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Clear/UV Filters on M lenses?


Dr. G
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No, unless under extreme pixel-peeping. Clear filters (B&W 007 Nano, Heliopan and Hoya equivalents) are made for protection without compromise, the least interfering and the strongest. mechanically; UV filters are made for ummm... UV light filtering -although that is unnecessary in all normal circumstances- i.e. thicker and softer/weaker glass and are thus marginally less desirable.

I am impressed by the filters with nano-coating, they are very easy to keep clean and very scratch-resistant.

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"unless under extreme pixel-peeping."

 

Agree totally with jaapv, and have never seen any credible evidence that even under 'extreme pixel-peeping' there is visible degradation .  I do know the comfort one feels from having the front element protected, irrespective of the hardness of current lens coatings.

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I treat filters as disposables - I have a collection of fairly trashed ones. Expensive but far cheaper than trashed lenses. I've seen no credible evidence that a good quality filter has any visible effect whatsoever on performance, other than flare which is rare. 

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Leica designed the M8 to be used with UVIR filters. I doubt they would do so knowing that they would be degrading the IQ of their own lenses. 

 

Shots at night with lights in the frame can cause problems however, with reflections bouncing off the sensor and back onto the filter, showing up on the images. Just remove the filter in such circumstances. 

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Yes.  Tested on Nikon and Leica film cameras.   But it is very small.  

 

I would not use them for night work but would use them when abrasion is possible, i.e. beach, or rain & snow.   M8 lenses for color always get UV/IR.

 

Leica and probably New Nikon have UV protection from the elements glued together. 

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You have to weigh up the positives and negatives on a case by case basis. I don't use lens caps, I find them annoying and I always forget about them and get a bunch of black frames :) so I like to protect the front element somehow (I use a hood as a matter of course too). I anticipate that the most likely place a lens will get damaged is in the bag. When I'm using it it is environment dependent and I will generally know about that before hand (i.e. I will add a filter when I go to the seaside). A couple of things come to mind;

Cost of the filter vs cost of replacing the front element;

Image degradation through the filter vs from scratches;

Toughness of the coatings, i.e. cleanability;

Protection offered by the hood;

Add whatever other criteria you may have.

 

So;

For an expensive, rare, or valuable lens I would install a filter for no other reason than to protect the front element. I typically use a Leica UV or Leica Yellow filter.

For a common, inexpensive lens I only install a filter for an effect, typically a yellow filter but also sometimes a UV filter to cut through haze (rarely).

 

Of course everyone's definition of expensive and rare differ, but for a Leica lens, I always add a filter, for a Voigtlander, sometimes.

 

Anyway, there are some vehement filter and no-filter adherents. I'm a case-by-caser. 

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Under normal shooting conditions I just use a lens shade, no filters for "protection".  If I'm at the beach or shooting scenarios with blowing debris (sand, water, rain..etc.)  B&W 007 Nano is what use with excellent results.

 

 

Quite the dilemma I have.  One of the events I want to shoot is with a bunch of celebrity chefs on the beach in Grand Cayman - of course it's at night.  So do I risk getting images with unwanted reflections from the filter or take the chance of having sand get on my lens?

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Quite the dilemma I have.  One of the events I want to shoot is with a bunch of celebrity chefs on the beach in Grand Cayman - of course it's at night.  So do I risk getting images with unwanted reflections from the filter or take the chance of having sand get on my lens?

 

 

I think you'll be surprised by modern high quality clear filters. 

 

Why don't you whack a filter on the lenses you'll be using and go shooting at night and see what happens? If you get flare, then you can remove the filter and take the shot again to see if it a difference? I suspect it won't.

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+1 for the B+W 007 Nano. I started using these on all of my lenses (not just the Leicas) after years of dedication to Hoya. That B+W nano coating has the best non-reflectance of anything in the filter world and I really can't ever say that the filters caused flare over the same shot done with no filter...

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Protective filters are a bourgeois concept! :p;)

Better remove them for darkness photography where they may cause ghost images, also in strong backlight conditions to avoid unwanted flare if any. Better keep a good hood then. Filter hater but user (UV/IR for M8.2) speaking.

 

Which is exactly what protective filters don't do. At least, to a far lesser extent.

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