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05-06-2010, 06:53 AM   #1
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UV Filter - Or Not!

What is your opinion on using these filters?
Degradation versus protection?
Any other positive reasons to use them - such as improved contrast in strong sun?

05-06-2010, 07:31 AM   #2
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With out even searching this site, I'm sure there are existing threads on this subject. I've gone round and round on this and have read as much as I can but I still don't have a definative answer. Personally, now all my UV filters are off my lenses with the exception of some of my really old ones. Before I studied this, all my lenses had UV filters on them. So I guess I'm voting for no UV filters, but I'm still not convinced either way.

This is a hold over from film cameras - or so I've read - and was more important when the lens coatings were not as hard or good as they are today. But I still feel naked with out one on my lens...even though I do get the point that when I pay good money for good glass in a lens then slap a cheap UV filter in front of all of that doesn't make a lot of sense to me, any more.

I'm sure others will chime in here with different opinions and views.
05-06-2010, 07:45 AM   #3
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Filters can protect your lens and degradate your pictures.
Degradation all very much depends upon the quality of the filter.

Read this very interesting test: UV filters test - Introduction - Lenstip.com

You should note that adding an extra glass element to a lens will allways influence the image result, no matter how good the filter is.

Since I did damaged an expensive DA* lens, despite the mounted hood, I bought pro rated filters for my best lenses....

- Bert
05-06-2010, 08:14 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevewig Quote
What is your opinion on using these filters?
Degradation versus protection?
Any other positive reasons to use them - such as improved contrast in strong sun?
I don't use them at all. I haven't used UV filters for probably 30 years. I've never done damage to a lens that a UV filter would have prevented.
Lens hoods offer better overall protection to the lens, and will actually do something about flare as well.
The most you can expect a UV filter do do is (hopefully) not make it's presence known.
Unfortunately, at some point, they always show themselves somehow.

05-06-2010, 09:47 AM   #5
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I am still fairly new to photography and with my first few lens purchases I added the UV filter without question but I have begun to sense that camera salespeople are encouraged to push the UV filter as an add-on to any lens sale, like protective spray for new leather shoes. I would rather invest in the best polarizing filter I can afford because it is critical for most of the photography that interests me and it does provide protection because a scratched CP filter, even if it is expensive, is cheaper to replace than a very expensive lens.
05-06-2010, 06:25 PM   #6
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I'm moving this to the beginner's forum, as it's an extremely common question among newcomers to DSLR's. Do check out the many, many other existing thread son the topic. You'll see opinions split.
05-06-2010, 07:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevewig Quote
What is your opinion on using these filters?
Degradation versus protection?
Any other positive reasons to use them - such as improved contrast in strong sun?
You'll be far better off with a hood in terms of shooting with strong sun than a UV filter. Unless you are in a Sahara sand storm, I say leave the UV filters on the shelf.

QuoteOriginally posted by jmschrei Quote
I am still fairly new to photography and with my first few lens purchases I added the UV filter without question but I have begun to sense that camera salespeople are encouraged to push the UV filter as an add-on to any lens sale, like protective spray for new leather shoes. I would rather invest in the best polarizing filter I can afford because it is critical for most of the photography that interests me and it does provide protection because a scratched CP filter, even if it is expensive, is cheaper to replace than a very expensive lens.
And some get very pushy about it. That's when I typically find another place to buy from.

05-07-2010, 01:21 PM   #8
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This debate may rage on for loooooooooooong time...
Personally, I try to be careful at all times with my lenses. I don't use the UV/Protection/whatever filters on any of my lenses. SMC coating is nothing short of marvell in terms of flare/glare resistance, contrast etc.... Many filters are inferior to SMC and introduce, flare, glare, ghosting so on and on...
Rather than to filters invest in good hoods. They provide good protection and affect IQ only in the positve way...


BR
Peter

05-08-2010, 03:21 PM   #9
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I notice no degradation at all with my UV filter and the protection is invaluable so I say use it 100% of the time, just my opinion.
05-08-2010, 03:48 PM   #10
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Your question will draw mostly hearsay as the majority of people never actually tested the UV filters that they have to be certain. They just assume or recommend the most expensive stuffs. Personally I can see no image degradation for the HOYA MC filters that I have so long as they don't flare. Then again, it depends on the subject matter that you will be shooting. For people, the max resolution does not really matter. For scenery, you might wish to squeeze every bit of detail out of your lenses, but the majority of Pentax lenses aren't exactly record breakers.
05-08-2010, 03:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxWolff Quote
I notice no degradation at all with my UV filter and the protection is invaluable so I say use it 100% of the time, just my opinion.
Look at the many threads and the example images posted here. A degradation as such will mostly be overlooked - until you have a comparisson shot without a filter.

Filters will not degrade the image quality visibly, if they are of the best variety. BUT they will increase flareing and ghosting in any scene that contains a light source in the field of view or just outside.

If one uses a protection filter, that should be removed for any shots into or nearby the sun or other strong light sources and it should be removed for nighttime shots, where added flareing is very visible on dark backgrounds.

I use protective filters only when needed: when shooting in windy conditions at the beach with salt spray abundant or when it is very sandy.

Ben
05-10-2010, 07:08 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
You'll be far better off with a hood in terms of shooting with strong sun than a UV filter. Unless you are in a Sahara sand storm, I say leave the UV filters on the shelf.



And some get very pushy about it. That's when I typically find another place to buy from.

So it's like OMG TEH MONSTER CABLE!?!

Or expensive HDMI cables ..

The difference of various HDMI or digital coaxial sound cables must be insane!

Oh well, atleast they look nice .. ;D


Kinda funny how people think they can tweak some things made by vary knowledgeable people/companies into something better. I don't even know what the UV filter is supposed to do (filter out UV? duh .. ;D) but yeah, I can imagine how if it made a difference (except extra glass to hit on impact) the companies producing all the lenses would be capable of adding it themselves ...

"I just made this addon for 5$ and it's so much better!"

Kinda like people replacing their power cables to their receivers and such. Never mind all the tiny wires and circuits inside. Or in their walls ..
05-10-2010, 01:29 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by aliquis Quote
So it's like OMG TEH MONSTER CABLE!?!

Or expensive HDMI cables ..

The difference of various HDMI or digital coaxial sound cables must be insane!

Oh well, atleast they look nice .. ;D


Kinda funny how people think they can tweak some things made by vary knowledgeable people/companies into something better. I don't even know what the UV filter is supposed to do (filter out UV? duh .. ;D) but yeah, I can imagine how if it made a difference (except extra glass to hit on impact) the companies producing all the lenses would be capable of adding it themselves ...

"I just made this addon for 5$ and it's so much better!"

Kinda like people replacing their power cables to their receivers and such. Never mind all the tiny wires and circuits inside. Or in their walls ..
I do not think, the discussion goes around, whether UV filters (which are meant to filter out UV) improve image quality. Though ofcourse in film days, thre where some actual uses (high altitude, clear wheather at the sea), when a UV-excess could lead to some unshrpness on film, which justified the need for a UV filter.

But today they are usually used to mechanically protect the front element of a lens from scratches etc.

Ben
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