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Uv protector

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Muskieman911, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Muskieman911


    Apr 11, 2008
    I have them on all of my lens, but I think they dont do much, should I leave them on or take them off?
  2. A classic argument among photographers pro and amateur. I never used filters, and still don't, except for special purpose, ND, and polarizers. For some years now, UV and anti-glare coatings on lenses of all brands are as good or better than anything you might put in front of them.
  3. There is no subject more polarizing (pun intended!) than the use/non-use of filters. You are either accused and guilty of lens abuse (if you belong to the naked glass club) or image abuse (if you belong to the cover up club).

    I do without, except for the occasional polarizer, ND grad and ND filters. Nothing permanent.
  4. hahahah - this will be a huge 'can of worms' thread

    I don't use filters anymore - I bought lens hoods for all my lenses instead
  5. I use them, I'll admit. I only use them on my lens I take to vacation where it can potentially end up getting nasty/muddy, whatever. My 16-85mm, for example, will. My pro lenses I do not use filters because of potential IQ differences. My 70-200 has one only because I used one back then, and I'm too lazy to take it off. Besides, it seems to do nothing to image quality when I review the images. And of course, I use that lens the most on assignment, and sometimes it can be rainy/sleeting. All I have to do is wash up the filter instead of the whole front element. The 300mm f/4 doesn't have one, and my Tokina 12-24 doesn't have one. My 50/1.8D isn't even worth a good filter ;) 

    To the argument that the lens is only as good as the weakest link: Remember that even though a $1000 dollar lens may sound a lot compared to a $100 filter, there are usually 6 or more elements inside the lens, so each element will have only cost the manufacturer a portion of that $1000. For example, my 70-200 retailed at $1700, and there are 15 elements in there. Not including the cost of the AF-S motor, the high quality metals used, and the VERY precise mounts that have to be installed by PEOPLE, who also gets paid for their work, each piece glass had to have cost around $113. And Nikon has to make some kind of profit, so it's definitely less than $100 a piece of glass in the Nikon 70-200mm. Remember that this is a professional caliber lens, and the consumer lenses, the glass inside most likely will be even cheaper to produce. That's not bad once you look at the design of these VERY intricate lenses. B+W and Heliopan probably make the most expensive UV filters- and they're upwards of $120-130 a pop for a slim piece of precisely ground glass. And unlike the lenses, almost all of that is used to make that ONE piece of glass, a little bit maybe to mount it in the metal holder/threader. Safe to say, I'd trust those filters are the same, maybe even better, than some of the glasses used in my lenses. Just my 2cents.
  6. I used to own a 85mm 1.4 nikkor MF back in the days of film. One day at the San Diego zoo I went to use it took it of my camera bag and took the lens cover off and the filter was shattered. How? I use filters for that fact...
  7. That is the reason I use UV filters. But with that being said I sometimes take them off because of reflections etc (Low light). So I use them when I need them and remove them when I don't.
  8. argross


    May 22, 2008
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Why I Use Filters

    I have either a UV or a high quality plain glass filter in front of all of my lenses, for 2 reasons: (1) I started out that way with my film cameras, when UV compensation was appropriate, and (2) with my digital cameras (D300 and D70) and various prosumer and pro lenses I FEEL better having that layer of physical protection on my lenses without seeing any noticeable effects on my IQ. (I also use lens hoods most of the time, which is another layer of lens protection).

    I suspect that in the end it comes down to personal preference, as many folks, amateur and pro, go successfully either way, i.e., with or without front end filters (see posts above).

    Finally, note that this discussion of protective filters is moot with Nikon's 200mm f2 and the 14-24 f2.8 lenses - they cannot take any front filters because of either their size or their front lens curvature.
  9. But then take off the cost of the glass, the cost of the metal ring. The manufacturers wages, who then sell it on at quite a profit to a distributer, who sell it on again at a profit to the store, who sell it at a profit to the customer.

    In mass production, everything is cheap to produce.

    Lens elements are not as soft as they once were and are quite resistant to marks. I only use a UV over my lens if I'm somewhere dusty, as it's a lot easier to clean,.
  10. pforsell


    Jan 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  11. heydale


    Oct 5, 2007
    got tired of additional flare problems

    So I took all of mine off years ago.

    the logic of physical damage escapes me, other than dust, sand etc. The only time I had a filter "shattered" (once in 35 years) I was far more concerned about the glass to glass scratches that were presented than the wood fence post that it hit. While coatings may be relatively soft. The glass itself is quite durable. I always have hoods on for the contrast benefit and the protection is a plus.

  12. Lurker


    Jul 21, 2007
    Clearly there are pro's and cons and you'll have to judge for yourself.

    For protection, a filter only protects against finger prints, sand and seawater being blown onto the front of the lens, dust clouds, etc. In those cases, cleaning a flat filter element is a lot easier (and without fear of rubbing off the coating - if you do, replacement is a lot cheaper) than cleaning the front element.

    For physical protection (objects hitting the lens), the filter does nothing and cleaning the front element of glass splinters is a nerve wrecking pain in the you-know-where.

    I started out as a filter guy, and I still think that if you feel better, more relaxed, with a filter, there's no harm in using it (assuming it is a good filter, like B+W and not some $25 Quantaray filter).

    But after having one filter shatter on a lens I'm starting to consider to put filters only on when I really need them.

    The filter, by the way, shattered when a coworker had borrowed my 18-135 and it dropped of the coffee table. The lens hood was attached and took the brunt of the fall (and luckily the hood is only $10) but the filter was completely destroyed.
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