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06-28-2009, 10:40 AM   #1
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Filters on Great Lenses

So I have some really great prime lenses: FA* 24mm and the FA 77limited for example. So far I've been using them without any filters because I didn't want to degrade their fine optics. But I'd like to at least put UV filters on them to protect them. I may also want to get some warming filters because the weather where I live is seriously grey.

Can anyone suggest UV and warming filters that will not detract from the quality of my primes?

06-28-2009, 10:54 AM   #2
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The best quality from Hoya and B+W will not degrade the quality of the optics, at least not visibly Of course, anything between you and your subject will interfere but most of the time it's really not visible. A good Tiffen or an older, good quality Vivitar should also work.
06-28-2009, 11:03 AM   #3
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A warming filter is not necessary on digital. If you shoot raw you can play with white balance and saturation after the shot. If you shoot JPEG you can do the same in the camera's settings.
06-28-2009, 11:04 AM   #4
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i use UV filter HOYA PRO1 S-HMC on my best lenses:
expensive, but very good.

06-28-2009, 11:08 AM   #5
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Would there be a noticeable issue with lesser uv filters? I run inexpensive Hoya filters on all my lenses, though none would be classified as high end lenses.
06-28-2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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Here is a UV filter test of a good selection of what is available - top, bottom and middle range - in UV filters. Bottom line is all filters have some effect on IQ. How much is acceptable is up to you to decide.
06-28-2009, 12:26 PM   #7
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Any filter will have a negative impact on IQ. The filter quality decides, whether this IQ-loss is visible or not.

If you use filters, buy good multi-coated ones. The cheap Hoya lines (green series for example) have only single coating, many other cheap filters, including the Tiffens don't have any coating at all. The absence of a good multi-coating means added ghosting and increased flaring whenever there is a light source inside the image frame or just outside. It also means a loss of contrast.

So, even with the best filters, I put them away for any kind of nighttime shooting or when shooting directly into the sun (let's say a portait with flash and the sunset in the background). At night and with strong linghts in the image, even good filters often will degrade the image visibly.

To protect your lenses, using the rigid lens hood is always a very good choice. Filters are really only necessary, when you are near salt water (beach, cliffs etc.) and you want to avoid getting salt spray onto your lens or under very dusty conditions, when a ruined filter is much cheaper to replace, than a ruined front element of the lens...

Ben
06-28-2009, 01:46 PM   #8
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As Ben says, coating is very important to preserve IQ through % of light transmission versus reflectivity. Slight correction, the GREEN series is uncoated and quite a detriment to any decent lens. Below is the Hoya UV filter chart you can use to weigh quality versus price.




Last edited by imtheguy; 06-28-2009 at 08:36 PM.
06-28-2009, 05:43 PM   #9
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I'll echo what others have said: use the best Hoya UV filters. Tiffens are uncoated. I only use UV for lens protection. I don't believe any of the best degrade image quality to a significant extent.

I used to poohpooh the value of any kind of lens protection; then I became friends with the owner of one of the most highly regarded camera and lens repair shops in Seattle. At his shop he laid out this month's lineup of lenses with damaged front elements that a simple UV filter could have prevented. That all it took to convince me to protect mine. Go visit a similar shop near you and see what you see.

M
06-28-2009, 05:49 PM   #10
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I bought the cheap 67mm Crystal Optics set for about $15. Will they degrade the quality I get out of my 50-135mm? >.<
06-28-2009, 06:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
A warming filter is not necessary on digital. If you shoot raw you can play with white balance and saturation after the shot. If you shoot JPEG you can do the same in the camera's settings.
True, but a warming filter does work well in saving some time when using flash.
06-28-2009, 08:28 PM   #12
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As a rule, I don't generally use UV filters when I can put a nice deep rigid hood on there, unless it's in crappy conditions. (Actually, I have a little pile of beater filters from bargain Ebay lenses and such that serve for those occasions. Though I haven't been around those conditions in quite a while.

For protection, they're nice in general if you're using a lens with a vulnerable front element (Especially like a lot of the modern fast zooms. )
06-28-2009, 08:49 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GLXLR Quote
I bought the cheap 67mm Crystal Optics set for about $15. Will they degrade the quality I get out of my 50-135mm? >.<

If cheap means uncoated and therefore low % light transmissions and more flare then yes, it will noticeably degrade the IQ. On the other hand, if you only take your pics for yourself and the filter is for protection, take some pics under harsh lighting and controlled repeatable circumstances, with and without the filter. If you can't see any difference then does it matter which filter you use? You are the only person that has to be happy.

Even the most expensive filters get in the way of SOME light. I refer you to the link posted in this thread by JEM that has a very technical review and bottom line value for the price for 20 UV filters.
06-29-2009, 08:28 AM   #14
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I will be going to lower Nile, Egypt in August. I expect it to be hot, dry and dust. Would UV filter for protection be advisable or do you think that the conditions won't be so bad that it would be necesary?
Generaly I don't use filters. Period.

BR
06-29-2009, 01:03 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I will be going to lower Nile, Egypt in August. I expect it to be hot, dry and dust. Would UV filter for protection be advisable or do you think that the conditions won't be so bad that it would be necesary?
Generaly I don't use filters. Period.

BR
Usually I wouldn't think you need extra protection. But if it is windy or you are driving out into the desert, a protective filter would be a good idea - at least as it makes cleaning the lens easier... But ofcourse it is no remedy to dust and sand particles getting insides the camera during lens changes. This is the more dangerous risk. If I remember rightly, the photographer Michael Martin, famous for his pictures of desewrts around the world, has mentioned somewhere, that his cameras sometimes only lasted 20 minutes after starting a shoot. That's extreme and not even common for such a specialist, but sand, wind and cameras don't go together well.

Ben
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