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04-28-2007, 10:37 AM   #1
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UV Filters Degrade Image Quality ?

I just read an article in our Local Rag by Dave McGinn (National Post) titled Great Photographs usually clear, clean. The article goes on how to take good pictures - catered towards advanced PS and SLR (both film and Digital).

The one point that has caused me some concern with reagrds to SLR is "Avoid UV filers. Do not under any circummstances put a UV filter on the end of a lens. That will degrade image quaility right away before you even get started. You do want to put filters such as polizared ones on your lens bases on the shooting conditions"

All my lenses have Tiffen Filters. 2 - Haze-1 Filters., 1- Sky-1 A. It says they absorbs almost 1/2 the UV Light fo the Sky-1 and 3/4 for the Haze-1. I bought them at the recommendation of where I bought the camera - for me it as more so for protection. I think they were around $20 - $25.

So did I get hosed ? Is this Article becuase the author has shares in Tiffen or other filter companies ? Am I really degrading the quality of my camera ? What are some good filters to use ?

04-28-2007, 10:44 AM   #2
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This always generates heated debates. You will get supporters from both sides.

But if you DO choose to use UV filters, I would throw away the Tiffens and get the B+W MRC filters; or at least the Hoya S-HMC filters.
04-28-2007, 11:03 AM   #3
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Some low-quality UV filters are not completely clear and will therefore make your photos appear hazy. Always hold the filters up to the light and check if they change color tones- if so, get rid of them and go for Pentax or Hoya filters.

Adam
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04-28-2007, 11:09 AM   #4
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Heated... well, maybe.
To me the bottom line is that the filter can never improve anything. Then it also very often doesn't degrade the picture either. You have to test it with your lens (as different lenses react diferently to the filter) and under reasonable shooting conditions.

Here is a something for you to check out and contemplate:
Home Test: UV-filters - good or bad?: DPR

and daacon, please check your PM,

regards,

04-28-2007, 11:30 AM   #5
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One fools opinion. Try living at an altitude where UV kills; shoot a few frames, then decide for yourself, But keep your choice to yourself; as far as front of the lens filters go, we would all be better off if fewer words were said.
04-28-2007, 01:05 PM   #6
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I have a two-year old. I take pictures where there's always the possibility of a handful of sand being thrown my direction. Whatever's in front of my lens is going to get scratched eventually, and I've decided my overall picture quality will be increased by having that be a replaceable and relatively cheap filter rather than the front element of the lens itself.
04-28-2007, 03:47 PM   #7
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Hama Germany

QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
I just read an article in our Local Rag by Dave McGinn (National Post) titled Great Photographs usually clear, clean. The article goes on how to take good pictures - catered towards advanced PS and SLR (both film and Digital).

The one point that has caused me some concern with reagrds to SLR is "Avoid UV filers. Do not under any circummstances put a UV filter on the end of a lens. That will degrade image quaility right away before you even get started. You do want to put filters such as polizared ones on your lens bases on the shooting conditions"

All my lenses have Tiffen Filters. 2 - Haze-1 Filters., 1- Sky-1 A. It says they absorbs almost 1/2 the UV Light fo the Sky-1 and 3/4 for the Haze-1. I bought them at the recommendation of where I bought the camera - for me it as more so for protection. I think they were around $20 - $25.

So did I get hosed ? Is this Article becuase the author has shares in Tiffen or other filter companies ? Am I really degrading the quality of my camera ? What are some good filters to use ?
Another very good filter in my opinion is the "HAMA" Multicoated UV filters made in Germany. They are as good as Hoya and I am using it on my Pentax 31 Limited Lens. I use it as the lens surface on the 31mm protrudes enough to give me concern, therefore it's use. I don't use filters on the 21, 40 and 70 as they are sufficiently receded for me to feel comfortable using them. I haven't seen any degradation what so ever.

Ben
04-28-2007, 05:58 PM   #8
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The uv-filter-for-protection debate has been going on for years. Salesmen of course are always for the idea, as well as an awful lot of folks who have bought into the theory. In the end it's a personal choice.

Many pro photographers have advocated against the use of uv filters "for protection" for years in their books, starting with (but not limited to) John Shaw. Their reasoning is that you spend a lot of money for the sharpest possible lens only to mount another piece of glass (a filter) that isn't anywhere near as good optically. They're not against filters as long as they serve a specific purpose for a specific photo - like the polarizer, for example, or on a beach where sand is likely to blast the glass. Even in areas with high uv, a polarizer will cut down more than a uv filter will.

There's no agenda here, the author of the article is simply siding with a lot of published pros. But in the end, it's your choice.

04-28-2007, 06:46 PM   #9
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Here is a sample of the "heated argument".

Filter recommendation - Digital Camera Resource Page - Forums
04-28-2007, 09:29 PM   #10
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I don't find my MC B+W filters degrade the quality, neither do the Hoya pro 1 digitals (I use on my ultra wide angle due to the low profile).. But I do find the B+W much easier to clean and better build than the Hoya.

As with benjikan I don't use a filter on the DA70 as the glass is well protected, and as the cap goes on the hood it is never removed..
04-28-2007, 10:49 PM   #11
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This is what i have been taught.

1. Poor technique is going to degrade image quality more then a filter.
2. A filter degrades image quality less then a scratched front element does.
3. A filter doesn't effect lens re-sale value, front element scratches do.
4. Insurance degrades your bank account, but you still have it just in case.

I would rather have one or two shots "ruined" by the "image degradation " "caused" by filters, then have to repalce a lens because something impacting the front element.
04-28-2007, 11:25 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cideway Quote
This is what i have been taught.

1. Poor technique is going to degrade image quality more then a filter.
2. A filter degrades image quality less then a scratched front element does.
3. A filter doesn't effect lens re-sale value, front element scratches do.
4. Insurance degrades your bank account, but you still have it just in case.

I would rather have one or two shots "ruined" by the "image degradation " "caused" by filters, then have to repalce a lens because something impacting the front element.
Absolutely true. A great summary.

I had many occasions where the filters probably saved my lenses from serious fractures after mal handling.

B+W or Hoya pro filters are all great filters.

p.s. These filters provide a good shield from food or dirt contamination very well too.
04-29-2007, 12:12 AM   #13
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The only thing I notice with uv filters is that cheap ones can exacerbate flare and ghosting in already difficult lighting conditions. Under normal circumstances I've never noticed any problems. If I'm shooting something that is backlit or otherwise flare-prone, I'll simply remove the filter for those few frames, and pop it back on as soon as I'm done. On a couple of my lenses (the kit lens, for one) I've stopped using a filter altogether because I was having so many flare issues. That said, this probably says more about my use of cheap filters than anything else. I have one of the Hoya HMC ones on my FA 31, and that puppy has never come off the lens, no matter what I'm photographing. No need to.
04-29-2007, 12:22 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cideway Quote
This is what i have been taught.

1. Poor technique is going to degrade image quality more then a filter.
2. A filter degrades image quality less then a scratched front element does.
3. A filter doesn't effect lens re-sale value, front element scratches do.
4. Insurance degrades your bank account, but you still have it just in case.

I would rather have one or two shots "ruined" by the "image degradation " "caused" by filters, then have to repalce a lens because something impacting the front element.
Add to that the fact that I've busted two filters in my photography life through accidental bumping into things... busted filters that *would* have been busted front elements had the filters not been there.. then I'd have to say, I'll always have a filter on the front of my lenses

I've never noticed a quality loss. Any losses are purely at a magnified extreme pixel-peeping level if one must insist they are there.
04-29-2007, 04:06 AM   #15
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Perfect everyone that clears it all up haha - personal choice for sure . I might try some shots with and without - but I am not a professional and I think for now I will keep them on. Every watch I have ever owned has taken damage to the face (arms are attracted to to cement posts or something). And I still have teenagers at home

I might look at some of the other brands mentioned here.

Thanks for the feedback
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