Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-04-2013, 12:56 AM   #1
Senior Member
richardstringer's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Boston, Lincolnshire
Posts: 145
UV filters degrade image quality

I wasn't 100% sure if they did, but yeah, they do. I used to have a 7DayShop cheap one on my old Nikon D5100 and it did degrade the image quality a bit, there was a little less sharpness and contrast and the image could be quite hazy sometimes. Anyway, now i've got a Pentax K30, I was using a Hoya and i've noticed more image quality degrdation, in fact the Hoya degrades image quality it seems, more than the cheap 7Day Shop one I used to have.

Anyway, i've done some research and quite a bit of googling and found that most people are in agreement too. Now I just don't use one, I know it's not protecting my lens front glass by not using one but I spend 500 on a K30 to get excellent image to then have a UV filter degrade the wonderful image quality. Do any of you guys notice the degredation of image quality?

09-04-2013, 01:19 AM   #2
Senior Member
climit's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kalamata
Posts: 224
some filters are that bad that make image terrible.
09-04-2013, 01:59 AM   #3
Veteran Member
abmj's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Central California
Posts: 600
As has been suggested here several times, the best protection results from keeping the lens hood in place. In cases where you need even more protection, such as in blowing dust/sand or salt breeze, use an "Ultra Clear Protection Filter." Several brands make high quality, lens grade ones. UV rays used to affect film images outdoors, so a UV filter made sense in those days. Since UV doesn't affect a digital sensor, the slight distortion of a UV filter provides no benefit and as you found can degrade the image. IMHO, UV filters serve no good purpose in digital photography

The best image will result from no extraneous glass in front of the lens but since I frequently shoot very active and grabby grandkids, I have clear filters for my common "family" lenses. The filters usually come off at other times, particularly since I often add a circular polarizer outdoors and you never want to "stack" filters if it can be avoided to cut down on reflections and extra glare.
09-04-2013, 02:12 AM   #4
Senior Member
richardstringer's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Boston, Lincolnshire
Posts: 145
Original Poster
Are there actually ANY out there which don't degrade the image quality at all?

09-04-2013, 02:24 AM - 2 Likes   #5
Moderator
Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Sandy Hancock's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,977
I have always assumed the front elements of quality lenses are curved and coated in a way to optimise their optical performance. Putting a lump of flat glass in front doesn't make much sense to me when a hood provides similar protection and *improves* image quality.
09-04-2013, 02:26 AM   #6
Veteran Member
edgedemon's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: London
Photos: Albums
Posts: 309
Oh, I have loads, one each for my lenses, better take them off now then and see if I notice a difference
09-04-2013, 02:28 AM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: GMT +10
Photos: Albums
Posts: 11,790
QuoteOriginally posted by richardstringer Quote
Are there actually ANY out there which don't degrade the image quality at all?
Anything in front of the lens will have an impact on IQ (including resolution, contrast, flare, coma, vignetting etc), the question is to what degree. Have a look here to see some actual lab tests of a bunch of UV filters: hint Hoya HMC is best bang for buck

UV filters test - Introduction - Lenstip.com
UV filters test - supplement - Introduction - Lenstip.com

A good Hoya UV filter may have minimal impact on IQ under most conditions, but the issue will still be: why bother with one at all?
09-04-2013, 02:55 AM - 2 Likes   #8
Veteran Member
Heie's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 968
QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
I have always assumed the front elements of quality lenses are curved and coated in a way to optimise their optical performance. Putting a lump of flat glass in front doesn't make much sense to me when a hood provides similar protection and *improves* image quality.
This is 100% my philosophy. After two years of adventurous outdoor photography, including 12 months of shooting in Afghanistan during combat operations, the only time I had an issue was when I was shooting a landing helicopter at close range with my K-5/DA*60-250. For something like that, a UV filter would have been preferable, and yet no scratches to the lens objective.

You will never ever never find me shooting with a UV filter, just like you will never ever never find me shooting without lens hoods.

To me, the ubiquity of UV filters for digital photography is nothing more than an incredibly successful scam.

-Heie

09-04-2013, 04:52 AM   #9
Senior Member
richardstringer's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Boston, Lincolnshire
Posts: 145
Original Poster
So it seems I was right then, my Hoy UV filter which I paid 25 for was just a waste of money seeing as I take care of my lenses so amazingly well.
09-04-2013, 07:36 AM   #10
Pentaxian
TaoMaas's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,411
QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Anything in front of the lens will have an impact on IQ...
That's the philosophy I've always operated under. 99% of the time, a lens hood and a bit of caution is all that's needed to protect your lenses. Don't be foolish, though. If you're going to be shooting where you could get spray from an ocean, lake, or river...use a filter. Some of that stuff dries quickly and doesn't want to come off easily.
09-04-2013, 08:20 AM   #11
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 21,937
The biggest problem is see with filters is that they make lenses much more prone to flare. At the same time, I worry a lot about scratching or damaging the fron element of a lens. So, I tend to use them some of the time, but screw them off if looks like a bad place for extra glass.

Multi coated UV filters like Super Marumai or B and W tend not to effect image quality as much, but they are quite pricey. I have some cheap Tiffen filters that give almost a muddy cast to images.
09-04-2013, 08:33 AM   #12
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
SteveTheOldMan's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Central MA, USA
Posts: 63
OK...I'll overcome my fear and try shooting "naked" (the lens, that is.). I'm assuming the same logic goes for circular polarizers, which I commonly use.
Thanks!
09-04-2013, 10:03 AM   #13
Senior Member
richardstringer's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Boston, Lincolnshire
Posts: 145
Original Poster
I think shooting naked (unclothed) isn't a good idea, lol, although at least you'd somewhere to hang your camera (if the strap is attached) while talking to a model who you're planning to photograph, unless you're a gay photographer and gorgeous females don't turn you on, then you can't hand your camera using that part of you, lol.

09-04-2013, 10:07 AM   #14
Veteran Member
abmj's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Central California
Posts: 600
QuoteOriginally posted by SteveTheOldMan Quote
... I'm assuming the same logic goes for circular polarizers, which I commonly use...
A CPL is one of those things that can really have a great impact on the image but IMHO should only be used when appropriate. I have seen comments from folks who just leave the CPL on all the time. That seems insane to me. Aside from the aforementioned image degradation, the CPL reduces light transmission and effectively slows your lens down by a stop to a stop and a half. Nothing works quite like a CPL when it is needed, but like any other tool, it should be removed when not needed.

I consider changing of filters to be similar to changing of lenses. I swap lenses on and off to fit the situation. The same is true for the various filters I use - protection, CPL, ND, etc. They go on when needed and come off when not. A set of filter stack caps is cheap and takes up little room in the bag. It is all a trade-off. You live with a little image degradation when the positive effect of the filter offsets it.
09-04-2013, 04:24 PM   #15
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,229
I had a nice Nikon clear filter I used on a good FA zoom, until I was rushing through Heathrow and the camera with lens attached fell out of my poorly designed Canon backpack. It landed right on the front of the lens, the filter glass smashed into bits and the broken glass scratched my front element. So instead of protecting my lens it damaged it (although it may have protected the lens' filter mount threads - I'll never know). I also think the lens hood and cap would do a better job of absorbing the shock.

So now I rely on the lens hood and lens cap. As others have mentioned, I only use a filter when there's salt spray or heavy rain, or I need a CPL.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bit, hoya, image, k30, quality, tripod, uv, uv filters
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Image Hosting sites and Image Quality Adinfinitum Photographic Industry and Professionals 11 06-19-2013 09:00 AM
Resizing image in photoshop without changing the original image quality LFLee Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 14 09-25-2011 05:18 PM
Hoya UV filters - Quality V Cost? jeallen01 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 05-23-2011 11:07 PM
For Sale - Sold: Quality B+W and Hoya UV Filters: 77mm & 52mm GaryML Sold Items 2 05-21-2009 01:34 PM
UV Filters Degrade Image Quality ? daacon Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 28 05-02-2007 05:16 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:00 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top