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Thread: Filter question - do I need one?

  1. #1

    Filter question - do I need one?

    So I'm new at taking pictures and I just bought my firs SLR camera, and I was wondering if I need to use a filter for the type of pictures I'm shooting...

    I purchased a Nikon D200 with a Nikkor 80-200mm 1:2.8 D Nikon ED from a friend for the only purpose of shooting pics of sports (football, soccer, baseball...ect.)

    I was wondering if it is necessary for me to us a filter or not? I guess Iím looking for more of a protection to the lens than anything else.

    Any comments will help me a lot as a first time user.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Windsor, Berks, UK
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    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Filter question

    Hi Peppy,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me, good to have you join with a question.

    A lot of people, myself included, do use a 'UV' filter to protect the front element from damage caused when cleaning or careless handling of lens caps, etc.

    Anticipating the next question
    I use Hoya Pro-1 Digital as a 'middle of the road' solution - good performance, reasonable price, although the 77mm size you'll need for that (rather nice) lens will be a bit pricey - just looked it up, from Amazon UK (dunno where you are) it is about £38 to protect an £800+ lens, so actually not too bad.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    New Zealand
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    Have a guess :)

    Re: Filter question

    Hi Peppy,

    I'm afraid that it's one of those questions like "Mac or PC" or "Canon or Nikon" that tends to draw very polarised responses from people. The "no filter camp" always argue that "it degrades image quality" whereas the "filter camp" (to which I firmly belong to by the way) argue that there's no detectable image degradation.

    Personally, I think it's a no-brainer ...

    - Using a filter protects the front element

    - Cleaning a filter is much safer than cleaning a front element (especially if salt / grit / mud etc are present)

    - On rare occasions (usually high-contrast night scenes) where a filter - may - increase flare, it's a trivial matter to remove it temporarily.

    - Using a filter helps to create a seal to stop moisture getting in to the lens (in fact, Canon say IN THE MANUAL) that it's REQUIRED to complete the weather sealing for certain L-Series lenses.

    I'm a super-careful person ... and yet I've had several occasions where using a filter has saved my front element from damage.

  4. #4

    Re: Filter question

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the great feed back I really appreciate it!

    I just looked it up in Amazon and it is pricey but well worth it if it's going help protect my lens. I rather prevent a lens from damage vs. having to buy a new one.

    thanx again!

  5. #5
    Rob Douglas's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Freehold NJ
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    Rob Douglas

    Re: Filter question

    If it's outdoor sports you will be shooting then a polarizing filter would be a good choice too. It will remove haze and give you deep rich colors along with keeping the sky from being whited out and over exposed.

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Southern California, USA
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    Re: Filter question

    Whether or not a filter is used; I strongly suggest that a photographer ALWAYS use a lens hood when shooting. This goes for both indoor and outdoor shooting. The lens hood will protect the lens from both flare and from physical damage. As an example of protection from physical damage: I fell to the concrete of a street with the lens hood of my 70-200mm f/4L IS Canon lens hitting first, driven by my 220 pounds (~100 Kilo) weight. The hood, which was a generic screw-in type costing just a few dollars, was ruined but the lens was unscratched. That hood is the most valuable accessory that I have ever bought, saving a very expensive lens.

    I am so convinced that I need a hood 100% of the time that I brought extra hoods to China. This came in handy because I lost a hood shooting through a hotel window in Xi'an that opened just a crack. I would not have had the time or an opportunity to replace the hood in that country despite the fact that my generic hoods are produced in China. The generic hoods are quite inexpensive and weigh next to nothing. I didn't mind placing an extra hood for each lens in my suitcase.

    Regarding the use of a CPL for sports (I am speaking about field sports like football on both sides of the ocean); I don't usually have a CPL on my lens for that purpose since I lose about two stops of light with this filter. I like to keep my shutter speed up as fast as possible and my ISO as low as possible. However, if I were shooting golf (does anyone shoot golf?) or some other slow action sport I might use a CPL.

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