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09-15-2019, 08:23 PM   #1
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To Filter or Not to Filter

Back in the day, ALWAYS put a UV filter on any lens used. Should we keep that up with the K-70?

09-15-2019, 08:49 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by westbygodvirginia Quote
Back in the day, ALWAYS put a UV filter on any lens used. Should we keep that up with the K-70?
09-15-2019, 10:04 PM - 3 Likes   #3
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I don't use UV filters either but Tony Northrup doesn't seem to know very much about filters in general. It's not because I can't buy high quality filters made of good optical class but because it would needlessly introduce another element to the optical formula without the slightest chance of enhancing results. My protective filter is called a lens cap and it is definitely worth the "trouble" for EVERYONE to ALWAYS put it back on before stowing gear. His argument based on cheap plastic for this and other filters makes one wonder how familiar he is with modern gear. His discussion of polarizer use was laughable. First lesson is to buy a filter of sufficient diameter so as not to vignette. He also must learn that experienced photographers already know that they don't look good on very wide angle shots especially where a large expanse of sky is in the frame. Then he showed a close-up that indicated his filter was terribly dirty. Meanwhile he is claiming the polarizer effect can be simulated in post-processing and that is just simply not true. The rest of the nonsense just indicates he does not know how to use one. Then the topper - You don't need a tripod or slow shutter speeds, just shoot a burst and use photoshop.
Now we all can see why so many never take much of his advice or opinions seriously.
09-15-2019, 10:47 PM - 3 Likes   #4
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I don't generally use a plain glass (UV) filter, though I usually have one in the bag for use in very dusty or salt spray environments. In the last decade, that filter in the bag has been pulled out maybe one or twice. The accessory that is almost ALWAYS attached is a hood. It provides protection from errant light as well as bumps and collisions.


Steve

09-15-2019, 10:56 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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Personally most of my lenses don't have a filter (except when I actually need a polariser or ND filter of course).
Exceptions are lenses I use on film and a couple that don't have hoods that provide any amount of protection. I find a good hood can help with reducing potential damage to the front element but nothing can guarantee protection.

There is an argument for using them for protecting all lens and I think people should go with whatever they they are comfortable with - if the potential for damage outweighs the potential IQ impact for you then go for it!
09-16-2019, 02:15 AM   #6
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I've started using UV filters when shooting around children - they have a tendency to throw sand, bump the lens etc.

The other time it's good is when shooting at a beach or at an areas with fine water spray that gets on the front element.

Polarising filters are a separate discussion topic. Ideally I'd have the option of using one when shooting in bright sunlight, you can get much richer colours in the sky or obviously water will appear different.

Using an ND filter can also be smart if there's harsh sunlight.
09-16-2019, 02:43 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I wouldn't use UV filters unless you are in a situation where you know there could be "stuff" that hits your front element that you would want to wipe off quickly. Cheap UV filters can really degrade images when shooting into strong light sources and give a lot of veiling flare. Multi Coated, expensive ones from companies like Hoya and B and W are better in that regard, but the best thing is to use your lens hood and only put them on when you think you need them.
09-16-2019, 03:27 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dericali Quote
I've started using UV filters when shooting around children - they have a tendency to throw sand, bump the lens etc.

The other time it's good is when shooting at a beach or at an areas with fine water spray that gets on the front element.

Polarising filters are a separate discussion topic. Ideally I'd have the option of using one when shooting in bright sunlight, you can get much richer colours in the sky or obviously water will appear different.

Using an ND filter can also be smart if there's harsh sunlight.
ND filters are necessary for long exposure effects (in most cases). They are extremely useful and are put to good use by many photographers. This is another discussion entirely.

09-16-2019, 05:32 AM   #9
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I am inclined to use a UV, Skylight, or clear filter to protect the big front element of some lenses, as sometimes those are made of exotic glass that is a bit softer and more scratch prone than traditional crown or flint glass. As to a filter adding surfaces to clean or degrading IQ because of additional glass: 1) on any lens you clean the front-most surface of the first element which becomes the front of the filter - the filter will keep dust & finger smudges off the foremost lens surface; 2) filter glass is very thin and very flat and should not degrade IQ anywhere near as much as the multiple much thicker glass in a TC and how many of us are willing to use one of those?


Once when moving about to get a better angle on some wildlife the tip of a dead branch struck the front element of the tele I was using, sticking in down the full length of the lens hood. Careless of me, but when preoccupied with getting a wildlife shot you don't always think about "take off the hood, put on the cap, move, remove the cap, replace the hood." I suppose one of those soft bag-type caps that go over a hood would spared me an Adrenalin surge, but does that mean I'd need two caps, a soft one when the hood is on, a hard when when the hood is off/reversed because a soft one might be pushed in to rub against the lens if it were put on when the hood was off/retracted/reversed..

SIGH! Why aren't there quick, simple. final satisfactory answers instead of one question leads to another and answers that are always compromises?
09-16-2019, 07:53 AM   #10
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I had several incidents that would have damaged the front element or deposited dirty grit on it were it not for the use of a protective UV filter. Most digital cameras have a UV/IR rejection filter prior to the sensor so it's historical use is generally not needed, but for protection, I feel it is warranted. I've tested with and without a filter and found very little if any optical compromise in the use of them assuming low quality filters aren't used. One caveat, they can introduce extra flare though most of mine are multicoated and I don't see those issues often. Such a filter is up-front and usually the lens shade doesn't shield it as it would the front element so there's more chance for flaring to happen.
09-16-2019, 09:00 AM   #11
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In general, I don't use protective filters on any of my lenses. I do, however, have lens hoods on all of them...metal, when possible. A co-worker and I were discussing this the other day. He's a "pro-filter" guy. I told him that I think part of the answer lies in what type of pictures you tend to take. I will often include light sources in my photos. That can induce flare so I stopped using filters as a way to keep flare to a minimum. But if you tend to take pictures with the sun at your back...and you use a lens hood...it's very likely that you won't see much of a difference between filter and no filter. I also think that if a filter give a person peace of mind regarding damaging their lens...then by all means, use a filter. If it causes problems, then change.
09-16-2019, 01:44 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevinWE Quote
ND filters are necessary for long exposure effects (in most cases). They are extremely useful and are put to good use by many photographers. This is another discussion entirely.
You can also use ND filters for purposes other than long exposure. Such as slowing down shutter speed in bright sunlight to increase dynamic range and reduce strong shadows. Bright sunlight is a phenomenon that occurs outdoors and therefore this might be another occasion when the general photographic purpose of a lens filter dovetails nicely with protection of the front element of the lens.
09-16-2019, 01:54 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dericali Quote
You can also use ND filters for purposes other than long exposure. Such as slowing down shutter speed in bright sunlight to increase dynamic range and reduce strong shadows.
I don't think I understand how an ND filter increases dynamic range or reduces strong shadows.

09-16-2019, 03:50 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dericali Quote
You can also use ND filters for purposes other than long exposure. Such as slowing down shutter speed in bright sunlight to increase dynamic range and reduce strong shadows. Bright sunlight is a phenomenon that occurs outdoors and therefore this might be another occasion when the general photographic purpose of a lens filter dovetails nicely with protection of the front element of the lens.
QuoteOriginally posted by slartibartfast01 Quote
I don't think I understand how an ND filter increases dynamic range or reduces strong shadows.
I'm pondering this one trying to picture how adding a 4-stop ND filter raises strong shadows by decreasing the shutter speed +4 stops to get the same amount of light to the sensor.

What ND filters can do and what I use mine for is to allow highlight preservation under bright conditions (at the expense of shadows) or to allow longer exposures for purposes of motion blur under conditions where stopping down would be inadequate.

Drilling a little deeper into the first case where the intent is highlight preservation where the scene has values that are brighter than the maximum EV addressable by available combinations of shutter, aperture and ISO (EV100 22 or 23 on current model Pentax dSLRs depending on lens minimum aperture). Using an ND to bring the high values to an addressable range will allow the camera to record those tones, but only at the expense of low values. Moving the histogram left by decreasing light comes with the risk of clipping the shadow tones to black or near black. If there are few low values (e.g. sunlit white clouds), one can increase the number of tones in the scene and increase the numeric dynamic range. If there is a significant contribution of low values (e.g. sunlit snow with trees poking through), the dynamic range remains the same.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-16-2019 at 03:55 PM.
09-25-2019, 02:07 PM   #15
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ND filters - this page might give some useful info (not that I agree with all the terminology used on it!)
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