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05-23-2011, 05:29 AM   #1
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Lens Hood and Filters

Not really a question but just a story to share...

I've started to play around with polarize filters recently. For the longest time I found it to be such a pain in the butt to rotate the filter with the lens hood on. This morning, I woke up way too early for work. So I decided to play around with my new 18-135 lens. Then it came to me why there's a section on the lens hood that you can take off... I'm still such a newbie.

05-23-2011, 08:33 PM   #2
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Congratulations! And welcome to reality. I have a formal definition: Reality is whatever bites your ass. If it doesn't affect you, it ain't real. Not knowing something, can affect you. KNOWING something, like what that removable tab is for, also affects you, but differently. So now you've moved from the reality of THIS IS A P.I.T.A. to the reality of NO SWEAT! It's a nice transition, eh?

Shall I confess? I about grew up in my dad's little garage darkroom. I've been shooting for over 1/2 century. Long ago, photography was my job. I've used numerous photo systems. I have seriously studied and practiced photography for a long time. I've had my K20D for over 3 years now. And I am STILL learning new functions and tricks about that camera! And about photography in general. I keep sliding into more advanced realities. It never ever ends. Not until I do, anyway.

Photography is rather like computers: There is always more to learn than one person can ever know. That keeps it all exciting. Of course, digital cams are essentially computers with lenses. But the principles and applications are infinite. So many realities to explore...
05-24-2011, 05:20 AM   #3
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As Rio so eloquently suggested, hopefully you'll still be saying "I'm still such a newbie" when you're old and grey.
05-25-2011, 07:31 AM   #4
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Can someone please explain how to purchase lens hoods, sizing crown vs petal etc. My kit lens did not come with any and I am looking to purchasing some .
Also, does anyone still use filters with digital cameras? If so are they just for protection?

05-25-2011, 07:43 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ruggiex Quote
Not really a question but just a story to share...

I've started to play around with polarize filters recently. For the longest time I found it to be such a pain in the butt to rotate the filter with the lens hood on. This morning, I woke up way too early for work. So I decided to play around with my new 18-135 lens. Then it came to me why there's a section on the lens hood that you can take off... I'm still such a newbie.
that is only pentax lenses to my knowledge.

Yes it is a pain otherwise
05-25-2011, 10:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gennatay Quote
Can someone please explain how to purchase lens hoods, sizing crown vs petal etc. My kit lens did not come with any and I am looking to purchasing some .
AFAIK eBay is the usual pace to look. Others here may have better advice.

QuoteQuote:
Also, does anyone still use filters with digital cameras? If so are they just for protection?
Ah, time for my filters spiel again! Here goes:
* UV or Skylight filters (but clear optical glass is better) may be usefully protective in harsh environments, with blowing sand / salt spray / dust, spurting mud / blood / beer. Otherwise they mainly protect the finances of whomever sold them to you.

* Polarizers (PL) and circular polarizers (CPL) are useful for reducing reflexions and glare, and for increasing sky contrast. A PL+CPL or CPL+CPL pair will act as a variable ND filter.

* Neutral density (ND) filters reduce light entering the lens, useful for long exposures. A deep ND filter and several-minute exposure can make moving objects disappear.

* Graduated neutral density (GND) filters are 1/2 dark and 1/2 clear, useful for shooting darker foreground subjects against a brighter background such as the sky.

* +Dioptre closeup adapters are lenses that screw-on like filters, and reduce the focusing distance. They're cheap, easy, fun, but usually degrade image quality somewhat (as will all filters).

* Split closeup adapters, like GND filters, are 1/2 lens and 1/2 not, useful for apparently extending focal range. Carefully used, objects near and far will be in focus.
Those are the most common filters. More specialized filters include:
* IR-pass filters. These block visible light, so IR light will register on the frame (film or sensor). Virtually all digital cameras have an IR-block hot.filter inside. Unless the camera is modified by removing the hot.filter, IR photography may require LONG exposures.

* B&W filters: Yellow, Orange, Red, Green, Blue. These have almost NO application with digital cameras, except: A Yellow filter can give striking effects with glaring neon lights at night. And shooting B&W, a Red filter may increase detail somewhat.

* Graduated/split B&W filters. Like GND's, these are half-colored, half-clear. I have a couple. I'm still trying to figure out how/if to use them.

* CC (color-correction) filters. Again, virtually NO digital application, except: A light blue or violet CC filter, or a Blue B&W filter, blocks all other colors. Shooting B&W, these replicate what the earliest photo emulsions 'saw', and are useful for 'period' effects.

* UV-pass and other spectrum-slicing filters. Like IR-pass and B&W filters, these only pass certain frequencies of EMF radiation. Mostly used for forensic and scientific work.
And there you have it. I really must write this up as a sticky...

Last edited by RioRico; 05-25-2011 at 10:24 AM.
05-25-2011, 11:43 AM   #7
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Sticky in lens accessories forum?

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
AFAIK eBay is the usual pace to look. Others here may have better advice.


Ah, time for my filters spiel again! Here goes:And there you have it. I really must write this up as a sticky...
Thanks for the putting it in the easy form. I start to read the long versions & I'm lost. I love how you keep it simple. I agree this would be a great sticky maybe in the lens accessories forum?
05-25-2011, 04:35 PM   #8
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I'd always keep a UV(0) filter on my lenses back when I shot with film. Most of my shooting was outdoors.
What are the downfalls of using these with a lens on a DSLR? Should I maybe look for clear optical glass filters for protection?
Using either - should they be removed under other light conditions?

05-25-2011, 06:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bill_R Quote
I'd always keep a UV(0) filter on my lenses back when I shot with film. Most of my shooting was outdoors.
What are the downfalls of using these with a lens on a DSLR? Should I maybe look for clear optical glass filters for protection?
Using either - should they be removed under other light conditions?
Film emulsions are normally sensitive to UV, so UV filters on film make much sense. Digital sensors are NOT sensitive to UV (unless specially built), so filters to block UV on digital only make sense if you're above 5-8km high. (I've shot digital at 3500m and noticed no UV degradation.) Digital sensors ARE sensitive to IR, and the vast majority of digicams have an IR-blocking hot.filter mounted in front of the sensor.

At non-extreme elevations, what are the consequences of UV filters on digital sensors?

* PRO: Any filter WILL provide protection in harsh environments -- salt spray, blowing sand / dust / debris, spurting blood, etc.
* CON: Any filter WILL degrade image quality somewhat; and an uncoated filter can produce glare; and good filters are costly.

I avoid tropical swamps, and I don't close in on mud wrestlers. On the windy beaches and deserts of Pacific North America, I don't point my lens into the breeze, so I avoid scouring. If I was (insanely) going to shoot in harsh environments, I would take some of the many cheap UV filters that I acquired as blow-by with eBay lot purchases, and I'd consider them expendable.

Light: UV and especially Skylight filters *might* impart a very slight color tinge to photos. I PP everything, and REMOVE COLOR CAST is a basic operation, so I don't worry about that. Using these filters in different light shouldn't make a noticeable difference unless you're a PP-IS-BAD purist.
05-25-2011, 06:48 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Film emulsions are normally sensitive to UV, so UV filters on film make much sense. Digital sensors are NOT sensitive to UV (unless specially built), so filters to block UV on digital only make sense if you're above 5-8km high. (I've shot digital at 3500m and noticed no UV degradation.) Digital sensors ARE sensitive to IR, and the vast majority of digicams have an IR-blocking hot.filter mounted in front of the sensor.

At non-extreme elevations, what are the consequences of UV filters on digital sensors?

* PRO: Any filter WILL provide protection in harsh environments -- salt spray, blowing sand / dust / debris, spurting blood, etc.
* CON: Any filter WILL degrade image quality somewhat; and an uncoated filter can produce glare; and good filters are costly.

I avoid tropical swamps, and I don't close in on mud wrestlers. On the windy beaches and deserts of Pacific North America, I don't point my lens into the breeze, so I avoid scouring. If I was (insanely) going to shoot in harsh environments, I would take some of the many cheap UV filters that I acquired as blow-by with eBay lot purchases, and I'd consider them expendable.

Light: UV and especially Skylight filters *might* impart a very slight color tinge to photos. I PP everything, and REMOVE COLOR CAST is a basic operation, so I don't worry about that. Using these filters in different light shouldn't make a noticeable difference unless you're a PP-IS-BAD purist.
Thanks for the detailed reply.
I live within 100 m of the beach so it can get a bit harsh here and I'm often across the road and should be taking more photos there. So, it seems it won't do any real harm to have a UV(0) on and just screw it off as needed. Unscrewing isn't that much more difficult than removing a lens cap. I'm lucky I have a few old Hoya filters already here.
Thanks again.
05-26-2011, 11:25 PM   #11
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Lens hoods - always. You can buy cheap copies of the Pentax hoods on ebay. This page (and many others) shows which hood you need for which lens - then you can use Google to find a vendor of your choice:
Pentax Lens Hoods - Buy Pentax Lens Hoods Online

WRT filters, I keep a UV filter on the front of each lens. I had a problem with one and replaced it with a Hoya HMC, problem resolved.
UV filters test - Description of the results and summary - Lenstip.com

I also use Cokin-style (square) ND and CPL filters. One set of P-size filters does both lenses, using the appropriate size adapter ring which is very cheap compared to a lens.

I don't use graduated ND filters, but believe the Cokin-style systems are best for those as you can slide them up and down (to a degree) in the holder to get the graduation in the right place.

I only ever take colour even for B&W - converting it later in Photoshop is far, far more versatile than letting the camera do the conversion. Therefore the various specialist filters for B&W work (Red, Orange, Yellow and so on) are not appropriate for me to use.
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