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Do we really need to use an UVa filter on our lenses?

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I just watched a Youtube vdo from Tony Northrup. He said there is no need to use an UVa filter as it actually degrades an inmage quality.

 

What do you guys think on that ?

 

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Do we really need to use an UVa filter on our lenses?

 

No.

 

When cameras and lenses used to be bought in camera stores, the typical scene was that the salesman — never saw any salesladies, as they would have been called — at the end of the transaction would say, "Now you need a UV filter to protect your lens." Consider, though, that profit margins on cameras and lenses were low, but very high on filters. In any case, with coated lenses there is absolutely no need for a UV filter, which just adds another set of glass surfaces to add to flare when you shoot into the light.

 

Now, if you use sofa covers to protect the beautiful fabric of a new sofa, like my Aunt Constance did, then go ahead and buy UV filters — but come to think of it I don't have an Aunt Constance.

_______________

Alone in Bangkok essay on BURN Magazine

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The most common wisdom around here is that guys who use filters are sissies. However, in my opinion, unless you're shooting a 1 million dollar project and need the ultimate quality, a protection filter is always a good idea. I can't count the number of times I have seen lenses with nicked or scratched front elements being sold for half the price by the macho guys who don't use filters. Needless to mention that I will only buy a used lens from a sissy filter user. By the way, the best filters are currently the B+W protection with nano coatings. The coatings are harder than the glass itself and are water repellent. Easy to clean and almost impossible to scratch with normal cleaning.

Edited by edwardkaraa

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Some lenses, my Canon 24-70 for example, require a filter for full weather sealing.  I keep a filter on that lens when the camera is packed.   99% of the time I remove the filter with the lens cap when I'm going to shoot.  Since the Q isn't weather sealed anyway...   The only filter I've used with my Q is a polarizer.  I sometimes wish I had some ND filters for the Q but not quite often enough to actually buy some

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Adding extra surfaces for the light to bounce on makes something to the image and its quality. Using a UV when shooting at night brings more reflections in to play than without an filter. But than again, it might not really matter. Use it if you want to, it is your choice.

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What a load of nonsense! Really is that guy in the video serious?

 

"Here's an example of the polariser being used to reduce reflections, but I think the photo without the filter looks better because the subject is more shiny" LOL or "I had to spend a minute putting the filter on, oohh its so much bother!"

 

He didn't say what brand of filter he was using but if they're 'cheap plastic' filters then he's not making a fair assessment. Doesn't he realise you can buy excellent optical quality filters instead?

 

Do I want to shoot 100 images and faff around in photoshop to merge them into one image, or do I want to use a filter and take one shot?

 

If I want to reduce reflections on a subject I'll try a polariser. If I want the subject to look 'shiny' that's up to me.

 

His only example to show how a filter degrades IQ was a shot straight into the sunlight to show how the filter generated some more flare - but if you take that kind of shot presumably because you want the flare effect then surely the filtered shot is BETTER!

 

What an idiot!

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I never found any optical improvement from adding what is basically a flat glass slice in front of my lenses.

But I always did it, because it protects the said lenses from dust, scratches, shocks.

Given the cost of my Leica Q, I didn't even step outside the store without it.

And, this allows me to transport it in a padded bag without the lens cover, both instantly ready and safe.

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What a load of nonsense! Really is that guy in the video serious?

 

"Here's an example of the polariser being used to reduce reflections, but I think the photo without the filter looks better because the subject is more shiny" LOL or "I had to spend a minute putting the filter on, oohh its so much bother!"

 

He didn't say what brand of filter he was using but if they're 'cheap plastic' filters then he's not making a fair assessment. Doesn't he realise you can buy excellent optical quality filters instead?

 

Do I want to shoot 100 images and faff around in photoshop to merge them into one image, or do I want to use a filter and take one shot?

 

If I want to reduce reflections on a subject I'll try a polariser. If I want the subject to look 'shiny' that's up to me.

 

His only example to show how a filter degrades IQ was a shot straight into the sunlight to show how the filter generated some more flare - but if you take that kind of shot presumably because you want the flare effect then surely the filtered shot is BETTER!

 

What an idiot!

Nonesense galore indeed -

"if you use a polarizer filter in low light it takes two stops away" Yeah - sure. Who is going to use a polarizing filter at night or indoors?

"you can simulate it in software - it is easy" ? Never in life

And you have to use a polarizer at approx. ninety degrees off the sun, not straight into it - that won't work. So what is all this faff about flare...?

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  polarizer is the one filter that cannot be simulated.

 

And ND-Filters. Try to shoot with f/1.4 (for separation/bokeh reasons) in bright sunlight...

 

OK, that's not often the case, but still true.

 

But if you want to shoot a long exposure photo (let's say 30 Sec), how would you "simulate" that?

Edited by LucisPictor

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You certainly needed them with slide film, Ektachrome was very prone to blue without at least a Wratten 1a or equivalent (skylight) and even a 2b was handy. Even Kodachrome was improved by a 1a in my experience, especially at 'altitude'.

So I put UVas on my lenses and they are still there years later, lost one ot two scratched over the years but no scratches on front elements :-)

 

Gerry

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It seems lens designers never hesitate to add another layer of glass when trying to improve design. How is adding a filter any different?

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Shooting a steel surface such  as a car can be complicated by its surface treatment, for example wax. Time for me to fess-up. I have a toy sports car which has an early black paint job. I worried over it one Saturday with a buffer and wax until it looked pretty good! I photographed it using a polarizing filter. Total disaster! All the swirl marks broadcast "Amateur Detailing". It was an enlightening and humbling experience.

 

Yeah, I think I still have some very low-end digital snaps of it, but they are so embarrassing.

 

EDIT: Might photographing cars with a polarizing filter be valuable in assessing paint?

Edited by pico

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