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09-21-2009, 09:35 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
A filter will not protect your lens. Anything that would shatter or damage the front element will do the same to a filter, possibly cementing the thread forever to your lens, possibly sending shards of filter glass at your front element, possibly just smashing your lens anyway.

Best protection is a lens hood or lens cap when you are not using the lens.

Why compromise every shot on the off chance of an accident?
Robin, do you believe that there is no energy dissapated in the shattering of the filter in your example? Have you ever intentionally broken the glass out of a filter? I have, using a screwdriver as a chisel, striking it with a hammer... it takes a surprisingly hard hit before the glass shatters - quite hard. The three lighter hits I took would each have scratched the hell out of the coating on the front of a lens, but since they failed to shatter the filter, we can presume they would have protected the lens from that sort of impact.

When my tripod was blown over by a gust front from an advancing thunderstorm one night (a sudden 40 knot gust) the filter ring absorbed most of the impact, and the lens came through looking pristine (and I yelled some obscenities at my self for a few minutes ).

QuoteOriginally posted by RobReab Quote
I beg to differ. Unfortunately, I dropped my camera some time back. My filter was dented but the threads are fine. That same filter also has a scratch on it. I'd rather that scratch was there and not on my lens.
I concur w/ RobReab here - I run "protection" filters on all my lenses, and I've had a lens saved by it's filter, probably more than once. Sure I take 'em off for shooting night scenes where they may introduce "ghost" reflections of bright lights, but I regularly shoot into the sun with 'em on and get no noticeable image degradation.

I love that when I'm chasing my son through a sprinkler filming video, and the front element get's soaked with water, I can quickly dry it with my t-shirt and if there's a bit of grit on my t-shirt or filter and the coating get's all scratched to hell, no big deal - just buy another $45 filter...

Bluntly, in my experience, in most lighting situations, even with the sun in the frame, there is no noticeable image degradation from using a high quality, multicoated filter. If in doubt about image quality, buy one for one of your lenses, do your own test shots, and make up your own mind - you can always resell any filter you use for this test if you don't like the results.

09-21-2009, 09:41 AM   #17
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BTW, benjikan uses protection filters for some his lenses, including the 31mm ltd. and reports that he can see no degradation, so at least I'm in good company!
09-21-2009, 09:53 AM   #18
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thanks guys - much appreciated! i shoot some in the mountains and have thought this would be a good place to use one too - so for all intents and purposes i will probably go without them for now but still use the circular polarizer for bright sunny days outside. thanks!
09-21-2009, 10:51 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobReab Quote
I beg to differ. Unfortunately, I dropped my camera some time back. My filter was dented but the threads are fine. That same filter also has a scratch on it. I'd rather that scratch was there and not on my lens.
Did the hood come off the initial impact, and the scratch on the filter and the dent to the filter rings occurred on the rebound, then?

No question there *are* cases where a filter has helped and a hood wouldn't have. But in general, lens damage is not that common in the first place, and of the sorts of things that do damage lenses, filters aren't going to help *most* of the time.

Everyone gets to decide for themselves if the tiny bit of extra protection is worth the cost (in dollars and potentially in IQ), but definitely one should not fool themselves into thinking filters provide *much* in the way of attention.

09-21-2009, 02:48 PM   #20
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If it's difficult to break a filter it's equally difficult to break a lens. Yet both break sometimes. But I wager the vast majority of lens faults have nothing to do with the front element.

Every lens needs a hood to reduce flare, improve contrast and protect the lens. With a solid lens hood you do not need a filter. If you are not using a hood, you are not following best practice.

I have taken my lenses into salt sprays, under Niagara Falls (fresh water but lots of it!) etc. If I had a filter, that would only increase the likelihood of bad internal reflections off all the water vapour and droplets. It's not so hard to clean the salt off the lens afterwards.

Vendors laugh to the bank when someone spends $150 on a piece of glass worth ten bucks. Filters have the single largest markup of any piece of photographic equipment. And most do nothing except put another layer between you and what you want to capture. It's a mug's game. Not spending that amount? Then you are buying bad filters that will seize or cause image degradation for sure.

Do pros put a UV filter in front of all their lenses? No, the vast majority certainly do not. Whenever this question comes up on professional forums all you hear is the sound of massed scoffing.

Save the money on four or five filters and you can replace a lens if and when it breaks. Or, if you are truly motivated by fear, buy insurance.
09-21-2009, 05:07 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
If it's difficult to break a filter it's equally difficult to break a lens. Yet both break sometimes. But I wager the vast majority of lens faults have nothing to do with the front element.
Sure both break sometimes, so do condoms - do you suggest people not use those for protection either? ... I imagine it is hard to break the front element of many lenses, but they are easy to scratch (I've done that too)... I'd rather scratch a filter and replace it than scratch the front element and drop the value of the lens. Lenses for me come and go, and it is important to me that they hold their value, so that when it's time to sell one and try something else I haven't significantly devalued the lens.

QuoteQuote:
Every lens needs a hood to reduce flare, improve contrast and protect the lens. With a solid lens hood you do not need a filter. If you are not using a hood, you are not following best practice.
Hoods do not protect the front element from rocks, branches, etc. while hiking / climbing. Hoods (reversed for storage) do not protect the lens from rubbing on the lens cap and / or potentially gritty fabric inside my pack in the event that the lens cap comes off in my bag (a common occurance it seems - perhaps I need caps which screw in to the filter threads).

QuoteQuote:
I have taken my lenses into salt sprays, under Niagara Falls (fresh water but lots of it!) etc. If I had a filter, that would only increase the likelihood of bad internal reflections off all the water vapour and droplets. It's not so hard to clean the salt off the lens afterwards.
Ah, but I'd rather clean it off a filter than the front element. I believe the whole "bad internal reflections" to be a myth, or maybe a result of non multi-coated filters - I've shot misty waterfalls, lightning, sunsets, rainbows, shots with the sun in the frame, water drops on plants, wildlife, and more with UV filters in place without seeing the effects of filters. I have seen internal reflections caused by bright point sources (x-mass lights) in a dark room, and I didn't reshoot without the filter to confirm whether that was the cause or not - I'd be willing to believe that the filter contributed in that case, but I don't know for sure.

QuoteQuote:
Vendors laugh to the bank when someone spends $150 on a piece of glass worth ten bucks. Filters have the single largest markup of any piece of photographic equipment. And most do nothing except put another layer between you and what you want to capture. It's a mug's game. Not spending that amount? Then you are buying bad filters that will seize or cause image degradation for sure.
$150??? I can get B+W MRC 77mm protection filter for around $60 (of if you don't trust buying from HK, pay $85 from B&H). I don't actually have this B+W, mostly I use Hoya, but I don't know of a more expensive brand than B+W, so I used it as an example... Sure I could pay $150 for that filter, but that would be daft... If vendors are making money in this area, I bet their shareholders are happy.

QuoteQuote:
Do pros put a UV filter in front of all their lenses? No, the vast majority certainly do not. Whenever this question comes up on professional forums all you hear is the sound of massed scoffing.
Well I've already quoted and cited one pro who does. From Marc L's workshop information site, you can see that he recommends them as optional equipment for protection...
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Langille:
Optional:
  1. Standard UV filters you may/may not wish to consider these. It is only to protect your gear from the elements and simplify cleaning lenses due to dust, etc.
I've never been on a "professional forum" since I shoot Pentax .

QuoteQuote:
Save the money on four or five filters and you can replace a lens if and when it breaks. Or, if you are truly motivated by fear, buy insurance.
I actually intend to buy insurance, since I do often carry a lot of photography equipment around in the back of the helicopter fuel truck, while it bounces down dirt roads in the wilds of Nevada. I would like to be covered if someone drops my pack, or it gets stolen (or I drop a lens in a manner which the filter doesn't protect )... Thanks for reminding me to talk to the insurance co. BTW, I do have health insurance, should I stop wearing my helmet when I ski or mountain bike?
09-21-2009, 06:11 PM   #22
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I'm not getting involved in this discussion because it's circular (pun not intended). Everyone's right and everyone's wrong at the same time.

What I will comment on though is cbaytan's desk. Dude...it's messy!!

c[_]
09-21-2009, 07:33 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
Sure both break sometimes, so do condoms - do you suggest people not use those for protection either?
No, but I do suggest people not use spurious analogies. Unless you use your filters for purposes they were never designed, the comparison is a little random.

QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
Hoods do not protect the front element from rocks, branches, etc. while hiking / climbing.
No, caps do. Though I don't carry gear in hand while scrambling over rocks. Mostly because it's not safe for me, never mind my camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
Hoods (reversed for storage) do not protect the lens from rubbing on the lens cap and / or potentially gritty fabric inside my pack in the event that the lens cap comes off in my bag (a common occurance it seems - perhaps I need caps which screw in to the filter threads).
Perhaps so. I have almost never had a cap come off in my bag, which I keep strangely grit free.

QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
Ah, but I'd rather clean it off a filter than the front element.
Fair enough.

QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
I believe the whole "bad internal reflections" to be a myth
Well I think Theseus is a myth and UFOs rubbish. But I have seen internal reflections with filters.

QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
$150???
Sorry, I live in Europe. Everything here costs more. Buying from B+H means shipping plus duty plus tax. It does add up. But maybe the number was inflated. I might have been thinking of the last filter I bought, which was a polariser, not a UV (naturally, given my position here).

QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
BTW, I do have health insurance, should I stop wearing my helmet when I ski or mountain bike?
No, but I recommend putting a lens cap on your camera and stowing it before doing either.

09-21-2009, 07:48 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
A filter will not protect your lens. Anything that would shatter or damage the front element will do the same to a filter,
QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
With a solid lens hood you do not need a filter.
Tell that to the ostrich that I was photograhing from close up with a wide angle lens. It lunged forward aggressively and pecked the front element of my lens - which fortunately was protected by a Hoya Pro-1 filter.

Later, when cleaning the filter I found that the ostrich's beak had damaged the coating on the filter. I am sure glad it was the coating on the filter and not the lens.

(I'd dig out the photo but it's on a slide somewhere in my cupboard.)
09-21-2009, 08:50 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spock Quote
Tell that to the ostrich that I was photograhing from close up with a wide angle lens. It lunged forward aggressively and pecked the front element of my lens - which fortunately was protected by a Hoya Pro-1 filter.

Later, when cleaning the filter I found that the ostrich's beak had damaged the coating on the filter. I am sure glad it was the coating on the filter and not the lens.

(I'd dig out the photo but it's on a slide somewhere in my cupboard.)
Sounds a lot like the case of a wildlife photographer's experience with a cobra having a go at the front of the lens. He was trying to photograph a cobra nest, no way to do it from a safe telephoto distance...The camera was on remote control, so he wasn't in any physical danger....but it did scratch his lens filter..

I think we're going round in circles...
a.clear filters do protect the front lens element well under some situations
b.you would need filters of very high optical quality otherwise it will detract from the IQ of your precious SMC lens....
c. Under many normal circumstances....knocks...bumps...the lens hood provides much beter mechanical protection...
09-21-2009, 10:52 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
$150??? I can get B+W MRC 77mm protection filter
for around $60 (of if you don't trust buying from HK, pay $85 from B&H). I don't actually have this B+W, mostly I use Hoya, but I don't know of a more expensive brand than B+W, so I used it as an example... Sure I could pay $150 for that filter, but that would be daft... If vendors are making money in this area, I bet their shareholders are happy.
I recommend only Tiffen Haze-1 for UV, it stops 5 EV of UV light. Hardcore evidence link below.

UV or not UV? by Bob Atkins

Last edited by cbaytan; 09-21-2009 at 10:53 PM. Reason: correct link
09-21-2009, 10:59 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by kittykat46 Quote
you would need filters of very high optical quality otherwise it will detract from the IQ of your precious SMC lens....
This is why I use Hoya Pro-1 HMC filters which, if you believe the marketing, provide a multi-coating that closely matches Pentax SMC. My experience gives me no reason to doubt this claim.
09-22-2009, 02:56 AM   #28
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I should state the obvious: "protective" filters will in some cases help. So would a mongoose in case of cobras. But in general I would not recommend a photographer spend money on extra layers of glass. Nor would I advise packing carnivorous mammals in your photo bag.

As others have said, these arguments go around and around. I will bow out now, so as not to tax the patience of readers.
09-25-2009, 05:19 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spock Quote
Tell that to the ostrich that I was photograhing from close up with a wide angle lens. It lunged forward aggressively and pecked the front element of my lens - which fortunately was protected by a Hoya Pro-1 filter.

Later, when cleaning the filter I found that the ostrich's beak had damaged the coating on the filter. I am sure glad it was the coating on the filter and not the lens.

(I'd dig out the photo but it's on a slide somewhere in my cupboard.)
Yep accidents happen. My first accident was a very minor one, I scratched the front element of my Sigma 17-70mm. This is a very fine lens, kinda heavy and I bet built about the same as any-other zoom today.

For fun I took apart a worthless zoom I won on eBay I paid $20 for. It was a quantaray 70-210mm probably 20 years old. The front group was held with a metal band. I hit it with a hammer and nothing, I hit it with a screw driver nothing. I put it into a vice and the front 2 of 3 glass elements cracked a bit and I could see that it was 3 elements glues together in a metal band. Very hard coating, very hard glass, very strong group.

The Sigma is not glued their is air space between the glass elements (3) up front that make up the group because I see a bunch of dust (not air bubbles) in it, and I made it worse with canned air, dust gets in but can't come out. Those elements sit in a plastic holder not metal and no glue. The front coating is not very tough or resistant to scratching, the front glass although big is not thick plus nothing is behind it for re-enforcement. It easily scratched, as I was playing experimenting with the Sigma front group, because I was going to buy a new group anyways. I decided to send it to C.R.I.S to let them do it and will ask for the old one back (they are doing it for a nice price). Then I will be able to show what I already know, at least with the Sigma 17-70mm its best to use a protective filter of some kind as any decent sharp blow will probably damage the lens a little, IQ may not be hurt, but re-sale will! And a decent hit like a rock flying at you and hitting the front lens with moderate force will knock out and or crack the Sigma element in a second. It would have bounced right off that old Quantaray lens, they don't make them like they use to, and I bet many are made like the Sigma today!

I was using protective filters, when I saw how strong that old lens was I felt silly and did not use them as much, if at an air-show or moving car show where things (small debris) can come at you yes, but other-wise I was taking the filters off a lot. Not anymore. And to tell the truth I have never seen a IQ difference with a filter or without; as with the Hoya PRO 1 D protector or UV that I use, if there is flair removing the filter does nothing the flair is still there. Now I am not saying there is 'no' situation that you should not remove them as they may hurt IQ, just its rare with a decent quality filter. Hoya digital filters are coated on both sides better than the lens they are on, so they reflect only a fraction of a percent of light going in or coming back out. IMO the better filter are OK and need not spend a lot. I get them from power sellers on eBay. I paid $29 for a genuine Hoya PRO 1 D protector 77mm for my Sigma 10-20mm! Is $30-$60 worth it, knowing how weak the front glass may be?

Has anyone else had any experiance with a newer type zoom lens that scratched or cracked easy?
09-25-2009, 09:00 PM   #30
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i dropped my K20D with 18-55 AL2 in the ocean this summer. I believe without the uv filter, my glass would have been F'd by the sand water and rocks.
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