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Old Nov 16, 2006, 1:22 PM   #1
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please advice
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 9:14 AM   #2
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Age-old debate - filter for protection or not?

One camp will argue that putting any additional piece of glass on a lens will degrade image quality to some degree, will increase the possiblility of flare and really doesn't offer any protection.

The other camp says: I'd rather replace a $40 filter than a $600 lens.

I tend to be more in camp # 2. I use either lens hoods or filters on all my lenses. My longer lenses like my 100-400 and 120-400 ALWAYS have their lens hood on when I use them. Because the hoods are so deep, nothing is really going to scratch my lens anyway - so I don't use a protective filter on them.

For my 17-40, 28-135 and 70-200 lenses I DO use multi-coated filters. I use multi-coated because I believe in what camp 1 is saying - if I'm going to put another piece of glass on my lens I want it to be top notch. I use Hoya SHMC multi-coated filters. B+W also makes outstanding filters.

And consequently, one of my filters did get chipped - no idea how. And I replaced it. I'm happy with the quality of my photos with these filters on - mostly because I don't pixel peep and obsess over minute details. So I honestly can't say if my images when viewed at 200% would be better if I didn't use the filters. Fact is, I don't care. I'm happy with the results I get and I have the psychological peace of mind that I have a bit of extra protection on my lens.

In any case, I do recommend using lens hoods - it will help with flare a lot better than a filter will.
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 10:37 AM   #3
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I'm with John...there are kids around when I go shooting, and they get pretty curious with my camera and I've had a kid or 2 touch the front glass...I'm a bit on the "neat" side, so I like my equipment clean...I feel more comfortable wiping a smudge off a $40 filter than a $600 glass.

Interesting review of filter vs no filter here: http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/uvtest

I use Hoya HMC Super, B&W, and tried the S&W in the review...I couldn't tell a difference which filter I was using as far as IQ goes.
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 8:37 PM   #4
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Think of the filter as cheap insurance. I shoot kids too and a lens hood is not going to stop them from poking at the lens. Sometimes kids who don't want to be photographed will throw stuff at you.
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 8:54 PM   #5
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"Because the hoods are so deep, nothing is really going to scratch my lens anyway - so I don't use a protective filter on them."


To my way of thinking and I would think others would agree, this statement is about as realistic as "cows jumping over the moon"!! Just because you throw a lens hood on, doesn't preclude the fact something can't and won't get to the glass and due possible harm. A UV/Haze filter has no refractive properties, so therefore you don't have to worry about compromising your photos. Unless you are fortunate to have "deep pockets" and can afford to replace an entire lens due to an idea that a deep lens hood is going to serve as protection, then by all means don't invest in a filter. On the flip side........ if you've invested in "L glass" or any of the other professional quality lenses and expect to continue getting the quality photos you want, whats $50 - $60 for some protection? When that lens (lenses) gets that scratch just from having a lens hood you feel is going to protect it, let all of us know how you chose to remedy the problem!
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 9:10 PM   #6
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DaMat wrote:
Quote:
To my way of thinking and I would think others would agree, this statement is about as realistic as "cows jumping over the moon"!!

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Well, DaMat, thanks for your wisdom. But, check with some pros. Go up to a newspaper photog using a 400mm 2.8 and ask him if he puts a filter on the front.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I'd be careful about speaking about whether others would agree. Speak for yourself and let everyone else take care of themselves.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"And, I'm sorry to break it to you but every piece of glass has the ability to reflect light - more expensive filters are multi-coated to reduce the possibility but it still exists. And those filters for larger glass are a little more than $50.


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Old Nov 29, 2006, 2:13 AM   #7
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Some lenses don't like filters.

My two main lenses the 17-85 and 70-300 DO both show severe problems even with expensive "pro" Hoya filters.

Another reason I don't use them is that I use DXO Optics to process my photographs; the lens/camera profiles don't include filters.

I used filters for 15 years on my film cameras, and now have not used them on my digital. I have never scratched or damaged any filter or lens.

If you want insurance then actual insurance is better.

I haven't heard of any problems using filters with the 17-40 L (on a crop camera at least). So you might like to get one for peace of mind.
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Old Nov 29, 2006, 5:59 AM   #8
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Hi ... here is another factor which might be useful ....
Familiarity with the specific camera or lens.

When I got my first 'good' camera I dutifully got a filter to live on the lens.
I was glad I did so .. it got scratched and it was a releif to be only replacing a filter.
The same thing happened to the next two filters - and I replaced them.

Then I stopped scratching ... and that has remained true until today.
These days it feels 'nearly' safe to go without filter thoughI choose to use one anyway.

The lesson for me was that the more I learnt to handle cameras in various environments, the more I developed safe handling/care habits and the less crucial it was that my camera should wear protection.

Regards

Glyn
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