which is non-standard.. I have decided that any filters that I purchase for either of these lenses will be sized at 112mm, which will require custom set-screw-mounted filter rings from S.K. Grimes..As well as custom lens hoods..The Pentax SMC M*67 400mm f4.0 ED (IF) lens has a front filter thread size of 112mm..By choosing to use 112mm filters with the 55 f3.5 & 400 f4.0 lenses, I'll also be covered if the opportunity ever arises to use & or purchase the M* 400 ED (IF) lens..Both 100mm & 108mm filters are non-standard, & would require special ordering from B&W..The 112mm are also a special order item, but since B&W already offers a limited selection of 112mm filters there are more options when requesting something out of the normal run of things..


11-21-2008, 04:09 PM   #24
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Starkers for me, but good hoods to protect their modesty.
11-21-2008, 11:19 PM   #25
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Not sure where the idea came from that lenses need more "protection" than anything else we use.

I do not use filters though I have a cheap 67mm in the bottom of the bag for the 18-50 just in case of... beats the heck outta me. I would use my P&S if there was a real chance of destruction, say at a windy sandy beach - but why would I be there?

Here's a filter/no filter thread, again....

Filter recommendation - Digital Camera Resource Page Forums

Last edited by SpecialK; 11-23-2008 at 11:58 AM.
11-22-2008, 05:21 AM   #26
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Mine go naked, but always with a hood. In most cases I do not shoot in situations where the lens can get damaged or dirty.

The main problem I have is that I usually shoot with primes, so then I have the issue of changing lenses and protecting lenses in transit. It seems to me that the lenses are more likely to get damaged in my bag by rubbing against each other, scratching the bodies or knocking the caps off. Using bubble wrap sheets or bags turned out to be a one time only solution. Then I tried dividers in my camera bag, but even though they were nice and neat before I went out, after changing lenses a few times the lenses ended up as a jumble.

The solution seems to be cases. I have some cases for the Taks I own. I also have some compact camera cases that are just the right size for some of the primes I own. I even made one lens case using material and padding salvaged from an old laptop case... So now when I buy a new lens I prefer ones sold with caps, a hood and a case; or if it does not have any of those then I will buy them separately.

11-22-2008, 12:34 PM   #27

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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Every lens I own that will accept a filter has one. Not for 'protection' but to keep the lens clean. I'd rather clean the filter than the lens itself.
Same here.
11-22-2008, 12:49 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by patrickt Quote
My lenses come with a nifty protective device called a lens cap. I use it.
That must be awfully nifty to be able to take pictures with the lens cap on! But until I get such an awesome device, I'll have to keep UV filters on all my lenses to protect from dirt and debris while taking pictures, which they do quite well.
11-22-2008, 01:26 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by wallyb Quote
That must be awfully nifty to be able to take pictures with the lens cap on! But until I get such an awesome device, I'll have to keep UV filters on all my lenses to protect from dirt and debris while taking pictures, which they do quite well.
So you take off your filters before shooting? The outside side of my lens caps get dusty, but guess what? When I taken the cap off the lens is sparkling clean! I rarely need to clean my lenses. How often do you clean your filters?

11-23-2008, 04:44 AM   #30
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UV or Skylight filters permanently on everything except an old Tokina 28 that I would put an UV filter on if I had a spare!

I just really don't want to damage my stuff and I can't see any IQ difference, so there you go.

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