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12-14-2018, 09:13 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ontarian50 Quote
I keep a small stack of ruined UV and Skylight filters handy for when people ask whether it's a good idea to have a protection filter over their lens. Each one successfully saved the lens it was mounted to. Some have large cracks running from the edge where they were hit (thus saving the lens filter ring - many of which are polycarbonate these days). Others have bullseye hits right in the middle, with chipped or holes right through the glass.

Is it technically better to have no glass in front of your lens' front element? Absolutely.

But if you're on vacation somewhere, and you bounce your camera off the hotel room doorknob, it ruins your holiday a lot less if you can unscrew the chipped filter, and keep shooting.

It's a lot less fun trying to use some valuable vacation funds to buy a replacement lens in some resort town where they're either impossible to find - or three times the price of what you'd pay back home.
I like how you think!


12-14-2018, 09:27 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ontarian50 Quote
I keep a small stack of ruined UV and Skylight filters handy for when people ask whether it's a good idea to have a protection filter over their lens. Each one successfully saved the lens it was mounted to.
Not just one or two but "a stack"? You must live a rough life...

QuoteQuote:
But if you're on vacation somewhere, and you bounce your camera off the hotel room doorknob, it ruins your holiday a lot less if you can unscrew the chipped filter, and keep shooting.
I take back my previous mention of a "rough life". Somehow, bouncing a camera of a hotel room doorknob doesn't make that cut IMHO. To me that sounds like you are a)slinging your camera around quite carelessly and b)tend to not use a lenshood or have it on backward.

I've been shooting for over forty years, the last 15 of those digital and I haven't managed to damage a front element or dent a filter thread, ever in any of my optics past and present. Mind you, I have fallen off my bicycle once onto a slippery bridge covered with asphalt and gravel with my K-5 and the decently expensive Sigma 85mm (dubbed "the Beast" around my house). I actually landed on top of the camera which itself landed lens-side down on the gravel. Huge bummer as it left some scratches and a thin crack on the 2-part hood of the Sigma and quite a few bleeding abrasions on my knees and forearms. The lens itself was perfectly OK and continues to be one of my favorites even today.
12-14-2018, 11:16 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
Not just one or two but "a stack"? You must live a rough life...
Well, I never said they were my filters ... or lenses.

I suppose I should come clean and reveal part of my secret identity. I do own a retail camera store, and I do a lot of on-site repairs too.

While I try very hard to baby my equipment and have seldom damaged stuff (although, I have ... sigh), I do rub shoulders with people who have had very bad days with their equipment. So, yes, I do see a lot of "worst case scenario" type stuff, and I have seen people who have bemoaned having to buy a new lens while on a cruise because something bad happened.

And yes, I do keep my "little shop of horrors" collection of filters which bravely sacrificed themselves to save the lens underneath. To be fair, not all the filters unscrewed easily, and some took some encouragement to come off. The filters I don't have in my collection are those I had to cut and bend to get them off the lens - those get thrown away with all their shards (optical glass does shatter into very sharp pieces, be careful).

And I have seen a couple of filters which shattered enough to send some of those shards to scratch or chip the front element. But I don't think the lens would have survived the direct impact if filterless anyway.

As for my own personal lens collection - only a few wear permanent UV filters. When shooting B&W film, I like to use contrast filters. When digital, I try to keep my polarizer handy. But one favourite ultrawide got a mark on its front that wouldn't have been there if I'd put a decent quality UV over it. Mea culpa.
12-14-2018, 01:47 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ontarian50 Quote
Mea culpa.
Naah, don't you mea culpa me. Anyone can buy as many "protection" filters as they want for all I care. I'm just doing the math for myself. I've probably paid for half the lenses in my kit with the money not spent buying "high-quality" filters for the other half. It is devastatingly simple.

Your math is simply different due to the fact you own a retail camera store. You're probably subject to a decent amount of selection/sampling bias in that the people coming into your store are a bit different from any average population of photographers. They already have a reason to come to your store so you get to see the most awesome examples of the most extreme bad judgement or bad luck out there - and given you have been running the store for some time, you've probably seen a lot of them too, way more than the average photographer.

I'm not even accusing you of actually using those examples as a marketing/sales tool which you would actually be entitled to seeing how hard things are for b&m stores or even small online businesses. To you, selling a filter should be a sound business model on an article with a decent margin.

This filter discussion always ends badly so I'll leave it at that.

12-14-2018, 01:53 PM - 1 Like   #20
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I used to be the "use filters for protection" kind of guy. Then I realized that UV-filters affected both IQ and AF fine tuning, so I put all of them back in there cases and decided that carefulness and maybe a lens hood was the best protection. Never looked back since.
12-14-2018, 05:50 PM   #21
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I’ve never seen either side win the protective filter discussion...

Personally, I use B+W MRC 007M Clear Filters. The filter has a solid build and theoretically doesn’t absorb much light.

One time they are handy for me is taking pictures of the ocean waves during a storm—lots of salt spray. One benefit of the filter is that I am washing the filter and not the lens element, so there is less chance of liquid serping into the lens.
12-15-2018, 03:25 AM - 1 Like   #22
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Well I'm leaning towards position that attaching any sort of filter to the lens permanently is not really necessary, because first thing you will blame if you discover something wrong with picture would always be filter in the first place. Rather you attach it when you think it is really good idea because of environment conditions and the picture quality is not that important to put your lovely lens under risk. Now, following this strategy, interesting is, it worth buying expensive filter? I think no.

12-15-2018, 08:36 AM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
This filter discussion always ends badly so I'll leave it at that.
I totally agree. I too wince at the spiraling prices of "boutique" grade protection filters (what magical carbon nano-tube coating have they come up with this month?) and the newbies who are convinced (by some website or other) their pictures will somehow be way better if they put a $100 filter on their $200 lens.

The best advice I give people goes along with the idea that YMMV (your mileage may vary). There are those who are determined to let nothing come in the way of their front element and subject matter, who pixel peep for any evidence of additional refraction or focus shifting. Then there are those who are determined that no dust or scratchy things will ever scuff the front element of their $2,500 ultrawide zoom, and they consider a $100 filter cheap insurance.

I do think the hordes of casual consumers who use their cameras for vacations, family gatherings, walks in the woods and such, are well served by protection filters, especially when 10 years down the road they go to trade in their lens and are able to remove a scuffed and grimy filter and reveal a clean front element underneath.

Then there's always the talented pro photographer who couldn't give a crap about pixel peeping, micro focus issues, or much else of what we discuss on these forums. They just keep that filter on the front of their favourite lens, and don't sweat the small marks or dust it picks up along the way, and they consistently take photos that blow away anything I did last year.
12-15-2018, 02:35 PM - 1 Like   #24
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I live by the ocean. It's much easier to clean salt spray off a flat filter than a curved lens element.

I am patient and can usually find bargains on quality German made filters, often used ones.

Chris
12-15-2018, 03:49 PM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lev Quote
Here's article:

EF 24-70/2.8 II front element filter drama.
I consider this to be a design flaw in the lens. The usual assumption is that the lens will provide ample clearance to the filter, meaning that it will not project beyond the innermost cut of the filter threads. Now that the dig for the manufacturer is done, I will launch into the standard lecture on why I don't use protective (skylight/UV) filters anymore. Quite simply, they do nothing to enhance the photo and have strong potential to decrease contrast due to additional flare. I use a rigid hood and lens cap instead. That being said, there is a strong case for having one in the bag when going near salt water or where abrasive dust is expected (i.e. Burning Man and the like). Actually, I am not sure I would take any camera I cared about to Burning Man, but I digress. Having the protection in the bag for when you need it is quite OK by me.


Steve

(...never yet swung my camera into a doorknob, but the day may yet come...if I shrink enough...)
12-15-2018, 04:54 PM - 1 Like   #26
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I agree with Steve, except with my A* 400, which has a 145 mm front filter. Since I purchased this lens new in 1988 it has always had a a 145 mm Pentax uv filter when shooting film, For digital, the filter is removed before shooting.. The SMC coating still looks like new. Almost no need to clean a 145 mm front element when a protective filter is on it.
12-15-2018, 10:36 PM   #27
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If you must know, the 145 mm uv filter cost $340.00 (retail 425.00) in 1988! I got a discount because I also purchased a 2XL converter.....
12-20-2018, 12:26 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bengan Quote
I used to be the "use filters for protection" kind of guy. Then I realized that UV-filters affected both IQ and AF fine tuning, so I put all of them back in there cases and decided that carefulness and maybe a lens hood was the best protection. Never looked back since.
I use to have a clear "protection" filters on all my lenses. Then realised having piece if glass in front of a lense is never good idea for IQ. The whole point of trying to find better lenses is pointless if put something in front to spoil it.

So now I only use filters if I want some effect like ND. Having said that climate in the UK is not exactly Sahara desert.
12-20-2018, 12:39 PM - 1 Like   #29
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I use Marumi or Nikon protect filters on my expensive lenses when in an area with blowing sand and/or salt spray.

I never use a protect filter on my cheaper lenses. It's easy enough to replace a front element on most lenses. I regularly purchase damaged lenses (and cheap lenses being sold for parts). Financially, I'm often better off just buying cheap lenses being sold for parts and replacing a damaged front element than to buy a quality protect filter which sometimes costs more than the whole lens that's being sold for parts.
01-09-2019, 11:30 PM   #30
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I buy B+W and l find them to be a very good product.

I haven't bought anything made by Hoya, for a number of years now, so I can't offer any advice on this brand.
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