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Old Jan 14, 2010, 8:12 AM   #1
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Default UV/Protective filters? Yes or NO

Hi,
I have been searching on the web, I guess there are many views. Should I put UV filters on my lens for protection or not?
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 8:21 AM   #2
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I'm in the "don't use 'em" group. But, some users prefer to have them on to protect their lenses.

Here's a recent thread discussing their pros and cons. It also includes a post with a link to reviews testing a number of them. You'll see a lot of differences in quality between some of them (flare resistance, etc.), mostly due to the quality of the glass and optical coatings on them. You may also want to consider a thin type filter for wider lenses to help reduce any vignetting one may cause.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...lens-dslr.html
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 9:26 AM   #3
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If you want to protect get a clear filter instead. Less impact to the imagine. No yellow tinting like a uv filter. But get a high grade clear filter.

I am another don't use UV with DSLR's only with film.
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 2:14 PM   #4
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If you're going to use a filter, make it a good one!

A poor filter can degrade image quality, and induce flare and vignetting; a good one, less so. As far as protection goes, having one is better than not having one. As far as image quality goes, not having one is better than having one.

What's important to you?

(Putting a $50 protection filter on a $100 kit lens is absurd, but putting a $100 protection filter on a $1,000 lens makes more sense.)
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 3:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
If you're going to use a filter, make it a good one!

...
(Putting a $50 protection filter on a $100 kit lens is absurd, but putting a $100 protection filter on a $1,000 lens makes more sense.)
Very to the point. I'd also suggest, as a P&S user, don't bother on a P&S camera. The camera will more likely be replaced from obsolescence than from any damage a UV filter could have prevented.

A. C.
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 7:36 PM   #6
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I'm in the no filters camp. I would however use a filter at the beach, or in other harsher conditions. But for general use, no protective filter for me.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 12:01 AM   #7
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I'm in the protection use camp. My kids like to poke their little fingers into my lens to stop me from taking their picture.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 1:04 AM   #8
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I used to use them as a matter of course, but it just so happened that even with expensive "pro digital Hoya" filters, the first two lenses I owned for my DSLR behaved poorly with the filter on. My 17-85 Canon lens vignetted noticably more at 17mm (maybe 2/3 stop) even though it was a thin "pro" model filter. The 70-300 DO is famously (now) unhappy with filters of any sort.

However, with a good filter MOST lenses will show no significant deterioration. I do think though that the protective benefits are over-stated in general. Lenses have very good coatings and don't need any protection from the environment under normal conditions.

I don't use them any more, and in 20+ years of SLR photography I have never damaged a lens because of the lack of one, or indeed damaged a filter. I don't even use camera bags, my camera gets slung into my backpack unprotected. Childrens' fingers do not damage lenses, you can just clean them.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 7:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_spock View Post
I'm in the protection use camp. My kids like to poke their little fingers into my lens to stop me from taking their picture.
And a protective filter won't change or help this problem.
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Old Feb 3, 2010, 12:36 PM   #10
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Funny this thread is here right when I was doing examples to show my friend how a cheap filter can really degrade IQ. This filter was purchased soley to use as temporary lens cap as the 400 5.6 Im using came with no filter and a mismatch lens cap that actually recessed enough to touch the high point of the front element. So this is my lens cap till I get an actual canon lens cap... anyway....

At reduced view size its still apparent but you figure someone new, that has put a filter on and never compared might look past the obvious.



Get down to details and its like a kick in the teeth.

With filter


Without filter



Personally I like to not use filters as a form of protection unless its in harsh environments as someone else mentioned... like the beach shooting surfers. You get home and check the filter, which now has a nice haze over it from the ocean air. I much prefer wiping the $90 filter off rather than my front glass. As far as protection against breakage Im not sure how that would play out. I figure if the impact is enough to break the filter it might most likely go ahead and damage the front glass. Then theres that fine line where the filter breaks and saves the glass completely. Thats when your glad your only paying $80 to get another filter

Last edited by Widowmaker; Feb 3, 2010 at 12:45 PM.
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