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Filters... To Use Or Not To Use?  
User currently offlineMetroliner From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 1067 posts, RR: 1
Posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4468 times:

Hey all,

The majority of photos on a.net don't ever mention whether any filters were used during shooting. My question is whether it's worth splashing out on a pair of UV filters (I use them on all my film kit, but are they as necessary with digital shooting as with film??) for my new kit?

Luckily, I already have a 58mm Hoya circular polariser (about 25 years old, but I don't think they have a sell-by date) that I can slap on the face of it - but does anybody use polarisers these days during shooting?

Also, what about the moral validity of using a Starfractor for a.net night shots?

Any comments regards filters and a.net in general would be much appreciated.  Smile

Toni


Set the controls for the heart of the Sun
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJid From Barbados, joined Dec 2004, 972 posts, RR: 31
Reply 1, posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4461 times:

I don't use them, after paying many hundreds of pounds on a single lens putting a cheep piece of glass in front of it is not a good idea. At best they are good for a little extra protection for your lens but they will degrade your lens performance. Just use your lens hood and forget about filters Big grin

Jid



G7EPN is back after 15 years! Operating all Bands 80mtrs -> 70cms QRZ DX
User currently offlineJeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4452 times:

Quoting Metroliner (Thread starter):
My question is whether it's worth splashing out on a pair of UV filters (I use them on all my film kit, but are they as necessary with digital shooting as with film??) for my new kit?

No. Digital sensors are not affected by UV the way film was. They are not needed.


User currently offlineMetroliner From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 1067 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4443 times:

Hey guys,

Thanks for your replies! So, no more UV58mms from Jessops, check - but what about polarisers? Is it discretionary, as with non-av photography? And what about those lovely Starfractors for night-time prettiness?

Cheers,

Toni



Set the controls for the heart of the Sun
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3247 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4423 times:

This is a debate that comes up every now and then. UV filters will not help with image quality given, as JeffM stated. digital sensors are not affected by UV rays the way film is. However, they are very useful as lens protectors. Additionally, one of my lenses (Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM) is only weather sealed if it has a filter on it (its elements move inside the body of the lens, instead of extending).

I personally use a UV filter on all my lenses, and I think Tim also does. Lots of other people don't. It's a choice. But, if you do use them, you should really get the most expensive ones you can afford, given that cheaper ones will ruin your pictures. I use B+Ws and I'm very very happy the results.

Here's a similar opinion on a site I personally trust: go to http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ and look for "UV Filters - Should they be used?" (sorry, I had trouble linking the actual page).

Regarding polarizers (and other creative filters, like ND, grad ND, etc.), it just depends on whether you want to get the effect they provide. Under certain conditions, I use a polarizer heavily to darken the sky / water, reduce reflections on foliage, etc. But, it does decrease the amount of light that goes through the lens, so again it's a choice and a trade-off. And, the warning about not using cheap ones applies here too.

Hope this is helpful,

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlinePsych From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 3049 posts, RR: 58
Reply 5, posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4409 times:
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Much good advice here.

I agree with Jid and Jeff that generally filters don't add anything with digital photography, as adjustment can be done in editing. Unless it is the highest quality glass, it may well also degrade image quality (and they can create reflective problems with lights). As a result I stopped using them on telephoto lenses - they add nothing, potentially detract from quality and, always using the lens hood, they don't really make a huge difference from a safety point of view.

However, like Tony, I have the 17-40mm and without a filter it is not sealed, so I too use a filter for that - not for the UV effect - simply to prevent muck getting into the body of the lens.

Though I am no real expert with PS, I am not familiar with how editing can easily replicate the effect of a polarising filter in various conditions, so I did invest in one of those also for my 17-40, as I would use this lens for landscape and other kinds of photography. I cannot imagine using any other filter.

Paul


User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9635 posts, RR: 68
Reply 6, posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4407 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

I get kick ass results with a Haze filters on my 300 prime, but I guess it is a matter of taste.

User currently offlineCalgaryBill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4395 times:

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 6):
I get kick ass results with a Haze filters on my 300 prime, but I guess it is a matter of taste.

I use them on all my lenses. The 200-400 actually ships with a meniscus filter and the manual recommends using it, although it is not compulsory. There is also a slip-in filter which is required to be in place, according to the manual.

Quoting Jid (Reply 1):
after paying many hundreds of pounds on a single lens putting a cheep piece of glass in front of it is not a good idea.

Depends on the filter. B+W MRC filters are pretty expensive and do a great job of reducing reflections.

If nothing else, a filter reduces the wear your front element would get from everyday scuffs, chemicals in the air, dust and cleaning cycles.

B


User currently offlineViv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4387 times:

I use my filters for beermats.


Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3247 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4380 times:

Hi Paul,

I hope you are well.

Quoting Psych (Reply 5):
Though I am no real expert with PS, I am not familiar with how editing can easily replicate the effect of a polarising filter in various conditions, so I did invest in one of those also for my 17-40, as I would use this lens for landscape and other kinds of photography.

You might be able to do a bit of what a polarizer does in photoshop, but not all. E.g., sure, you can darken the sky in some cases in photoshop. However, you cannot magically create the detail at the bottom of a lake which was hidden by reflections.

Quoting Psych (Reply 5):
I cannot imagine using any other filter.

I've used NDs in some cases, to get those milky waterfalls. Also, I've used grad NDs for sunsets. But, you're right, the UV and polarizer filters are the ones I use most.

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineDvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1745 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4364 times:
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Everyone should have a good polarizer in their bag... for on-the-ground shots you use with a wide angle lens they are a one-shot pass to better contrast, saturation, and reflection elimination.

UV filters aren't entirely useless, though. If I was out on a boat with a lot of seaspray, I'd use one to protect the front element from... the elements.  Wink



From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlineJeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4332 times:

Quoting Dvincent (Reply 10):
UV filters aren't entirely useless, though. If I was out on a boat with a lot of seaspray, I'd use one to protect the front element from... the elements

You should be more worried about what sea spray will do to the rest of the camera. Salt water does nothing to a lens or its coatings, but it will corrode the hell out of the rest of your camera.


User currently offlineDvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1745 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (6 years 11 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4317 times:
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Quote:

You should be more worried about what sea spray will do to the rest of the camera. Salt water does nothing to a lens or its coatings, but it will corrode the hell out of the rest of your camera.

I think it goes without mention that the rest of the camera would get protection as well.



From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlineChris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2820 posts, RR: 50
Reply 13, posted (6 years 11 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4274 times:

As much as i hate to agree with a Man City fan.... (aka that northern guy Jid!  Wink ) ((6-0 was it?????  Wink )

I dont use filters either. I've spent countless thousands on buying my glass and to then put a cheap piece of glass is just silly. Not only is it degrading performance such as colour, contrast and sharpness. It will also cost an extra £70 on top of the £1500 on a lens. I shoot with 4 L lenses and another 4 primes. Not one has a filter on them and i've not done any damage to any of them. Aviation in particular is not a risk. I shoot with a 15mm in nightclubs and student bars all the time and have not ever marked the element in a way that a good clean can't get it off.

Just use lens hoods, take a bit of care and always use lens caps.

My only ever mishap that a filter would have saved was when i put a 24-105 in my bag without a hood or cap on and the front element hit the corner of my hasselblad and got a mark on it. Still works flawlessley tho so im happy.

Chris



5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
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