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Old Jun 20, 2012, 2:57 PM   #1
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Default filter technology...and my old lot of random filters

So I recently purchased an Olympus Om-D Em-5 with the 12-50mm kit lens, which accepts 52 mm filters. My family had a bunch of leftover Nikon, Hoya and Vivitar filters most likely from the mid 80s that fit on this lens. They appear to be in good condition. I can get the specific models if anyone is curious, but a couple are labeled skylight. I have all the original packaging an instructions, so I should be set as to their various applications.

My question:
Has camera filter technology drastically changed since then, or would these be ok to use on the camera? I don't want to wreck great shots with some old glass, but if they are still good, they would be nice to use.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 3:55 PM   #2
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Skylight filters block UV light. Digital image sensors already have UV filters on them. As UV filters, your Skylight filters are superfluous. As protection filters, they may have value, but cheap filters are as likely to degrade image quality as they are to preserve it.

I would hold onto the Nikon filters, but I would view with suspicion the others.

You have a unique opportunity. You can mount all those filters to one another and mount them on your lens. Take a photo os a bright, high contrast subject, and see how much the image degrades. Then start swapping different filters in and out to see which are the worst (image quality improves when you remove then and degrades when you replace them) and which are the best (removing them makes no change to the contrast and brightness of the image.)

See Good Times with Bad Filters
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 2:48 AM   #3
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Hah, thanks for the link. You are right about trying them out though. Its definitely something that will be easy to do.
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