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Thread: uv filter

  1. #1
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    uv filter

    I am new to DSLR photography but am really getting into it. My question is about a Vivitar UV filter...is it necessary? I have read that it will lessen the sharpness and contrast in image. I know it is a good lens protector but I want the best image quality I can get.
    Thanks, Elkybum

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    Re: uv filter

    Bill,
    I am unfamilar with Vivitars quality, but I put a UV on when I aquire a lens and that is where it stays. With a good quality filter you will likely not see muchif any difference and the protection and ease of cleaning without the worry of scratching a lens is well worth it.

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    Re: uv filter

    Quote Originally Posted by elkybum View Post
    I am new to DSLR photography but am really getting into it. My question is about a Vivitar UV filter...is it necessary? I have read that it will lessen the sharpness and contrast in image. I know it is a good lens protector but I want the best image quality I can get.
    Thanks, Elkybum
    Is it necessary? - Yes.

    Bill - Welcome to CiC.

    You have asked a question that's been asked many times before. Get a good quality UV (I use Hoya Pro ..., which I think may be better than Vivitar). The 'I'll lose quality' argument is, by pretty common consent, a myth.

    I would really recommend that you go to the bottom left of this post where you will see 'View Tag Cloud'. Click on that and from all the options you see, choose filters. You'll then be able to browse all the threads where this topic has been discussed in the past.

    Like many people on here, whenever I've bought a lens, I buy a good UV at the same time. That goes on to the lens and never comes off.

    You will see, in the various threads, some comment by Colin about when it can be advantageous to take it off. From memory, this is about long, night-time exposures.
    Last edited by Donald; 30th January 2011 at 07:36 AM.

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    Re: uv filter

    Quote Originally Posted by elkybum View Post
    I am new to DSLR photography but am really getting into it. My question is about a Vivitar UV filter...is it necessary? I have read that it will lessen the sharpness and contrast in image. I know it is a good lens protector but I want the best image quality I can get.
    Thanks, Elkybum
    Hi Bill,

    In my opinion, using a UV filter is excellent insurance.

    With regards to reducing sharpness & contrast, the discussion always generates more "heat" than "light"; IN THEORY, yes, it may degrade image quality -- just like IN THEORY, all the oceans of the world rise slightly each time I launch my small boat -- but in reality, any degradation isn't visually detectable. The only exception being when shooting extreme contrast scenes like building lights in a night scene, where using one MAY increase ghosting & flare slightly (both of which you're likely to get both with and without a filter anyway - and - it's easy enough to remove the filter and to put it on afterwards).

    What I've just written above applied to quality multi-coated filters in general, not "Vivitar brand" in particular (I'm unfamiliar with Vivitar brand).

    Out of interest, a UV filter on one of my lenses "made the ultimate sacrifice" a week ago today ...

    uv filter

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    Re: uv filter

    Thanks for all of your help, people...I am going to purchase a professional uv filter and be happily on my way to shooting photos....
    Thx...Bill

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    Re: uv filter

    I'm not even sure that Vivitar filters are being made these days.
    If the filter is old, it will most likely not have modern multicoatings that optimize it for digital photography.
    If it is multi-coated then it should be fine. If not, then don't use it as a protective filter. Get a good pro quality (= expensive) multicoated UV or "Protective" (just glass) filter from Hoya, Kenko (made by Hoya), Marumi etc (or one of the great Heliopans above).
    I only use them on lenses that have the front element close to the front of the lens in an exposed positon like the wide angles and the big telephoto. But then I always make sure I have my lens hood on when a filter is attached to minimise flare.
    Even if they did degrade quality, as Colin said, you ain't gonna notice, but you will notice that huge scratch running up the centre of the front element when the inevitable happens!!!

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    Re: uv filter

    Hey...you guys are cool...thanks for the response I just ordered a Hoya UV filter on Ebay
    Thx again

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    Re: uv filter

    Having worked in photography shop for a while now I have seen countless customers come in close to tears with the front of their lenses smashed into little pieces. It is a great feeling to remove the UV/Skylight filter, give the lens a once over, sell them a new one and send them on their way - not so good when it is the front element though.

    Interesting thing to note that the UV bit of the filter isn't really needed these days one of the reasons why Nikon now make NC filters.

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    Re: uv filter

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    Having worked in photography shop for a while now I have seen countless customers come in close to tears with the front of their lenses smashed into little pieces. It is a great feeling to remove the UV/Skylight filter, give the lens a once over, sell them a new one and send them on their way
    Gets my vote

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    Re: uv filter

    I see that Vivitar have multicoated UV and CP filters, but can't find any reviews.Manufacturer of cameras, lenses, flashes, and slide projectors.
    www.vivitar

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    Re: uv filter

    i just got a canon 50mm f1.4. i got a uv filter to go with it. it's a marumi. it's made in japan, and only cost me $20. the guy compared it to a b+w multicoated uv filter that cost $70, and i couldn't tell the difference. it's outer rim is painted black to reduce internal reflections. i'm really happy about it.

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    Re: uv filter

    I think that a UV filter is a waste of good money which should instead go for a good lens hood, and is likely to have on overall detrimental effect on your image quality.

    Todays lenses are pretty tough already and have excellent coatings that stand up to cleaning very well. UV filters are easily broken, and provide little real protection for your lens compared to a good hard lens hood ( except for certain situations - see article below).

    Here is an article on the topic by Mike Johnston, whose The Online Photographer blog is very well-respected:

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    Re: uv filter

    I have dealt with dozens and dozens and dozens of customer over the years, the vast majority of which have had a filter on their lens that has saved them from a huge bill for a repair or replacement. I personally have never been able to see an adverse effect on my images and when I dropped my Sigma 10-20mm a while back (which has its hood on all the time but is so small it can't protect the front element) I was able to swap the smashed filter for a new one - I continue to use the lens today with the same fantastic results. Experience has taught me that they are an excellent idea.

    Simple question:

    What would you rather damage, a 40 filter or a 400 lens?

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    Re: uv filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerbaker View Post
    I think that a UV filter is a waste of good money which should instead go for a good lens hood,
    It's a good-sounding theory, but in practice, with lenses like the EF16-35mm F2.8L USM II the hoods are so short they don't get anywhere near the front element; with lenses like the EF24-70mm F2.8L USM, the front of the lens moves forward at wide angles, and again, it provides little protection. With lenses like the EF70-200mm F/whatever the hoods are so long that they have a high mechanical moment which results in them popping off the (excuse the pun) moment you turn around and bang them against something.

    and is likely to have on overall detrimental effect on your image quality.
    Well that's something many people like to say - the only problem with it is - with the possibly exception extreme contrast scenes - test after test after test after test has failed to show ANY visibly detectable difference.

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    Re: uv filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerbaker View Post
    I think that a UV filter is a waste of good money which should instead go for a good lens hood, and is likely to have on overall detrimental effect on your image quality.

    Todays lenses are pretty tough already and have excellent coatings that stand up to cleaning very well. UV filters are easily broken, and provide little real protection for your lens compared to a good hard lens hood ( except for certain situations - see article below).

    Here is an article on the topic by Mike Johnston, whose The Online Photographer blog is very well-respected:
    Cool. Thanks for sharing the information. I don't have any filters yet and was curious if I was putting my lenses at risk without them. Here are at least 2 votes that I am not. Excellent advice that fits my budget

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    Re: uv filter

    Quote Originally Posted by djg05478 View Post
    I don't have any filters yet and was curious if I was putting my lenses at risk without them.
    You are. You most definitely are.

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    Re: uv filter

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    I have dealt with dozens and dozens and dozens of customer over the years, the vast majority of which have had a filter on their lens that has saved them from a huge bill for a repair or replacement. I personally have never been able to see an adverse effect on my images and when I dropped my Sigma 10-20mm a while back (which has its hood on all the time but is so small it can't protect the front element) I was able to swap the smashed filter for a new one - I continue to use the lens today with the same fantastic results. Experience has taught me that they are an excellent idea.

    Simple question:

    What would you rather damage, a 40 filter or a 400 lens?
    I have no doubt that you have seen plenty of broken UV filters, but my question would be whether they actually protected the lens objective, or simply shattered as they are wont to do whenever the lens is dropped? Of course, my great fear is dropping my lens straight down onto a metal spike or something, but anything like that would go through the UV filter (and the objective all the way up to the reflecting mirror) like a knife through butter.

    I have dropped my Canon 24-70L twice. Once out of my coat pocket onto a gym floor, and once from about 12" onto concrete once with lens cap off. I still get nightmares! The lens seems to be fine, thank goodness, but I'd bet both times a UV filter would have shattered.

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    Re: uv filter

    Quote Originally Posted by djg05478 View Post
    Cool. Thanks for sharing the information. I don't have any filters yet and was curious if I was putting my lenses at risk without them. Here are at least 2 votes that I am not. Excellent advice that fits my budget
    Debbie,

    Let me ask you 2 questions ...

    1. Are you a careful driver? yes?

    2. If so, do you still wear a seatbelt? why?

    Lens hoods are designed to shield the lens from stray light that can cause flare; they're NOT designed to protect the front element in any way / shape / or form. Do they coincidentally provide a degree of protection anyway? yes, but only a limited degree. Which is better ... seatbelt? airbag? or BOTH?

    And just for the record - yes - I've damaged one of those super-hard hard to damage front element coatings (on a lens costing several thousand dollars), and yes - I've had one saved from damage by a UV filter.

    Bottom line is they're "insurance" you may not need it ... but then again, you just might.

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    Re: uv filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    It's a good-sounding theory, but in practice, with lenses like the EF16-35mm F2.8L USM II the hoods are so short they don't get anywhere near the front element; with lenses like the EF24-70mm F2.8L USM, the front of the lens moves forward at wide angles, and again, it provides little protection. With lenses like the EF70-200mm F/whatever the hoods are so long that they have a high mechanical moment which results in them popping off the (excuse the pun) moment you turn around and bang them against something.



    Well that's something many people like to say - the only problem with it is - with the possibly exception extreme contrast scenes - test after test after test after test has failed to show ANY visibly detectable difference.
    Well, the attached article shows a UV filter causing unwanted reflections and is definitely in a category of shots I would take. I have seen multiple examples of relections, fogging, etc presented on forums as problematic, so I don't know what else to say in response.

    As well, he speaks of a known effect on transmission - so they can't be visually identical.

    Since I don't use any UV filters, I am pretty darned cognizant of where my lens is in relation to observed projecting objects, I will admit, but I imagine that is a feeling one would not, or should not, lose if one had a UV filter on. It's been about 7 years now I've had the DSLR gear with no problems, but I am careful - I generally put my lens cap back on if I am not going to be using my camera for more than 1 or 2 minutes, even if I leave it in a safe place.

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    Re: uv filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post

    Lens hoods are designed to shield the lens from stray light that can cause flare; they're NOT designed to protect the front element in any way / shape / or form. Do they coincidentally provide a degree of protection anyway? yes, but only a limited degree.
    But it is that limited degree which is important. That is, unless the hood does not actually extend past the objective (in which case what is the purpose of the hood?) the hood protects the lens exactly when it is most vulnerable - when it is heading objective first to the ground. You mentioned the Canon 24-70 and its moving objective. Even in its most advanced position, the hood still provides about 3/4" of protection for that objective from striking the ground or a protruding object. At full declension there is about 3" of [protection.

    Now, I have to ask - how much protection does a UV filter provide - 1/32"? 1/4"? Seriously, how often is a lens going to fall straight down onto a protruding object where that small fraction of an inch is going to make any difference at all?

    And how often does a shattered UV filter damage an objective lens coating? I can't imagine a better material to scrape off an objective lens coating then shards of sharp glass.

    Do we actually have any objective (sorry) evidence that overall, a UV filter protects lenses at all? Yes, we know they shatter all the time when lenses are dropped, but how do we know there was any protective vs destructive consequence to that event?

    I would make the case that a lens hood or a good hand strap is money better spent.

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