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The case for cheap filters

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Uncle Frank, May 31, 2005.

  1. I buy UV filters for each of my lenses, but I buy the cheapest ones. My precious 28-70/2.8 sports a $25 Tiffen UV on it.

    I buy UVs for protection and because I hate cleaning multicoated lenses. I alway end up leaving streaks on them. I'd much rather take off a cheap UV filter, and wash it with soap and hot water than mess with the front element of my lenses.

    Now, about cheap filters... I don't think they effect image quality at all. They're too far inside the focal length of the lenses to be "seen", just like small dust particles inside a lens (which they ALL have), or a slight scratch on the front element of a lens has negligible impact on image quality. To test out my theory, I've taken comparitive pictures on-tripod, and can't see a nickle's worth of difference between using no filter and using a cheap UV.

    I see lots of you folks buying >$100 UV filters. What exactly do you think the extra $75 is buying you?
  2. Uncle Frank,

    Believe me, heap filters do not affect image quality. I've been in many fights on this issue on dpreview...

    Altough I use Nikon filters, I nvere hesitated to shoot with the 15$ Hoya ones. Just go wiht a known maker though. I have seen cheap filters distort an image... and funk the AF system but that's the real cheap ones.

    Shoot 2 picture and open in PS. The only difference is a slight curve difference and the color values are ever so slightly changed. Same goes with expensive ones. I also notice a better DR with cheap filters (same as with expensive ones).

    The last punch is this: Juste take off the filter when you want/need and put it back afterwards. No need to go out without filters.

    Too many times after a shoot or a wedding do I see my filters filthy. And I mean filthy.

    I once cleaned a lens the best I could with the best fabric and all just to leave whipe marks on it.

    I shot a whole wedding with my 28mm 1.4 without a filter on it. Now I have this dust film on the lens.

    At last, I am a working photographer and I understand the lenses are tools which totally pay-off within a year of use. Granted. But still, I'm in love in those tools. I just love them. I love to touch every single of my 14 lenses... and I love them clean. You know what I mean Unko'Frank, heh? :wink:
  3. Oh, by the way, expensive filters have their own merits, of course. It's just that you don't see them. It's like make-up for the ladies... all kinds of special thingies and new vitamins that actually only eat up the wallet.

    ... And I use Nikon filters... Just goes to show... :lol:
  4. To make it worse, I don't think Nikon makes filters. They just put their brand on someone else's, and then double the price :wink:.
  5. Well no... altough it is a possibility. However, it is quality glass.

    If you look into your lens you will see the colors inside. Red and green lenses (look into your Beats) and some with a light blue cast.Those lenses are treated: ED glass, aspherical... The Nikon filters have green reflections, which actually minimizes light reflections to almost a dead 0%. It might be worth in some cases but in most situations, not. :D 

    However, I stronly believe Nikon's cheap entry level glass is made by Tamron or Sigma. The 70-300G makes me wonder... Minolta was doing this for sure. I love the 28-80G 3.3-4.5 lens even though I used to own the "beast" and bought it again not so long ago... I think it's a non-nikon though... I'm only speculating but I think I'm not far off...
  6. chrisb


    May 8, 2005

    Did you check out the "Lens Clens" I mentioned?

    It seems to get off all the residual gunk left over on a lens or filter.

    Some of the Super multi-coated filters are difficult to get clean but this stuff seems to get it all.
  7. I never use "protective" filters! Jacks-up image quality.

    I do use grad filters for panos.

  8. Chris,

    What Lens Clens ?
  9. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Parallel surfaces, flat surfaces, spectral 'cleanness' and threads that won't stick. Ever got a filter stuck on a lens? You know what they say: "Once you go brass, you'll never go bass." Wait. That doesn't work. They're better anyway.
  10. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    :shock: Uncle Frank has a valid point. There are lots of items that are overpriced that offer no more than their lower priced counterparts.

    A person can make an informed choice by testing, and weighing the theoretical quality factors against the prices, follow the advice of people whose opinions we respect, and read published reviews.

    On the other hand, if the money is not a serious issue, one might feel secure in choosing a known quality, even if high priced, for "Peace of Mind".

    Never underestimate the power of "Peace of Mind". In the hierarchy of dominant buying motives, Peace of Mind is right up there with Love, and is probably on top. So, it's $25 for the UV filter + $75 for Peace of Mind. :oops: 
  11. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005


    Now there's a cheap filter. Works fine tho. I had another one that gave everything CA though. I used to think that was the difference between a six dollar and a nine dollar filter.

    This one DOES get stuck though, but a nylon wiretie works fine to remove it if it does, and I carry several in my bag. (Just in case I meet that 'special someone'. :twisted: )
  12. Bill M

    Bill M Guest

    A rubber band also works well.

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