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Thread: UV Filter

  1. #1
    Slabstick's Avatar
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    UV Filter

    I was at my local Camera shop today and purchased a 58mm UV filter by Pro Master. $75.00. Just out of curiosity I looked up the exact same filter on Amazon.com and can buy it for about 12 bucks. Are these "knock offs"? What's going on here?

  2. #2

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    Re: UV Filter

    Without having any additional details to go on, my initial impression would have to be that you were ripped off.

    Regardless of the circumstances and the actual value of the filter...return it. You don't need a UV filter on your camera. To protect the front of your lens use a lens hood.

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    Re: UV Filter

    In the good old days you used to get what you paid for. Now days price is often just a reflection of the advertising costs to maintain a market position and promote a brand. All we can do is hope that if they spend a lot of money to promote a brand they do not want to waste it by supplying a low quality product that will damage the brands reputation,

    The problem is the products are often produced by a third party that supplies the same or similar product to other marketing groups who rely on little promotion but getting sales by keeping the price to a minimum. These products are usually fine but probably have little after sales support.

    AND you have "knock offs" which crop up at all levels of the pricing range.

    I just purchased a 82mm CP filter which was about a third of normal camera shop deals and the filter seems fine. The person that sold it is a retired surgeon who is a photography enthusiast with contacts in China. He imports and then sells a small product range including flashes and tripods over the internet with very little overheads. He uses the products he sells. It is a small business and like many other similar style business that offer exceptionally good buying.

    The trick is trying to figure out who to trust and deal with.
    Last edited by pnodrog; 13th January 2013 at 09:31 AM.

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    Re: UV Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    In the good old days you used to get what you paid for. Now days price is often just a reflection of the advertising costs to maintain a market position and promote a brand. All we can do is hope that if they spend a lot of money to promote a brand they do not want to waste it by supplying a low quality product that will damage the brands reputation,
    I don't disagree - but I also know that that can't be flipped around to say that all products are of equal (high) quality. The "trick" is in knowing which is which.

    I've purchased a cheap gnd filter that caused AF errors EVERY time. I cured the problem with a 2 step process ... I got up - took 2 steps - and dropped it in the bin. Since then I stick to top-shelf brands.

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    Re: UV Filter

    Hi Larry,

    I don't know if the states are like the UK, but I never buy lens filters or memory cards in a shop, they are always significantly (or grossly) over priced compared to the internet (and may not be good brands either).

    Since they're small enough to be mailed and fit through the letter box in the front door, I don't need to be in when they are delivered either.

    I too would recommend one of the better known makes and personally I use the mid-range Hoya Pro-1 Digital series.
    I personally do believe in fitting one to every lens, easier/safer to clean.
    On odd shooting occasions, they can be removed when necessary.

    Cheers,

  6. #6

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    Re: UV Filter

    Larry,

    Promaster makes several UV filters including one that isn't multi-coated and should be less expensive (and avoided). Perhaps the website is selling a model that is not the same as yours. The situation can be confusing because even Promaster's website requires a bit of a sleuthing to figure out that they sell different models. I was persistent about that only because I know they make at least three qualities of circular polarizers to meet different price points.

  7. #7
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    Re: UV Filter

    Many times you can buy a item cheaper online that in a store. Case in point I wanted a Lowepro SlingShot 202 AW Camera Bag at Best Buy it was $99.00, I then check B@H and they had it for $61.00, knowing Best Buy will price match I printed off the page from B@H and took it into Best Buy next thing you know I had my 202 AW bag in hand for 61.00 plus tax Point is it pays to shop around and to ask if a store in your area will price match, many will and many will not.

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    Re: UV Filter

    Larry,

    questions about UV filters can generate religious wars on photo sites. to avoid the wars, let me separate this into two questions.

    First, for ANY kind of filter, make sure you are buying a high-quality and multi-coated filter. If the filter is not multi-coated, you can have problems with flare, etc. People argue about which brands to buy, but all of mine are either Hoya or Marumi, and they are fine. There are more expensive alternatives.

    Second, the topic of the great wars: should you protect the lens with a filter? For most of the past 4 decades, my answer was "of course, at least most of the time." More recently, in response to all of the stuff on the web about supposedly poorer image quality (which I was unable to replicate in tests), I started using one less often. Within months, I managed to scratch the front element of my most expensive lens. Beats me how. I have no recollection of anything coming close to it. I shouldn't be surprised, because I have had similar experiences with filters in the past, even though I baby my equipment. I can leave it, or spend 5 times the cost of a new filter to rep lace the front element. So, I am back to a middle ground.

    --my default is to leave one on.
    --if I am in a situation where having any filter on is problematic--e.g., night photography or other cases where light sources are in front of the camera--I take it off.
    --I take it off in situations were I can be certain there is no risk--e.g., doing indoor macro shots of flowers

    Re protecting your lens with a hood instead: I think this is not enough. If you have a long prime, and therefore a long hood, I think it is probably reasonably safe to rely on a hood. However, most zooms have very short petal hoods, which provide very little protection. In addition, unless the hood is very long, it provides virtually no protection against sprayed liquids.

    Your mileage may vary.

    Dan

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    Re: UV Filter

    Going a little off topic:

    Reading Dan's last point, a lens hood is protection worth having - I once saw a DSLR camera slip off a seated lap, it landed, heavy part first (the lens), on a concrete floor (some 2 feet plus below)

    The 100-300mm lens had a hood fitted, which took "first impact", much like a car's 'crumple zone', it broke, the lens and camera survived (phew). While the replacement hood wasn't that cheap, it was a lot cheaper than a new lens, or a repair.

    I'm glad all my Nikon lenses come supplied with one, unlike many Canon, so I always* have both a filter and hood fitted.

    * Like Dan explains, there are times when a filter (or a hood) may spoil the shot, so that's the only time they get removed.

    Cheers,

  10. #10
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    Re: UV Filter

    I did a comparison of a Promaster HGX UV 52mm filter, part number 2363.

    Camera dealer: $59.99
    Amazon: $22.99 listed, $9.95 advertised, available in new and used.
    Promaster website: $108.00 listed, $74.69 advertised (out of stock online, visit local dealer).

    Assumption: Amazon gets a dealer discount or orders directly from the factory. Local dealer has a high markup rate, too costly for Promaster to keep in stock, sells at a discount to move inventory.

  11. #11
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    Re: UV Filter

    Reply to all,
    Thanks for the input. The sales lady at my camera shop explained to me that your cheaper UV filters are simply ground glass like their showcase glass but, the "Promaster" was "optic" glass just like the glass in your lens. To me this made sense. I will however do some more research on this. I would much rather pay 12 bucks for a filter than 75. Thanks again.

  12. #12

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    Re: UV Filter

    Further to Dan's comments I wonder if you have seen the thread or blog [somewhere ] where a guy systimatically destroyed a lens and took photos with it to show the result and it was only towards the end did the photos suffer. There is a message there for all those who worry about damage to their lenses.

    I was also 'brought up' to believe that a lens without a lenshood wasn't a lens ... then came the shock/horror when I purchased a Nikon camera which had no means of fitting a hood ... Nikon of all people .... whatever I am continually reminded when I trawl though old files of just how good that camera and lens is Maybe eight years down the track and it is still working well though rather slow compared to more current cameras in the stable.

    I have the odd UV filter on one or two lenses but cannot remember buying one ... but then I have never spent big on a DSLR lens

  13. #13
    Slabstick's Avatar
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    Re: UV Filter

    Thanks John,
    I've been looking into this also. Looks like ill be buying the rest of my UV filters at Amazon.

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    Re: UV Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Slabstick View Post
    Reply to all,
    Thanks for the input. The sales lady at my camera shop explained to me that your cheaper UV filters are simply ground glass like their showcase glass but, the "Promaster" was "optic" glass just like the glass in your lens. To me this made sense. I will however do some more research on this. I would much rather pay 12 bucks for a filter than 75. Thanks again.
    A couple of weeks ago I stopped by a local camera shop here in Houston and bought a B+W 62mm UV filter for $39.99. Just out of curiosity, I checked at Amazon and found out that the same filter with the exact same part number sells for $23.95. Like John said, make sure you are comparing the same part number. I didn't realize that filters comes in so many different flavors too, for the same 62mm size, B+W makes at least 7 different models, from $23.95 to over $100.00! I decided to return that filter; your sales lady was trained well to try to keep your money too.

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    Re: UV Filter

    Be very careful regarding the "discounts" you see offered by small-time internet retailers.

    I was the Engineering Manager for the Canadian subsidiary of a large multinational consumer goods company earlier on in my career. This company sold mainly to grocery chains, drug store chains, department stores and discount retailers, as well as small "mom & pop" retailers. One of the functions of the department I ran was maintaining the cost database, maintained the detailed cost of all resources that went into our products; materials, labour costs, taxes and duties, utlitity costs, overhead costs, etc. This data was used to set the wholesale price of the goods we produced.

    As a rule of thumb the retail cost of our goods were double the cost that the retailer paid for them. A $20 part sold for $40 to the consumer. If you find a part on line that runs for less than 50% of the price you pay for it in retail, be very, very suspicious. Online retailers can sell for less than a bricks and mortar store, but I can't see them selling at prices below what they paid for the product.

    While there are rare instances of deep discounts, for instance when a manufacturer clears out obsolete stock, but these were the exception, not the rule. If you find a price that looks suspiciously low, I would be rather suspicious that you are probably not buying the genuine article.

  16. #16
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    Re: UV Filter

    Manfred and Phillip,
    Thanks for the input. Ill sure keep this in mind.

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    Re: UV Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post

    While there are rare instances of deep discounts, for instance when a manufacturer clears out obsolete stock, but these were the exception, not the rule. If you find a price that looks suspiciously low, I would be rather suspicious that you are probably not buying the genuine article.
    I learnt that lesson when I bought some "RayBan" sunglasses from an eBay reseller - they turned out to be as fake as a Rolexxx watch.

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    Re: UV Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I learnt that lesson when I bought some "RayBan" sunglasses from an eBay reseller - they turned out to be as fake as a Rolexxx watch.
    To reinforce what Colin and Manfred are saying, check the prices with other well known vendors. I checked the Amazon prices against B&H and Adorama.

  19. #19
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    Re: UV Filter

    Always check the part number on the manufacturer's web site. Personally I love Amazon. However I prefer buying directly from Amazon and not amazon marketplace vendors. I have a 77mm B & W UV filter for my Nikon lens and I love it. In my opinion, one should have a uv filter on regardless whether you have a lens hood on or off. It is much easy to clean the filter. It keeps your lens in a pristine condition.

  20. #20
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    Re: UV Filter

    I lean a little paranoid when protecting my gear - mainly because I'm frequently in hazardous situations (shooting skiers, roller derby, rock climbers, abandoned buildings, etc.). 99% of the time, I keep a lens hood and UV filter fitted. My hoods are pretty banged up, and I lost a filter to a flying ice chunk a few days ago. Each little scar is a sign of damage that could have happened to my lenses.

    Is there a quality difference? In terms of physics, yes. There is always some scattering when light enters transparent media. How much scattering depends on the quality of the glass (which is where surface coatings can be extemely helpful). Under most conditions, I challenge anyone to see the quality difference between the same shot taken with a naked lens and a high-quality UV filter. I use Hoya UV or UV (C) models, and remove them only when the lens is at negligible risk, or I'm chasing perfection in every pixel. I've never had issues with counterfeit or cheap filters, and at $25-60, Hoyas are relatively cheap insurance for $350-$2,400 lenses.

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