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12-04-2017, 12:31 AM   #1
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UV Filters, does coating matter?

So I need a bunch of UV filters as I've decided to perhaps not continually replace the caps on the lenses during a shoot this weekend (to aid speed and fluidity to the process), however I am concerned that buying a bunch of cheap UV filters will harm IQ. Are multi coating or any other term on filters really worth it?

MRC etc?

I did find this seller, the MRC Slim ones actually not too pricey compared to some others out there; UV FILTERS, MC-UV & MRC-UV CAMERA LENS FILTER PROTECTOR for CANON NIKON SONY etc | eBay

Cheers,

Bruce

12-04-2017, 12:45 AM   #2
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You dont need UV filter for digital, and anything other than the best filter will degrade your images, They do add a bit of protection, although lens hoods are just as good for protection apart from sticky fingers. I donít use them but so far (touch wood) i havenít have any accidents.
12-04-2017, 01:09 AM   #3
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Forget them. You may be lucky and have no noticeable degradation, but it's a risk. I had a supposedly good quality Promaster UV filter on my DA 55-300 for a while before I realised the streaky bokeh wasn't a lens feature.
12-04-2017, 01:10 AM   #4
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+1: no point in UV for digital. If shooting film in daylight outdoors, then UV makes sense.
+1: I prefer lens hoods without a filter for both protection and glare reduction.

However, if you do get a clear protection filter, multicoating is essential on lenses with multicoating. Why degrade a good multicoated lens with a cheap non-coated filter?

MRC or nano coating helps to reduce scratches and makes it easier to remove finger prints or smudges.

Keep in mind, the time saved in not using a lens cap can be lost ten fold cleaning a filter.

12-04-2017, 01:43 AM   #5
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if you need filters go for good ones, B+W.

Or Marumi are good, the higher quality versions in their range.
12-04-2017, 02:41 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
if you need filters go for good ones, B+W.

Or Marumi are good, the higher quality versions in their range.
Agree with the don't need UV, but personally I do 'need' a protective filter. I have B+W clear, protective filters on all my lens. Expensive, yes, but I've tested them for my style of shooting in many, many, conditions that I shoot in and they don't appear to degrade the image at all. I'm very picky, print to A1 size and sell my prints. Also, they preserve re-sell value. No-brainer for me.
12-04-2017, 02:56 AM   #7
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On expensive filters rarely used, it may make sense--I only use linear, not multi coated, PL filers, and i can check the result after the shot. But if you plan to use UV filters all or most of the time--then get multicoated or don't use them. With single coated glass, it is probably only a question of time before flare will seriously degrade an image
12-04-2017, 03:02 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
Forget them. You may be lucky and have no noticeable degradation, but it's a risk. I had a supposedly good quality Promaster UV filter on my DA 55-300 for a while before I realised the streaky bokeh wasn't a lens feature.
I am suspicious of promaster, I get the feeling they are $5 filters with a 5x price hike.

QuoteOriginally posted by robjmitchell Quote
You dont need UV filter for digital, and anything other than the best filter will degrade your images, They do add a bit of protection, although lens hoods are just as good for protection apart from sticky fingers. I donít use them but so far (touch wood) i havenít have any accidents.
Protection is why I want it most, and two of my lenses the hoods cannot provide protection (DA15mm as it collapses as does the FA50mm rubber hood. So if I can't hood on those two lenses I was thinking some kind of protection is wise, especially if I am perhaps gonna ditch front capping for the day.

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
+1: no point in UV for digital. If shooting film in daylight outdoors, then UV makes sense.
+1: I prefer lens hoods without a filter for both protection and glare reduction.

However, if you do get a clear protection filter, multicoating is essential on lenses with multicoating. Why degrade a good multicoated lens with a cheap non-coated filter?

MRC or nano coating helps to reduce scratches and makes it easier to remove finger prints or smudges.

Keep in mind, the time saved in not using a lens cap can be lost ten fold cleaning a filter.
I don't understand how this works. If the lens has multicoating then its not needed on the filter surely? In fact... I wonder about lenses in general.. wouldn't it save money and make more sense for lenses to be manufactured with the actual unit to not have any coating at all on the last piece of lens glass, but always to be parceled with a special filter that may have the coating and whatnot, and meant to be always on the lens, and that if that part gets scratched then a replacement is available at a reasonable cost etc rather than the lens being stuffed or repair extremely pricey...? Like... couldn't the last lens bit of lenses be removable like a filter?

Good point about cleaning thumb prints off the filter tho...

QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
if you need filters go for good ones, B+W.

Or Marumi are good, the higher quality versions in their range.
I've heard B+W are good.

QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Agree with the don't need UV, but personally I do 'need' a protective filter. I have B+W clear, protective filters on all my lens. Expensive, yes, but I've tested them for my style of shooting in many, many, conditions that I shoot in and they don't appear to degrade the image at all. I'm very picky, print to A1 size and sell my prints. Also, they preserve re-sell value. No-brainer for me.
Yeh i was looking for this, I've seen utube channels talk of UV filters even not degrading quality, I was wondering if tests have been done? A little like ABX testing for audio quality where some swear they can tell the difference between FLAC and 320kbps MP3 files, but when testing time comes actually they can't at all!

Because if that's the case, paying $18-40 for a filter that assists with protection on $700 lenses seems like a good idea.

12-04-2017, 07:19 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
+1: I prefer lens hoods without a filter for both protection and glare reduction.
Yeah, I think a good lens hood is better. Even if its one of those third party rubber hoods.
You can buy "protective filters" or UV filters if you want. Yes, coatings and quality do matter. I tried a couple budget filters from Marumi and Hoya and was never happy. They worked well enough when completely new, but degraded after some use. The higher end filters are much better, but they cost a lot more. Now I only have one "higher end" filter, a circular polarizer. I rarely use it, so I really don't see filters are a good investment
12-04-2017, 07:33 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
I don't understand how this works. If the lens has multicoating then its not needed on the filter surely?
Yes, you don't. Coatings are important on every air-to-glass surface, not only for physical protection (scratch, dust, water, grease, which is important for front and, to lesser degree, rear elements), but to reduce flares and improve light transmission. Best coatings have losses of 0.2-0.3 % of light for straight beams in the middle of the visible spectrum. Without coatings, losses increase more or less by an order of magnitude.
12-04-2017, 07:47 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
So I need a bunch of UV filters as I've decided to perhaps not continually replace the caps on the lenses during a shoot this weekend (to aid speed and fluidity to the process), however I am concerned that buying a bunch of cheap UV filters will harm IQ. Are multi coating or any other term on filters really worth it?

MRC etc?

I did find this seller, the MRC Slim ones actually not too pricey compared to some others out there; UV FILTERS, MC-UV & MRC-UV CAMERA LENS FILTER PROTECTOR for CANON NIKON SONY etc | eBay

Cheers,

Bruce
Buy lens hoods for your lenses instead. UV filters are useless except in very rare situations.
12-04-2017, 08:09 AM   #12
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I've never used UV filters for their designed purpose. Even with film, I couldn't see any difference with or without the filter in most cases. However, I do use a high quality filter on all my lenses which accept one for the purpose of front element protection. Yes, it's easy enough to clean the front element, but over time, repeated cleaning can damage it's surface coating (and cleaning a front element is hard to get right). Cleaning a filter has the same outcome, but if and when it gets too degraded, it can be replaced at much lower cost than the lens, and the flat surface of a filter is easier to clean. Also, a filter provides some protection against impact and dings (substantial when you consider the cost of a lens).

That said, if I put money into a lens with high quality coatings, I won't put a "cheap" filter with sub-marginal coatings on it. I really want the filter to be invisible in terms of reflections. If there are any doubts about a filter hurting IQ, just do some tests with and without the filter (center and corner). Some filters are definitely better than others in IQ aspects (maybe I should say it the other way around because many are excellent and a few are not so). Price is not a clear indicator here so testing or good recommendations (like this forum's) might be called for. Generally speaking, however, the really cheap filters are usually compromised in optical and/or coating quality.

Last edited by Bob 256; 12-04-2017 at 08:20 AM.
12-04-2017, 09:28 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Agree with the don't need UV, but personally I do 'need' a protective filter. I have B+W clear, protective filters on all my lens. Expensive, yes, but I've tested them for my style of shooting in many, many, conditions that I shoot in and they don't appear to degrade the image at all. I'm very picky, print to A1 size and sell my prints. Also, they preserve re-sell value. No-brainer for me.
I agree totally. You don't need a UV filter but the B&W clear filters will give you the protection you want without any degradation of image quality.
12-04-2017, 11:18 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sibyrnes Quote
I agree totally. You don't need a UV filter but the B&W clear filters will give you the protection you want without any degradation of image quality.
Any additional glass "elements" put in the light path will either improve or reduce image quality. A clean quality filter, preferably slim/thin for wide angle lenses, will have a minimal effect, but I wouldn't say there is zero degradation of IQ. Just one extreme example would be at night with specular light sources. If you like flare, then one could argue it improves your image. A high quality multicoated lens will reduce this effect, but there is still some reflection off the front element that hits the rear of the filter that then re-enters the lens.

Ultimately one has to weigh the risks and priorities of best IQ vs. protection.

And just one other rare anecdote: I once saw a paint gun ball hit a protective filter. The filter shattered and the filter glass damaged the front element of the lens. Without the filter, that lens would have needed a lot of cleaning, but I doubt the soft plastic of those balls would have damaged the front lens element.
12-04-2017, 12:44 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerebron Quote
Yes, you don't. Coatings are important on every air-to-glass surface, not only for physical protection (scratch, dust, water, grease, which is important for front and, to lesser degree, rear elements), but to reduce flares and improve light transmission. Best coatings have losses of 0.2-0.3 % of light for straight beams in the middle of the visible spectrum. Without coatings, losses increase more or less by an order of magnitude.
lol, thanks I think I understand more now, like shooting a scene from behind a window, of course that window glass matters in terms of how well I see beyond it! doh!

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Buy lens hoods for your lenses instead. UV filters are useless except in very rare situations.
Sorry, you should perhaps read my follow up reply, certain hoods I cannot use or are hard to obtain, and I need the filters in a hurry. Hoods are not an option here.

The 4 main prime lenses I am using are DFA 100mm 2.8, FA 50mm 1.4, DA15mm f4 and the DA40mm 2.8 XS.

The DFA 100mm comes with a hood, no issue there, and I tend to leave that hood on, however it is very long hood, so when connected to the lens and placed face down (lens first) into a carry pouch it does become top heavy, if I am taking pics closer to ground level or lying down, there is an increased chance it will topple out due to that weight imbalance, I must remember to use the draw string for that pouch, so it is a tad annoying. Also I have read that that particular hood is not very good in its purpose for the DFA 100mm, hence thinking of ditching it for a more compact lens and instead using a filter for protection. The lens hood of the DFA 100mm doubles the overall length of the lens...

The FA50mm with the rubber hood on, even with the rubber hood collapsed still seems to add a decent recess depth to the front element. This picture best illustrates. Notice the difference between 1st and 3rd image;


In fact the DFA100mm actually has a decent recess as well, it's possible that both these particular lenses will be safer than others due to that recess anyway, for sure they are less likely to be handled in such a way to get a smudge on them (unlike applying a filter where it will have direct contact with possibly my fingers or pouch lining and collecting lint.


I already have a UV Filter for the DA15mm as I needed one to act as an extended to apply ND filters etc.

The DA 40mm 2.8 XS is the only lens actually without a hood or filter, and it has an odd 27mm thread. I don't like the idea of a hood as it then defeats the pancake packaway bonus it has.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
I've never used UV filters for their designed purpose. Even with film, I couldn't see any difference with or without the filter in most cases. However, I do use a high quality filter on all my lenses which accept one for the purpose of front element protection. Yes, it's easy enough to clean the front element, but over time, repeated cleaning can damage it's surface coating (and cleaning a front element is hard to get right). Cleaning a filter has the same outcome, but if and when it gets too degraded, it can be replaced at much lower cost than the lens, and the flat surface of a filter is easier to clean. Also, a filter provides some protection against impact and dings (substantial when you consider the cost of a lens).

That said, if I put money into a lens with high quality coatings, I won't put a "cheap" filter with sub-marginal coatings on it. I really want the filter to be invisible in terms of reflections. If there are any doubts about a filter hurting IQ, just do some tests with and without the filter (center and corner). Some filters are definitely better than others in IQ aspects (maybe I should say it the other way around because many are excellent and a few are not so). Price is not a clear indicator here so testing or good recommendations (like this forum's) might be called for. Generally speaking, however, the really cheap filters are usually compromised in optical and/or coating quality.
QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
Any additional glass "elements" put in the light path will either improve or reduce image quality. A clean quality filter, preferably slim/thin for wide angle lenses, will have a minimal effect, but I wouldn't say there is zero degradation of IQ. Just one extreme example would be at night with specular light sources. If you like flare, then one could argue it improves your image. A high quality multicoated lens will reduce this effect, but there is still some reflection off the front element that hits the rear of the filter that then re-enters the lens.

Ultimately one has to weigh the risks and priorities of best IQ vs. protection.

And just one other rare anecdote: I once saw a paint gun ball hit a protective filter. The filter shattered and the filter glass damaged the front element of the lens. Without the filter, that lens would have needed a lot of cleaning, but I doubt the soft plastic of those balls would have damaged the front lens element.
It's harder the lay my hands on B+W out here, feel free to link me specific filters you have found that don't degrade

And yes, I shall stay away from paintball games with filters!
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