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07-31-2015, 10:31 PM   #1
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Filter/Lense Protection question

I need to get a couple lens protectors for some newly acquired lenses. Do you all just go with a simple UV lens protector or something different?

There appears to be many different options.

07-31-2015, 10:56 PM   #2
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A UV filter's fine as long as it's not a cheap one that'll degrade your image quality. Hoods are also a great way to protect your lenses.

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08-01-2015, 12:18 AM   #3
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UV filters.

pretty much all of mine are secondhand, since most of my lenses are as well.

But yeah, just a UV filter and if it gets a mark or anything bin it.

Really depends what you need protection from, a hard hood does a great job for most things, but if it's dust/mist etc you need protection from a filter is best.
08-01-2015, 02:45 AM - 1 Like   #4

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Two schools of thought here, one being use plain (or UV) filters to protect the lens front element, the other just use the hood.

I'm a 'hood' person, and never once in now 50 years of photography have I had damage to the front element of any of my lenses.

Why do I rely on the hood? Adding another layer of glass to a lens, however good the filter quality, is likely to degrade the IQ.

In any event, the lens coatings are designed not just to improve image quality but also to protect the front element against oil from fingers, etc.

08-01-2015, 03:50 AM   #5
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Filters on, but not when I shoot

I always use a hood but also have UV filters fitted to almost all my lenses.

I rarely take photos with the UV filters on unless I believe there will be the need to protect the front element. For example, if I'm taking images near the sea and there's a lot of wind there'll be spray and I'd rather accept a slight loss of image quality than need to clean salt spray from a lens. I also leave them on in particularly dusty conditions. Often if it's really windy I'll be looking at the environment and seeing what can become airborne and become layered on the front lens element.

So I leave UV filters on all my lenses so they're always there and I only use them if I think they will add protection to the lens in certain conditions.

I don't have a UV filter fitted to my Zeiss 2/50 lens, though this means I won't use that lens in conditions that I coould result in leaving sgnificant amounts of dust or salt spray on the front lens element.

These are my preferences and I think a good compromise for the protection of assets that I can't replace.

08-01-2015, 04:54 AM   #6
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I'm a "hood only" person, but each to their own
08-01-2015, 05:02 AM   #7
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Hoods and caps for mine.

08-01-2015, 05:40 AM   #8
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It would bother me a lot if scratches would apear on the front glas elements. I don't expect IQ degradation when using good UV filters. So I use them - B&W or Hoya. For my DA15 this is a must have because the integrated lens hood shifts backward easily resulting in no protection.
08-01-2015, 06:40 AM   #9

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I use a hood now. I dropped my camera and lens with a filter on it once and it took 2 days trying to get it off. It fell out of my camera bag and hit right on the corner of the lens and made the filter "pop" a thread, so it took a lot of work getting it off and I really thought I would need to buy a new lens. I'd rather use a hood now.
08-01-2015, 07:59 AM   #10
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I still have to acquire a hood for my DA*16-50 but I use this: B+W 77mm XS-Pro Clear MRC-Nano 007 Filter 66-1066111 B&H Photo
and this one on the 18-135 (and hood): Hoya 62mm HD Protective Filter XHD62PROTEC

It's quite a bit more expensive but comparing the two brands side by side I prefer the B&W over the Hoya. They're both very good but build quality seems a bit better overall with B&W. Images with and w/o these protectors to my eyes do not see any difference/degradation. No vignetting at the wide end either for both protectors. I highly recommend against generic branded filters especially ones you might find dirt cheap on ebay.

Last edited by K57XR; 08-01-2015 at 08:17 AM.
08-01-2015, 08:47 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by acoufap Quote
It would bother me a lot if scratches would apear on the front glas elements.
It's much more difficult to scratch a front element than you think--at least the modern lenses, anyway.
08-01-2015, 09:52 AM   #12
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I had a UV "protector" on the front of my expensive Tamron lens. Went to pull it form the bag and it was shattered. I do not recall any drama to the lens or bag that would have caused the damage. I ended up having to ship the lens to Tamron and spend $350 to get it repaired. So...i'm pondering the hood approach as well
08-01-2015, 10:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentster Quote
I need to get a couple lens protectors for some newly acquired lenses. Do you all just go with a simple UV lens protector or something different?

There appears to be many different options.
This article: UV filters test - Introduction -
is a bit old but the most comprehensive test of these things that I have seen. The general gist is that the Hoya HMC UV filter is as good as anything else and not the most expensive. I use UV filters on my lenses, which I remove when using a polarizer. I also use a lens hood unless for some reason it interferes with what I am trying to do. When the lens is in the camera bag, I reverse the hood and add the lens cap.
08-01-2015, 12:12 PM   #14
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I no longer even own a "protective" filter. After 30 years or so of photography, I stopped using them, and have had no damage whatsoever to my lenses in extensive use. I do use a hood, always, and put lens caps on when I put them in the bag. Some years (many?) a reviewer advised that use of protective filters is 50/50: half of us use them and half don't. Don't forget that media photographers often use the "spit on the lens and wipe it off with your tie" lens cleaning system. My opinion (which is worth exactly what you have just paid for it) is that they are an unnecessary expense and complication.
08-02-2015, 01:14 AM   #15
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For the person using the da 15 with a filter have you shot both ways? I found even with a polarizer in many lighting conditions I got odd flare only when using a filter.

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