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Old Dec 9, 2009, 2:18 PM   #1
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Default Are you supposed to have the UV filter on the lens for DSLR?

I am coming from the 35-mm SLR world and relatively newbie to DSLR and sorry for this very basic question:

are you supposed to have the UV filter on the lens when shooting with DSLR?

On the SLR world, I used to have such a filter on all my lenses and serve also to protect the lens.
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 2:37 PM   #2
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I'd be interested to hear what others think about this too. I've also read not to skimp and make sure you get a multi-coated one.


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Old Dec 9, 2009, 2:44 PM   #3
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I think you'll find that most people will suggest one mainly for protecting the lens.
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 3:13 PM   #4
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I agree, most do, but, I read an article a while back with test photos of various brands of UV filters. bottom line was... most times the photo looked better with out the filter.
As far as I'm concerned, the less glass I have to clean the better. However, I'll admit there is the protection factor in using them. It seems to be a matter of personal choice.
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 3:17 PM   #5
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so it does not affect image quality whatosever? the sensor is not sensitive to UV radiation right?
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 3:20 PM   #6
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i didn't think much uv got through glass of any sort to be honest but guess optical glass is probably more transparent so does let some through but i just use them to protect the lens better to clean the filter rather than the lens itself
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 3:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manteiv View Post
so it does not affect image quality whatosever? the sensor is not sensitive to UV radiation right?
The UV light is very unlikely to impact image quality with a modrn digital camera (as the filter over the sensor already filters out most UV and IR light). Some of the older models were more sensitive to it. But, not anything made for quite a while now.

However, a UV filter can impact image quality [negatively]. If you have brighter light sources in the frame, a filter can degrade image quality due to flare related issues.

Personally, I'm in the "don't use them" category as far as protective filters are concerned.

Here's a recent review of UV Filters that may help if you want to use one for protection:

http://lenstip.com/113.1-article-UV_filters_test.html

Some of them are far worse than others. For example, I'd definitely avoid this Tiffen:

http://lenstip.com/113.24-article-UV...n_72mm_UV.html
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 3:57 PM   #8
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I'm also in the 'dont use them' category - I switched a few years back. I prefer lens hoods for flare control and front element protection. I paid a lot of money for quality optics in my lenses, why would I want to put something on the lens that has the potential to impact that quality?
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 3:58 PM   #9
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Hmmm it seems the UV filter can make certain scenes worse!

About the IR radiation, I think the sensor does not filter it out.

Do the following experiment tonight

- take your TV remote control (or any IR remote) and press any button and point it to your camera lens and look at the live view or take a picture. Do you see the IR lights of the remote control? if you see the lights are illuminated, the sensor does not filter IR out
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 3:58 PM   #10
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A god quality multi coated filter provides allows maximum (up to 99.9%) transmission of light which should ensure minimal to no degradation of image quality. However, these filters tend to be expensive compared to the uncoated filters. If you spend $1000 + for a lens, an additional $70 for a multi coated lens seems like a good investment to protect the lens from things like dust, finger prints, impact, etc. On the other hand, if you spend $200 for a lens, a $20 filter the image quality will remain commensurate with the filter.

I for one spend about 10% of the cost of the lens for a filter. I have not noticed any loss of image quality. But I do sleep better at night
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