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Old Nov 3, 2005, 8:32 AM   #1
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Hi

I've just ordered an Olympus E1. When I used film SLRs I always used to have a filter on each lens to protect the front element from damage. £20 filter v £500 lens.

I don't know what to buy with a dSLR. A Skylight filter has a slight pink tinge and I've read that it affects white balance on an E1 as it has an external white balance cell. I've also read somewhere that UV filters are not recommended on digital cameras.

Which filter would be best?

david
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Old Nov 3, 2005, 10:17 AM   #2
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I'm not a big fan of "protective" filters. Anytime you add glass, you risk degrading your image quality. If the filter does not add a specific effect I'm looking for, I don't use it. For protection, the lens hood does as good a job and does not degrade image quality.
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Old Nov 3, 2005, 10:32 AM   #3
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rjseeney is correct, any filter, even those which have good multicoating, will run the risk of flare, ghosting and other contrast robbing effects. Having said that, I almost always use a protective filter anyway (old habits die hard, my early 1980s lenses had coatings which easily scratched). If you feel you need the security of that little bit of extra protection choose the best filters available, and make sure they are coated, a good multicoated Hoya will have less impact on image quality than a cheap no-name filter.

Check out this link http://www.steves-digicams.com/smp/02062005.html it contains Mike Johnston's view on filters.

Ira
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Old Nov 3, 2005, 10:36 AM   #4
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DollyP - There are 2 schools of thought on "protective" filters. Like you, I believe in protecting the lens (often more expensive than camera body). I use ND (neutral density) filters of the BEST quality on all but the cheapest lenses.
My wife and I shoot horse events and the dust and flying debris can pose a real threat to the front elements. We also use lens hoods as added protection.
I cannot find ANY conclusive evidence as to photo compromise by using a GOOD ND filter. Pixel Pickers will argue this til doomsday -

Good Shooting
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Old Nov 3, 2005, 1:59 PM   #5
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Setiprime, ND filter? Wouldn't that require a slower shutter speed or larger aperture (aren't neutral density filters designed to reduce the light into the lens)? Wouldn't a quality UV filter (or a skylight filter), which has no impact on exposure, be better? I agree with you that "filter flare" is not really an issue, but I am a little confused by the particular choice you suggest.

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Old Nov 4, 2005, 2:54 AM   #6
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It depends on the lens and the filter.

Out of habit when I got my new lenses I bought expensive "Pro" Hoya filters for them.

On my EF-S 17-85 I see substantial vignetting at the wide end.
On my EF 70-300 DO the image degradation is astonishingly evident.

Your mileage may vary depending on the lens.

I thought about it and realised that I had never actually scratched a protective filter. So now my expensive filters sit in a drawer and I use lens hoods.

If I were going to an extreme environment I might reconsider, but for normal use I have come to consider it to be a waste of money.
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Old Nov 4, 2005, 1:14 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses. I'm one of those people who HAS smashed up a filter but saved the lens, so I'll go on using one whatever the sense.

I do want to know, however, whether I'm better with Skylight or UV (take good quality, e.g. Hoya, as read). What do these do to the colour and white balance on a digital camera? I knew what they did to film (actually used to use a 1B) but am concerned to buy the right type for digital.

Many thanks

David
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