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07-21-2020, 11:33 AM   #1
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UV Protectors?

Here is my first newby question on this forum. I just bought a K-70, I already had 2 good lenses. I have Tiffen UV protectors for these lenses. My question... Are UV Protectors important? Do they detract at all from image quality (assuming clean and scratch free). ?

07-21-2020, 11:54 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.
You will get different opinions but I don't use them. Not even as coffee coasters.
There may be an argument for safety to protect the lens but it won't be a match for an incoming baseball hitting your camera.
In my opinion, regardless how good they can be, it is extra glass light has to go thru, and an extra source of potential ghosting or reflections. An extra surface to keep clean. The only filters I really care for are polarizers and NDs.
But as I said, there are very different opinions on this topic. It will boil down to personal preference and experience.

07-21-2020, 12:34 PM - 1 Like   #3
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IMO, UV filters take away from the image quality and should therefore not be used. However, do be sure to always have the lens hood on, as this will protect the front element just was well if you happen to walk into a tree, or if the lens is hit by a projectile.

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07-21-2020, 12:35 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Welcome. The protective/UV filters are great to have in dusty, windy or wet conditions. They can save your lens on impact also (Iíve broken several on camera that would have damaged the lens). That said, under normal sedate conditions I screw them off or donít bring them at all. Since you already own them, keep them for those rough conditions. I often use a polarizer for protection/outdoor photography but also remove it when not needed.

07-21-2020, 12:38 PM - 1 Like   #5

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I don't use them either, though I do make a habit of always fitting a lens hood, so if it's a case of impact damage, that should help mitigate any problem.
I have noticed image degradation in the past with one fitted and I'm sure that super-expensive multi-coated filters from market-leading brands will cause minimal problems ... and so they should, at the price
UV filters are good for one thing, filtering out excess UV light. If you're high in the mountains with a triplet lens fitted to a film camera, a UV filter is probably a "good thing". However, for most applications, with very many elements of uv-absorbing glass in a modern zoom lens on a digital camera, a UV filter is probably not necessary!

07-21-2020, 12:48 PM   #6
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I have 'em in the bag, but seldom use'em. The reason is that using a hood is almost always a good idea for decreased potential for flair, if nothing else. The only time the UV (plain glass) goes on is when there is salt spray or extreme dust.

07-21-2020, 12:51 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forums

UV protectors - actually, any filter in front of your lens - can result in flare when shooting towards bright light sources, and can impact image quality in other ways... color balance, loss of sharpness, strange effects on out-of-focus rendering, etc. Often-times, these won't be immediately apparent, but when they are, they can be difficult or impossible to remove in post-processing. As such, I'd recommend you only shoot with any filter when you need it, or the benefits outweigh the risks.

I fit UV or clear protectors to my lenses when I'm shooting in inclement weather, dusty and gritty conditions, or when the front of the lens may get splashed, as I like to be able to clean the optics in the field with whatever I have available (often a shirt tail !!).
07-21-2020, 01:42 PM   #8
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I guess I'll add a dissenting opinion here. While I respect what others have said, I still generally feel safer with a clear UV filter in place, especially when shooting outdoors, so I just leave the filters on by default. And like a lot of things in life, you get what you pay for and that holds true for filters. Yes, you can find them for $3 shipped on eBay, made of purest chineseium, but chances are they'll detract from your image quality worse than a good quality one made by a reputable company.

07-21-2020, 01:47 PM   #9
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Wow, quick answers and pretty much a consensus here! I am close to sea level and most of my travel photography will be at under 1000 meters to I will only use them if/when I am in a sand storm in the Sahara . I do understand about using the lens hood to reduce flair, and a little added protection to the end of the lens. Thanks to all!
07-21-2020, 02:04 PM   #10
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Definitely a personal preference decision. I decided not to use them, and have never used one in my
54 years of playing with SLRs and DSLRs. I simply don't shoot during inclement weather or at risky locations.
07-21-2020, 02:29 PM - 3 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Selvadero Quote
iI do understand about using the lens hood to reduce flair
Oh, please don't reduce your flair!

Flare, yes
07-21-2020, 02:49 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I use them. High quality B&W. The image is only as good as the worst piece of glass the light passes through.
Then I don't use them for a while. Just one more chance for distortion of some sort.
Then I use them for a while.
I use them more often than not. I've done side-by-side comparisons and can't see a difference, but that doesn't mean there isn't any. Purely as a matter of physics, there is a difference.
If you feel more comfortable having the protection they provide use one, but only if you're okay with paying the price for premium quality filters.
07-21-2020, 06:39 PM   #13
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I learned my lesson the hard way. I have scratched the front element of two lenses. If they had a filter on at the time, they would not have been scratched. Both times the scratches occurred when my camera was in my padded camera bag (one was when a lens rubbed up against the front element and the other was when the hot shoe of one camera scratched the front element).

The key is to find the clearest filter possible. I have owned many different filters from different manufacturers (B+W, Hoya, Heliopan, Nikon, Canon, Tiffen, etc.). I found that the best ones were not the expensive ones. Hoya HMC UVC have been the clearest for me so far.

As for image degradation, It is negligible imo, especially if you get the clearest filter possible.
07-21-2020, 07:14 PM   #14

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It's easy to try a few shots both ways and make up your mind. I prefer the protection and rarely have flare issues. In fact, the UV filter has saved a front element more than twice for me. More of a preference but experiment yourself (don't use a cheap UV filter because those CAN be garbage - multicoated and good name brand).
07-21-2020, 07:20 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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I use them with a few caveats. They have to be really good quality. I've settled on the MRC nano XS-Pro line from B&W as my standard. I do use UV versus clear. I shoot a lot around water, and I feel they can be helpful for haze. Do be aware that if you're shooting into bright light (sun), you probably ought to pop them off, if the environment allows it e.g. no blowing dirt. I routinely find I can't just blow my lenses clean, so at the point I have to wipe a front element to clean it, I'd rather be doing it to a filter. I have a lens I bought used that has "cleaning marks." While I've never done that to a lens, you hear of it. I'd say buy a high quality filter for your favorite lens and do some test shots and see what you think. Check out this article on Lens Tip. It might be helpful:

UV filters test - Introduction -

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