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Old Dec 9, 2009, 4:44 PM   #11
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I'm also in the "don't use them" camp. If I want to protect my lens, I'd use a lens hood. I don't want to add another glass element to the lens; each additional optical element increases the potential for light reflection and diffraction, which could reduce contrast and sharpness in my photo. I only use filters if I need the effect. A lens hood should suffice for protection in most cases. In cases where it doesn't, you have more serious issues to worry about.

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Old Dec 9, 2009, 10:30 PM   #12
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I'm another one who doesn't use them. I used to until one early morning when I was shooting city lights and got ghosting from the filter. Convinced me that under normal conditions they aren't necessary. Having said that, I wouldn't want to go shooting in a sand storm (or a desert 4WD race) without one.

I do use other types of filters - circular polarizers and recently I've been playing around with an R72 filter. I should really get a graduated ND filter as I often find the need for one.

I can attest that modern digital cameras do block IR, though some more than others. For instance, the K100 has a fairly weak filter while the K-7 has a much stronger one. I can take a true IR picture using an R72 filter on the K100, but not with the K-7 - the filter blocks a lot more of the infrared light. I took some comparisons - the K100 showed the expected lighter palm fronds (foliage reflects lots of IR) while the K-7 did not (palm fronds were darker).
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Old Dec 10, 2009, 12:20 AM   #13
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I do. I have B + W filters on all my lense, except the Pentax 10-17 mm fisheye, which won't take a filter. I always use top quality filters...such as B + W ...if you're going to put another peice of glass on...make sure it's very good.

I do a lot of outdoor wildlife photography...walking through forests with the lens cap off in case I see wildlife. I have to be quick so don't want to have the cap on and lose the shot while I'm fumbling. Also branches tend to poke at things, like lenses as you go through the bush.

So in my case, because of my style....I figure I need them.

I've been using top quality UV filters for years and I don't think there's much if any degradation. People use polarizer filters etc...without any issues that I've heard . The key is use top quality.

Last edited by lesmore49; Dec 10, 2009 at 12:28 AM.
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Old Dec 10, 2009, 1:09 AM   #14
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i actually also fall under the "don't use em" category. though jelpee made a good point, that a high quality filter is quite good. i just use the lens hood.

i would use one (one of the high quality ones) if i shot in extreme conditions. such as a desert or other area with blowing sand or somewhere were rocks may be thrown into my camera by a dirt bike/truck etc.
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Old Dec 13, 2009, 5:05 PM   #15
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I use both hood and UV filter on my hiking lens (Tamron 18-250) because it often gets bumped when I'm climbing over fallen trees and down mt sides. In fact, I cracked a UV filter about a month ago. Was a lot cheaper to replace than trying to replace the front element of the lens.
But the filter does seem to lower image quality a little...
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Old Dec 13, 2009, 5:57 PM   #16
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UV filters are more important for film as it is more sensitive to UV light. With Digital it is IR light that you are concern with. That is why all digital camera have built in IR filters that resolves this problem. I never use a UV filter/protector. I would use something like a haze 1 filter to warm up the photo as I like the effect. With DSLR the key filter you may want is a c-pl and maybe a warming filter like a haze-1. The hood is way more important for the shot then the filter with digital medium.

If you are in dust, debris or sand environment, the protectors give some added protection against debris.

I agree that quality are good, but are they worth 20% of a 1000 lens? Tiffen HT are some of the best multi-coated filters out there but is it worth the 200 dollars cost just like the BW? And I find most multi-coated filters are hard to clean because of the coating. So if you get so sea spray or other thing on it, out doors would not be the idea place to clean it.

Last edited by shoturtle; Dec 28, 2009 at 10:44 PM.
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Old Dec 13, 2009, 10:23 PM   #17
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I use UV filters on all my lenses just for extra protection. I can be clumsy at times. Although, I have noticed I get better images without them.

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Old Dec 14, 2009, 11:23 AM   #18
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I bought metal lens hoods for most of my lenses after seeing the effect of filter flare. This will occur if you are shooting in relatively low light and there is a strong light source in the field of view. See the example below.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 11:48 AM   #19
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Here is how I protect my lenses, I don't even use lens caps anymore. I will put on a UV filter if I am shooting in an environment where damage from windblown water or particles may be a problem (Notice the Sigma 24-135mm does have a UV filter in this image). Since we have small sensor cameras we can use "normal" hoods on anything from 24mm on up and "telephoto" hoods on anything from 50mm and up. "Wide" hoods are only necessary for lenses shorter than 24mm. My F 100-300mm no longer has this hood, instead it has a much nicer Takumar 200mm hood.
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Last edited by Monza76; Dec 14, 2009 at 11:52 AM.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 10:56 PM   #20
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Back in the days of 35mm film, I got in the habit of using IR filters regularly. They definitely helped the image quality, and they protected the front element. I've kept true to that habit until just recently. Ira's illustration shows perfectly how IR filters can degrade image quality. I don't do nearly as much rugged hiking as I used to do, so my lenses aren't subjected to the same level of abuse as when I was in my 20s. So for the last 12 months or so, I've started taking the filter off. But whenever I do engage in any potentially rugged activity, the filter goes back on.
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