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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 ?

 

 

The video is a mixture of truths, half truths and nonsense.  He likes to create his images on the computer, I prefer to create mine in the camera.

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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?

 

What "toy sports car" do you have?

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I use UV or protective filters because I hate using lens caps.

 

Other way around - I never use UV filters because most the time its not needed or get stuck on the lens !

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I use them as lens caps. Having come from the world of EVF's and then switching to a Leica M, far too often I grabbed the camera out the bag, focused through the OVF, took a photo and then got the slow countdown because I'd forgotten to take off the lens cap

Now the caps stay home and clear filters do the protection job. It may degrade quality (can't say I have or would notice) but it certainly beats standing around like a lemon waiting for the camera to finish its dark frame subtraction for a useless photo of the inside of a lens cap

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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?

Yes I learnt that about the whole polishing of cars business the hard way . The business relies on you rubbing a rag with fine dust all over your paint work. All swirls are created by the user. I think the only way to ensure a good shine on a car is to get the highest quality paint on the car that money can buy at the factory and then just rinsing it and never ever putting a cloth or sponge on it or anything other then special car wash soap without any polish on it that will collect dust so that when you rub it off it creates swirls. In short never rub paint work with anything.

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But back to topic. I have a very expensive apo summicron 50mm that I don't want to see scratched on the front. What is the best recommendation for a protective only filter. I have the b+w 007 clear on my summilux 35.

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What "toy sports car" do you have?

 

All early. No pics since 2009.

Wheels replaced with alloys in 2010.

 

http://www.digoliardi.net/brad_sept_09.jpg

http://www.digoliardi.net/brad/mj2.jpg

http://www.digoliardi.net/brad/mj7.jpg

 

The nest of 'em all, now sold thank goodness.

 

http://www.digoliardi.net/brad/the_bugs.jpg

Edited by pico

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But back to topic. I have a very expensive apo summicron 50mm that I don't want to see scratched on the front. What is the best recommendation for a protective only filter. I have the b+w 007 clear on my summilux 35.

And that is the optimal choice. Not only more impact-resistant, also thinner (less aberrations) and nano-coated thus easy to keep clean.

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I studied photography with a guy who said that the only time he uses filters is when he is in the Sahara desert during a dust storm.

I have also overheard a customer ask a Leica sales rep what filter he recommended and the response was that Leica does not recommend the use of filters.

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I was taught when learning photography that the oils in your skin are acidic.  Since the final coating on lenses used to prevent flare is extremely thin, a fingerprint can etch this outer layer if it goes unnoticed. In any event. I would rather clean a filter than my lens and as other have pointed out scratch my filter than a  lens. 

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I have a 90mm Elmarit-M which is an excellent illustrator of what happens when a front element suffers significant coating damage - Leica have suggested a minimum of €600 to replace the front element. And yes, the damage does show in the photographs it takes with highlights bleeding into adjacent shadows. On the other hand, apart from unwanted reflections in specific circumstances, I've never had any problems using filters.

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On 7/10/2018 at 7:37 PM, jay968 said:

I studied photography with a guy who said that the only time he uses filters is when he is in the Sahara desert during a dust storm.

I have also overheard a customer ask a Leica sales rep what filter he recommended and the response was that Leica does not recommend the use of filters.

Really? Why did they design the M8 to use UVIR filters then I wonder?

Also why do they sell their own range of Leica branded filters (and have done so since the days of the first Leica cameras).

 

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3 minutes ago, earleygallery said:

Really? Why did they design the M8 to use UVIR filters then I wonder? 

 

 

I think it was the other way around. The design of the M8 was over-sensitive to IR and you needed a filter to correct the white balance - Leica screwed it up

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I've always used some kind of filter on my lenses. I've had one filter scored by blowing sand and destroyed but the lens was OK. I also dropped a camera once and the filter was broken but the lens was OK. Maybe these were isolated incidents, but I'd rather not take the chance. I generally use good leica or B+H filters (and that ruined one was quite a bit of money, but better than the alternative).

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3 hours ago, earleygallery said:

Really? Why did they design the M8 to use UVIR filters then I wonder?

Also why do they sell their own range of Leica branded filters (and have done so since the days of the first Leica cameras).

I suppose they would be the ones to ask but as you may or may not know, the M8 needed to have UVR filters on its lenses due to the magenta cast that the M8 sensor produced  without them. By the way, I am quite sure that many sales people and/or manufacturers sell and or manufacture items that which they themselves personally do not recommend. Having known MANY camera store employees during my lifetime I can safely and confidently state that the main reason camera store sales personnel recommend filters is because they make more money (and bigger profit) by adding them onto a sale. They are an EXTREMELY easy way to get more money out of a customer, especially one who has just spent thousands of dollars on a lens. Hey, if someone is willing to buy it, why not sell it (or manufacture it).

Yes, it's hard to argue the benefits of one protecting a lens and I won't, (even though in almost 60 years of shooting I have never once done any damage whatsoever to a lens' front element), but if you really think that's the main motivation that a salesperson has in selling you one, I have a bridge for you to buy.

Edited by jay968

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3 hours ago, terrycym said:

I think it was the other way around. The design of the M8 was over-sensitive to IR and you needed a filter to correct the white balance - Leica screwed it up

Leica said it was an international design decision they took to use minimal filtration in front of the sensor.

When you think about it in those terms, nearly all digital cameras already have a filter but it's fitted over the sensor. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, earleygallery said:

Leica said it was an international design decision they took to use minimal filtration in front of the sensor.

When you think about it in those terms, nearly all digital cameras already have a filter but it's fitted over the sensor. 

 

 

I've actually read notes from lens designers stating to the effect of:

"Look you just spent several thousand dollars on a highly engineered lens. Why do you want to put a cheap piece of glass that was not part its design in front of it?"

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2 minutes ago, jay968 said:

I've actually read notes from lens designers stating to the effect of:

"Look you just spent several thousand dollars on a highly engineered lens. Why do you want to put a cheap piece of glass that was not part its design in front of it?"

I doubt it was from a lens designer.

what about filters for B&W photography on film or colour correction?

What about polarisers or ND filters?

Sure, a filter can cause reflections in some cases (lighting at night or dark spaces) but the notion that filters are bad in general is not true. 

A lens is made from many elements and components and the cost of a lens isn't a measure of the materials that have gone into it. To compare the cost of a filter to a lens and judge their quality accordingly just doesn't make any sense at all. 

 

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The M8 IR sensitivity (as a bad thing) only related to magenta casts on black fabrics when taking pictures of people. I took landscapes and hardly ever people and never saw any difference. But what I could do (that I can't do with my M9 or M10) is to put a black opaque IR filter (not an IR cut filter that Leica sells to remove the influence of IR light) and get IR pictures without any expensive conversion. I thought that was pretty cool. I did buy an IR cut filter just in case but never actually used it. 

Had I been a color people photographer I would probably have needed it.  Here's an IR picture from the M8. Sure it's just 10.1MP, but still pretty fun to do. So I think the IR sensitivity issue with the M8 is an advantage, not a disadvantage. 

Edited by carbon_dragon

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