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View Poll Results: do you need protective filter
yes, a filter is always on my lens 249 60.44%
no, i don't need it 163 39.56%
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do you use protective filters with your lens?
Old 01-26-2011   #1
smile
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do you use protective filters with your lens?

do you usually use protective filters with your lens and do you take lens cap with you when going outside or you leave it at home?

Last edited by smile : 01-26-2011 at 23:54.
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Old 01-27-2011   #2
Ronny
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UV or Skylight.
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Old 01-27-2011   #3
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Yes, UV filters on most of my lenses. On cameras loaded with B&W I als use yellow (1x) as a standard filter.
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Old 01-27-2011   #4
Chris101
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I voted yes, but ...

I often use a clear or colored filter on the 35mm Ultron on my Leica because I do not have a lens cap, and this keeps stuff from getting on the lens when it is not in use. But I also take the filter off if I want to minimize flair, or if I have a colored filter on and it is not called for.

On other cameras/lenses where I do have lens caps, I rarely use clear filters. But I do often use colored filters to enhance contrast, or achieve other effects.
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Old 01-27-2011   #5
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Yes, UV (usually MC) filters are on all of my lenses.
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Old 01-27-2011   #6
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i wonder if i should buy one. actually i am not going to sell my lens in the future anyway. so i am thinking
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Old 01-27-2011   #7
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I use uv filters on all my lenses except the 15mm vc......if am shooting black and white then I'll use a medium yellow......I also use lens hoods and I never use lens caps.....well,I actually use a lens cap on my 15mm because of the fact that it doesn't have a filter....

I remember once at PMA (photo fair in Las Vegas) that a guy working the Leica booth 'scolded' me for using uv filters.....what a joke....

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Old 01-27-2011   #8
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I have a clean Summar... I don't even like changing filters with it when I want to use something else. Don't want any duist getting on it that I'd be tempted to clean.

I usually use a slight warming lens anyway when shooting b&w. As a result, I usually have a lens on a camera. I take a lens cap as well as if the filter gets messed up on the way to shooting, well, I can't exactly shoot with it. Not all of them clean up easily either, depending on what gets on them.
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Old 01-27-2011   #9
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Never, ever. They reduce sharpness and can induce flare. Good ones like B+W are less bad than cheap ones like Tiffens (YUCK, absolutely horrid!) and the cheaper sngle-coated Hoyas (Hoya HMC are very good), but still, anything put over the lens will degrade quality even if you can't notice it.
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Old 01-27-2011   #10
Neare
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There's always some filter on my lenses, whether they be a colour filter for b&w or skylight etc. It's good for me as by the end of the day after some serious shooting the filter is usually covered in oil marks or dried up water spots (cleans off easily). I'd rather risk a cheap filter than the lens and all this talk about filters taking away sharpness and whatever, I don't care my photos are not suddenly better if they're sharp.
My lens cap has never seen the lens after I took it out the box, the camera is always ready to go. But I don't really carry around cameras in bags either, one camera over the shoulder and a p&s in the pocket is usually how I work.
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Old 01-27-2011   #11
ricnak
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No filter these days. Always have a cap on when the camera is in the handbag.

I think filters are like condoms. Sensible when you are wild and young. Not so necessary as you age.
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Old 01-27-2011   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
Never, ever. They reduce sharpness and can induce flare. Good ones like B+W are less bad than cheap ones like Tiffens (YUCK, absolutely horrid!) and the cheaper sngle-coated Hoyas (Hoya HMC are very good), but still, anything put over the lens will degrade quality even if you can't notice it.
Sure it reduces sharpness or increases the chance of flare, but accumulating dust, droplets or front element damage due to micro scratches caused by more frequent cleaning in the end does more harm to the image.
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Old 01-27-2011   #13
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I almost inevitably use a UV filter on all lenses. The only exceptions are the 150/4.5 on my Mamiya 6 - I simply always keep the lens hood on when I'm shooting, and the 35/2.8 on my M4.
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Old 01-27-2011   #14
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With most of the ones that are on the camera most of the time, yes. The danger of image degradation is negligible, especially with wide angles -- I don't know anyone, including better experimentalists than I (e.g. Ctein), who have found any detectable loss of sharpness -- and with a decent lens hood (and I ALWAYS use a lens good), flare is more of a theoretical objection than a real one unless you are shooting straight into the sun (in which case you can remove the filter). I've seen it asserted that veiling flare is a problem but I have my doubts.

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Old 01-27-2011   #15
John Lawrence
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Always have UV filters on my lenses.

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Old 01-27-2011   #16
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Never, but I always use a hood.
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Old 01-27-2011   #17
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Well, with my M8... I'm forced to use filters. I do use a protective filter on my Ricoh GXR because I tend to use it in the rain and snow.
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Old 01-27-2011   #18
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For reasons that have (at best) a limited relationship with rationality, I always have a filter in front of my SLR lenses and only sometimes have one in front of my rangefinder lenses. If I'm not using a circular polariser on my SLR lenses (and usually I'm not) I'll put a clear filter (usually a UV filter) in front.

The only filters I use on my RF lenses are there for effect: generally an ND filter (sometimes I like shallow DOF on lenses I use with my M3, and a 1/1000thSec shutter speed sometimes doesn't cut it) but other times it might be a yellow or orange filter, or even a red one (I assume those are faster, like red sports cars).

I'll plead a limited sort of rationale: in general (but far from always) my RF lenses are "better" than my SLR lenses in terms of optical quality. (So why put a filter with a less-well-attested piece of glass in front of 'em?) And yet, quite often (for high-end modern autofocus ones) my SLR lenses are more expensive. Less need to worry about optical quality, coupled with higher replacement cost. Also, I tend to worry about filters more when conditions are bad (dust, sand etcetera). Perhaps that's why I use filters on my SLR lenses, as many are zoom lenses so I don't have to change 'em so often when environmental conditions are difficult.

On the other hand, I use clear filters on my SLR prime lenses, even when I seldom if ever take them into harsher environments.

You can probably see some sense in the above, but also some reflexive irrationality. And if you can't, I certainly can. Suffice it to say, I'm a simple-minded kind of guy, so I tend to a simple rule: SLR lenses get clear filters, whether they need them or not. RF lenses don't. Unless there's an important reason why they might need one.

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Old 01-27-2011   #19
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normally a Y2 or YA3. in low light it might be a protect filter... b&w only...

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Old 01-27-2011   #20
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Yes. Always.
Usually Nikon L37c filters.
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Old 01-27-2011   #21
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Nope. Only if it's very rainy or I'll be subject to sprays (e.g. in a boat on windy weather), or if it's very dusty (e.g. on a windy sand beach).
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Old 01-27-2011   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smile View Post
i wonder if i should buy one. actually i am not going to sell my lens in the future anyway. so i am thinking
I'm sure it's not what you meant, but you make is sound like you are willing to accept any possible cleaning marks since you won't sell it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
...

but still, anything put over the lens will degrade quality even if you can't notice it.
I understand anyone's desire for the sharpest image possible. We all aspire to that unless purposely going for unsharpness, but if you can't notice it, what's the difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuubL View Post
Sure it reduces sharpness or increases the chance of flare, but accumulating dust, droplets or front element damage due to micro scratches caused by more frequent cleaning in the end does more harm to the image.
Exactly. I always believed in what Ed Romney used to say in his repair books; "Keep the lens clean, don't keep cleaning the lens."
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Old 01-27-2011   #23
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I vote for some sort of mechanical protection over clean glass... especially Leitz's notoriously soft glass.

I have UV filters on every user lens I can fit them to...
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Old 01-27-2011   #24
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no filter or lens cap. always a hood. i found this to be the most practical approach.

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Old 01-27-2011   #25
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In case you're planning to sell the lens at sometime in the future then use a filter.

Otherwise use a filter like a lens cap, put it on when needed otherwise take it off.
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Old 01-27-2011   #26
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No, not again!!!!!

I have a good-quality skylight filter on the lenses that get frequent use -- 35mm and MF format only. For LF I never use a protective filter. Hoods on all lenses. Lens cap(s) on all lenses when not in use.
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Old 01-27-2011   #27
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Absolutely. Cheapest insurance policy you'll ever have.
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Old 01-27-2011   #28
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I always use UV filters (or occasionally colored filters; Heliopan, B+W, or Hoya) and lens hoods. I'm not babying my equipment, and I prefer a scratched filter to a scratched front lens. And a good lens hood can work wonders for contrast and flare prevention/reduction.

Lens caps I consider dangerous on rangefinder cameras. In any case, most of mine do not fit onto the lens hood, so I can't use them anyway.
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Old 01-27-2011   #29
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Most of my lenses have skylight filters on because I don't want my two year old son's finger prints on the front elements. :-)

I do have some lenses that don't have them as I threw out a whole load of non branded filters that came with Charity shop rescue cameras.

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What would you do?
Old 01-27-2011   #30
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What would you do?

I shoot with old collectible glass, not necessarily valuable, but I shoot in the weather, in the rough, on the street, on public transportation and at public events.

Now I can imagine shooting situations where a prophylactic would not be needed, but not in my world.
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Old 01-27-2011   #31
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ALL the best lenses i've bought s/h have had filters fitted for what looks apparent to be most of their lives as the glass surface is unmarked and mint. I always fit a uv to every new lens I buy. I'd rather wipe the grime off of a filter with my t shirt than start messing with the front elements of expensive glass. I've never noticed a difference to my pictures but I have noticed a difference in resale when it's time to sell.
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Old 01-27-2011   #32
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Never use filters, always use hoods (and always cap the lens when putting it away for the day or back in the bag).
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Old 01-27-2011   #33
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Caps, especially Leica ones, are expensive. Mine stay at home where they belong. UVs on everything; I shoot in all kinds of weather and still use film for our weekly newspapers. I also shoot for our local volunteer fire company and don't have time to fit filters when I get out of the truck at 2 a.m. That's also the best time to drop a lens cap, never to be seen again. So, yes to filters on everything and, as Roger says, always a lens hood.
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Old 01-27-2011   #34
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Always use a filter, never had a noticeable problem with flare. Also, the lens cap always goes with me, usually in my back pocket while I'm shooting. Despite being hard plastic and me sitting on them often, I've never broken one.
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Old 01-28-2011   #35
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I used a filter on my RF lens from day one, simply because I couldn't bear the shame of realizing I'd forgotten to take off the lens cap. On an SLR, it's much more simple than that, obviously.
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Old 01-28-2011   #36
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Funny how few people use yellow filters which I leave on almost always when shooting B+W. Not only for protection, for image improvement.
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Old 01-28-2011   #37
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I don't use protective filter on any of my lenses, as i don't get into risk damaging situations very often. And I shoot against light sources a lot, so filters are not welcome.

But I'm considering keeping a clear filter in the bag for when I feel I could get something in the front element, might give that a try.
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Old 01-28-2011   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferider View Post
Funny how few people use yellow filters which I leave on almost always when shooting B+W. Not only for protection, for image improvement.
+1. A yellow filter improves contrast. I also use orange filters for that purpose for much nicer clouds in blue skies.
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Yes, but with a couple of exceptions
Old 01-30-2011   #39
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Yes, but with a couple of exceptions

When shooting at night, I remove the filter to eliminate reflections from the back of the glass (there seems to be no getting around this no matter how good the multi-coating on the filter is)

When testing lenses, I remove the filter just in case it has some confounding effect on the test (e.g. reflections from the room lights, slight variation from one filter to another, etc).

I have a 100mm macro with an extremely deeply recessed front element that I usually use without a filter unless I'm going someplace where there are environmental concerns like sea-spray or wind-blown dust.

When shooting B&W I always use a contrast-enhancing filter of some sort, which does double duty as a protective filter (except when testing, as above).

When I see posts about how filters "do nothing" and "degrade image quality", I only have to think of the times when I have cleaned my filters and silently given thanks that I'm not trying to get all that crud off a lens element instead (and I keep my lenses capped at all times when not actually shooting). Of course a lot of that depends where you shoot...

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Old 01-30-2011   #40
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Those who read John Sypal's blog or follow TCS will see in the recent entries a very good reason to always use filters. That is, for when they go crashing into the floor.
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