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Old Oct 14, 2007, 4:00 AM   #2
JohnG
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
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Hank - you're re-opening a can of worms here

I've got lenses I use UV filters on and lenses I do not. Let me say when I first bought my filters - Hoya Pros I did some testing - there was no discernable QC difference.

But, a majority of my lenses do NOT have filters on them. I take care of my lenses and use lens hoods and I haven't had a problem.

The most recent argument I've seen for using them is to protect the lens coating on your lenses from repeated cleaning. I don't see that as an issue at all. Again, if you take care of your lenses and clean properly (i.e. use a blower first and use appropriate lens cleaning solution when necessary) you won't have an issue with the lens coatings. I take about 30,000 photos a year and I need to use lens solution about once a year on my lenses. So it isn't an issue.

Now, in sandy or dusty conditions I would definitely recommend it. But for normal use I find lens hoods to be enough.

Bottom line - in my experience, I never saw any IQ degradation when using high quality filters. But then again I really stopped buying them as they weren't providing any real benefit either - and with larger diameter lenses the cost gets up there. So, if you want the extra security you get from using one I wouldn't be concerned. But by the same token - unless you're shooting in sandy/dusty conditions I think a lens hood (which is a good idea for flare in addition to lens protection) is enough too.
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