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Old 30th March 2018
RobEW RobEW is offline
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UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

Another of my newbie questions, if any of you care to respond.

I've never really got into using filters for creative effect (perhaps I should) but it does seem a wise precaution to put a uv filter on some lenses mainly to protect the front element. If that is the only purpose, is there a discernible significant difference between cheap and expensive filters?

(I recently got a Bigma and as I've started using it outdoors in wildlife contexts so filter seems wise. 86mm threaded uv filters seem to vary from about 4 to over 100. )
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Old 30th March 2018
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

Consider things such as optical quality of the glass, coatings, multi coatings, or lack of any coatings to reduce reflections (a filter adds two reflective surfaces) nano surface layers to inhibit dirt (it works and is like magic on a nano scale), and finally the material used for the mount, eg aluminium or brass. Not a big concern with modern plastic bodied lenses, but for those of metallic construction a brass filter is considered preferable (in colloquial terms brass is considered self lubricating).
If you spend 4, how many of the aspects I've mentioned do you think you'll get for your money? B+W are a highly respected manufacturer producing quality filters.
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Old 30th March 2018
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

Beware of cheap filters with plastic mounts and/or elements. I personally avoid Hoya HMC filters because they are a pig to keep clean for some reason. The non-HMC Hoya ones are OK though. B+W are indeed among the best but you pay for it!
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Old 30th March 2018
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto View Post
Beware of cheap filters with plastic mounts and/or elements. I personally avoid Hoya HMC filters because they are a pig to keep clean for some reason. The non-HMC Hoya ones are OK though. B+W are indeed among the best but you pay for it!
If someone spends the order of 1000 on a lens but is reluctant to spend the order of 50 on a filter - this is something I do not understand. It's similar to spending 1800 on the EM1 MkII, at launch, then buying 3rd party el cheepo batteries to save a few pounds.
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Old 30th March 2018
Petrochemist Petrochemist is offline
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobEW View Post
Another of my newbie questions, if any of you care to respond.

I've never really got into using filters for creative effect (perhaps I should) but it does seem a wise precaution to put a uv filter on some lenses mainly to protect the front element. If that is the only purpose, is there a discernible significant difference between cheap and expensive filters?

(I recently got a Bigma and as I've started using it outdoors in wildlife contexts so filter seems wise. 86mm threaded uv filters seem to vary from about 4 to over 100. )
They do vary in quality, but in the places where they add something useful even the cheapest are generally fine. Most of the time the protection they offer is very debatable.

I would DEFINITELY NOT use one with the bigma, unless its really necessary. ie. salt water spray...

UV filters were necessary with film, and they offer such a good profit camera suppliers are reluctant to let you go with out stinging you for one.
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Old 30th March 2018
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

Yes, you get what you pay for. I've always used Hoya filters. I use Hoya Pro1-D as they have very good coatings. But they are difficult to clean, as Richard mentions.

I always use some filter to protect a lens when it is being used outdoors. I consider the filter a sacrificial element. The less you have to touch the actual lens glass the better. On a nanometer-scale, any physical contact will degrade the surface. However, I wouldn't bother with a UV filter since the sensors have UV blocking filters on them anyway. I've never noticed any difference in contrast or clarity when using a UV filter. For protecting the lens a 'protector' filter is sufficient and cheaper than a UV one.

When buying a filter for your Bigma, make sure you get the correct thread pitch. Above (I think) 77mm diameter, you can get different pitches. I can't remember what the normal pitch is (0.75mm??) but I have a feeling the Bigma uses a coarser pitch (1.00mm??). I did have a Bigma and I'm pretty certain it wasn't the normal pitch sued on smaller filters.

Mark
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

I just regard them as a see-through lens cap - a first-line protection for the lens. I'd rather replace a broken filter than a front element.
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

Thanks for all replies - so quickly. Such a wide variety of views.

I didn't realise that there were filters which are purely for protection and not UV.

I also didn't realise that there were different thread gauges.

Hard to work out a consensus from this as to whether to use it as it is, or add a more affordable filter (probably not the very cheapest), or an expensive one.

I guess I'm more interested in protection and effect on image quality rather than how this is achieved in terms of coatings which I don't really understand properly.

If someone posted four near identical images, using no filter, cheap filter, mid-range filter and expensive filter, would people be able to tell which was which?
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Old 30th March 2018
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

Rob I've tended to use a mix of filters over the years for protection. But latterly settled on the Hoya Pro clear versions. Interested in the comments on cleaning though I have had a few that were difficult to clean for some reason at times will have to check if they were the Hoyas. As a rule I do tend to use a filter but have taken to removing them when I'm shooting into the sun as the reflections can be horrible. I think if I was doing some specific detail shots for printing large I'd do them without a filter but for general travel etc I'll leave them on.
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobEW View Post
Thanks for all replies - so quickly. Such a wide variety of views.

I didn't realise that there were filters which are purely for protection and not UV.

I also didn't realise that there were different thread gauges.

Hard to work out a consensus from this as to whether to use it as it is, or add a more affordable filter (probably not the very cheapest), or an expensive one.

I guess I'm more interested in protection and effect on image quality rather than how this is achieved in terms of coatings which I don't really understand properly.

If someone posted four near identical images, using no filter, cheap filter, mid-range filter and expensive filter, would people be able to tell which was which?
If the shot include the sun, you probably would.
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Old 30th March 2018
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

Just found this thread https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thre...-post-37160257 elsewhere, which (together with the linked thread) is illuminating. It seems that filters can sometimes compromise IQ badly, especially for a long focal length lens.

(Some discussions on the Bigma talk of a 95mm thread, but mine is an older f/4.0 version with 86mm)

I guess (if any) Sigma's own filters might be a good choice. There's a used one on Ebay for 20, and a new ones (later models) on Amazon, Mifsuds, Clifton Cameras etc for 49 - 99 ...

One correspondent says he removes his filter if shooting towards the sun
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

I did once get a small mark on the front element coating of a wide-angle lens when the front cap came off in my bag and it spend a couple of days bouncing around, front element down, while travelling. That's the only time I've ever definitely suffered any damage that would have been prevented by using a filter for protection.

I used to keep a UV filter on all my lenses back in the film days, but now I don't. I keep lens hoods on them all, extended when possible, and that provides some protection especially on tele lenses. The collapsing plastic Oly hoods are convenient, but not very protective of course.

I do have a couple of Marumi 'protection' UV filters I sometimes remember to use when I know there's going to be a lot of salty/dirty spray around (e.g. beach, rallying).

Hoya Pro-1 filters are great for lack of colour cast, but I agree they are difficult to clean, and I've found even the ordinary non-'protection' Marumi ones are much better from that point of view. They are quite hydrophobic, and a lot of surface water can just be blown off with a rocket blower. I haven't noticed any issues with colour casts and they are priced a bit below Hoya Pro-1 (I have a number of 3 and 10-stop ND Marumis in different sizes and a couple of B+W, but all the rest are Hoya Pro-1, including all my polarisers).
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Old 30th March 2018
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

So maybe the idea of filter for lens protection is just upselling, like "do you want fries with that"?
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Old 30th March 2018
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

All my lenses have Hoya PRO1 digital UV(0) filters for physical protection. I use Touchscreen Kleen for cleaning them (and my glasses) which I would not do on a regular basis on the front lens element.
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Re: UV filter - all okay or get what you pay for?

If you get a cheap filter you could try smearing Vaseline to get some blurry shots, or take a diamond and score it in a crisscross way - I would like to see the resulting images.
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