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Thread: Filters, To buy or not to buy?

  1. #1

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    Filters, To buy or not to buy?

    Okay, so I have decided on which lense to buy and now I am wondering if it would be worth it to buy a nice little filter to protect my it? (I Have read the tutorial on filters btw)
    I would buy one only to protect the lense (The other filters are fun but realistically I would probably never use them)
    My lense is not very valuable, but on the other hand in my house a lense would get scratched up pretty quickly if I am not careful...
    Also if I did buy a filter should I just buy a cheap 8$ one?

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Filters, To buy or not to buy?

    Hi Lily,

    I'd go for a low end Hoya for that kind of lens, not an $8 one.

    Have you noticed how I 'stalk' new members where-ever their questions pop up

    Just tell me to shurrup if I'm getting on your nerves

    Cheers,

  3. #3
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Filters, To buy or not to buy?

    I just purchased a circular polarizing filter and I've already used it once and plan to use it again. I think the reason for purchasing a filter should fit the need, I shoot a lot of photographs during midday and can get a lot of shots overexposed. I can use a faster shutter speed but usually highlights get blown out anyway. The CP filter is good for adding blue to photos of skies and for reducing reflections on glass (again technique could do this also- just stand closer to the glass) and water. You have to be careful with the filters as well, they can scratch very easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lily Quartz View Post
    Okay, so I have decided on which lense to buy and now I am wondering if it would be worth it to buy a nice little filter to protect my it? (I Have read the tutorial on filters btw)
    I would buy one only to protect the lense (The other filters are fun but realistically I would probably never use them)
    My lense is not very valuable, but on the other hand in my house a lense would get scratched up pretty quickly if I am not careful...
    Also if I did buy a filter should I just buy a cheap 8$ one?

  4. #4
    neverhood311's Avatar
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    Re: Filters, To buy or not to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lily Quartz View Post
    I would buy one only to protect the lense (The other filters are fun but realistically I would probably never use them)
    My lense is not very valuable, but on the other hand in my house a lense would get scratched up pretty quickly if I am not careful...
    Also if I did buy a filter should I just buy a cheap 8$ one?
    I would suggest a UV filter one. It doesn't darken the image hardly at all, it protects the lens for between $10 and $20 and supposedly helps with haze (although I've never seen it help with that, but it's nice that they say it helps). I would much rather get dust on my filter and wipe it off than have to wipe off my lens surface directly.

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    Re: Filters, To buy or not to buy?

    Some people scorn a UV filter, saying that it degrades the image, but I must say I cannot detect any degradation. But then, I'm an amateur.

    I always have a Hoya UV filter on all my lenses. Went with the Hoya because it is mid range in price, but is reasonable in quality.

    Recently, my daughter's husband borrowed her D80 to take a few shots and dropped the camera. It fell lens down (as they inevitably do) but because she had listened to mama, it was the filter that sustained the damage, rather than the lens. The filter now has a small star-shaped crack on one edge, but the interesting thing is, it doesn't interfere at all with the quality of the photos.

    As far as a polarising filter goes, they are something that may only be used occasionally. The do cause the camera to lose a stop or two, so are not much good in scenes where there is a lot of action, unless the day is blindingly bright.

  6. #6

    Re: Filters, To buy or not to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Klickit View Post
    The filter now has a small star-shaped crack on one edge, but the interesting thing is, it doesn't interfere at all with the quality of the photos.
    Surely it's due to the fact that the image light isn't focussed at that point - it's just passing through on its way to the lens, and a crack is fairly transparent. If you place something dense over the filter such as a largish black speck, it will show up as it's actually blocking the light passing through. It will still be OOF though. I'm sure Colin or Steaphany can explain it.

  7. #7
    David's Avatar
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    Re: Filters, To buy or not to buy?

    Hi Lily - The answer is that it all depends! Filters come in different qualities and they can degrade images from top quality lenses. Thus, a good lens would deserve a good filter. Personally, I use Hoya CP filters when there is plenty of light or no filter at all when there's not so much, but it all depends on circumstances. Regarding lens protection, a friend of mine, a keen and accomplished wildlife photographer, owns a 500 mm Canon telephoto, costing about 5000! He does not believe in filters. He dropped the lens one day (it is very heavy), straight down lens glass first. However, he always has the lens hood in place (aluminium in this case). The hood took the force, the lens glass was fine. Perhaps we should all use hoods more often and they can be cheaper than filters.

    David

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    Re: Filters, To buy or not to buy?

    Hi, Lily;

    FWIW, I did some test shots with a UV filter on my Canon 17-55 f/2.8. I discovered in using an extension tube that the tube magnified the CA of the lens. So I tried a pair of shots with and without my Canon UV filter, and found that the quality of the shots was identical. A decent UV filter seems to have no downside, except cost.

    I don't know where Canon's filters rank in quality. They're not known for their filters, but I imagine they're at least good. I'd expect something like Hoya to perform exactly the same.

    There was a discussion here about lens hoods, and there are a couple of comments about lens hoods and possibly protecting the lens. Colin makes the point that they break off, which doesn't necessarily negate David's point about using a hood: just like the body of a car collapsing to absorb force, the hood breaking off could sacrifice the hood or its threads (as Colin also notes) so as not to transfer that torque to the lens/camera connection. So a hood would do no harm, and can be useful for some lighting situations.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  9. #9
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    Re: Filters, To buy or not to buy?

    Undoubtedly yes, great for protection and what you lose in imperceptible quality you gain in lens safety/damage avoidance. Same goes for hoods. Why ever not use them?

    When you drop your lens/camera you will certainly wish you had taken the advice, although go easy with separating a damaged filter, as the threads may be damaged if you are too rough, take time in separating the two, as the filter is unlikely to be circular after dropping it!

  10. #10

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    Re: Filters, To buy or not to buy?

    So (just to double check) For an 18-55mm lens I would get a 58mm filter? Is that right?

  11. #11

    Re: Filters, To buy or not to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lily Quartz View Post
    So (just to double check) For an 18-55mm lens I would get a 58mm filter? Is that right?
    Yes. It should be written on the front of the lens, but it is 58mm.

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