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Old Sep 9, 2013, 7:22 PM   #1
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Default UV Filter for the EOS-M

I'm looking to get a UV filter for the EOS-M, more as a means to protect the lens. Not sure that I really need UV filtering; what is that supposed to do? I'm trying to decide between the Canon filter, or a cheaper one (Vivitar, Agfa, or Tiffen). Since it's mostly for protecting the lens, I'm leaning toward the cheaper ones, both I'd hate to degrade my pictures this way. Does anyone have any experience with any of the cheaper filters?

Thanks, DWP
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Old Sep 9, 2013, 7:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by CelticDude View Post
I'm looking to get a UV filter for the EOS-M, more as a means to protect the lens. Not sure that I really need UV filtering; what is that supposed to do? I'm trying to decide between the Canon filter, or a cheaper one (Vivitar, Agfa, or Tiffen). Since it's mostly for protecting the lens, I'm leaning toward the cheaper ones, both I'd hate to degrade my pictures this way. Does anyone have any experience with any of the cheaper filters?

Thanks, DWP
A lot of people don't use UV filters for protection since modem camera sensors probably have a UV coating on making it unnecessary. I personally like to use one for protection against the elements like water mist and sandy storms. It helped to protect my lens when I was take pictures of the Bay Bridge standing on the side of a ferry when the waves were pounding it creating a lot water mist and some the water droplets landed on my camera. Another situation was when I at the Singing Hill Oasis near the Gobi Desert and the wind was blowing which carried a lot of fine sand particles in the air.
Most UV filters are okay, but I like to stick with Hoya UV(C) if you don't want to pay too much. Stay away from Tiffen which is probably the worst filter on the market.
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 6:59 AM   #3
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If you are in very harsh weather conditions a filter can add protection. But you want the best possible filter, not a cheap one. If you are not in blowing sand/salt conditions, don't bother - you can spend less money on a lucky rabbit's foot and it will do the same amount of good to protect your lens.

The biggest potential problem with a filter is it can introduce flare - light comes in and bounces between the lens itself and the filter. Better quality filters have coatings to help prevent that from happening.

A lens hood is a much better device as it helps prevent that flare in addition to helping protect the front element from stray objects.

I shot sports for about 7 years - over 100,000 shots - never used a lens filter. Never had a front lens element damaged (even by blowing dirt from ball fields).
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 5:16 PM   #4
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I like filters but don't always use them for every shoot. Do always put them on the lenses for storage, running around theme parks or dusty days. I used UV, skylight 1a,1b and haze filters in the past. Never could tell much if any difference between any of the filters on the finished image. Well except for the colored (green, red and yellow) B&W filters but that is a different subject.
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 11:28 PM   #5
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I like filters but don't always use them for every shoot. Do always put them on the lenses for storage, running around theme parks or dusty days. I used UV, skylight 1a,1b and haze filters in the past. Never could tell much if any difference between any of the filters on the finished image. Well except for the colored (green, red and yellow) B&W filters but that is a different subject.
I found cleaning the filter is better than cleaning the front lens element. Large diameter lens tends to have more problems with refraction. Using thin frame filters seems to reduce the problem but still get it sometimes. I use a 43mm Sakar UV filter on the 22mm f/2 STM all the time and does not encounter any problems. This is a judgmental call to use it or not. I did observe one case when my friend Linda dropped her Nikon D90 on the hard floor of a tour bus in China. The filter glass shattered but the lens suffered no damage.
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Canon EOS T3i, 7D and 70D EF 17-40mm f/4L, EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6, Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM, 430 EXII Flash.
Sony A200, SLT-A58 System with HVL-F42AM Flash.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 7:18 AM   #6
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I did observe one case when my friend Linda dropped her Nikon D90 on the hard floor of a tour bus in China. The filter glass shattered but the lens suffered no damage.
I would just say this isn't indicative of the filter "protecting" the elment. There is no shock absorbtion aspect to a filter. For what it's worth, my DSLR and 100-400 dropped onto hard pavement. no filter on, and my lens element didn't crack (did put a slight dent into the metal of the lens though).

All both your story and mine indicate is that lens elements are tougher than you think - with or without a filter they can often survive quite a bit of impact with no adverse affects.
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Old Oct 12, 2013, 1:11 PM   #7
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Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences. I did buy a cheaper one, and it doesn't degrade the picture. While putting it on, I did notice some schmutz on the lens, which I cleaned off. I'd rather clean that off the filter instead.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 3:15 AM   #8
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Ditto! It makes lens cleaning easy.
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Canon EOS T3i, 7D and 70D EF 17-40mm f/4L, EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6, Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM, 430 EXII Flash.
Sony A200, SLT-A58 System with HVL-F42AM Flash.
Mirrorless APS-C camera: Samsung NX100, Canon EOS-M.
M4/3 systems: Olympus OM-D-E-M5 and Panasonic DMC-G3.
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