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Canon vs Nikon: Which is better?
One camera setting that ruins your pictures
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Main Photography Discussion
Lens filters
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Jan 10, 2017 06:19:58   #
billnikon (a regular here)
 
PaulB wrote:
David McKay in his book "Photography Demystified" suggested that using filters, except in rare circumstances, isn't a good idea. He suggests that putting a $20 or $30 filter on a $2000 lens undermines the quality of the lens. It does seem make sense. He says that using a lens hood will protect the glass from damage and not degrade image quality. Any comments from the "hogs"? Are there high quality filters that work without degrading images made with high end lenses?


My filters are used only for changing the scene, ND filters and Graduated filters. I clean my lenses before each use. No need for any other filters.
 
Jan 10, 2017 06:45:50   #
DaveHam
 
Depends what filter you are talking about. The argument about the relevance of the UV filter to protect the camera lens is one. Filters being used for effect - UV, ND grad, ND is another.

The former many people think is just adding a meaningless item to the front of the lens with consequent exposure issues, and a lens hood is the preferred alternative. The latter depends on the quality of the filter. A cheap ND can cause problems with erratic filtering and colour cast, a good filter can help you overcome a problem in exposure.

To suggest all filters are a waste of space is misleading.
Jan 10, 2017 07:36:33   #
dcampbell52 (a regular here)
 
PaulB wrote:
David McKay in his book "Photography Demystified" suggested that using filters, except in rare circumstances, isn't a good idea. He suggests that putting a $20 or $30 filter on a $2000 lens undermines the quality of the lens. It does seem make sense. He says that using a lens hood will protect the glass from damage and not degrade image quality. Any comments from the "hogs"? Are there high quality filters that work without degrading images made with high end lenses?


I don't use cheap filters. I have 77mm filter adapters for ALL of my lenses and have 77mm lens caps so that everything is standardized. This way I don't have to figure out which lens cap goes on which lens. Now, having said that, I rarely use filters except for specific shots. I have a circular polarizer, a couple of neutral density filters and a haze filter. I also have a clear glass filter for each lens (I use this for bad weather mainly). Now, I do have to take off the filter adapters if I am going to use any of my lens caps (except for my 80-400mm lens which takes a 77mm lens without adapting. Normally, I don't use filters but just use the lens hoods, but its nice to have them. (its better to carry them and not need them than to need them and not have them). And by having 77mm adapters on all of my lenses, I only need one or two of each type (except for clear which I have one for each lens).
Jan 10, 2017 08:18:47   #
leftj (a regular here)
 
Haydon wrote:
Whenever I see these threads, I think of just one word "Cholly" :)


I'm sure that means something to someone.
Jan 10, 2017 08:27:18   #
bobmcculloch (a regular here)
 
PaulB wrote:
David McKay in his book "Photography Demystified" suggested that using filters, except in rare circumstances, isn't a good idea. He suggests that putting a $20 or $30 filter on a $2000 lens undermines the quality of the lens. It does seem make sense. He says that using a lens hood will protect the glass from damage and not degrade image quality. Any comments from the "hogs"? Are there high quality filters that work without degrading images made with high end lenses?


Shooting in the snow the other day, grandkids playing, I had both filter and hood on, my son had just the filter, he got snow on the filter, I did not see any on my filter but it could have melted or dried whatever, I think you need to look at conditions and the risk factor you are willing to accept, replacing a lens is expensive, are you selling prints for a lot of money? I live surrounded by salt water, sand, shoot around kids and dogs, I keep a filter on, Bob.
Jan 10, 2017 08:30:13   #
leftj (a regular here)
 
bobmcculloch wrote:
Shooting in the snow the other day, grandkids playing, I had both filter and hood on, my son had just the filter, he got snow on the filter, I did not see any on my filter but it could have melted or dried whatever, I think you need to look at conditions and the risk factor you are willing to accept, replacing a lens is expensive, are you selling prints for a lot of money? I live surrounded by salt water, sand, shoot around kids and dogs, I keep a filter on, Bob.


Given your shooting conditions I believe I would keep a filter on as well.
 
Jan 10, 2017 08:47:33   #
Bugfan
 
PaulB wrote:
David McKay in his book "Photography Demystified" suggested that using filters, except in rare circumstances, isn't a good idea. He suggests that putting a $20 or $30 filter on a $2000 lens undermines the quality of the lens. It does seem make sense. He says that using a lens hood will protect the glass from damage and not degrade image quality. Any comments from the "hogs"? Are there high quality filters that work without degrading images made with high end lenses?


The glass in a lens is designed to handle light according to what people expect regardless of how the light enters the lens. The moment you place a filter on the front, any filter of any quality, you upset the light path and leave yourself open to flair which can be quite destructive in a picture. If you place a lens hood on the front of the lens that has no adverse effect at all, in fact the lens and the hood were designed for each other and the hood does offer a degree of protection too.

Personally I do not use filters on my lenses at all. The only exception is the circular polarizer which I sometimes use for effect. But once I've done the picture it comes off again.
Jan 10, 2017 08:58:17   #
dcampbell52 (a regular here)
 
Bugfan wrote:
The glass in a lens is designed to handle light according to what people expect regardless of how the light enters the lens. The moment you place a filter on the front, any filter of any quality, you upset the light path and leave yourself open to flair which can be quite destructive in a picture. If you place a lens hood on the front of the lens that has no adverse effect at all, in fact the lens and the hood were designed for each other and the hood does offer a degree of protection too.

Personally I do not use filters on my lenses at all. The only exception is the circular polarizer which I sometimes use for effect. But once I've done the picture it comes off again.
The glass in a lens is designed to handle light ac... (show quote)


Very true. This is why I stated that mine are ALMOST never covered with a filter. I do have very good clear glass filters that I will put on if the situation warrants (blowing sand or dust, or anything that might damage the front element and can't effectively be protected by a lens hood. I do use a circular polarizer (especially since I'm on the coast and shoot a lot of water) and might add a haze filter if the situation warrants but other than special effects (maybe colored filters which I do have in my camera cabinet but only carry if the job requires it).
Jan 10, 2017 09:23:28   #
PaulB
 
Thank you "hogs" for all of your inputs! Good feedback!
Jan 10, 2017 10:01:28   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
PaulB wrote:
Thank you "hogs" for all of your inputs! Good feedback!
Hopefully, you took a few minutes to read the link I provided from the owner of a rental business managing a portfolio of 20,000 lenses. His voice should have a tad more credibility than the chatterboxes on this site .... He doesn't come down on one side or the other of the debate. But, he does show a top-grade filter does not impact image quality. And, Canon shooters know a filter is expected to complete the water resistant aspects of the L lens design. The manual for nearly every L lens makes this statement.
Jan 10, 2017 10:17:23   #
OddJobber (a regular here)
 
BrettProbert wrote:
Oh no.


I'll second that. After literally thousands of previous posts on this subject, no one has said, "You're right. I'll start/stop using filters."
 
Jan 10, 2017 10:24:32   #
PaulB
 
Good point! Thanks!
Jan 10, 2017 10:30:52   #
Nalu (a regular here)
 
I leave filters on my lenses when not in use, but when I am shooting I take them off, just making the assumption that there will be some impact on image quality with an extra piece of glass between the subject and the sensor. If I recall, in film days, there was the argument that uv filters have the affect of cleaning up haze. But I have heard an interesting comment about uv filters and digital photos; "uv filters do not perform the same function with digital vs film, no affect on haze." Is this a wives tail, or is there some validity to this theory? Just curious.
Jan 10, 2017 10:30:55   #
camerapapi (a regular here)
 
I have a tendency to use a filter only when it is absolutely necessary. That filter in the digital era is a polarizer.
There are excellent filters and B&H comes to mind.
Jan 10, 2017 10:31:56   #
Jim Bob (a regular here)
 
Haydon wrote:
Whenever I see these threads, I think of just one word "Cholly" :)


You must be sick.
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