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View Full Version : To Filter or NOT to Filter - That is the question


dcsang
11-15-2005, 16:48
Ok folks,

FrankS mentioned to me that I should really look after my 50mm collapsible cron and that I should consider dropping a filter on the front of said lens.

I never thought about it that much but in a way, I guess he's got a point. The older lenses aren't as well coated as these newer ones and, if I want to ensure I keep it in tip top shape, I should have a decent filter on it (UV that is).

Now, I have absolutely no filters on my EOS L glass or any other gear I own. Why? I was always told that, as long as you were careful with your gear, why put what could be an inferior piece of glass in front of a nice superior piece of glass.

So I am curious, do you use filters as protective measures or do you simply use them to enhance/alter/adjust your images that you take. Of course, R-D1 folks may not need filters to adjust/enhance as much can be done in post processing.

Cheers
Dave

back alley
11-15-2005, 17:00
yes...and no...

when i was a noob i put a filter on everything. i also used never ready cases.

then i decided i was against filters and thought to myself, 'when was the last time you 'hurt' a lens'? answer...never!

now i have become more pragmatic.

in summer/nice weather - no filters.
in winter/snow/sleet etc - uv filters.

joe

richard_l
11-15-2005, 17:05
I only use filters for their effect, otherwise they just increase the chance of flare.

rover
11-15-2005, 17:12
Yellow 2x filter and hood for B&W shooting and just a hood for color.

Andrew Touchon
11-15-2005, 17:12
I use B+W MRC UV filters on all of my lenses. I have not noticed any problems with flare. However, I would not use the the less expensive non multicoated filters. Any slight decrease in lens performance is worth the peace of mind that the extra protection the filters provide.

aad
11-15-2005, 17:14
I keep a cap on in bad conditions on my RF lenses, no filter. The SLR lenses have filters.

Honu-Hugger
11-15-2005, 17:54
I only use filters for their effect, otherwise they just increase the chance of flare.
Same here; one more element, one more air-glass surface that the designers work very deliberately to minimize. I have never harmed a front element by not having a filter in place and I'm not about to start saving glass now for the next owner. Shades or hoods are a different story -- I never leave home with out one :).

DougK
11-15-2005, 18:06
I used to use UV filters religiously, but it seemed like most caused more problems in my photos than they were worth as protection. I keep one handy in the bag and use it if I'm going into harsh conditions (dust, rain, snow, salt air, toddlers) but otherwise I leave them off, put on a hood, and just use a polarizer or other effects filter when I need it.

peter_n
11-15-2005, 18:08
Always, alway, always. Either a UV or a light or med. yellow. Never use lens caps. Each lens has a filter and a lens hood on all the time. The only exceptions are the 90 and 135 Tele-Elmarits which share a lens hood so they are never in the bag at the same time. I use B+W and Hoya filters.

Benjamin Marks
11-15-2005, 18:16
I keep a filter on some of my LF gear as I am always swinging it about in wind, rain etc. (thinking of the Nikkor-M 300 here -- takes a 52mm filter just like many Nikon primes). If the situation doesn't warrant it, I'll remove the filter. RF glass - no filter. I have had my 50 Summicron for 10 years and the front element looks fine. I use hoods though, whenever possible.

richard_l
11-15-2005, 18:58
A lot of people need to use protective filters because they are too aggressive (or careless) about cleaning their lenses, like scrubbing the dust off a lens with a dry shirtsleeve. :eek:

Gabriel M.A.
11-15-2005, 19:06
B+W MRC UV filters always on. Or a K2 filter. In some cases a red filter, as a last recourse if the scene is too bright or lacks contrast.

I'm too paranoid about having my lenses "nekid".

peterc
11-15-2005, 19:32
I used to put UV or skylight filters on every lens I owned. Once a filter saved a lens from nasty damage. Now I use lenses naked unless I'm putting on a filter for effect or as protection in nasty weather.
While it's best to avoid it , it takes a lot of front element damage to make an impact on your pictures (I have some really ugly lenses that produce very nice results).

Peter

FrankS
11-15-2005, 19:36
My point to Dave was to protect the SOFT coating of his vintage collasible Summicron. If I'm lucky enough to own a lens that has survived 50 years with no marks, I don't want to be the one responsible for damaging such a fine lens. Unmarked col. Summicrons are not irreplaceable yet, but some day soon they will be.

ch1
11-15-2005, 19:57
Ok folks,

FrankS mentioned to me that I should really look after my 50mm collapsible cron and that I should consider dropping a filter on the front of said lens.

I never thought about it that much but in a way, I guess he's got a point. The older lenses aren't as well coated as these newer ones and, if I want to ensure I keep it in tip top shape, I should have a decent filter on it (UV that is).

Now, I have absolutely no filters on my EOS L glass or any other gear I own. Why? I was always told that, as long as you were careful with your gear, why put what could be an inferior piece of glass in front of a nice superior piece of glass.

So I am curious, do you use filters as protective measures or do you simply use them to enhance/alter/adjust your images that you take. Of course, R-D1 folks may not need filters to adjust/enhance as much can be done in post processing.

Cheers
Dave


THIS IS THE STUPIDIST POST I'VE EVER SEEN ON THIS SITE!!!

Skylight and UV filters are "matter of course" prophylatics that are intended to protect the main frontal optic and add-in some "glare" protection.

But the real purposes are two:

1) Keep the main frontal optic safe from a "catastrophic head-on" collision.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY:

2) Save the main frontal optic from "cleaning abrasions".

I SAY:

CLEAN THE FILTER - - - - NOT THE LENS!!! :bang:

einolu
11-15-2005, 20:11
well so much for the stupidest thread ever... you probably just havent been on this site long enough (did you miss the 'free digital camera' spam we had not too long ago, how would you rate that one?).

;)

I use a UV filter as a lens cap, I take it off when I shoot, and even if I forget to, then its NP.

sbug
11-15-2005, 20:13
Stupid? Hardly. I never use a filter for protection. I shoot mostly with a Canonet. Lens ruined? I'll buy a new one. BFD Not that I've ever so much as scratched a lens. Now I suppose if I'm using something more $$$, maybe a filter... but overall, I am not a fan of filters for protection. Only effect.

Scott



THIS IS THE STUPIDIST POST I'VE EVER SEEN ON THIS SITE!!!

Skylight and UV filters are "matter of course" prophylatics that are intended to protect the main frontal optic and add-in some "glare" protection.

But the real purposes are two:

1) Keep the main frontal optic safe from a "catastrophic head-on" collision.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY:

2) Save the main frontal optic from "cleaning abrasions".

I SAY:

CLEAN THE FILTER - - - - NOT THE LENS!!! :bang:

FrankS
11-15-2005, 20:17
Eh-hem, copake_ham. Could you please try to be a bit more diplomatic? There's no such thing as a stupid question if someone is trying to learn.

ch1
11-15-2005, 20:20
Stupid? Hardly. I never use a filter for protection. I shoot mostly with a Canonet. Lens ruined? I'll buy a new one. BFD Not that I've ever so much as scratched a lens. Now I suppose if I'm using something more $$$, maybe a filter... but overall, I am not a fan of filters for protection. Only effect.

Scott

Sorry... I should have made way for the "throw away crowd".

I shoot a Nikon S2 plus Bessa R2S with mainly original lenses.

THEY DON'T MAKE THEM ANYMORE!

Also, I believe in RESPECTING my gear.

When you treat it like replaceable s**t you are saying a different value from what I live by.

That's life - I value preservation over replacement.

Honu-Hugger
11-15-2005, 20:25
Or use a lens cap, be careful and rarely should you ever have to clean anything. What are you people doing with your lenses that require such regular cleaning and harsh treatment? Protective filters are a "matter of course" only for those that choose to use them. I don't care how much the lens cost or what its perceived value might be -- I still never use a filter for protection and never will; I only use filters for their intended effect. For protection I use a lens cap, a case, and some common sense about being careful. Clearly this is a matter of personal preference with no right or wrong answer.

Honu-Hugger
11-15-2005, 20:31
Sorry... I should have made way for the "throw away crowd".

I shoot a Nikon S2 plus Bessa R2S with mainly original lenses.

THEY DON'T MAKE THEM ANYMORE!

Also, I believe in RESPECTING my gear.

When you treat it like replaceable s**t you are saying a different value from what I live by.

That's life - I value preservation over replacement.

I use many lenses that were originally made in quantities of less than three or four hundred when new (Schact, Kinoptik, Kilar, Zeiss Topogon, etc.) and guess what? Still no "protective" filters on any of them. No filters and I don't treat any of them like "replaceable s**t;" is this a concept that seems difficult to comprehend? That a person can still be careful without a "protective" filter?

ch1
11-15-2005, 20:32
Eh-hem, copake_ham. Could you please try to be a bit more diplomatic? There's no such thing as a stupid question if someone is trying to learn.

You're correct.

I sincerely apologize for saying STUPID etc.

It was a "dumbo" statement and I was wrong to use it.

I should have said AMAZED that this would even be a query.

Please forgive my indescretion.

dmr
11-15-2005, 20:39
Not to sound like a heretic here, but ...

On the 28-135 zoom lens on the SLR I do keep a skylight filter for protection. I figure that it cost boocoo $$$ and a few $ is cheap insurance.

On the rangefinders, and on the SLR with the normal lens and even the superwide, I never really thought of it. I suppose on the GIII I could get a new one or a replacement lens element from a parts camera if it got dinged. For the Mamiya I have almost enough parts to make another one, including a front lens assembly all ready to screw in if necessary.

Yes, I do use lens caps. :)

ch1
11-15-2005, 20:46
I use many lenses that were originally made in quantities of less than three or four hundred when new (Schact, Kinoptik, Kilar, Zeiss Topogon, etc.) and guess what? Still no "protective" filters on any of them. No filters and I don't treat any of them like "replaceable s**t;" is this a concept that seems difficult to comprehend? That a person can still be careful without a "protective" filter?


Mea culpa ,in part... [see other posts]

You can be a "careful" as a saint - but "accidents" happen.

You apparently have a lot of glass and some indifference as to their value to you.

My values are different.

It's not just a matter of price and replacement - to me its a matter of respect for what I currently own - and what I hope to pass on...

Carefulness does not replace protection.

I'll bet your drive carefully - does that mean you don't have insurance?

richard_l
11-15-2005, 20:50
I thought it was a pretty sensible question.

Dave, if you feel better with a UV filter on your Cron, use one, and don't worry about it. If you always use an appropriate hood, and remove the filter when shooting into a light source, you should never have any deterioration of your photos due to the filter.

back alley
11-15-2005, 21:06
Mea culpa ,in part... [see other posts]

You can be a "careful" as a saint - but "accidents" happen.

You apparently have a lot of glass and some indifference as to their value to you.

My values are different.

It's not just a matter of price and replacement - to me its a matter of respect for what I currently own - and what I hope to pass on...

Carefulness does not replace protection.

I'll bet your drive carefully - does that mean you don't have insurance?


i'll tell ya about an accident.
i dropped my canon p with a 50/1.9 collapsible lens, the wrist strap came loose & i never noticed.
i dropped that set up on my favourite shooting street, whyte avenue.
i had no filter on that lens but i did have a nice metal screw in hood. that hood took all the force of a full frontal drop and caved like my lawyer in my first divorce.
the lens glass was fine, untouched.
a filter would have not made a difference but that hood worked like a charm.

so, i don't see myself as stupid in the least.

joe

pvdhaar
11-16-2005, 01:48
No permanent filters on my lenses.. just lens caps and being cautious with my photo stuff..

It's a question about what you worry rather about; lens protection or flare.

When shooting I don't want to have to think 'Hey, here is some sun at the edge of the frame, I think I will take that filter off..'

I'm having trouble enough focussing, metering and composing well.. I don't need additional worries..

JohnL
11-16-2005, 02:21
I have B+W MRC UV (or similar grade) filters on all my SLR lenses but one (12-24mm zoom), which won't accept front filters, and which I generally only use for a few shots at a time anyway. In part, this is because I tend to leave the other lenses on for quite extended periods, without lens cap, and I think protection is an issue. In most cases, putting a lens cap on these lenses requires removal/reversal of the lens hood.
For my new (used) RF, which I'll be collecting in about three weeks, I do not plan on using UV filters. I may get a polarizer, though. I'll put the lens cap on if I'm not actively looking for opportunities.
It takes no time to remove a lens cap and extend the hood. It takes quite a few seconds to remove the cap and then remove, reverse and replace the hood.
That's my thinking for now, anyway.

hoot
11-16-2005, 02:27
Yellow, green, yellow-green or orange filter if there's going to be any sky in my shots (unless I want the sky to be white, which I sometimes do). Nothing less than B+W or Heliopan, even if I'm only shooting with a $20 lens.

Up until this summer, I used to have a UV filter on each lens at all times, but it decreased image quality somewhat, so now I'm simply more careful with the lens than before. Even after leaving the UV filter at home, I still didn't bother with lens caps though. My bag is fitted with the right sized compartment for the body and lens, and I padded this compartment with some cloth. The camera gets dropped in there and stays safe. There's usually a collapsed rubber hood on the lens, which keeps the front element clear of anything that could rub against it by a couple of mm.

By the way, a tip for dusting your front element: use disposable lens paper (Kodak makes it; probably other brands as well) rather than microfiber cloth. Since you never use the paper more than once, the chances of actually *adding* dust, dirt and oil to the front of your lens are practically nil. Furthermore, the paper is used not to wipe, but to lightly dab at the glass, so you don't have to worry about wiping marks either. And if the lens ever gets *really* dirty (i.e., children get their fingerprints all over the front element :bang: ), add a few drops of lens cleaning liquid before applying the paper. Works like a charm.

simonankor
11-16-2005, 02:33
Given how often the issue of filters comes up (at least among the photographers I have the pleasure of hanging out with), this is far from being a stupid post.

As for the "stupidity" of not using filters on rare lenses - well, other people would think we're all "stupid" for not using autofocus SLRs all the time.

Choice is a wonderful thing!
Most important thing is to choose your preference, stick with it and enjoy using those super-cheap throw-away cameras, or extremely expensive rare ones. :D

jamiewakeham
11-16-2005, 03:20
I'm in the 'hood all the time, filter when I see the need for it' brigade. I don't have many lenses that would cost a fortune to replace, nor that are particularly rare; highest score on both counts is probably my Zeiss 180/2.8.

Having said that, there's very rarely *not* an orage filter on my zorki's collapsible elmar-a-like, because I generally feel there is a need for it!

Slight hijack - when one feels the need for both a UV filter (high mountains) and a polarizing filter, are both required? Or will (as I suspect) the polarizer block sufficient UV to make the UV filter largely redundant?

Cheers,
Jamie

nomade
11-16-2005, 03:38
I'm still learning, and right now, the photoshop is doing great(color filters), i need a light yellow for B&W...but as a protection, i'm not convinced...

lido
11-16-2005, 05:04
I agree with Joe about having a hood on all the time. On my LTM lenses, it is on permanently, and J-8 sports yellow filter, but not as protection. CV lens has a built in hood that stays on all the time.

However, Nikon SLR lenses I own came with plastic hoods that I don't trust would help much in case of impact, so I have Rodenstock UV filters on them all the time.

I can't say I am super careful with my equipment, but 99% of the time the only lens cleaning required is dust removal with the lens brush.

taffer
11-16-2005, 05:08
Hmmm

can't say it can always be a good idea

last weekend I spent a couple hours shooting under a not severe but continuous rain. the skopar on the bessa-t was unfiltered, got water drops but no problem. Over my shoulder I carried a F2 with a 105 lens and a UV filter on it. No matter what I did, probably due to the cold temp and high humidity around, the front element just kept getting fogged and fogged each time I put the filter on it.

So, be warned :P You can clen water drops later, but a fogged lens won't probably be the best picture taking think out there...

FrankS
11-16-2005, 05:28
Someone mentioned this already and it's what I do too. I treat the UV filter like a lens cap, only I don't remove it for every photo I take, only in instances where I'm shooting with a light source inside or close to the frame which may cause problems with a filter. The issue only came up because the early Leitz lens coatings are so soft, and so many fine lenses are degraded by cleaning marks. With current lenses with modern, hard coatings, it is much less of an issue.

It was also stated before that, thank God we are not all the same and hold the same views and opinions on every issue. Thanks for the lively discussion!

dcsang
11-16-2005, 06:21
Hey guys (and ladies - oh Stephanie? Natalia?) ;)

I merely asked the question out of curiosity and not out of indecision. I know what I do and I'm more than pleased with how I take care of my lenses.

I may be single and have a low mortgage but I also still value what I have :D

I would think that me keeping my lens cap on 8/10's of the time (when I'm not shooting) should be good enough to protect the lenses for the most part but I can clearly understand the need/desire to retain as much original qualities out of a 50 year old lens as possible. After all, "they just don't make them like that anymore" :D

That being said, I also realize that every one has a different point of view and opinion on such things because there is just that much money invested in some of our gear.

And hence, the reason I asked the question :) To find out, generally speaking, what others think/do when it comes to filters on their lenses :D

Cheers
Dave

FrankS
11-16-2005, 06:26
And it appears that the conscensus is that we're all over the board on this issue. :)

Nick R.
11-16-2005, 09:06
I use a filter for an effect not for protection. I'm as careful as I have to be to protect my lenses but I'm not going to put an unnecessary piece of glass in front of it.

Hmm. . . at the camera show Sunday, some guy got all pissy-sh#tty when I told him I didn't use protection filters on my lenses. I was asking a dealer if he had any lens caps at the time.
Apparently, this topic is quite a button pusher. :)

richard_l
11-16-2005, 11:40
Hmm. . . at the camera show Sunday, some guy got all pissy-sh#tty when I told him I didn't use protection filters on my lenses. I was asking a dealer if he had any lens caps at the time.
Apparently, this topic is quite a button pusher. :)I wonder why some people who use protective filters get bent out of shape like that. It just doesn't seem like an emotional issue. Some people use protective filters, some don't. So what? :confused:

back alley
11-16-2005, 11:51
some have a greater need to be 'right'.

joe

Honu-Hugger
11-16-2005, 12:13
some have a greater need to be 'right'.

joe
Out here the same emotions surface regarding motor oil (particularly what you're running in your farm tractor; apparently cars are of lesser importance) and rifle calibers -- especially rifle calibers. You may be forgiven for running Valvoline instead of Delo, but not for shooting with a .243 :).

RJBender
11-16-2005, 22:10
George, buy insurance for your expensive glass and don't rely on filters for protection. When was the last time you were poked in the eye? ;) Think of that front element as your third eye and you'll be careful with your lenses. :rolleyes: Invest in a good lens shade. Pros in this part of the country laugh at people who use filters. :p

R.J.

hms624
11-16-2005, 23:26
Although I almost never use a filter, it would be nice in the long run. Have you ever looked at an old lens, and realized that it had a permanent filter? When you pull off the filter, and the lens is spotless and pristine, it seems worth it to have a filter on your lenses. Nonetheless, in the short term, I feel that it most certainly decreases some picture quality for a few reasons. Most have been mentioned, but one that seems to be missing is that fact that a filter decreases the caution with which one generally treats a lens. If there is a filter, why a lens cap?, or why excess caution? Thus, filters tend to generally be in worse shape than the front element of a naked lens would normally be.

simonankor
11-17-2005, 00:20
I've definitely seen old lenses with filters permanently on them - my Canon P had one. And yes, the front element is perfect and spotless and beautiful. I actually do use that filter as a lens cap (since I have no lens cap).

On the other hand, my FED 1 came with an unfiltered lens - and the last two owners said they'd never had one. And it had no lens cap either. And it's also perfect and spotless and beautiful.

So being careful does work! ;)

jaapv
11-17-2005, 01:10
Mea culpa ,in part... [see other posts]

You can be a "careful" as a saint - but "accidents" happen.

You apparently have a lot of glass and some indifference as to their value to you.

My values are different.

It's not just a matter of price and replacement - to me its a matter of respect for what I currently own - and what I hope to pass on...

Carefulness does not replace protection.

I'll bet your drive carefully - does that mean you don't have insurance?

Doesn't "using them carefully" mean using them to their full capability as well?
And I do drive carefully (most of the time) -but does that mean I need to have a Sherman tank driving in front of me to "protect"my car? And as you say, my car has insurance -so do my more expensive lenses.....

Toby
11-17-2005, 01:48
I've always used UV filters on my lenses. I've got various leneses I've owned from new and never had to clean the front element. I've saved a £800 MF lens with a £30 filter. I've also shot a lot of slide in my time and a UV does stop the occasional 'cold' picture in strong light. I used to be extremely sniffy about people who used any kind of filter for an effect but changed my mind after I used a yellow green filter for portraiture in black and white. The bottom line is I will do whatever it takes to make pictures that I am happy with - and that's what we should all do, filter or no

jaapv
11-17-2005, 02:22
I quote myself here,Toby
But, in the end, if you feel more comfortable with a "protective" filter and are happy with your results, what reason would there be to do otherwise.... ?

Brian Sweeney
11-17-2005, 03:35
I keep filters on just about every lens I own. I have made filters to go on lenses. They protect the delicate front element from "too many cleanings" over the decades. The 35mm RF camera that I bought in 1969 at age 11 has a perfect lens on it.

UV filters also cut out wavelengths of light that tend to "blur" pictures. Film is sensitive below blue, and most lenses are not color corrected for that range.

jaapv
11-17-2005, 04:15
Ah, Brian, you're far too young.....

Brian Sweeney
11-17-2005, 04:29
As I close in rapidly on the half-century mark, Thanks!

My Mom, age 81, watching my oldest Sister turning 58, told me "You are all getting old!"

Bertram2
11-17-2005, 04:43
Unfortunately I had to learn by my own ( painful) experience that UV filters used for the purpose of protection ARE an optical risk, worse than I thought.
Two additional glass-to-air surfaces in front of the lens obviously is more than an academic argument.

So I have UV filters mounted on all lenses but take them off before I go out for shooting, excepted beach, mountains, rain and really dusty places.

Knowing that tiny clean marks on the frontlens have almost no visible effect I hate them anyway on a lens for many hundred if not for thousands of Euros. I have no choice at this point, it's part of my education to take care on worthful and precisely manufactured gadgets.

The filter ring itself can have a protective effect too, saved me once my Mat124 when it fell on the concrete.

On the other hand it does not make sense to spoil the result of such an expensive lens, I mean you buy it BECAUSE of the outstanding performance and and you want to get it all.

Two hearts beat in my breast and so for me this means turn-in, turn-out, turn-in, turn-out...... :bang:

peter_n
11-17-2005, 16:35
Although I almost never use a filter, it would be nice in the long run. Have you ever looked at an old lens, and realized that it had a permanent filter? When you pull off the filter, and the lens is spotless and pristine, it seems worth it to have a filter on your lenses. [snip]Indeed I've had that very experience. I bought a 1978 or 9 50mm Summilux on eBay a few months ago and when it arrived there was a note from the seller - an 85 yr. old who had been the only owner. There was a UV filter on it and when I unscrewed it I realized it had been on there for the life of the lens. The front element was pristine and the white engaving on the front rim looked like it had been done the day before. I wrote back to him and told him that I would take good care of the lens for as long as I owned it. :)

jaapv
11-18-2005, 09:05
And if you use protective filters, use Heliopan They are a lot tougher than other brands.

BillBingham2
11-22-2005, 20:56
I have them on all my old SLR gear, all my new (about 14 yrs old) Leica lenses, on my LTM 105, but everything else is naked. My wide CVs do so well with flare I hate to add anything. I think I go with price of the lens to be replaced. B2 (;->

brightsky
11-22-2005, 21:28
For some reason, the filter debate reminds me of Felix Unger. :)

I suppose if one places a filter on a new lens and never removes it for any reason, the only "harm" might be flare under certain shooting conditions.

But, for those who take them on and off, isn't there a higher probability of sealing moisture in between the front element and the filter and hastening the formation of fungus? I've always read that a filter should be removed when storing lenses for any length of time for that reason.

I don't use filters myself, but always have a hood on each lens. However, I would bet the screw in hoods would be more solid than the Leica "clip" on hoods in the event of a drop.

Some time ago, on a forum I cannot recall, I read where a lens was dropped and the filter shattered, severely scratching the front element. Now that would make me sick!

This subject is really obsessive. :D

jaapv
11-25-2005, 03:53
Some time ago, on a forum I cannot recall, I read where a lens was dropped and the filter shattered, severely scratching the front element. Now that would make me sick!



Aaargh!! That was me :bang: I was not pleased, as it was a Leica Apo Telyt 280
Luckily the front element of that lens is the "cheapest" meaning I could have bought a Canon L lens for the repair costs :mad: Well... In Hong Kong at any rate.

sf
12-05-2005, 00:20
no filters for me. Actually, if I use any filters at all (besides the UV filters which I DO use), I use an 81A - but only when shooting outdoor portraits.

With black and white - nothing.

VinceC
02-24-2006, 10:28
Hmmm. I used my equipment in the field for about 10 years. I shattered the front elements of two RF Nikkor lenses and cracked the viewfinder window on a Nikon SP somewhere on a very bumpy mountain road. I've also bent, shattered or broken half a dozen filters, so without them, my kill-rate for lenses would've been much higher. Nowadays, in my more suburban pursuits of chasing after my kids with a camera, I do sometimes remove the filters. But most of the time they stay on the lens. One of the reasons I like very high quality lenses is that they can stand the degredation of things like filters. If my resolution already exceeds that of the film, then the filter's degredation borders on the inconsequential. I do use lens hoods for reflections and flare, which are a different thing altogether.

In the pursuit for perfect sharpness, nobody ever discusses their enlarging lens. And few of us spend a lot time discussing scanner technique and sharpness.

I know there are strong opinions on both sides of the filter issue. But I'm not sure the presence or absence of a protective filter ever made or ruined a really good photograph.

ruben
02-24-2006, 11:53
Stupid? Hardly. I never use a filter for protection. I shoot mostly with a Canonet. Lens ruined? I'll buy a new one. BFD Not that I've ever so much as scratched a lens. Now I suppose if I'm using something more $$$, maybe a filter... but overall, I am not a fan of filters for protection. Only effect.

Scott

Total agreement, with some bold on "only effect".

Cheers,

Ruben

John
03-04-2006, 20:18
I have put my two cents worth in on this subject a couple of times before. I do like reading everyone else's ideas too. I use filters, hoods, and caps on every lens I can find them for. I usually get the coated UV. I have B&W's, Contax's, Hoya's. I clean the filters when they get dirty and the lenses stay as pristine as possible. I can remove the filter if needed, especially if I am making multiples of the lenses value per day.
I have some lenses without filters because I just have not searched them out yet. I have a lens with cleaning marks I am thinking of sending to be re-coated. I am glad it is not an expensive lens. :) :)

al1966
03-06-2006, 01:27
I only buy cheep used lenses and a decent filter will cost me at least half of what the lens cost, so until I can buy something worth a fortune I dont see the point for me.

Lemures-Ex
03-23-2006, 15:25
I used to use them with B&W but now I scan my negs so Photoshop is my filter set. I print on a quad tone epson printer.

sf
03-23-2006, 16:20
I just bought a B+W UV for my RF645's lenses. I used to shoot with cheapy UV filters, but learned from various sources that using a good quality UV filter is important not only to protect the lens from junk, but because it can make a difference when shooting landscapes, etc. The Real use of mine is just to protect my priceless 45mm lens - and I had the guy at Glazer's Camera, the only one there who I actually think is any good at his job, tell me that it's worth it.

oftheherd
03-23-2006, 16:33
This topic comes up from time to time on different forums. Both sides are defended with religious fever. My personal preference is for filters for protection. It works for me and I do it on most of my lenses. Ed Romney says in his book on Basic Photographic Repair, something like 'keep the lens clean, don't keep cleaning the lens.' As I said, it works for me. For those who prefer no filters, good for you as long as you are happy with it. It sure isn't worth fighting over, just expressing each one's own personal opinion. Now I have done that.

jan normandale
03-24-2006, 06:53
I'm kinda 'functional' in filter application. I agree lenses can get scratched so I'll use a UV to protect. However I also agree that one more sheet of glass has to have some effect. So if I'm taking a 'serious' shot I'll take the UV off.

When shooting BW I'll often use a yellow, dark yellow, orange, green, or red filter for a specific effect given by those filters. With PS I can now tweak the image by boosting contrast.

I have no religion when it comes to these discussions, even the comment about a $40 Oly RC and "who cares, I'll buy another if the lens gets scratched" I can agree with.

Having written all this I don't use them a lot but I do use them as I see a specific application.

R Alan
03-24-2006, 15:05
I usually leave a red or green filter on, just so people ask me where I got a green lens from.

Roy

bsdunek
04-11-2006, 11:32
I only use filters when I want the effect. Of course when I'm in an area that could hurt my lens, such as on a boat with lots of salt spray, or in a dust storm, the effect I want is to protect the front element.
I do always use a lens shade. This affords significant protection as well as increasing contrast and reducing flare under certain conditions. Besides, a good shade looks cool! (IMHO)

RJBender
04-11-2006, 11:55
Filters, neck straps and bags are high-profit accessories that a store sales clerk wants you to buy. A lens with a smashed filter mounted on the front looks good on the counter and helps motivate you to make that purchase.

If an environment does not call for the wearing of protective eyewear, why would a glass element need protection? Ok, people obsess about cleaning their lenses so the filter does protect it from cleaning marks. :p

R.J.

SDK
04-11-2006, 12:39
I think I would only use a UV/Protection filter if I had to shoot in driving rain or snow or a sandstorm (sometimes even in Boston we have windy late winter/early spring days with high winds, and the sand left over on the roads from snowstorm treatment flies like tiny shards of glass). Mostly I leave them off so as not to compromise the lens optics.

My only scratched lens element came about because of a lens filter. Walking along at night I tripped over a movable sign I didn't see. I had a backpack with a Nikon N8008 with a 105mm/2.8 AF Micro lens on it, supposedly protected by an L37c filter, and cap. The pack slipped over my shoulder, hit the brick sidewalk, and the filter shattered. The broken glass nicked several places in the front element. Fortunately, SK Grimes of Boston fixed the lens to good as new with a replacement front element. The filter may have prevented damage to the barrel of the lens.

I do use colored filters shooting B&W landscapes, but these days that is my primary use of the things.

NoTx
04-11-2006, 13:02
I religiously use filters. I use Multi Coated Heliopan and B+W. Why? To protect the lenses. I live in Southern California and will shoot in any condition really. But the number one thing I probably use my rangefinders for is beach and street. Streets often by a beach. I do not need sand scratching my lenses. As for SLR’s, I shoot speedway racing mainly. And with how much grit and clay hits my lenses… I would be a fool to have to replace more than my UV filters.

If you are in a place without such issue… I could see skipping them. But I am not. I like beaches and desert too much… both of which are bad for glass:)

Sparrow
04-11-2006, 13:45
Consider the flowers of the field (through a sheet of glass), in their beauty, More lovely than even the clothes of a king.
Prefer the original
:D :D

tkluck
04-26-2006, 21:14
New tripod (tilting head), new Nikorex, concrete flowerpot.
DING!
Used a filter on most every other lens after that.
I've only got one eye and I wear safety glasses, so does the camera.

Rich Silfver
04-26-2006, 23:15
Yellow-Green filter almost 100% of the time when shooting b&w.
The only time I take it off is if I shoot colour - or if I need the additional speed.

sf
04-26-2006, 23:51
I've decided that putting a good UV filter on the lens is absolutely necessary.

After spending a day using a camera without a filter - because the air seemed clear of dust and moisture - I came home and found that the lens had been dusted with some sort of mist, and waterspots had become part of the coating. Perhaps it wasn't just a mist of water. Big cities you never know.

Bottom line : wear a filter. A good one. B+W is the lowest I'll go, and that's pretty high. I think I bought B+W multicoated filters for all my RF zenzanons.

Rich Silfver
04-27-2006, 00:14
A good one. B+W is the lowest I'll go, and that's pretty high.

If B+W is the lowest you've gone what is better than B+W then?

rvaubel
04-27-2006, 00:31
heliopan
Rex

sf
04-27-2006, 00:33
If B+W is the lowest you've gone what is better than B+W then?


Like your avatar. Nice.

I've heard that Heliopan filters aren't too bad.

Really, I don't know what I'm talking about - I just know that B+W are good - and noticeably better than the Tiffens I used to use.

ONE thing, is that the multicoated filters are hard to wipe clean. The coating is . . . squeaky. Mine is, at least. It has grip. Not the plain glass of the tiffen, so blowing it clean with a can of air is easiest.

ChrisPlatt
04-28-2006, 17:56
You will usually find a yellow green filter on my rangefinder du jour,
loaded with black and white.
And there's usually a polarizer on the Pentax loaded with Kodachrome.

Simplify!
-Chris-

kshapero
05-11-2006, 12:39
I use B+W MRC UV filters on all of my lenses. I have not noticed any problems with flare. However, I would not use the the less expensive non multicoated filters. Any slight decrease in lens performance is worth the peace of mind that the extra protection the filters provide.


Super ditto. use B+W MRC UV only to avoid flare.

pesphoto
05-11-2006, 13:55
no filters for me. used to use yellow a lot, but haven't in years. As for protection?
eh.....I usually only bring oone camera one lens to shoot and am pretty careful with it so Im not concerned. I clean my lens before going out and during shooting with lens tissue.

Bill58
06-13-2006, 01:45
no filters for me. used to use yellow a lot, but haven't in years. As for protection?
eh.....I usually only bring oone camera one lens to shoot and am pretty careful with it so Im not concerned. I clean my lens before going out and during shooting with lens tissue.



Easy on the lens cleaning--you (and your coating) would be better off just blowing off the stuff that often gets on it unless you touch or drool on it.

Bill

MacDaddy
06-13-2006, 17:07
My $.02— While trying to go down a slippery, wet set of rocks to photograph a dam (dam photo op!) two years ago, I slipped on the rocks and banged the end of a $1200 lens on the rocks—HARD. When I worked up the courage to look at it, the only damage was the badly cracked 77mm polarizer FILTER on the end of the lens. I keep it as a reminder what I need to do to protect my lenses! Your mileage may vary! 8o)

jaapv
06-28-2006, 04:19
My $.02— While trying to go down a slippery, wet set of rocks to photograph a dam (dam photo op!) two years ago, I slipped on the rocks and banged the end of a $1200 lens on the rocks—HARD. When I worked up the courage to look at it, the only damage was the badly cracked 77mm polarizer FILTER on the end of the lens. I keep it as a reminder what I need to do to protect my lenses! Your mileage may vary! 8o)

Last time I did something like that the lens was undamaged but I sprained my ankle. Would a filter have helped prevent that? ;) :D

I forgot to metion, the lens that wears a UV filter quite often is my Elmarit 90 2.8. It is quite prone to UV flare, as it is the only current Leica lens without kitted elements, so there is no Absorban layer, thus no UV protection...

narsuitus
07-11-2006, 21:41
Only use a protective filter when I am shooting in a hostile environment.

FPjohn
07-18-2006, 08:19
Hello:

I avoid obsessive cleaning of lens surfaces and filters which are always present as a yellow or UV. Minolta antireflection uv filters are nice when you find them.

yours
Frank

Rafael
07-18-2006, 08:30
I was always told that, as long as you were careful with your gear, why put what could be an inferior piece of glass in front of a nice superior piece of glass.

That's always been my reasoning.

jaapv
07-18-2006, 08:42
First: I am not against the use of protection filters, nobody should be, as there are many circumstances where it is wise to do so and everybody is totally capable to judge the way in which he/she wants to use his/her equipment. Some people wear away the paint on their car by polishing it every day, others never even wash it, causing it to corrode away. Both are equally wrong ;)
I already posted part of this some time ago; it has been expanded.I put it into another thread first, but moved it here.

Any lens has internal flare because of reflections. The better the coatings of the lens, the smaller the intensity of the reflections and with that the degradation of the (theoretically possible) image. One would think that the addition of two reflective surfaces to an optical system with, say, six elements is not that bad, but unfortunately the number of reflections is governed by one of the optical laws of the 17th century Dutch astronomer/physicist Snellius which is R=N(N-1)/2 where N is the number of air/glass surfaces. So a Summicron with 6 elements and 12 surfaces has 66 [ 12(12-1)/2 = 132/2 = 66 ] reflections. If you add 2 surfaces you will have 91 reflections [14(14-1)/2 = 182/2 = 91 ]!Just try stacking filters and adding four or even six surfaces in this formula. Depending on the situation this may really influence contrast. Lenses with more elements and/or less effective coatings will be even more at risk. This is about the type of flare called veil, which usually can only be seen in direct comparison, as it is an overall degradation of the image. The type of flare that produces "UFO's" or diaphragm reflections, is of course well known, but it follows the same laws. Then there is direct reflection of the filter called ghosting, which will result in highlights being reproduced once at a certain distance of the original image, often upsidedown. We had some beautiful examples of that in the RD1 forum a while ago with a Summicron 35 and Hoya filter. Not the worst combo by any means. All these types of flare will be reduced by modern coatings and will only be apparent in adverse circumstances, that is high contrast situations and photographing against the light. It is wise to take a protective filter off any lens in those conditions.

The next problem is especially with wide-angle lenses: The light travelling at right-angles to the filter will have a considerably smaller distance to go through the filter than light striking it at an acute angle, resulting in a difference in refraction and with that in loss of sharpness. It is a widespread misconception that a planparallel surface is not a lens. This is incorrect. It can easily be demonstrated by standing at the middle of the long side of a swimmingpool and looking in. If you have removed your kids from the water and there is no wind, this will form an ideally flat surface, comparable, even superior to, the filter in front of your lens. Now look at the bottom. Instead of the rectangle it is, you will see it distorted into a barrel shape. That is caused by the centric perspective of your eyes turning it into the equivalent of a concave lens. The same thing, and similar effects, happen with anything photographed at distances closer than infinity through a filter which is exactly what one is doing with wideangle lenses. It interferes with the rectilinear rendition your lens is trying to achieve, throw the corrections designed into the lens out and will introduce chromatic aberration as well, as the distortion is wavelength dependent.
Do lens manufacturers do something about this? Mostly the effects are small and hardly noticable, so only some of the very best -and expensive- lenses have been designed with this aspect in mind. A few Leica R wideangles have a built-in filter turret and no filter thread, enabling the designer to compensate fully but the most interesting examples are, of all things, Leica's top tele range. Take for instance the 280 apo 4.0. A fully diffraction corrected lens. Any interference with the path of the light would throw the correction out. So Leica made the front element the least expensive and a fixed protective one, fully correcting for it in the design and added a filter-holder at the rear of the optical system, which must hold a filter - any filter but normally a clear one, at all times to maintain the full correction of the lens.

In my opinion and experience a lens hood and lens-cap when not in use offer far more protection than any filter without having the chance of degrading the image and as a last resort there is always insurance. But, in the end, if one feels more comfortable with a "protective" filter and is happy with the results, what reason would there be to do otherwise? As long as one is aware of the theoretical considerations, that , as always, must be subject to the final result. And remove the filter and use a lens-hood in any high-contrast situation.

The reason for using a lenshood, apart from the obvious advantage of reducing the amount of light that shouldn't be entering the lens in the first place, is that it cuts off a proportion of the so-called "skew rays", that is rays that enter the lens at an oblique angle to the optical axis. Those are the most difficult ones for an optical designer to compensate for and thus the hardest for the lens to handle. Using a lens hood will improve lens quality in all cases, even when one thinks it is not needed.

Just for completeness sake, a filter for UV protection is not needed with nearly any post-1960 lens, as the lens kit in the kitted elements will provide adequate UV protection. Except the 2.8-90 Elmarit, which has no kitted element and is protected by coatings only. That one will benefit from a UV filter in the mountains and on the beach, as may some lenses from other makes that I do not know about.

rxmd
07-18-2006, 09:23
This is incorrect. It can easily be demonstrated by standing at the middle of the long side of a swimmingpool and looking in. If you have removed your kids from the water and there is no wind, this will form an ideally flat surface, comparable, even superior to, the filter in front of your lens. Now look at the bottom. Instead of the rectangle it is, you will see it distorted into a barrel shape. That is caused by the centric perspective of your eyes turning it into the equivalent of a concave lens.
Err... the difference obviously is that in the pool there is no second air surface that diffracts the light back in the original direction, so the analogy is somewhat flawed.

If you put a glass plate on top of an empty pool I don't think you'll notice much displacement. Theoretically there is some, but if the glass is reasonably thin and the viewing angle isn't too extreme the effect won't be very noticeable to the naked eye, especially in comparison to other factors such as dirt on the glass. Or if you have vertically-opening windows (in the Netherlands they are quite common ;)), open them halfway, look at a vertical object and see if there is much displacement.

One would notice the effect probably if one had a habit of photographing test charts with Summicron ASPHs, but personally there are other, more limiting factors in the overall quality of my pictures, most of which are located between my ears.

I do appreciate plain glass ("UV") filters since a friend accidentally dropped his Kiev 88 with my Mir-36 wideangle lens while doing field research in Egypt. The usual argument is that a hood fulfils the same function, but obviously you can't always have a hood on your camera, unless you're seriously into pinhole photography.

Philipp

jaapv
07-18-2006, 09:40
Err... the difference obviously is that in the pool there is no second air surface that diffracts the light back in the original direction, so the analogy is somewhat flawed.

If you put a glass plate on top of an empty pool I don't think you'll notice much displacement. Theoretically there is some, but if the glass is reasonably thin and the viewing angle isn't too extreme the effect won't be very noticeable to the naked eye, especially in comparison to other factors such as dirt on the glass. Or if you have vertically-opening windows (in the Netherlands they are quite common ;)), open them halfway, look at a vertical object and see if there is much displacement.

One would notice the effect probably if one had a habit of photographing test charts with Summicron ASPHs, but personally there are other, more limiting factors in the overall quality of my pictures, most of which are located between my ears.

I do appreciate plain glass ("UV") filters since a friend accidentally dropped his Kiev 88 with my Mir-36 wideangle lens while doing field research in Egypt. The usual argument is that a hood fulfils the same function, but obviously you can't always have a hood on your camera, unless you're seriously into pinhole photography.

Philipp

The second surface does bend your universe back into shape, sure, otherwise a filter would produce barrelshaped distortion as well. But my experiment does prove, and that is what it is meant to do, that a flat surface has a very clear effect on the path of the light and is not "optically inert". Your welcome clarification emphasizes the reason why the thickness of the filter is important too. As for the last sentence, I tend to get lenshoods that are adapted to the lens that I use.;)
And may I quote myself?Mostly the effects are small and hardly noticable,

dll927
07-24-2006, 13:18
Each of my Leica lenses sports a 39mm Leitz filter. Do you suppose they would ever have marketed those filters if they thought they would degrade images?

CraigK
08-05-2006, 15:26
When was the last time you were poked in the eye?

Every hunting season I get whacked in the eye with a damn willow branch at least once a day as I walk through the grouse woods.

After one particularly unpleasant visit to the doctor for some ointment and an eye patch that I had to wear for a week, I bought a pair of shooting glasses. I never go into the woods without them now.

As a pro, my photo gear is in and out of bags, cases and pockets constantly, and I am very often all thumbs when it comes to putting lenses on and off bodies in a hurry.

I put UV filters on all my 35 and medium format lenses and change them when they begin to show the wear and tear I subject them to.

On the other hand, my large format work is done at my leisure, no quick changes during a press conference, no shooting from a dangling crane in a steel mill, just me, mother nature and some FP4.

So the lenses go commando.

jaapv
09-04-2006, 02:49
Each of my Leica lenses sports a 39mm Leitz filter. Do you suppose they would ever have marketed those filters if they thought they would degrade images?
Err...yes, as customers want to buy them, they would provide the best they could find at a considerably higher price than B&W who make them.

colyn
09-13-2006, 18:20
I never use a UV filter..in fact I seldom use filters at all.
If I need to enhance clouds in a blue sky I'll use a yellow filter or polarizing filter to eliminate glare.

dogbunny
11-06-2006, 06:11
Hi,

I'm also trying to learn a bit more about filter use. I never realized this was such a heated topic. My major interest is in photo results.

I hope you don't mind, but I attached this photo I took a while ago climbing Mt. Fuji. I didn't use any filters at all. How could a filter have helped me here? I don't mean to sound like a total noob, but I am :) It was a foggy day, I guess I was hoping my photo could have a bit more clarity and less glare.

If any of you could point me toward some kind of filter tutorial, that would be cool too. Thanks.

iml
11-06-2006, 06:28
I shoot by the sea a lot. Not having UV filters is a recipe for sand, grit, and salt blowing onto the lens front element, so I always use them.

Ian

jaapv
11-06-2006, 12:55
Hi,

I'm also trying to learn a bit more about filter use. I never realized this was such a heated topic. My major interest is in photo results.

I hope you don't mind, but I attached this photo I took a while ago climbing Mt. Fuji. I didn't use any filters at all. How could a filter have helped me here? I don't mean to sound like a total noob, but I am :) It was a foggy day, I guess I was hoping my photo could have a bit more clarity and less glare.

If any of you could point me toward some kind of filter tutorial, that would be cool too. Thanks.

That is a photo of a desperate photographic situation. If any filter would have helped, there must have been some sunlight behind that mist. In that case a polfilter-maybe. But in Black and White, a red filter would be great here.

Robert
12-08-2006, 12:28
I have a skylight filter on all my lens . Any problems with lens detail would be insignificiant if the lens got scraped or damaged. A filter can be changed a lot easier than the lens.

Nachkebia
12-08-2006, 12:32
Yesterday I bought 39 and 46 Leica UV filters to project my lenses, I can not afford sctraching my lovely 50 lux asph :D

jan normandale
12-08-2006, 12:33
Dave I didn't vote because like Rick Moranis said in "Spaceballs" .. "smoke 'em if you got 'em" Same for me, if I got 'em I use 'em. If I don't, I don't.

dspeltz
01-01-2007, 11:43
Now we have to add IR protection filters for M8 users.

PHOTOEIL
01-05-2007, 08:13
A lens without a filter ... i could not stand the idea!
I would not dare to work with my camera+lens without a filter on the lens just to protect the lens. Modern filters are that well made that they do no more harm to the optical performance.
Besides, with B&W, filters are most of the time useful and with colour, filters are a must because the light is never what the film needs to render colours in good balance.
I could not live without them (and my colourtemp. meter)!

PHOTOEIL
01-05-2007, 08:19
Hi,

I'm also trying to learn a bit more about filter use. I never realized this was such a heated topic. My major interest is in photo results.

I hope you don't mind, but I attached this photo I took a while ago climbing Mt. Fuji. I didn't use any filters at all. How could a filter have helped me here? I don't mean to sound like a total noob, but I am :) It was a foggy day, I guess I was hoping my photo could have a bit more clarity and less glare.

If any of you could point me toward some kind of filter tutorial, that would be cool too. Thanks.


A KR 3 (B+W) is good for haze penetration, just try it the next time you are on the Fuji.

charjohncarter
01-05-2007, 18:44
I use a UV filter on my Pentax 20mm SLR lens for protection, it needs it., very vulnerable. I have filters for all of my lenses except the fixed lens cameras. But I only use them when in an unprotected 'locus en quo'. The irony is the 20mm SLR lens is the one which I probably shouldn't be using it on. En Fin, Protection convenience, just how lazy you are.

FrankS
01-05-2007, 19:14
I have a skylight filter on all my lens . Any problems with lens detail would be insignificiant if the lens got scraped or damaged. A filter can be changed a lot easier than the lens.

Ditto. Especially for my undamaged vintage lenses that become more difficult to replace in the same condition. Fortunately/unfortunately I don't have to worry about protecting really expensive lenses like a Summilux. The Summitar (edit: I mean Summarit here) is as close as I get.

peter_n
01-05-2007, 19:30
I was always told that, as long as you were careful with your gear, why put what could be an inferior piece of glass in front of a nice superior piece of glass.But B+W MRC glass is not inferior to any nice superior glass I use...

rvaubel
01-05-2007, 21:11
But B+W MRC glass is not inferior to any nice superior glass I use...

Yes your right if the sun is behind you. But all filters flare when the sun or another bright light is in the field of view. Plus I have never damaged a front element on a lens enough to reduce image quality at all.

Because I am purchasing an M8 I will have to use IR filters although I DON'T LIKE IT. However, I reviewed thousands of shots to look for situations in which a filter will cause a flare and found , much to my surprise that very few pictures actually are shot in situations that cause an objectionable flare. So, if there is a very good reason to use a filter, I would. But "lens protection" isn't a good reason at all.

Ironically, none of my 30-40 lenses that I have owned have ever been damaged by the like of a front filter. But I did destroy one lens, a extreme wide angle with a protruding rear element, by trying to protect the rear element with a rear cap that wasn't deep enough. The protective cap abraded the very center of the rear element which rendered the lens useless when stopped down to F8 or so!

So my experience is that protective caps are only used by people who don't care about their equipment :p

Rex

Lonely Driver
01-06-2007, 09:51
I'm not a pro and I care about my equiptment so I always have a filter on my lenses. If one or two of my shots come out with some flare (unlikely), it's not like I'm going to lose money or my job. Plus if you should be unfortunate enough to drop your lens, the filter could save the day. See Ken Rockwell's link here:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/18200/18200-drop-test.htm

FrankS
01-06-2007, 10:01
If anyone is into vintage lenses as I am, you really appreciate undamaged lens coatings. In their day, these coatings, and indeed some of the glass itself, was very soft, and only a protective filter keeps it from being damaged by less than delicate cleaning of dust and occaisional fingerprint.

wpb
01-06-2007, 10:33
I'm not a pro and I care about my equiptment so I always have a filter on my lenses. If one or two of my shots come out with some flare (unlikely), it's not like I'm going to lose money or my job. Plus if you should be unfortunate enough to drop your lens, the filter could save the day. See Ken Rockwell's link here:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/18200/18200-drop-test.htm


That article should be titled "Secret Lives of Lenses on Ebay"

rvaubel
01-06-2007, 10:33
If anyone is into vintage lenses as I am, you really appreciate undamaged lens coatings. In their day, these coatings, and indeed some of the glass itself, was very soft, and only a protective filter keeps it from being damaged by less than delicate cleaning of dust and occaisional fingerprint.

Your 'vintage lens' reason did give me food for thought. My dad had a tendency to be overzealous about cleaning his lenses and that, plus the softer coatings of the 1950's lead to some damaged lenses.

However, my approach is to rarely clean lenses and when I do, I am very careful. The newer coatings are actually tougher than glass but the older coatings could be quite soft. It is actually amazing just how dirty a lens can get without effecting quality. Many people think that the least little amount of dust is a really bad thing. As an experiment I once poured dirt on a lens and found that the only effect was a slight reduction in contrast.

Rather than a filter, a lens hood takes care of almost all the impact type of problems. Dropping a camera on its lens is something that can ruin a lens. But here again, a filter is not the best line of defense. A lens hood will be far more effective. Plus a lens hood will decreas flare, not increase it

Rex

Robert
01-06-2007, 11:07
I always have a filter on my lenses. I worry about even smudging my camera lenses as I am worried about any damage I might do cleaning them, even being very careful and with the correct cleaning equipment.

Lonely Driver
01-06-2007, 14:29
That article should be titled "Secret Lives of Lenses on Ebay"

God that is scary - I never even thought about that one when bidding on something...

Steve Bellayr
01-20-2007, 12:00
I use filters. I can't even count how many times people have touched the front of my lens and I had to clean the filter. It happened last night again.

Xmas
01-20-2007, 13:28
My story is similar to Back Alley's (Joe) and the Ken Rockwell saga, I had a Oly 85mm hard rubber hood on my best J9 (85mm), as well as a UV filter, the rubber hood took the shock of Kiev and 85mm landing on top of it, it the hood is now not as good as new, but the filter lens and camera were not detectably damaged.

I've never told my Oly OM 85mm lens what its hood did for my Kiev.

An old cron needs the best hood and filter as the M may be in a Ita case but the cam may land nose down.

Noel

arbib
01-20-2007, 18:52
yes...and no...

when i was a noob i put a filter on everything. i also used never ready cases.

then i decided i was against filters and thought to myself, 'when was the last time you 'hurt' a lens'? answer...never!

now i have become more pragmatic.

in summer/nice weather - no filters.
in winter/snow/sleet etc - uv filters.

joe

Agree here.... if using a camera/lens outside in the windy, snowy, rainy conditions

((Yes, I have been known to use my Bessa R2 in LIGHT RAIN. I zip my jacket and protect it up the point of exposure, then I unzip and preset Focus/SS/FS, quicly frame and shoot usng Sunny 16, (Rainy 5.6) rule. Then a quick wipe as I hide the camera/lens, and zip up the jacket)).

But if the weather is calm and no rain, Naked.

pmu
03-21-2007, 01:22
Earlier in this thread people said that they use uv-filters for "protection"...yes... Actually, I believe the most common accident with cameras is that you either bang the lens somewhere or drop it to the floor/ground, right? Ok, if you drop the lens or something like that isn't it the shattered filter glass causing the damage to the front element, not the drop itself? And if you use hoods -- that takes away the impact, but still if you use filter, there is a high change that it might shatter and give marks to the front element.

For "protection" against usual accidents, I would not use filters. I would use hoods or maybe an empty filter (or two) to take the impact (empty filter = filter with glass removed).

My CV35 ultron, no filters.
50mm 'lux, I'll find a step-up ring (43-->45) and attach one or two empty filters to serve as a protection and as a tiny hood.

VinceC
03-21-2007, 06:58
I've dropped and banged lots of cameras and have broken my share of filters and lenses.

Broken pieces of filter glass are not a big threat to the lens glass, in my experience. Usually, the filter glass cracks or shatters; but it still stays within the filtter ring rather than go flying. Also, chances are high that the impact will occur at an angle, so the stress point is the edge of the filter ring, not the central glass area.

An accident in which shattered filter glass scratches the lens element is likely to be so catastrophic that the lens would have been damaged anyway.

Shooting traditional black-and-white film, I used yellow filters on all the lenses, which improved the tonality of my images. Yellow filters seem much less necessary on the newer C41 b&w films, so I don't them much anymore. For color, I've always used warming skylight filters ... this is less important in the era of PhotoShop, but old habits die hard.

darkkavenger
03-21-2007, 13:36
Hello, what is the thread to get an UV filter for a Jupiter-9 85/2 ? and for a CV 21/4 ? I am considering getting in addition to those two more filters to protect my 50mm lenses (I already use a great "S & W PHOTO CO UV 40.5mm". I should formally get a CV 21/4 next week, crossing fingers!

Thanks!
Max

P.S. : It's mainly to protect my lenses from possible bumpings.

rogue_designer
03-21-2007, 14:07
modern baked coated lenses - no UV filter "for protection" - only if I'm in the mountains where the UV would be a useful thing to mitigate.

older soft coating, or no coating lenses - a BW MRC filter where the protection is a good trade off over the risk of extra flare.

I do try to use hoods frequently (obviously to block light) - but also because they offer a measure of protection against the occasional bump. And with my RF lenses, most of them have such relatively small, recessed front elements, it's hard to imagine much getting in there directly.

The only exception to this rule is one of my dSLR lenses that has a very exposed 82mm front objective. I always have a BW MRC filter over the front of that. It does flare on occasion, but with a fist sized objective, I can see potential damage occuring easily.

mfunnell
03-21-2007, 15:46
Count me as another who uses UV filters on SLR lenses but not on RF lenses. I think its because of the different circumstances in which I use the different cameras.

...Mike

VinceC
03-21-2007, 18:12
I believe the J-9 85/2 uses 49mm filters.

ForeverUnknown
03-21-2007, 20:48
I don't generally use filters except for CPL, ND, and color filters for B&W. UV filters are used only for when the weather or local calls for one.

ferider
03-22-2007, 14:40
Max, I think the 21/4 has 39mm filter threads.

Roland.

Xmas
04-13-2007, 14:41
A filter will normally protect the lens filter ring, even if it has no glass, i.e. a step ring will be even better as there is more metal.
A hood has even more metal than a step ring, if the hood is badly damaged the lens may still be mechanically intact.
Be lucky or use a hood
Noel

P.S. Vince confirmed he J9 is 49mm

sepiareverb
04-20-2007, 20:32
I like an 81A often for color, and a light yellow or light orange for b&w. The yellow has been getting lighter as I get older.

I also like a filter on there so I don't have to clean the actual lens so often- hardly ever if ever. A brush every now and then if I'm switching a lot from color to b&w, but I clean the cheaper filter rather than the pricey lens.

And I always use a hood excepting some indoor work, so flare is not much of a concern.

Magus
05-04-2007, 07:23
Post deleted by posters request

Rhoyle
05-04-2007, 07:43
I remeber reading in a magazine where one of the "experts" recommended against using a 1A filter as a lens protector. He had his reasons and they seemed sound. Then the next month someone wrote in and argued the point, also making what seemed to be a logical point. The expert retorted saying that he'd been a professional photographer for the past 30years and didn't appreciate being questioned. Hmmm. I've actually been a fairly successful professional musician for the past 30 years and have colleagues who do things differently than I do. My reaction? It's okay! You need to do what you feel comfortable doing to produce your best results. On paper, you might be able to make an objective argument one way or another, however, what does the final print look like?

Magus
05-04-2007, 07:52
Post deleted by posters request

ClaremontPhoto
05-17-2007, 03:00
Interesting reading this.

I have always used skylight but am now considering not so in the future.

Bill58
05-17-2007, 04:54
Before I got hooked on RFF and became more informed three years ago, I read K. Rockwell's comments on filters and bought as ton in 49 and 55mm but never used them. Now, I doubt their usefulness/ logic the more I read here. I've never used a skylight filter--that seems totally unnecessary to me.

Maybe someday I'll use the yellow, orange and red one w/ B&W film.

Would anyone like to buy some (unused) Hoya filters?

Bill

steamer
05-17-2007, 05:30
This is kind of like the helmet threads on cycling sites, though less heated. I often use a protective filter, because I'd rather put the cleaning marks on the cheap glass instead of the expensive and painstakingly designed glass.

sepiareverb
05-17-2007, 17:34
Another of those no-one is right threads that tend to get some folks worked up into a frenzied lather. Some of the lather is rather fun.
Just pm'ed on a Yellow-Green 39mm for some play with this summer. I've never had a light green filter before. Will lighten up foliage come summer, and should buzz up the grass. Might be nice. If it looks good on paper I'll use it a lot, if not, I'll save it for those times when I need to lighten green.

Bryce
05-18-2007, 17:09
This topic often brings a lot of deeply held ideas and a lot of ire.
Has anyone made side by side tests on a few scenes with say, no filter, a cheap clear filter, a multicoated clear filter?
To really settle the thing, the tests would have to be made for the lens in question, and under a variety of scenes. Preferrably at least one with very bright point light sources.

ferider
05-18-2007, 17:24
You would not believe how much goop I have to take off my filters
after a few hours at the beach or in San Francisco ....

Plus fast lenses are for short DOF, fast film is for speed ! So I never leave
the house without ND filters.

Put's once had a comparison somewhere. And once on RFF I saw somebody
demonstrating flare with a fast Canon lens and filter on an Epson.

Roland.

angeloks
06-21-2007, 02:02
I'm a fan of the CP (can't use the hood with that one). Otherwise, when I don't want to use a hood, I'll put a BW UV filter or some yellowish filters for B&W film. Since I tend to be reckless, I often bump my cameras and lens...

dcsang
06-21-2007, 11:02
I feel so honoured that this poll is still going on.. it's like "the little poll that could" or something ;)

Dave

ChrisPlatt
06-21-2007, 18:21
I always keep a yellow-green (X0) filter on my rangefinder's lens
and a polarizer (PL) on my SLR's lens. Who needs a UV filter? ;)

Chris

Kin Lau
06-21-2007, 18:46
I feel so honoured that this poll is still going on.. it's like "the little poll that could" or something ;)

Maybe it's the "shooting naked" option :)

potomo
06-23-2007, 04:14
yellow filter sometimes and EVERYTIME uv filter... I am scared to ruin my lenses!

Muller
06-23-2007, 20:24
So I am curious, do you use filters as protective measures or do you simply use them to enhance/alter/adjust your images that you take.

Yes.

Joop van Heijgen
06-24-2007, 16:00
Yesterday I bought 39 and 46 Leica UV filters to project my lenses, I can not afford sctraching my lovely 50 lux asph :D

An UV filter is a filter!

You have to use it as a filter, not as a 'protection' for your lens!

The front lens of Leica is special protected against damage and dust!

UV filters affect the quality of the photo negatively!

colinh
07-16-2007, 13:01
I have UV filters (B+W or heliopan) for all my lenses, and orange and polarising ones in 39 and 46.

I used to leave the UV on all the time (hate that UV light, so I have to filter it out :) ) but recently we've had some nice fluffy clouds so I was putting on the orange to get some separation.

Taking the UV off one 39 lens, putting the orange on, taking the UV off the other 39 lens, taking the orange off the first, putting it on the second and putting the UV on the first lens again was getting to be a pain - so now I'm leaving off the UV filter.

Of course, I've bought the hoods for the ZM Biogons (the Leicas all have the built-in hoods), and I use the lens caps too. Unfortunately, the Summicron 50 lens cap keeps falling off in the bag, and since I have several (2) cameras in the bag, they sometimes scuff each other.

I have therefore decided to put all the UV filters back on again :)

Regarding the quality degradation... if you're using ASA 400 or 1600 film, handheld on a tinsy winsy bit of film, who cares if there's an optically plane, multicoated bit of glass in front?

I may do some tests myself to see if I can tell a difference. Until then, filter. You only have to be unlucky once...

colin

350D_user
07-16-2007, 16:04
"cough up £5 for a replacement filter if it gets shattered, or pay £40 of your hard-earned money for a replacement lens because you couldn't be bothered paying £5 in the first place".

That always got the customers attention. ;)

rbsinto
07-17-2007, 09:52
I can't for the life of me remember whether I answered this before or not, and I'm far too lazy to go through the six pages of posts to see. So....
I keep clear skylight filters on all my lenses (except the 300 2.8 and the 12~24 which don't accept them), and always keep hoods on them as well. I shoot on the street a lot so my stuff gets banged around quite a bit, and I'd rather have to replace a filter than a front element.
As for the degradation of the image that some are so worried about, I've never had anyone tell me that but for the crappy filter or worse yet the scratched up filter, that US Spot News Award would have been awarded to me. So I don't worry about stuff like that. Those who like or dislike my work will like it or dislike it regardless of what is or isn't on the front of the lens.

colinh
07-17-2007, 15:55
"cough up £5 for a replacement filter if it gets shattered, or pay £40 of your hard-earned money for a replacement lens because you couldn't be bothered paying £5 in the first place".

That always got the customers attention. ;)


Of course these days, thats EUR 30 for the B+W MRC filter and EUR 3100 for the Leica Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (GBP 20 and 2000)

:)


colin

BigSteveG
10-09-2007, 12:27
I had begun to question the value of protective filters when I noticed a clear scratch on the 60mm UV on my 75 'lux. The lens a nice user picked up for very reasonable price. I would never buy another at current prices. I may be a gorilla, but my equipment will be used. I'll continue using the filters. I do, however, doubt the practicality of Multi-coated filter in relation to the price difference.

photobizzz
10-29-2007, 09:27
I use at least a Hoya S-HMC or BW MRC on almost all lenses, it also keeps the dust off the front element for me and the inadvertent fingerprint when I pull off the lens cap.

Welsh_Italian
10-29-2007, 15:43
I have a range of polarising filters that I always have handy but no other filters other than a couple that came with cameras. I use the polarisers because their effects are very hard, if impossible, to mimic electronically. I'm not sure about UV filters etc. With coloured filters, I'm happy to use them for B&W shots (reminds me, I need an orange 40.5mm), but colour DSLR shots, I just take and mimic in post-processing which isn't too hard for limited brains like mine.

Does anyone know if the FSU filters advertised by various FSU gear sellers on that auction site are any good?

Kim Coxon
10-29-2007, 16:47
I had a couple. They are probably comparable with the cheaper brands.

Kim


Does anyone know if the FSU filters advertised by various FSU gear sellers on that auction site are any good?

crawdiddy
11-25-2007, 13:29
I realize this is an "elderly" thread, but I just discovered it, and found it interesting. I'll comment, since my answer to the poll will push it to the fore again anyway.

I've always been compulsive about keeping a skylight or UV filter on every lens(primarily SLR lenses, since my RF habit is new).

I felt I was doing the right thing by restricting the cleaning marks to the filter, and protecting the front element coating.

Now I wonder if I'm really only degrading the performance of my lenses, and quality of my photos. This is a topic I wouldn't normally have considered, but now I'm rethinking my strategy. Perhaps I should try shooting without the filter.

minoltist7
11-30-2007, 00:53
I use B+W UV-Haze filter for Minolta 85/1.4 G (SLR) lens only, with it's very large front element .
My big and fast SLR lenses are 72mm and 82mm in diameter, so they obviously need a filter to prevent finger prints and dirt.

For small RF lenses (39mm) I think protective filter is a nonsense - except for the case when you need specific filters for B/W (red,yellow, etc).

Dogman
12-02-2007, 07:11
Use a protection filter?

Absolutely.

I don't expect to have a motor vehicle accident but I always use seatbelts despite them wrinkling my shirts.

amateriat
12-13-2007, 21:45
I choose the late Ernst Haas' approach: except for the occasional polarizer, I've never used any.

And, maybe I have a reluctant guardian angel somewhere, but I've never damaged a lens at the front element; barrel-damage, yes (on my Ricoh GR1 where I didn't have the option of a filter [available on later models]), but never the front element. Of course, that might be because I use lens hoods rather religiously. :)


- Barrett

charjohncarter
01-06-2008, 07:52
amateriat, I've collected filters over the years thinking they are going to be a 'silver bullet.' I have many, way more than I could use. But I'm really with you. I find that when I use a filter to try to get an effect, I end up creating a problem in some other area of the image.

Athena
01-07-2008, 20:14
Of course I filter - it's important to be protected!

peterm1
02-15-2008, 23:32
Let me duplicate a post I made on a thread here about what are cleaning marks.

"One reason I like to use a UV filter is that there are times when you must clean a lens, and any amount of cleaning, no matter how careful is executed it is eventually going to have some effect on the surface of the lens/ filter. As I keep saying, sooner ruin a $30 filter than a $300 (or perhaps $3000) lens.

Marks and damage to coating do matter. I used to own a Nikon Nikonos U/W camera with its standard 35mm lens. When I bought it (new) it had a small circular flaw in the front surface coating. I never sent it back thinking it would not matter. But used above water that puppy flared like a maniac whenever I shot other than with the sun behind me. OK I think this lens had a reputation for flare anyway but the flare I got always corresponded with the position of the coating flaw and convinced me that the quality of coating and lens surfaces matters."

I should add that this is especially my position with old and immaculate Leitz glass etc. I kinda think of myself as not the owner but the custodian for posterity of special items and like to keep them in as good condition as when they came into my hands in the expectation that when I am gone and forgotten some lucky person will get the same thrill as I first did when I picked up one fo these beauties. (Besides they will sell for more...:angel:

lorriman
05-30-2008, 16:26
I put a cheap, single-coated filter on my SLR, and using my hand as a hood I pointed the camera nearly at the sun to see the difference with and without the hand. There was a difference, but nothing to worry about if one is willing to digitally post-process a more important shot.

If I were a pro, I reckon I would buy a more expensive filter.

Roger Hicks
06-07-2008, 03:48
As someone on the Leica stand at photokina said to me many years ago: "Why do you think we make lens caps?"

Yes, I have once had a lens saved by smashing the filter, not the front glass: a 35/2.8 PC-Nikkor, a few months old at the time.

Today, I use filters on some lenses (ones that are used to take shots all the time, e.g. my 35/1.4 Summilux, where I'm walking around with the lens uncovered) but not on others. If I'm not using a filter, I use a lens cap.

Does it matter? Certainly not enough to justify some of the more hysterical reactions here.

Cheers,

Roger

Steve Litt
06-09-2008, 12:35
As someone on the Leica stand at photokina said to me many years ago: "Why do you think we make lens caps?"

Cheers,

Roger

What about using filters on the M8?

Regards
Steve

capitalK
05-14-2009, 07:37
I occasionally freelance for a local news website, which unfortunately means if I come across a car accident I get out and take photos (the only thing that gets more hits than car accidents are house fires).

I just got back from an accident where all I had was my Bessa on-hand. I rewound my roll of TRI-X and threw in a roll of Kodak 400 HD colour film. When I was rewinding the film in the lab I realized I had my yellow filter on the whole time :O

Easy enough to colour-correct... at least it wasn't my red filter!

It turned out that they didn't need photos as someone videotaped it before I got there.

aperture64
05-14-2009, 08:49
I use one as protection, but stick with the higher end B+W filters and always check to see if it's clean before shooting. Better to replace the filter than the lens. I am super careful with my equipment, but I had a mishap years ago. The lens was fine (fell from stopped car onto driveway) but the filter was cracked and shot. I was happy i used it and have since.

novum
05-14-2009, 08:56
I hate filters and I love hoods.

Oculus Sinister
06-30-2009, 20:28
I use protective filters on all my lenses, I can live with whatever image degradation(if any) it causes, small price to pay for my peace of mind. The only lens I have which doesn't have a filter is my EF Canon 200 1.8L and I don't think they sell prot filters for those, good thing it has a humongous hood :)

thinkfloyd
06-30-2009, 21:59
I used to use filters, but not anymore. I shot two scenes once, with and without filter, and the degradation was apparent. More importantly, I once tried to "remove" the coating on a old third-party lens for use for UV photography, and I had the toughest time removing the filter that I had to scrape it off using a coin! haha... after that, I believe the coatings of modern lenses are designed to withstand even more damage, so I never bothered using filters again. HOwever, older non-coated lenses are a different matter...

axiom
08-02-2009, 19:54
I am running into the same problem.
I BASICALLY don't want to put filters on my lenses, but when I think of the value of 1 of my lenses, I hesitate.

Let me ask this.
If you own a Noctilux, do you put filter on it??

ps.
I not only want to shoot naked, I want to carry my lenses with out front caps too just to minimise the size

amateriat
08-02-2009, 20:25
axiom: No filters or caps on my lenses, but always a hood, even on my Contax Tvs (and it took a bit of looking to get the proper hood for its lens). Good for a bit of flare resistance, but physical protection is an even bigger deal for me.


- Barrett

tmfabian
08-02-2009, 21:17
I put nice b+w or heliopan filters on all my glass, why? because i'm too busy photographing to be bothered with worrying about being uber duber careful with the front of my lens....especially when shooting with 2 bodies. It's paid off pretty well, espeically when the front of my 28mm was randomly sprayed with what seemed to be some mix of flamable liquids while photographing a firebreather for an article...whatever he was blowing at the flames took the coating right off the filter....who knows what it would've done to the lens.

Al Kaplan
08-02-2009, 21:23
At least those of us earning a living with our cameras get to depreciate the purchase price and write off the cost of repairs when we file our taxes.

http://thepriceofsilver.blogspot.com

ampguy
08-12-2009, 21:50
for 28mm and above, and b/w, definitely not.

For 15/4.5 initially looks fine in color and b/w without.

Will test 21 soon.

What about using filters on the M8?

Regards
Steve

Roger Warren
09-24-2009, 01:59
use filters for B&W and UV protection in extreme situations

Juan Valdenebro
09-24-2009, 05:32
I never use filters for protection.

Bob Michaels
01-02-2010, 20:28
I never use filters for protection.

I favor Trojans.

amateriat
01-02-2010, 21:04
I favor Trojans.
Yeah, but you know how hard it is to get one of those over a lens? (And no "Magnum" jokes, please...)


- Barrett

chrishayton
01-12-2010, 19:14
Never used UV filters on my rangefinder stuff as was never worried about scratching the grass, Till I bought the cv 35mm f1.2. Been using it without but worry got the better of me so ordered a B+W MRC UV filter to ease the feeling of dread everytime I fumble with the cap in the hood.
Also will happily shoot hood-less now when i feel size is an issue as the fronts protected.

Dwig
01-13-2010, 16:28
The use of a UV filter for "lens protection" began as a marketing scam by dealers looking for needed extra profit when camera discounting began to be significant.

I worked in and ran retail camera stores when this began. The profit margin on filters, particularly those from filter manufactures rather than camera manufacturers, is, or at least was through the mid-'90s when I got out of the business, massive. A UV filter and a strap added to the sale of a $300-600 USD camera would generally double the net profit on the sale. The stores I worked in and ran often gave a "spiff" or commission on a filter or strap sale but not on a camera or lens, too little net profit on the later two.

Filters never add, they always take away.

japro
01-14-2010, 03:53
I don't use filters, even if I have a lot expensive, large-lensed (is that a word) SLR glass. I never actually managed to get "cleaning marks" on my lenses and the only lens I ever dropped ended up having a blocked AF gear but no damage whatsoever was done to the glass. Also, I have some lenses i bought with scratches for absolute bargain prices. It's the kind of scratches you have to carfully look for, but they are there, and I never noticed any impact on the images taken with them, even if I had the opportunity to test against unscratched identical ones. I have the firm belief, that putting filter in front of your lenses will increase flare problems more, than any small scratch or cleaning mark can.
And since damaging Lenses isn't that easy in the first place (go, get a defect worthless lens off ebay and try to scratch it... The only object in our houshold, that worked was a quarz crystal) I think my lenses are well protected by their hoods. Of course there are situations where a filter makes sense, like when it's very sandy (beach etc.) or the lenses don't have modern robust coatings. So when there is a special reason why a lens would need additional protection, then I'd put a Filter on it. But not all the time, that seems paranoid to me.

robinsonphotography
03-08-2010, 22:39
I put "naked" but that's not 100% honest. I don't like filters, but just as much I don't like no filters. I like hoods. I get the protection, my glass has nothing in front of it, it's my favorite. Even if I do have a filter (which just is an ND usually, for work with flash) I still like hoods for protection more than anything else--they're a great. Plus, they look cool!

bwcolor
05-02-2010, 20:11
I finally got the most out of a filter.

Today was my youngest daughter's fourth birthday. Zeiss Ikon with Leica 90mm APO Asph. draped over my shoulder and behind my right arm. Somehow, it must have become lodged in a piece of cake, because the last half inch of the lens was covered in frosting. I finally found out why I use a filter and for the first and only time found a hidden disadvantage of that sliding built-in hood.

gcrawfo2
05-02-2010, 22:43
I was in the airport last summer and got to a checkpoint and in the middle of trying to put down my bags, my over-the-shoulder camera bag dropped about two feet. It was such a soft hit that I didn't even bother checking the contents (Nikon d90 and 18-200mm VR) until I reached my destination.

Open it up and my UV lens attached to the front of my Nikon 18-200mm was completely shattered and there was glass all in my bag. Actual lens was just a little "dusty" from the broken glass, but in perfect condition. You better believe I was happy to pay $40 for a new 72mm filter than have to buy a brand new $650 lens. I'll keep a filter on the front of all my lenses from here on out...

dfoo
05-03-2010, 01:25
I keep reading/hearing that old chestnut. I seriously doubt the lens would break in that circumstance!

dfoo
05-03-2010, 03:10
BTW, I quite often use a yellow filter for B&W, but the hood on my Summicron 35/50 doesn't fit over the filter. Is there something I'm missing?

Gregoryniss
05-30-2010, 02:20
I always shoot with a yellow K2 filter when using black and white because I like the tonality combined with neopan

DNG
05-30-2010, 12:49
I use UV filters on all lenses expect the 90 Cron.. the first element is set back enough when the hood is extended to not need one. (I use my hand for protection in windy areas where sand may fly around).

akremer
07-12-2010, 22:38
I use a clear P filter to protect my planar. The last thing that I want to do is hurt a nice lens.

j j
07-14-2010, 00:34
I was in the airport last summer and got to a checkpoint and in the middle of trying to put down my bags, my over-the-shoulder camera bag dropped about two feet. It was such a soft hit that I didn't even bother checking the contents (Nikon d90 and 18-200mm VR) until I reached my destination.

Open it up and my UV lens attached to the front of my Nikon 18-200mm was completely shattered and there was glass all in my bag. Actual lens was just a little "dusty" from the broken glass, but in perfect condition. You better believe I was happy to pay $40 for a new 72mm filter than have to buy a brand new $650 lens. I'll keep a filter on the front of all my lenses from here on out...

I don't get it. A filter smashed and showered all your valuable kit with glass fragments and you decided from that it was safer to put filters on all your lenses?

Water Ouzel
08-09-2010, 23:29
I keep reading/hearing that old chestnut. I seriously doubt the lens would break in that circumstance!

Then again, it might very wwll.

I was very glad to have had a filter on the front of one of my lenses, after being hit straight on by a hard-thrown snowball (frankly more ice than snow) while I was actually shooting. Shattered filter, and a cut above my eye, but the lens itself was undamaged.

David R Munson
08-10-2010, 04:58
IMO there are two valid reasons to shoot with a "protective filter"

1. Your lens is vintage and has a soft lens coating that could be easily damaged through careless cleaning methods.

2. You're shooting in a hazardous environment such as at a race track or by the ocean where there's salt spray.

Beyond that, all you're doing is putting money in the camera store salesman's pocket. They're a ****ing waste of money 99% of the time. I am amazed by the amount of cash people drop on filters that are basically useless at best. Use a proper lens hood, be sensible about handling your gear, and your lens will be fine. Only in extreme situations will the front element of a lens actually be broken or significantly damaged, and in those cases a filter isn't likely to provide much protection anyway.

I spent years assisting in commercial photography, where image quality is the single most important factor. Not once did I ever see a photographer use a protective filter. Out of curiosity I even asked some of them whether they ever used a protective filter, and practically got laughed out of the room.

If you put a lot of money into your glass, why put something on the front of it that is almost universally going to provide zero benefit and which adds possible image degradation. If the lenses were better off with a protective filter, the manufacturers would have built one in.

Don't waste your money on protective filters. Be sensible, clean your lenses with appropriate technique when necessary, use a hood, and your glass will be just fine.

tlitody
08-12-2010, 21:04
I'm inclined to agree with above post. Buying a lens is like buying a pair of shoes. The sales assistant gets bonus points for selling you the latest and greatest shoe cream to keep them in pristine condition if you use it regularly.

And on that note I notice that zeiss are selling ZF IR lenses which have NOT got the standard IR filtering built into the T* coating. And I guess most lenses are designed to filter UV too. M8 owners can't take advantage but don't Nikon digital cameras have IR filters over sensors? I don't know or maybe the ZF IR lenses are really meant for film cameras.

Water Ouzel
08-12-2010, 21:27
Then again, it might very wwll.

I was very glad to have had a filter on the front of one of my lenses, after being hit straight on by a hard-thrown snowball...

Perhaps I ought to clarify that the filter in question was a polarizer to deal with the strong glare at the time.

I don't see much point in putting any filter for any reason other than to enhance the image; polarizer, yellow/orange/red/etc for B&W shooting where appropriate, and so on.

I just ended up being lucky that day.

Alpacaman
08-17-2010, 01:01
A UV filter saved my main lens when my tripod toppled, but then again, so did the lens hood, which sacrificed itself for the greater good.

I do like the way that polarizers, grad NDs, red filters etc. force me to think a lot more about my photography.

Matus
08-17-2010, 02:03
While I do not use UV filters with my LF lenses, I have recently got a Mamiya 6 with all 3 lenses and got UV filter for each lens found a deal on new HMC Hoya UV(0). Simply because I may toss the lens in the bag just with the hood on without the lens cap and it just may happen that there will be something glass unfriendly.

So in my case the way the lens is being used/handled dictates the use of UV filters.

Paul Luscher
06-09-2011, 14:10
Hmmm.....isn't this like the 352nd time this question has come up? Wit the usual postions being taken? (Whoops, sorry, didn't realize you were a newbie).

Well, I'd say it's a matter of what suits you..but FOR ME, DEFINITELY FILTERS. There may be drawbacks in using them , but not enough to make up for the fact that it's easier to replace a $50 filter, as opposed to a $2,000 lens, if something happens...

benlees
06-09-2011, 16:09
I don't photograph in studios and I pay for my own equipment so I use filters. I often am out and about in the muck or dust. Lens hood won't help you there, especially Mamiya rf ones- cheap plastic! I wouldn't want to clean a lens after photographing dogs cavorting by a river. Lots of reasons to use a filter.

[email protected]
06-09-2011, 19:43
i used to insist on filters, but recently with a hood, i have decided not to use filter on the most excellent sonnar 1.5 that i bought from Brian. Ditto to my 50 lux, with hood = no filter.

cheers!

raytoei

hendriphile
06-24-2011, 21:29
Any high quality lens can yield its best performance only if the two outside glass surfaces are in perfect condition. And it is much better to keep them clean than to keep cleaning them. A light yellow filter (with black-and-white film) or a colorless ultraviolet filter (for color shots), left permanently on the lens, will protect the surface against outside influences (e.g., fine sand at the seaside).
--- Leica M3 instruction manual.

Of course we all have the right to follow or ignore this advice, as we choose.

kshapero
06-26-2011, 16:55
Any high quality lens can yield its best performance only if the two outside glass surfaces are in perfect condition. And it is much better to keep them clean than to keep cleaning them. A light yellow filter (with black-and-white film) or a colorless ultraviolet filter (or color shots), left permanently on the lens, will protect the surface against outside influences (e.g., fine sand at the seaside).
--- Leica M3 instruction manual.
Well said MR Leica, IMHO.

Gumby
09-20-2011, 06:40
11-15-2005

FrankS mentioned to me that I should really look after my 50mm collapsible cron and that I should consider dropping a filter on the front of said lens.



Just curious... has FrankS changed his opinion in 6 years, or is it still the same?

littlefields
09-21-2011, 20:24
People still argue about this old saw? Seriously? Wake up...it's 2011. Use a good grade of filter for your lenses, shut up, and go take some photographs. Uh-mazin'.

wcurtiss
10-05-2012, 13:37
When I first got back into photography I slapped filters on every lens I owned, now I just use hoods and lens caps. The only filters I use these days are neutral density or yellow/orange filters for b&w. Use them or don't, it really shouldn't be such a controversy...

Joosep
10-18-2012, 13:19
Too poor to damage my lenses. Use BW and Marumi filters.

DtheG
10-18-2012, 16:08
I always had a UV filter on my film SLR. For a time I kept a filter on the X100 all the time in place of a lens cap, taking it off occasionally if the image would be affected by flare etc. Then I decided to rely on the lens cap and hood for protection. The filter went back on this summer to keep out the dust. On the whole for my purposes I prefer protection from dust, stray fingers, etc to what is likely to be an imperceptible effect on image quality.

sepiareverb
11-06-2012, 18:43
Yep. I use all kinds. 81A when shooting with flash, yellow when shooting Pan B&W, UV when shooting ORTHO. My filter drawer has a lot of yellow, UV and 81A filters in it. Several clear, orange and red.

BlackXList
11-07-2012, 15:04
With some film lenses I'm more likely to use a filter, partially because there's quite a bit of blue in the light here and using fuji film can make it even more apparent, so I sometimes stick an 81a on to knock that back a bit.

With Digital no, I used to religiously use them, until after taking pictures from a live music event I got reflections of the lights from the filter, since then never.

I use lens hoods most of the time though, so that addresses most of my flare and minor protection concerns.

denizg7
11-09-2012, 08:21
dont go cheap on the filter.

get a b+w filter..

I learned this the hardway.

but now i am protected

jsrockit
11-09-2012, 08:27
Never for protection, only on the M8 because I have to.

EdwardKaraa
11-09-2012, 09:16
I do not use lens hoods on RF. The lenses block enough of the VF on their own without extra help. However, I use b+w or Zeiss filters on all the lenses. The image degradation is there but even the most anal neurotic users won't be able to notice the difference with the eye, only by comparing histograms. In cases there is flare with a good filter, the filter is always blamed, but experiments have shown that flare will still be there without he filters. Btw, I don't use them for protection, but to avoid cleaning the front element.

KenR
11-09-2012, 10:08
A couple of years ago I tripped on a tree root in Glacier National Park and went down like a ton of bricks. The UV filter on my Mamiya 6 took a good deal of the force of my fall and dented quite a bit - with lots of dirt, twigs etc on the filter and the camera body. (My upper front incisor took the rest of the fall but that's another matter to discuss at the Dental Forum). Anyway, it was easy to change filters once I got the bleeding stopped and the camera cleaned off, so I vote in favor of filters at all times.

Addy101
01-10-2013, 11:36
I tripped and my camera hit the floor, I had a rubber screw-in hood. It got a dent and now I can't remove it. A normal hood would've been better. So, still no filter for me, still squarely in the NO FILTER camp. Use a hood, it gives protection and a better picture!

There are situations were a filter is necessary or advisable, but for normal shooting under normal circumstances with more or less modern material.... No filter!

Cyriljay
02-09-2013, 19:43
When I consulted some one to buy a filter for Leica lens he Laughed and advised me no one who knows about using Leica docent use filters. So I never use any filters for any Lenses, for any cameras.