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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 19:30:27   #
whitewolfowner (a regular here)
 
Bugfan wrote:
I forgot about the hard cases, that too was wonderful protection.

But I guess from a capitalistic point of view these are bad. Removing them saved the manufacturers some money which they kept and they made more later selling the same lenses again when they broke.




That is exactly what is going on, and we the photographers who lose a lens in an accident like that, pay the price for the greed of the companies. Not fair is it?
 
Jan 10, 2017 19:49:28   #
mcveed (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?


McKay is simply stating his opinion that filters should not be used to protect lenses. Just because he has printed it in a book does not make it true, it just makes it his opinion. I happen to agree with him. I would offer that not many "hogs" would use a $20 filter on a $2000 lens, some would probably risk using a $200 filter though. This has been debated ever since digital cameras became popular - because the UV/Haze filter has no effect on digital images. I am of the opinion that good quality filters degrade the image very little if at all, except for the increased risk of lens flare. I only use filters, CPL and ND, for specific effects and clear glass filters to protect against blowing sand and dust as well as salt water. Usually I use lens hoods and lens caps to protect my lenses.
Jan 10, 2017 20:04:24   #
whitewolfowner (a regular here)
 
mcveed wrote:
McKay is simply stating his opinion that filters should not be used to protect lenses. Just because he has printed it in a book does not make it true, it just makes it his opinion. I happen to agree with him. I would offer that not many "hogs" would use a $20 filter on a $2000 lens, some would probably risk using a $200 filter though. This has been debated ever since digital cameras became popular - because the UV/Haze filter has no effect on digital images. I am of the opinion that good quality filters degrade the image very little if at all, except for the increased risk of lens flare. I only use filters, CPL and ND, for specific effects and clear glass filters to protect against blowing sand and dust as well as salt water. Usually I use lens hoods and lens caps to protect my lenses.
McKay is simply stating his opinion that filters s... (show quote)




Some day your pocket book will see the flaw in your logic. After that get back with us and tell us how you feel about it.
Jan 10, 2017 20:41:10   #
10MPlayer
 
Bram boy wrote:
Maybe you would be more careful . If you didn't have the filter on the end . I'm aware of every thing I do when I'm packing my camera ,


You can be as careful as you can possibly be but stuff happens. I set my camera on a small end table while I downloaded the SD card. When I went to stand up I put my hand on the table to help myself up, (I'm old) I lost my balance, and the table with the camera on it tipped over. The UV filter was demolished but my macro lens which was only a month or two old at the time came out fine. I had to take the UV lens off with a pair of pliers it was so damaged.

NOte: this out of focus image is not a good example of my macro lens' sharpness. It was simply a picture to document what happened.

...
(Download)
Jan 10, 2017 23:11:24   #
whitewolfowner (a regular here)
 
10MPlayer wrote:
You can be as careful as you can possibly be but stuff happens. I set my camera on a small end table while I downloaded the SD card. When I went to stand up I put my hand on the table to help myself up, (I'm old) I lost my balance, and the table with the camera on it tipped over. The UV filter was demolished but my macro lens which was only a month or two old at the time came out fine. I had to take the UV lens off with a pair of pliers it was so damaged.

NOte: this out of focus image is not a good example of my macro lens' sharpness. It was simply a picture to document what happened.
You can be as careful as you can possibly be but s... (show quote)




Thanks for posting this. A perfect example of what I am trying to tell everyone. I bet all your lenses have filters on them now. If he didn't have the filter, the damage would have been to the lens itself and the front element would have most certainly been destroyed; instead the filter took the hit.
Jan 11, 2017 03:12:52   #
dickwilber
 
Screamin Scott wrote:
I also used to work in camera sales years ago. We were always advised to sell UV filters as lens "protection", not because they did but because they were a high profit item.


First time I bought a decent SLR & lens, they sold me a UV filter. And for a time I used a warming filter (Tiffen 812?) because it seemed to make both my slides and prints (prints were really dependent on the eye of the print machine operator) more attractive. Eventually I took a part time job in a camera store where there was a bonus system for making sales and the highest "bonus" was attached to cheap UV filters. I made more money selling that filter than an SLR and lens! So, yes, the UV filter had the highest profit margin of anything in the store.

Today, with sensors less sensitive to UV light, white balance, and post processing color correction, there are few pictorial reasons for using any filter other than a polarizer or neutral density filter. UV filters in particular. But will a filter provide protection for the front lens element? Yes, but the lens hood will almost certainly provide better protection, and the lens cap will certainly provide much better protection (when not actually taking a picture, such as in 10MPlayer's graphic example, above). The exception is where the front element is exposed to spray, blowing sand, etc.

And will a filter degrade the photo? Yes, under many conditions it will, though it often isn't enough to be of importance. But when light directly strikes the filter, the image degradation can make the difference between a good photograph, and a waste of your time. The bottom line is yes, use a filter for protection if you feel the need, but use it judiciously. And always use the lens hood and replace the cap when not viewing through the lens.
 
Jan 11, 2017 07:05:38   #
whitewolfowner (a regular here)
 
dickwilber wrote:
First time I bought a decent SLR & lens, they sold me a UV filter. And for a time I used a warming filter (Tiffen 812?) because it seemed to make both my slides and prints (prints were really dependent on the eye of the print machine operator) more attractive. Eventually I took a part time job in a camera store where there was a bonus system for making sales and the highest "bonus" was attached to cheap UV filters. I made more money selling that filter than an SLR and lens! So, yes, the UV filter had the highest profit margin of anything in the store.

Today, with sensors less sensitive to UV light, white balance, and post processing color correction, there are few pictorial reasons for using any filter other than a polarizer or neutral density filter. UV filters in particular. But will a filter provide protection for the front lens element? Yes, but the lens hood will almost certainly provide better protection, and the lens cap will certainly provide much better protection (when not actually taking a picture, such as in 10MPlayer's graphic example, above). The exception is where the front element is exposed to spray, blowing sand, etc.

And will a filter degrade the photo? Yes, under many conditions it will, though it often isn't enough to be of importance. But when light directly strikes the filter, the image degradation can make the difference between a good photograph, and a waste of your time. The bottom line is yes, use a filter for protection if you feel the need, but use it judiciously. And always use the lens hood and replace the cap when not viewing through the lens.
First time I bought a decent SLR & lens, they ... (show quote)




As you said in your text "cheap UV" filter. It has been mentioned many times that in order to not degrade a lenses quality to use a quality filter. Seems so many here have no comprehension reading ability; especially those that are touting others not to protect their lenses. Does anyone else see the correlation here?
Jan 11, 2017 08:31:52   #
JohnFrim (a regular here)
 
Just how expensive (thinner costs more, right?) does a condom have to be to provide protection while not interfering with the pleasure of the act? Perhaps at those times when "the shot" is important you can remove the condom.

Now if only I could come up with an analogy for a lens hood and a lens cap.
Jan 11, 2017 09:03:51   #
dcampbell52 (a regular here)
 
JohnFrim wrote:
Just how expensive (thinner costs more, right?) does a condom have to be to provide protection while not interfering with the pleasure of the act? Perhaps at those times when "the shot" is important you can remove the condom.

Now if only I could come up with an analogy for a lens hood and a lens cap.


While this is an interesting argument, it depends. While an inexpensive condum may or may NOT provide protection (adequate or otherwise) the question in condums depends on quality of the material and its ability to stand up to the rigors of use. The same applies to filters and lenses. While a cheap filter may protect the front element of the lens, a lens cap will do the same thing. The difference between a filter and the lens cap is that it is "usually" difficult to shoot through an lens cap that is correctly in place. A filter may or may not be difficult to shoot through depending on the quality of the glass (among other things). In expensive or poor quality glass may have imperfections and other aberrations that will affect or destroy the quality of the shot. Good quality filters will minimize this effect.
Jan 11, 2017 09:50:21   #
DirtFarmer (a regular here)
 
10MPlayer wrote:
... the table with the camera on it tipped over. The UV filter was demolished but my macro lens which was only a month or two old at the time came out fine. I had to take the UV lens off with a pair of pliers it was so damaged...


It's a good thing there wasn't an irregularly shaped solid object on the floor when the camera fell (e.g. a rock). The impact would have driven the rock through the filter onto the lens. That filter glass is less than 1/8 inch thick. Not really much protection, in my opinion. The hood or lens cap would have been better. So how often is a camera going to fall on an unadorned floor compared to a field of rocks? Depends on your shooting style, I guess.

It is still my opinion that a clear glass filter (of good quality) is useful for protection against blowing dirt or salt spray, but not against impact. Yes, a filter can protect against a very light impact, but when it's the camera falling, there's some weight behind it so the impact is likely to be more significant than a little sand being blown around.
Jan 11, 2017 09:51:32   #
DirtFarmer (a regular here)
 
JohnFrim wrote:
Just how expensive (thinner costs more, right?) does a condom have to be to provide protection while not interfering with the pleasure of the act? Perhaps at those times when "the shot" is important you can remove the condom.

Now if only I could come up with an analogy for a lens hood and a lens cap.


I think the condom is more analogous to a lens cap than a filter or a hood.
 
Jan 11, 2017 10:29:29   #
whitewolfowner (a regular here)
 
DirtFarmer wrote:
It's a good thing there wasn't an irregularly shaped solid object on the floor when the camera fell (e.g. a rock). The impact would have driven the rock through the filter onto the lens. That filter glass is less than 1/8 inch thick. Not really much protection, in my opinion. The hood or lens cap would have been better. So how often is a camera going to fall on an unadorned floor compared to a field of rocks? Depends on your shooting style, I guess.

It is still my opinion that a clear glass filter (of good quality) is useful for protection against blowing dirt or salt spray, but not against impact. Yes, a filter can protect against a very light impact, but when it's the camera falling, there's some weight behind it so the impact is likely to be more significant than a little sand being blown around.
It's a good thing there wasn't an irregularly shap... (show quote)



And what part of 10Mplayer's post did you not understand? For all those who are wondering if they should or shouldn't put a good quality UV filter on their lenses, look at the responses from the crowd is telling you not to use one; is there any question in your minds as to what is the right thing to do?
Jan 11, 2017 10:47:24   #
Haydon (a regular here)
 
whitewolfowner wrote:
And what part of 10Mplayer's post did you not understand? For all those who are wondering if they should or shouldn't put a good quality UV filter on their lenses, look at the responses from the crowd is telling you not to use one; is there any question in your minds as to what is the right thing to do?


The right thing to do is to allow people to make their own choices whitewolf and weigh what's important to them from others input. UHH members are fully capable of making their OWN decisions and aren't sheeple. It's through the positives and negatives that people use their free will to make the best choice for THEM.

This thread has been perpetuated far too long. Let's respect their choices. I have filters on most of my lenses. Others don't and I'm okay with that. What's important to me is my choice.

This statement is so true and applies perfectly to this seemingly endless thread.

The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right. - Hannah Whitall Smith
Jan 11, 2017 10:55:02   #
whitewolfowner (a regular here)
 
Haydon wrote:
The right thing to do is to allow people to make their own choices whitewolf and weigh what's important to them from others input. UHH members are fully capable of making their OWN decisions and aren't sheeple. It's through the positives and negatives that people use their free will to make the best choice for THEM.

This thread has been perpetuated far too long. Let's respect their choices. I have filters on most of my lenses. Others don't and I'm okay with that. What's important to me is my choice.

This statement is so true and applies perfectly to this seemingly endless thread.

The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right. - Hannah Whitall Smith
The right thing to do is to allow people to make t... (show quote)



I did that several pages back.
Jan 11, 2017 10:55:08   #
JohnFrim (a regular here)
 
DirtFarmer wrote:
I think the condom is more analogous to a lens cap than a filter or a hood.

Yeah, I guess you don't really want to shoot through a condom, so I'll go with the cap analogy. And your zippered pants are like a closed camera case.

Kidding aside, the filter question will never be resolved. It comes down to a personal preference for what is largely unsubstantiated security.

I always chuckle at stories of how a filter that broke during a lens/camera fall protected the lens from damage. The truth is that the other experiment -- dropping the lens/camera under identical conditions without the filter in place -- is never done. And if an unprotected lens was damaged, how can you be sure that a filter would have prevented that damage? The reverse experiment in this situation can only be done if you have an identical lens to potentially sacrifice.

I will accept that for some bumps and falls a filter ring can protect the lens front threads from damage, but a lens hood will do that even better, and will be cheaper to replace than a filter.

So what about sand, dust and water that gently accumulates on the filter? The argument is that a filter that is damaged from too much aggressive cleaning is cheaper to replace than a lens front element. But who is less careful about cleaning an expensive filter than cleaning a lens? How many people have actually replaced a filter because it was carefully cleaned once too often? And there is the argument that a front lens element may stand up to repeated cleaning better than a filter.

OK, there is the believable argument that a filter will protect a lens from a branch, rock or flying stone chip that in one go scratches the surface. But again, where is that repeat experiment with the bare lens, whose curved thick glass is probably much tougher than that of a thin planar filter? This one is a situation of playing the odds.

I believe a good quality filter will have very little negative effect on an image. Oblique light rays passing through a thin layer of good glass will be minimally displaced by refraction, and internal reflections are minimized by good coatings. The only real argument AGAINST using a filter is lens flare, but that can frequently be handled with a lens hood or shading with a hand or other object. If not, remove the filter.

So what do I do? I have good quality clear filters on all my lenses, and I always use a lens hood. The hood only comes off when shooting with the on-camera flash to avoid shadows of the hood on wide angle shots. I only remove the filter to put on a polarizer because my clear filter has a very thin ring that does not provide enough thread for the polarizer to grab securely.

Oh, one final comment related to the cost of the filter -- does a $200 filter suit a $2000 lens? Absolutely. The filter has much less glass, no moving parts, no electronic chips, etc. I don't think a $20 filter is an optical match to ANY lens, but a bit more money will get you enough quality for most photography.

Remember that an added filter can always be removed when not needed, but a non-existent filter when needed cannot be added.
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