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Thread: UV Filters

  1. #1

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    UV Filters

    Hi all,
    I just got a new Lens and I was wondering who here uses UV filters as a sort of protection and does it affect picture quality. Also are there any brand of filter you recommend or should not be used. Im mainly concerned about damaging the front element of my lens but also dont want the filter to take away image quality.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: UV Filters

    I use them (UV) on all my lenses and have not experienced any negative effects. All filters have a purpose, some not so important as others, if your images are coming out the way you intended perhaps you don't need any filters. If you want to add a little something to your images then research particular filters and see which would meet your needs. I have one CPL filter that gets a reasonable amount of use, a ND filter that gets sparing use and a Skylight filter (previously used on a film camera that was given to me) which I haven't used yet but keep anyway. I read that some Skylight filters are used to add a tint to images, similar to colored gels I suppose.

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: UV Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by TobyMac View Post
    I just got a new Lens and I was wondering who here uses UV filters as a sort of protection and does it affect picture quality.
    Tobias - This is one of those (relatively few) questions in photography that starts wars!

    I am one of those who believes absolutely in fitting a UV filter on each of my lenses and leaving it there. Others will totally disagree with this position.

    There is probably some scientific paper out there that does show there is a loss of quality. But if you ever get the chance to see two images made of the same, normal, scene at the same time, with all factors being equal, other than that one was shot with a filter in place and one wasn't, I'd defy you to tell the difference.

    Now duck out of the way before the shells start flying!

  4. #4
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    Re: UV Filters

    I am a fan of UV filters. I use them on all my lenses for len protection and I like what I see in my pictures. I do remove the UV filter when I attach another filter to my lens such as a CP or ND filter. I have not done any side by side comparison shots on with or without UV or doubling UV with CP filters, but I am happy with my photos doing what I do. I may do some experiemntation at some point.

    Dr Bob

  5. #5

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    Re: UV Filters

    I stopped using them after a splinter of one of them chipped the front element of my trusty 18-55. The tennisball that caused the filter to crack would never have caused such damage by itself. (Apart from the bloody nose that is)

  6. #6
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    Re: UV Filters

    General concensus is that UV filters may not help with impact, and could cause additional issues. But for things like dust and ocean spray, they're pretty good. What a UV filter will protect is not so much the glass as the coatings on the front element. Replacing a front element on a lens costs about $300 and the amount of time your gear is away from you. Replacing a UV filter costs about $50-$150, and takes a few seconds. But replace four or five filters two or three times, and.... What your personal priorities are will determine whether a UV filter is right for you.

    With image quality, a good multi-coated UV filter will have minimal impact. A $5 eBay job, otoh, may really cut into your contrast. And no matter the quality of the coatings, when shooting directly into a light source, you may introduce additional flare problems, because there's one more glass surface to reflect light. But you can always remove a UV filter in that situation.

    Personally, like Donald, I put UVs on the front of all my lenses. I'm mostly an outdoor photographer--I tend to shoot a lot in dusty back canyons or at the beach, and I'm a careless creature. I will unthinkingly wipe off the filter with a shirt-tail. Better not to do that to the front element of a $1100 L lens. Others, otoh, may be shooting mostly in studio settings, or are super-careful with their gear. They are more likely to swear by lens hoods and just replacing the front element when you need to.

    No right or wrong answer, here. As for UV filters eating at image quality, you can check out this Lensrentals post.

  7. #7

    Re: UV Filters

    I think like inkista

    I also use them mostly to protect the lens against dust/sand/others. Before I started using the UV filter, I made a test to see if it would affect the photos in a negative way, but I could not see any big change (maybe my eyes are just not trained, or maybe the angle was good, idk). I am a bit careless also - still learning - and sometimes I was afraid of taking the camera out by fear I would touch the lens (which had happened, and cleaning it shivers me ) and now I do not need to worry about that THAT much.

    I agree, however, that it can do little - if something at all - about protecting the lens against falls or hits. Maybe if it is an insect - like a bee, or something - it can actually protect, I guess. As this is a very personal subject, I think respecting opinions is the way to go here, because not everybody uses their equipment the same way, for the same thing.

  8. #8

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    Re: UV Filters

    Thank you everyone, seems the general consensus is to use them, now I just need to find one that is reasonably priced but also not or rubbish quality.

  9. #9
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: UV Filters

    Tobias

    I use Hoya.

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    Re: UV Filters

    Rodenstock, Hoya, B&W, Singh-Ray, etc. Bear in mind some manufacturers have multiple levels of quality. Just don't get a cheap one.

  11. #11

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    Re: UV Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverYeou View Post
    Before I started using the UV filter, I made a test to see if it would affect the photos in a negative way, but I could not see any big change (maybe my eyes are just not trained, or maybe the angle was good, idk)
    Or maybe because there wasn't any change

  12. #12

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    Re: UV Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    General concensus is that UV filters may not help with impact, and could cause additional issues.
    I think that overall it becomes a "numbers game" - a bit like how wearing a seatbelt may on some occasions work against you, but on average, the odds greatly favour them.

    Some folks argue that a broken UV filter may damage a front element coating, but as I see it, if the trauma is big enough to break a filter then it's certainly big enough for me to not want it ANYWHERE NEAR my front element anyway.

  13. #13

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    Re: UV Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by TobyMac View Post
    are there any brand of filter you recommend or should not be used. Im mainly concerned about damaging the front element of my lens but also dont want the filter to take away image quality.
    Thanks.
    I use Heliopan SH-PMC filters on all my lenses.

  14. #14
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: UV Filters

    Hoya HMC or HMC Super for me. Given that I trash my filter coatings on a regular basis, I can't afford Heliopan or B+W.

    And I liked the lenstip testing. YMMV.

  15. #15

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    Re: UV Filters

    I am another one who has a UV filter on all the time on all lenses. I use Hoya UMC or their Super UMC mainly to keep dust, sand water drops from my lens. I also have a CPL filter that will be getting more use once swim season is here.

  16. #16

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    Re: UV Filters

    I am a great believer in the lenshood ... you do have a lenshood don't you ? ... and cannot remember ever buying a protection filter. On the other hand I like to think that I am aware of what is happening around me .... though I had a fright a few days ago when the camera slipped out of my hands while sitting in the car. I would probably buy a filter if I was going to a windy,dusty, dangerous location such as photographing an arc welder at work ... but likely I would find out after I got there

    I gather the consensus is that you do not need a UV filter with digital becuase most cameras come with one inside them but you could need a quality plain glass filter to protect the lens. Some people are forever cleaning their lenses and I was brought up in the old days when lens coatings were not there or not as good as today's so cleaning the lens was a NO NO unless it was seriously dirty .... just a feeling with no evidence one way or t'other, not getting into any war today

    EDIT .. side note . a week or so ago I captured a fun shot of the organiser of a photo tour I was on cleaning his lens prior to entering the building/tour location. Though taken at wide angle my MFT enabled me to get a looverly tight shot of him close to camera with tongue out as if licking/eating the lens ... he was of course breathing on the cold lens prior to wipeing ... not sure he would appreciate me posting the shot so you will have to imagine it ... he has a copy
    Last edited by jcuknz; 30th April 2013 at 01:35 AM.

  17. #17

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    Re: UV Filters

    I do have a lens hood on the lens at all time, im just worried about some freak accident or something, although I am very careful with my gear but I do get into the moment while shooting and seem to forget things happening around me. Has anyone heard of a brand called Cokin, they seem to be the most popular I can find around here, can't find any of the ones mentioned earlier.

  18. #18
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    Re: UV Filters

    I used to keep a UV filter on "all" my lenses when I had 2 lenses. Mostly for peace of mind in wiping and handling them, as they were both somewhat expensive. But then I added 3 more lenses and they were not so expensive. I didn't want to buy 3 good filters but neither did I want to use cheapo filters, nor did I want to try sharing the ones that used the same size. I just can't see putting a $75 filter on a $350 or $120 lens as protection.

  19. #19

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    Re: UV Filters

    I keep my lens hood on as well as the UV filter. The hood does not keep dust, sand, water drops or pollen from being blown onto the lens. it is easier to clean those things off the filter than the lens. For me that is where the protection comes in plus I have a lot of sun where I live so having the UV helps in that regard.

    You may live in a place where these things are not an issue and thus won't need them.

  20. #20

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    Re: UV Filters

    Hahaha Shoshanna I live in South Africa, those things are a permanent Issue

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