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Old Mar 20, 2006, 1:09 PM   #1
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Its been 30 years since I last owned an SLR and now I have just purchased the D50 with 18-55 kit lens. I know from the past that it is wise to put a filter on the lens for protection (the filter costs a lot less than the lens) but I don't know anymore which would be the best all-round filter to use.

Can someone give me any advice? I don't suppose I would want a polarizer as my only filter, although I actually did this with a range finder Rollei for a number of years.

Any tips and advice welcome!

Steve, Denmark
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Old Mar 20, 2006, 5:47 PM   #2
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Post processing has made most filters unnecessary. The only filters I ever use are Polarizers and ND. All other filters can easily be replicated in photoshop without the added expense of buying filters or hassle of carrying them. I don't even believe in protective filters....the lens hood does just as good a job of protection without potentially degrading image quality. Also, if you bang a protective filter hard enough to break it, the broken filter glass will likely damage the lens element anyway.

There is no all around filter. Polarizers can't be left on because of the loss of light they cause make them unusable indoors. Only use a filter when trying to achieve the specific effect it produces.
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Old Mar 20, 2006, 7:02 PM   #3
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I'm thinking about buying a polarizer for the 18-55 kit lens, has anyone done this. I know the front element of the lens spins when focusing, so is the work around that simply focusing first, and then rotating the polarizer? Or does that affect metering?

thanks.

BTW, here's a nice software filter site: http://www.opanda.com/en/pf/index.html

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Old Mar 20, 2006, 8:12 PM   #4
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It doesn't affect metering.
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Old Mar 21, 2006, 1:51 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help, RJSeeney!

I just remember back in my college days that the first thing we did with our SLR's was to buy a filter, not only since digital post processing was not available to us but also to protect our lenses. But your comments are great! Things are different today in the digital world.

So I will wait til I get a polarizer and use it when a polarizer is needed only. I used to have a polarizer on my little Rollei just about all the time, taking it off only when I needed extra light (I took mostly outdoor travel shots). I just permanently set the ASA setting to compensate for the filter so that the metering was correct. I had very good results.

I have worked with photoshop but never in handling digital photos so I am curious what steps one takes to mimic a UV or sky filter. Can you or anyone tell me something about this (or suggest an informative web link?).

Many thanks again!

Steve, the new DSLR addict from Denmark
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Old Mar 21, 2006, 11:13 AM   #6
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UV filters are basically useless and have been for many years. Modern film is not as sensitive to UV light, and digital cameras already filter UV light. SKy filters may slightly warm the image, but I doubt that they provide much of an effect either.
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Old Mar 21, 2006, 12:33 PM   #7
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Iused a UV filter on my kodak just for protection,I bought one last week for my 18-55 lens.If I didn`t use one ,you can guarantee I`d get a scratch slap bang in the middle of the lens, thats just my luck.I got a lens hood on order, maybe I`ll just use that.

TD
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Old Mar 22, 2006, 1:40 AM   #8
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Great post guys. I was just thinking about this topic today, feeling guilty that I didn't have a filter on my 18-70 and yet wondering if it was necessary. Thanks for discussing it.
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Old Mar 22, 2006, 12:19 PM   #9
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rey wrote:
Quote:
I'm thinking about buying a polarizer for the 18-55 kit lens, has anyone done this. I know the front element of the lens spins when focusing, so is the work around that simply focusing first, and then rotating the polarizer? Or does that affect metering?

thanks.

BTW, here's a nice software filter site: http://www.opanda.com/en/pf/index.html
A polarising filter will cost you two stops, But only in maximum position So, if you focus AND lock and then set the polariser, you will under-expose your image.

As for whether its worth it. It certainly can be. Its main job is to eliminate glare. The reflections from glass and water that cannot be captured by your camera, but do act to blow out the picture.

They also have the side effect of adding saturation to the image. Your sky will be deeper, your forest will look more "foresty." :lol:

So, there is a trade off. But a useful gadget to have around.

Dave
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Old Mar 22, 2006, 2:40 PM   #10
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I understand the effects on water reflection and glass glare, but can it cut through haze as well?

In the attached picture below, the hills (about 1/3 from the bottom) are about 3 miles away from where I took this picture, while Mt Diablo in the middle (the one that touches the cloud) is about 10 miles away. The shot is facing north, near sunset with the sun setting on the left side. My question is, would using a polarizer cut through the haze, and make the mountain look like the hills, assuming I increase the shutter time to compensate for the lowered two stop difference?

You also mentioned about saturating an image. Is that the best way to saturate a shot, especially for forest shots? What filter, or settings, should I use to get the saturation one would get with a 35mm SLR and a Velvia film?


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