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General accessories Batteries, eye cups, power grips, straps, eyepiece magnifiers, cables, remotes and much more.

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  #1  
Old 21st December 2016
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Filter protection or no filter protection

Hi everyone,

In all my years with photography I have religiously added filters to my lenses as a form of protection for the sacred front element whether it be Skylight filters for the bygone days of film or clear protector filters for the digital age.

As I wait for my new camera and lenses purchase to appear (no-one knows when that will be apparently) I decided to have a think whether I'd bother with filters this time. I've never dropped a camera and needed the protection afforded by the filter (now if that's not tempting fate I don't know what is!) and there must be some clarity benefits of not fitting one in terms of image quality.

Chances are I'll probably bottle it and buy some filters in the end, but I'm interested in how others view the use of filters for protection - must have or not?
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Old 21st December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

Fitted them for years, been thankful once.
I also find it keeps the front element in mint condition.
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Old 21st December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

Always fitted Hoya PRO 1 filters. For macro and the most important image quality it simply unscrews
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Old 21st December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

Isn't it better to scratch a filter than to scratch the lens?
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Old 21st December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

Well, I had a camera fall and the filter broke but not the lens so worth it for me. However I was on a portrait workshop and was told that filters degrade the image quality. I still use them though.
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Old 21st December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

Buy the best quality you can find and also the cheapest. The cheap one is screwed onto the quality one to protect it.
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Old 22nd December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs T View Post
Well, I had a camera fall and the filter broke but not the lens so worth it for me. However I was on a portrait workshop and was told that filters degrade the image quality. I still use them though.
That maybe true, but if you leave the filter in place, who's going to know, who's going to be the judge. The recorded image is less about 'sharpness' or 'image quality' and more about the visual impact you've created using your eye, heart and soul.
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  #8  
Old 22nd December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
Buy the best quality you can find and also the cheapest. The cheap one is screwed onto the quality one to protect it.
Very funny!

Just get the high quality filter. And only take it off when it really matters, but have a case for it & make sure lens & filter are clean before screwing it back on.

Also, I would use a hood to protect my lens (& filter) as much as possible, with it only coming off for close with flash etc.
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Old 22nd December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

I use Hoya HMC UV filters. I have shot with and without them and have never detected any degradation of images.

The lens caps are the main protection when not actually exposing. As I do a lot of macro near ground level, often amongst dead leaves or crumbling rotten wood, detritus easily gets onto the filter which would otherwise go onto the lens front element.

If you reach for a lens in your bag, and the cap has fallen off, it is easy to leave a fingerprint on the glass. Even without the fingerprint, dust may collect.

With some lenses (only ultra-wides?) cutting out UV prevents some CA.

I have purchased new UV filters for my m4/3 zooms obtained this year.

Harold
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Old 22nd December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

I always have a filter on my lenses. I did drop a camera onto the tarmac once; the filter was bent askew but the lens was fine. The bottom of the camera also got scratched!
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Old 22nd December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

Filters give little or no protection from impact, there have been cases of filters smashing & damaging the front element. Sometimes it's felt that the lens alone would not have been significantly damaged.

A hood offers MUCH better protection & had other benefits in cutting down stray light.

UV is not very rarely an issue on digital cameras (the internal filter blocks it very effectively). With film this was a significant issue.

One of my lenses (a Helios 44) has a deep gouge in the front element, I've never been able to see it's effect in the images.

To avoid degradation of the image an expensive filter is recommended. IF your front element is damaged it's replacement will not be significantly more than the cost of some of these filters

There are some locations were grit & spray might be a real risk. On the beach for example. A relatively cheap filter is a good idea for these. Otherwise the only benefit is to the profits of the camera shops - I guess they need supporting now so go ahead!
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Old 22nd December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrochemist View Post
Filters give little or no protection from impact, there have been cases of filters smashing & damaging the front element. Sometimes it's felt that the lens alone would not have been significantly damaged.

A hood offers MUCH better protection & had other benefits in cutting down stray light.

UV is not very rarely an issue on digital cameras (the internal filter blocks it very effectively). With film this was a significant issue.

One of my lenses (a Helios 44) has a deep gouge in the front element, I've never been able to see it's effect in the images.

To avoid degradation of the image an expensive filter is recommended. IF your front element is damaged it's replacement will not be significantly more than the cost of some of these filters

There are some locations were grit & spray might be a real risk. On the beach for example. A relatively cheap filter is a good idea for these. Otherwise the only benefit is to the profits of the camera shops - I guess they need supporting now so go ahead!
I use mostly, often rare and expensive, legacy lenses. The chances of getting a replacement front element would be very slim. Several years ago, I took a young nephew for his first day on a beach. It was a pebble beach. The first thing he did was to pick up a pebble and throw it very hard in my direction. By a complete fluke, it hit dead centre. I thought that my, even then, almost irreplaceable lens was completely wrecked. The filter was but the lens was unmarked. The hood (flower-shaped anyway) was irrelevant in this instance.

For macro, a hood uses a large proportion of the working distance and can make lighting difficult. I have found little improvement in image quality in using a hood for most macro work.

I am curious at the apparent popularity of dropping lenses. It won't do much for the internal alignment of elements!

Harold
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  #13  
Old 22nd December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

Lens hoods as protection for me. However, my 40-150 Pro does have a decent filter fitted to it as I got it for a good price at the time of lens purchase.
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Old 22nd December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

I am using a decent filter on all my general purpose lenses as I am not careful enough not to do that and like some I have definitely had them save a lens

I don't on the 7-14 for obvious reasons not the 50/35mm macros

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Old 22nd December 2016
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Re: Filter protection or no filter protection

A thumbs up for the Hoya Pro 1 filters.

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