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Protective Filter

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by dcamjones, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. dcamjones

    dcamjones

    44
    Jun 26, 2018
    Columbia, MD
    Which filter for protecting lenses is suggested?
     
  2. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    None. There are a lot of threads and internet info regarding this. My personal personal preference is to NOT put another piece of class in front of a high quality lens unless I am shooting in blowing sand or salt water. Others have a different opinion. YMMV.....
     
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  3. Use your lens hood. That provides good protection and also improves images.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. None. Lens hoods work best, and help picture quality.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. rick_reno

    rick_reno

    Dec 3, 2012
    N Idaho
    I use filters when I need one, ND or CPL - don’t bother with anything else.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Lens hood except in VERY unusual conditions.

    But please, google before asking questions like this, it's along the lines of "Is God Real" or "What do you think of Trump" in the photo world, people will just come out to argue not to inform.
     
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  7. I agree with all of the above comments. Even so, I'm going to go a bit against the grain established so far to add context: If you have an established tendency to ruin the glass part of a lens, using a protective filter might (but only might) help. If indeed you do have that tendency, it would be well worth your while to purchase an insurance policy that will replace the lens in the event of an accident. (That would be a good idea for everyone to consider regardless of their tendencies.) Read the fine print, naturally! It would also be a good idea to really concentrate on establishing some safe habits when it comes to handling your equipment.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. dcamjones

    dcamjones

    44
    Jun 26, 2018
    Columbia, MD
    Yeah, I looked around and the answers varied and just confused me more to be honest, but I am easily confused:) 
     
  9. dcamjones

    dcamjones

    44
    Jun 26, 2018
    Columbia, MD
    While I have never broken a lens element or any other so far, I have also never been one to get "down and dirty" since macro is a new foray for me. I will go the hood route for now...I will also get a rider on my homeowners as well now that you mention it.
     
  10. dcamjones

    dcamjones

    44
    Jun 26, 2018
    Columbia, MD
    I did, and I got answers that cost anywhere from $7 filters to much more expensive ones. I did use Google, but thanks for suggesting that
     
  11. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    You are wise to ask on a photography forum such as this. Goggle will too often bring up places wanting to sell you something. Macro seldom requires shooting in situations that might damage a lens. I insure all my gear through a separate policy, especially for lenses costing well over $4,000. So when I travel internationally, I have less stress about using my needed lenses.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    I agree with all the above. An exception could be sandstorms where protection could save the surface. But the rest of your camera may still get ruined.
     
  13. I'm sorry if that seemed snippity, but if you read through almost every thread, they almost always degenerate into a shouting match, with few facts, and lots of "I knew a guy once who". With so many cameras out there there's always a "my lens hood saved me", "My filter save dme", "My filter broke and ruined my lens" and "how do I get my filter off, it's stuck". What is much more rare is actual data (Lensrentals has posted a bit).

    It's like many low probability events; easy to argue, hard to convince, and putting the facts into perspective is difficult.

    Fact: A filter degrades your image. Unarguably true. Does it degrade it enough that you can tell, or even measure it? Much more difficult to answer, and depends on the filter.

    Fact: A filter can protect the lens. Sometimes, depending on the type of damage.

    Fact: A filter can actually damage the lens in an accident or even just mis-use (e.g. stuck). Sometimes, depending on type of event.

    Fact: A lens hood can protect the lens. Sometimes, depending on type of damage.

    Fact: Camera stores' profit margins are MUCH higher on filters than on lenses, and lens hoods almost always come with the lens so there's no profit in them. Has this led to strong sales tactics for filters that became "fact"? Or just good advice from knowledgeable folks? Depends on whether you are a bit cynical or not.

    I will offer this caveat that I believe to be true- IF you plan to use a filter, invest in high quality, as ANY filter degrades the image somewhat, and better filters degrade it less. Is a $70 filter better than a $7 - almost certainly. is a $170 filter better than a $70? Much harder question.
     
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  14. Replytoken

    Replytoken

    92
    Jan 12, 2018
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I would add being around lots of children with cake frosting to that list. Not something I would really want to clean off of a front element.

    --Ken
     
  15. Cake frosting would actually be quite easy to clean off a front element. Not so for the other parts of the camera or lens.
     
  16. Debates about protective filters make any US political debate seem trivial! :D :rolleyes: :cautious: 
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  17. You do get to "vote" on filters any time you want and always get your own way with your equipment. Politics, not so much.
     
  18. RoyC01

    RoyC01

    Jan 6, 2011
    SE USA
    I will add what appears to be Nikon's point of view. All Nikon telephoto primes (with the possible exception of the PF) come from Nikon with a protective filter installed. Nikon refers to it as "a Meniscus protective glass element." The 200-400mm f4 G VR II meniscus element screws off and comes with a pouch to retain it in.
     
  19. The obvious difference (from 3rd party filters) being that the Nikon element was designed to be part of the lens and will be of a quality matching the rest of the lens elements.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. RoyC01

    RoyC01

    Jan 6, 2011
    SE USA
    If one wants high quality optical glass ND filters they are available.
     
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