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UV Filters

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Louis Champan, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. I've never thought much about UV filters I've always purchased one mainly to protect the front element of my lens, so I've just purchased a medium priced one and let it go at that. Anyone have any more input on why you would get one of the more expensive ones?
  2. Hi Louis. I don't use any UV filters , but as far as I know from some articles I read, if you don't use a really good one they worsen the image quality.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Well, this is a hotly debated topic. I would only use one for protection under severe conditions. I much prefer to rely on the lens hood as I feel it does a better job, especially after a whale watch several years ago where a passenger had his 100-400 drop from the seat to the metal floor. It was in a padded bag but the filter he had for protection shattered and the bag allowed the shards to grind into the front lens element. The filter ring and filter threads of the lens were similarly destroyed.
    Anyway, that's not what you asked, so here's my answer. If I use a filter, I want it to be the optical best I can get. I have spent big $$$ on mostly great glass and don't want to loose any of that resolution I paid for to a bargin filter. I like high end Hoya and recently, the products from Breakthrough. I also have a Heliopan that I like very much. I've never been a fan of B+W, I've owned several from UV to colors for B&W to ND's and have had one problem or another with all of them.
  4. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee

    I only use a filter for protection if I'm shooting in a situation where the lens element might get damaged, such as blowing sand or salt water. I want to avoid shooting through another piece of glass of lesser quality than my lenses. My gear is insured....and barring me doing something really stupid (a possibility but hopefully not a probability) I feel the hood offers a lot of protection.
  5. A stone impacted a uv filter on my 70-200 VR1 back in the day. The broken glass from the filter scratched the front element of the lens which had to be replaced. NEVER AGAIN. My lenses are always naked except for the occasional CP. If I'm shooting dirty as Karen mentioned, then I'll use a clear glass filter. I think I've had to do that twice in the last 8 years.
  6. I used to be a firm believer in UV filters for protection.
    After reading all of the opinions of Café members I decided to remove all of mine.
    Haven't had a problem but I always make sure the hood is on.
  7. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    I used to have protective filters, then some years ago I tried without and discovered that my lenses were much better than I had realised. Never again.

    I have also seen cases where the extra glass in the filter causes internal reflections, degrading the image. This is possible even with expensive filters.

    And putting inferior filters on expensive lenses is crazy, it turns a superb lens into an average lens.
  8. This topic has been done to death on numerous photo fora. Check out the blog on LensRentals.com I think there are 2 articles on the subject, including an objective test of different brands and models. FWIW I depend on lens hoods to protect my front lens elements.

  9. I very much appreciate all of the feedback on this subject, thank you. In general, it supports my notion of spending a lot of money on a expensive lens then putting another piece of glass in front of it. I think I'll subscribe to using my lens hood except for those dusty location.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. I agree with the previous posters: I don't use them. But I highly recommend reading Roger Cicala's blog at LensRentals.com, as mentioned by Larry. Very informative.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  11. Louis
    You bring up a very good point.
    I would see the benefit in a dusty location or one with something like blowing sand.
  12. I have a box full of good ones, don’t use them anymore because the front element is stronger
  13. F2 Man

    F2 Man

    Nov 3, 2017
    Stopped using all filters years ago.... if you scan, Photoshop has color filter corrections, and BW correction filters....
    (Scan your BW as 24/48 bit color though and desaturate with your scanning software, some files have light brown tint in the scan preview)
    Always use a the HOOD made for the lens, even inside!
  14. I have never used them.
  15. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Guess what I found? A Steve Perry video on whether or not UV filters offer protection to lenses! :) 

    UV Filters video
  16. I don’t use UV filters.

  17. Thanks again for all the help on this matter. Steve Perry's video was most helpful for those that have not seen it. I think I'm going to save myself $100 and go without and make sure my lens hood is always on the lens.
  18. Very good video Karen.
    When he did the side by side comparisons I thought the ones without the filters on looked much better.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Always protect...no problems :) 
  20. I only ever use a filter for sporting events where there is a chance of me and camera being covered in debris, other than that I use the Hood as protection.
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