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Old Jul 7, 2006, 7:27 AM   #1
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Moved up from from my Sony compact digital camera and into a Canon EOS350D...

So far, i think its great but clearly am still learning how to get to grips with most of the features..

I'm a bit stumped however, when it comes to filters... I'm wary of damaging or even just dirtying the lens, and i thought that perhaps a clear filter on the front of my lens would give me a little bit of insurance, especially when i'm in casual point and click mode... However, when looking into it, I can't see which ones would actually fit the comes as standardZoom lens - 18 mm - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF-S.

I've seen the Hama Coated UV Filter 55mm (along with a variety of other sizes, 52, 58, 62)

Checked the specs I have in the manuals and the Canon website, but to no avail..

Also, Is Hama a good brand, or should i stick with Canon badged filters?
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 8:20 AM   #2
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This same question comes up every 3 months or so. You'll find 2 camps of people: those who say NEVER use a filter unless you have to - any filter will degrade image quality and doesn't really provide much protection. And there are those that say you should protect your lens investment.

I'm in the 2nd camp to a degree. I say - absolutely protect your lens investment. But there are 2 ways to do it - using a filter or using a lens hood. On my longest lenses - 100-400 and Sigma 120-300 I ALWAYS use my lens hood - so a filter for protection is redundant. On my shorter lenses, I do use a lens filter (on everything but my Canon 50mm 1.8 - it's only a $60 lens so spending $20 on a filter seems silly).

I have a couple scratches in 2 of my filters - not enough to affect image quality but I like the fact it's on a $40 filter and not on a $800 lens - if it were worse damage it's a lot cheaper to replace the filter.

Having said all that, if a lens is worth protecting - it doesn't make sense to go the cheap route to do it. The people in camp 1 are absolutely right - every filter you use will affect image quality - the final image is only as good as the weekest link in the optical path. So, using a cheap $15 filter on a lens you paid $800 for seems stupid to me. If you're going to go the route of using filters then use the best multi-coated filters (multi coating reduces lens flare caused by light bouncing around between glass). B+W and Hoya are probably the 2 top brands for fillters. Things get a little dicier when you're talking about the kit lens - again you're talking about a lens worth less than $100 so does it make sense to spend another $30 on a filter to protect it? That's up to you. I can say I've never seen a test that shows a Hoya Super HMC or B+W equivelent filter degrades image quality at a noticable way. I have seen a couple tests that show lens flare increased by cheap filters (although don't know if I've ever seen a comparison showing a decrease im IQ because of a cheap filter - although it certainly makes sense).

By the way, the kit lens has a 58mm filter size. You can find the filter size in the specs of any lens.
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 9:05 AM   #3
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Many thanks for that; very usefull...
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 10:01 AM   #4
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Just reading up on this subject in another forum. I bought a filter for "protection" with my kit lens because of the sales talk - in theory it makes sense. I will be receiving a 70-300 zoom next week and after reading some more on the subject, I will not be getting a filter for the new lens. I will be using a hood however.

And at some point soon I will be doing a test with and without the filter. If there is no difference, I'll keep it on. If the photos look better without, I'll keep it off all current and future lenses.

Here's a counter-filter point of view:
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