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03-13-2012, 09:29 AM   #1
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Filters, which one for everyday use?

Yes, I have LBA, but have a question about filters. I have UV/Haze on all lenses I own, (mostly for lense protection), but just curious as to what filter(s) do
my fellow Pentaxians keep in their bag. During my film days, I only used a polarizing, and loved it. As far as what I shoot, mostly hardscapes, (buildings, rusty junk), animals, (dog shows, mostly inside,with flash), as well as my daughters school events. I shoot with a K10D. Is their a good "all purpose" filter? Is it true a UV/Haze filter decreases the sharpness of an image? Who makes a good filter? Do you get what you pay for, (price wise)?

thanks for your input.

03-13-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
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I don't use an "all purpose" filter. I use none at all or one for a specific job when it's needed.

There are pros and cons to the filter protection argument and people will tend to swing one way or the other and swear by it.
03-13-2012, 09:39 AM   #3
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Polarizing and Neutral Density are my main filters. If I'm in a very harsh environment, like the beach, then a lens protection or UV will go on but not normally. I'm a hood man.

As for who makes a good filter. You'll get a LOT of personal impressions and preferences about brand but the comparative reviews that actually test filters consistently find that all the good makers (B&W, Hoya, Marumi, etc.) come out with winners and losers and that price is not always a good indicator of the quality of the filter. There are some excellent resources out there that compare the quality of the filters and how they affect the IQ of the images. Oddly, at least to me, while some brands were consistently rated high that was the exception with most having models that came in at the top, middle, and bottom from the same brand. I know that Hoya, for instance, has some solid performers and some real dogs among their filters based on many reviews I have seen.

Here is an excellent review of 24 different UV filter models:
UV filters test - Introduction -

For example, Hoya has lenses at the top and bottom but has 3 models at the top:
Hoya 72 mm HMC
Hoya 72 mm Pro1 Digital MC
Hoya 72 mm HMC Super

But the HMC model is the least expensive among those three and rates essentially the same as the #2 which was literally twice the cost. But the Hoya 72 mm UV-0 - Standard model, which costs the same as the HMC model, rated rather poorly overall. So, maker is NOT the main factor and its important to read some independent reviews in my experience. They led me to a filter maker that I was unfamiliar with, Marumi, for my 10-24mm lens based on performance vs. cost and I have been very happy with its performance.

Last edited by Docrwm; 03-13-2012 at 10:09 AM.
03-13-2012, 09:45 AM   #4

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I only use a polarizer and ND filter, and only occasionally. Not quite sure what you mean by "all purpose filter", though.

Traditional filters like skylight filters aren't needed anymore, as color temperature is easily adjusted during post-processing.

All filters reduce image quality in terms of sharpness, light refraction, etc. However, with a real good filter its very difficult to notice any degradation, whereas with a poor filter it is obvious. There are certainly easily obtainable high-quality filters out there - B+W, Hoya, Heliopan come to mind, but there are others.

03-13-2012, 10:07 AM   #5
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I don't use UV/skylight/clear filters for lens protection, just lens hoods and caution, but I avoid nasty environments that call for such protection. I do use (C)PLs, and NDs (straight and graduated), and IR-pass, and split color-pass and +dioptre, and #25 Red when shooting B&W for added DR, and #47B Blue-Violet in B&W to replicate early photo emulsions, and a #K2 Yellow when shooting glaring neon lights in color, etc. But all those filters are for special occations. I usually do without.
03-13-2012, 10:11 AM   #6
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There's also a very nice thread on this issue and the changes that filters can inadvertently cause to IQ.
03-13-2012, 10:51 AM   #7
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I use a UV on all my lenses for protection. Its cheaper to replace a filter than a lens.
Some people use skylight filters but Im not much for the pink cast they give.
I only use Hoya pro filters though which have very thin mounts to avoid vigneting issues.
03-13-2012, 12:42 PM   #8
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I only use a filter on my Tamron 17-50mm as it was bought new. The filter I use is a Kenko Pro-1 Digital Protector, so like a UV but without the UV It is a pain and I have to remember to remove it for any night shots (reflections), but hopefully will be worth it when it is time to sell.

Other filters I use for particular shots are CPL, ND400 (9 stop ND), R72 (720nm Infrared)

03-13-2012, 01:40 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Polarizing and Neutral Density are my main filters. If I'm in a very harsh environment, like the beach, then a lens protection or UV will go on but not normally. I'm a hood man.
+1 for me on that. Buy an expensive lens and then degrade the carefully balanced and calculated glass-air and air-glass transitions designed into the lens by adding a piece op optical, plane-parallel glass on the front? Nope.

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