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Old May 8, 2007, 10:49 AM   #1
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Hi everyone, I'm pretty new to the DSLR scene so hope my questions are not too dumb for anyone to answer.

I'm looking to purchase a filter but not sure what I should be getting. I'll be doing a lot of night shots so what would you guys/gals recommend or is it even not neccessary for a filter.

I'm using a UV filter that I got as a present and I use that for majority of my day shots would I find this filter useful for night shots?

All input would be greatly appreciated!! Cheers, and thanks in advance!!
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Old May 8, 2007, 11:52 AM   #2
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Filters fall into two categories:

1. Protection but no positive change in image quality (and possible image quality degradation)

2. Photographic affect - these change how a photo looks - a polarizer will deepen blues/greens and make clouds pop and reduce reflections, nuetral density filters allow you to expose 2 parts of an image differently, etc.

So, are you looking for special affects filters like a starburst (which can be used if there are lights in your night time images) or other things to experiment with?

By the way, the UV filter fits into category 1 - offers no real benefit other than lens protection - and that's a whole other topic. There are people that argue it won't really protect and actually downgrades image quality and there are those that swear that having a filter saved their front lens element.
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Old May 8, 2007, 2:38 PM   #3
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Well for now I'm just looking to do some regular night shots, not looking at adding any effects to it as I'm still trying to get use to my camera but willing to experiment soon. So I guess for night shots unless I'm looking to add effects I really have no need for any kind of filter. Maybe I'll pick myself up a Polarizer and a Starburst filter just to experiment with. Any brand that you would recommend that's gives me the best bang for the buck?
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Old Aug 8, 2007, 3:38 AM   #4
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UV filter is in general good to be used for day light picture shooting. For night shots, I would remove it, but put it back after you are done. It offers protection against dust and dirt. It also makes it easier for cleaning, instead cleaning the lens, you will find it much easier cleaning the filter.

Name brand filters tend to cost more. You can buy them off Ebay pretty cheap. There are a lot filters which are made in China. A lot of diehard photographers don't like them thinking that they are not as good as the Japanese made. Most filters available on Ebay are no-name brands and Chinese made. In fact, I just bought a set of 3 filters by Bower. It has a UV, polarizer, a 4X neutral density and a lens cap. It costs me $17 plus $8 shipping. Bower filter used to be made in Japan, I guess it is cheaper now to make them in China. I have not had a chance to use them yet, I think they look ok. There are a lot of Hoya filter available, $12 each. Other name brand is Tiffen costs even more. Nikon and Canon filters are available too, but I don't feel like paying $30 plus for one filter. I have Hoya filters on my film camera, they are very good filters. Pricewise, it is a happy medium.

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Old Aug 8, 2007, 6:45 AM   #5
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Every time you add an optical element to a lens, you degrade the image quality. Even the best UV filters will make the resulting image less sharp,and create or amplify other optical flaws (such as flare). The best filters will have very little effect, and so some photographers will accept the small amount of degradation in the resultingimage in exchange for what they perceive as benifits.

Everyone understands and accepts the reduced sharpness and increased distortion that comes with the use of teleconverters, but few people understand that using filters does the same thing, albeit to a much lesser extent (becasue filters have fewer and simpler optical elements than teleconverters).
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Old Aug 8, 2007, 8:54 PM   #6
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When shooting at night, you are already working with so little light, that you don't need to add the light loss that even the best filters have. Light transmission is never 100%. The more things you have in its path, the less reaches your camera's sensor.

UV filters are generally unnecessary with digital cameras. Polarizers are handy fordaylight landscapes and seascapes. Due to their nature, they block half the light, which can be useful at times. In fact, two polarizers, stacked can make a variable ND filter for those times you have too much light.

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Old Aug 9, 2007, 9:31 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info! I am considering to get a few filters for my FZ50.. just started to realize which way to look..

Greetings to Tom!
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Old Aug 16, 2007, 12:31 PM   #8
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I shoot in sometimes smoky fire scenes and also scenes with blood and other debris. I have been using a UV protector by tiffen first on my Fuji S5100 and now on my Fuji S9100. I have had the camera droped more than once by getting run into or tripping over some hazzard I didn't see and the filter broke but the camera kept going. I generally because of my line of work keep it on all the time.

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