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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 10:57:48   #
Haydon (a regular here)
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
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.
Hopefully, you took a few minutes to read the link... (show quote)


I'd like to think this would put an end to the old lens filter debate but I've come to realize it wouldn't matter if there is fact or not, in favor or against. People just love to debate and joust. I'll just sum it up that it's nothing more than a personal choice to use them or not. This type of thread has the same makings as Canon vs Nikon vs Mirrorless. Whatever works for you and PLEASE respect other choices. Flaming doesn't accomplish anything except hijacking a thread.
 
Jan 10, 2017 11:24:35   #
jeep_daddy (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?


Yes, if you are talking about a UV filter that really doesn't do much except provide a little protection against impacting the front part of your lens. But you didn't qualify exactly which filter so I need to point out that there are some filters like CP and ND filters that are of great use and are used in certain circumstances.
Jan 10, 2017 12:04:06   #
whitewolfowner (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?



Putting a $20-$30 filter on a $2000 lens is ludicrous. A $2000 lens is going to take at least a filter that is 77mm and on up and a decent filter is going to be much more that 20-30 dollars. He's referring to cheap filters and they can degrade an image. There are still those out there that believe this hype but it has been proven to be false when using a filter of quality. Not putting a good filter on the end of lenses in my book is foolish and waiting for an accident to happen. Just the consideration that one has to be cleaning the front glass on a lens several times, is reason enough to use a filter. That way you are cleaning the filter; not the front element which has sensitive expensive coatings on it to enhance the quality of the lens. Constantly cleaning that front element in time can start slowly removing those coatings which will degrade the lens. Nothing to say about protecting the front element from accidental scratches, slight bangs and oily finger prints and anything else that be on the end of a finger. I have been doing photography for about 50 years now and every time I buy a lens, I get a Tiffen Haze 2 filter for it. I have run extensive tests taking photos with and without the filter on, blown then up to massive sizes and cannot tell one negative from the other; I have repeated it with digital and the same results. I write down the number of the exposure when I take them, compare shots and when I can't tell the difference in them, I look up which shot has the filter and which one don't. Then I know which is which. And several independent labs have run tests too and cannot see a difference either. The idea is a myth. Get a good filter, put it on and forget it's there and save your lens down the road. The only time you may want to remove it is when you are going to use another filter or you shoot directly into a light source and have flair. Removing the filter for the shot MAY reduce the amount of flair. This will happen more easily and more often with wide angle zoom lenses being the most susceptible to this.
Jan 10, 2017 12:05:42   #
BigGWells
 
The only filters I will ever use are ND and CPF. No UV what so ever.
Jan 10, 2017 12:21:19   #
catchlight.. (a regular here)
 
Pro's tend not to use UV or protective filters because of the ill effects. A hood is far more effective. Amateurs favor them as insurance because that's what they are told to do by Pro's who sell lenses and want to make money. Effect filters are another subject and are used selectively.
Jan 10, 2017 12:29:15   #
Screamin Scott (a regular here)
 
If you have a $2000 lens I would think you would have it insured against damage. A "protective" filter will help protect against certain perils like fingerprints and some scratches, but much of the claims of scratch protection are a bit misleading.The thick glass of the element is much more damage resistant than a thin glass filter and even most newer coatings are hard to damage (compared to older lens coatings). Most scratches on the front element of a lens will have a minor effect on the resulting image. Damage on a rear element will have much more of an effect. Scratches can result from a broken "protective" filter. As for the filter affecting the image, yes there will be some detrimental effect as the extra glass wasn't included in the optical formula when the lens was designed, but most times the affects are minimal except in certain situation where a point of light is in the frame which will cause ghosting & flair Bottom line here is that it is a personal choice. My choice is not to use them but to use a lens hood & lens cap instead.
 
Jan 10, 2017 12:33:17   #
photoman022
 
Been discussed over and over again. Some people will use a protective filter and swear by it; others will not use a protective filter and swear by it. The secret is for you to buy a lens filter, put it on your lens, take a photo, take the filter off of the lens, take another photo of the same subject, compare the photos. Do you see a difference in the image quality?
Jan 10, 2017 12:47:57   #
Screamin Scott (a regular here)
 
Not a very compelling argument as you will likely not see a difference unless there is a point of light in the frame. In terms of "protection" there will be differences. I don't use filters but have taken images thru windows where you cannot tell that I did so. So, the issue really is more about "Protection" than effects of the filter on an image.
photoman022 wrote:
Been discussed over and over again. Some people will use a protective filter and swear by it; others will not use a protective filter and swear by it. The secret is for you to buy a lens filter, put it on your lens, take a photo, take the filter off of the lens, take another photo of the same subject, compare the photos. Do you see a difference in the image quality?
Jan 10, 2017 12:48:34   #
rgrenaderphoto (a regular here)
 
leftj wrote:
I'm sure that means something to someone.


From the urban dictionary:

1. To bail out of something at the last minute

2. To break a contract or lie about a previously made agreement, verbal or written

4. To choose your girlfriend over hanging out with your buddies
He didn't show up again! That's 2 weeks in a row he's pulled a cholly!

Charlie: Hey uhh I'll met you up at 7 pm at the St. Johns cool?

You: yeah sure NP

-7pm-
you: ....

-8pm-
you: .....

-9pm-
you: texting... Dude where the hell are you!?

Charlie: Oh uhh yeah i cant make it. Me and my girl are going shopping.

you: Damn cholly... you flaking a-hole
Jan 10, 2017 12:52:21   #
Bugfan
 
This is a no win argument. It's like house insurance. Many people automatically buy insurance for the contents of their apartments and/or for the structure of their homes. Some of them end up with a break in or a fire and the insurance company takes care of it all. Other people to not get insurance for their homes and in the process save a pile of money. Some of them are lucky by not having a fire or a break in but others to get broken into or burned to the ground. They then were not lucky and they pay for it dearly.

It's not for us to say what is best. You are welcome to say I would prefer you took insurance out or you can say in my opinion insurace is a waste of money. You can also offer your rationale for the recommendation. But after that let it go, it's really up to the individual to make the decision and to take the risk. All we can do is with them luck.
Jan 10, 2017 13:05:20   #
DirtFarmer (a regular here)
 
I occasionally use a Circular Polarizer when circumstances dictate it, but otherwise my lenses are bare in most situations. The only time I put a clear glass filter on a lens is when the environment dictates additional protection for the lens, e.g. salt spray, blowing sand. A cheap clear filter will not protect your lens from an impact. It will break and leave shards of glass up against your lens, and if it's a significant impact, those shards will produce additional damage to the lens. A lens hood will provide more protection. I had a camera on a tripod get blown over by a gust of wind. I had a hood on it and the hood broke without damaging the lens.

Any filter should be the best quality you can afford to protect the image.
There are times to use a clear glass filter, but they are rare.
The time to use a lens hood is all the time. I even leave the hood on in my camera bag.
 
Jan 10, 2017 13:05:26   #
Haydon (a regular here)
 
leftj wrote:
I'm sure that means something to someone.


Actually it does for anyone who has been on this forum for an extended time. Cholly was a hardened Sony fan who was/is adament AGAINST the use of protective filters. Just do a name search up top if you're curious.
Jan 10, 2017 13:11:30   #
James R
 
imagemeister wrote:
ALL filters degrade, but Yes, some degrade very little and they are high end money .....

Keep the hood on the lens in taking position 24/7 and cap the hood when not in use.


This is what I do as well.

I only have two (2) filters. One is a good Polarizer - the other one is a Variable Neutral Density filter. (That is with the digital cameras. With the older film cameras I have a good selection of filters - which I have collected over the years involved in photography.
Jan 10, 2017 13:27:24   #
JoBarg
 
Quit using filters long time ago. Always keep a lens hood on and have unfortunately dropped my gear more than once..no damage yet
Jan 10, 2017 13:44:27   #
Reinaldokool (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?


In theory he is right. But good filters, at least the middle-priced Hoyas that I use, don't do so enough to see. Of course those cheap pieces of window glass that cost 5-10 dollars and are made in some garage in Bangkok are another story.
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