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Old 22-08-2011, 14:01   #1 (permalink)
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A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

As above I have always added a UV filter immediately to all of my lenses from a safety point of view to safeguard from scratching my lenses.

I have recent begun to remove it quite often because I am reading a lot of comments from Pro's about not using them.

So can my illustrious fellow members at Pixalo please let me know their thoughts.
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Old 22-08-2011, 14:28   #2 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

Depends on your situation I guess. A studio shoot is low risk, but shooting a car rally or motorcycle scramble when there are dirt and stones flying around would give a higher risk of damage.

Lens hoods offer good protection from things from hitting the lens glass directly in most situations.

Other situations can vary. I was pleased that I had a filter on when my 16 month old Grandson found my camera recently. So I think your question has no definitive answer. You have to make a risk assessment and act accordingly.

Don't forget that some pros will just get a new lens if they damage one if they are not using their own kit. I always remember a job I was on where the photographer had a dead camera. A quick phone call and 30 mins later a new D2x was pressed into his hand. He swapped the card and battery from his dead camera, switched it on, and the new camera died! Faulty battery! But if he had damaged the lens he was going to use, the same applied. Phone call - new lens.
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Old 22-08-2011, 15:08   #3 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

See your point Graham.

I have removed them with the lens cap almost for some safe close up work in my nice quiet garden or house but generally when walking around the streets etc the UV is always on.

I am just looking for a bit of reassurance that I am not spoiling some photos with them on!
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Old 22-08-2011, 15:38   #4 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

I don't use them anymore. I only use really for macro or landscapes photos. When not being used I put on the lens cap.
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Old 22-08-2011, 15:43   #5 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

I once fell down a steep grass bank hit a flight of steps broke my arm and camera went flying off in a different direction landing face down in mud. After recovering i was able to unscrew the B&W skylight filter on my Canon 24-105 L lens Wash it under the tap and all was well. I would hate to think what the lens would have been like without the filter which I keep on all my lenses. Good quality filters have no effect on image quality.
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Old 22-08-2011, 15:50   #6 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

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Good quality filters have no effect on image quality.
Is that correct Colin because that is one of the main issues for looking into it for me.

Are there not more issue with reflection etc when adding a layer of glass?

I'm asking because I am genuinely not sure.
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Old 22-08-2011, 16:26   #7 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

One those perennial questions

Generally agree with Graham, but instead of protecting the glass I have only had one incident: where the filter took an impact and the filter thread was buckled. I was pleased to have to filter in place and have kept that incident in mind ever since. I view the filter as important as the lens so never skimp on quality. When film was obligatory, a set of filters was the norm, and no-one seemed to complain about loss of quality. I had a skylight filter fitted to my older (pre-digital) 80-200 zoom lens, as was standard practice on tele-zooms. When used with the DSLR the pictures where noticeably tinted, and it made the chromic aberration obvious when against the light. I now leave a UV filter on.

One of the advantages of the Hassleblad or Rollei TLRs is the bayonet fitting for the filter as well as the lens hood. It doesn't take time to engage the thread or change the filter. Strangely enough though I never fitted a protective filter on the Rollei, just made sure the lens cap was in place when not in use. I've had the Rollei for 40 years and not a problem, but it did not get quite the same 'convenience' use as the 35mm kit.
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Old 22-08-2011, 16:49   #8 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

I have never damaged a lens or filter in over 35 years of photography. However, I have ruined several photo shots in the past due to flare caused by filters. I thus stopped using filters routinely some years ago. I do carry a polarising filter for occassional use, a UV filter for occassions I think I might be at exceptional risk in a harsh environment (never used it yet) and an 8 stop ND for photographing moving water (very occassional use). It is your choice but I do not think it is very unlikely that I would damage a lens (and I am insured) but you need to decide the risks for yourself. I always leave my lens cap on when not actually taking photographs. A single filter will not cause flare in most situations but multiple filters will be a problem frequently. Many photographers do not bother to remove their protection filter when adding another. Those that do are then vulnerable to damage when removing a filter. Also if you take a photograph into the light (sun or studio) you should not use any filter and always use a lens hood.

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Old 22-08-2011, 18:02   #9 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

Well I'm a bit of a go anywhere do anything photographer so my gear is well used and doesn't get wrapped in cotton wool so I fit a protective filter as a matter of course.
When I think of all the things that could stop me getting a sharp image a protective filter is not even on the list
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Old 22-08-2011, 18:16   #10 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

When I started to take my own photograghs more seriously, I bought better lenses. The only formal training that I've had was photo restoration, thus photoshop. One thing that has followed me to the field is, "what the human eye really looks at and what it doesn't see". I have filters on every lens I have because I share them and because, "as said above" most don't make a hoot of difference. I take them off to stay away from flare and that's pretty much it. If your photos are that good to be interputed that close up, then by all means take them off. I won't read the list of reasons I keep them on, but they come off just as easy.
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Old 23-08-2011, 09:10   #11 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

I used to protect all my lenses with filters but only retain them on the 105 and 150 as they tend to get dragged through the undergrowth! Always use lens hoods and pretty good at replacing lens caps (except in situations where I'm swapping lenses fairly often). Otherwise it's occasional CP and ND Fader

Definitely had one lens saving moment when camera with 105 on a tripod fell over and the hood and filter took the brunt
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Old 24-08-2011, 07:36   #12 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

I used to always use a filter for protection but over the last few years I have started to work without them.
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Old 24-08-2011, 10:42   #13 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

If your going to use one make sure its a good quality multi coated filter. I know quite a few people who have lenses that I can only dream about who tell me they can get filters on Ebay for a fiver. I'd rather go without to be honest.
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Old 24-08-2011, 15:02   #14 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasondh View Post
Is that correct Colin because that is one of the main issues for looking into it for me.

Are there not more issue with reflection etc when adding a layer of glass?

I'm asking because I am genuinely not sure.
When I bought the Canon 24-105L lens I also purchased a B&W Skylight . 1.1X Pro filter. It was expensive but so was the lens so why spoil it with cheapo filter. I did an experiment. I took one photo of the street at my front door with the filter and one without and compared the photos side by side on the screen the difference was tiny but the filter one was the best, a photographer friend also picked the filter photo as the best. Not very scientific I know but the GOOD quality filter is always the best option.
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Old 24-08-2011, 18:41   #15 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasondh View Post
As above I have always added a UV filter immediately to all of my lenses from a safety point of view to safeguard from scratching my lenses.

I have recent begun to remove it quite often because I am reading a lot of comments from Pro's about not using them.

So can my illustrious fellow members at Pixalo please let me know their thoughts.
I've always used protective filters on my lenses;I've read the blogs regarding the possible reduction in image quality,light and "why put inferior glass over an expensive lens" argument. I use them to protect my lenses from possible damage,contamination,etc and it makes for easier cleaning !
Some time ago,I experimented with variouse shots taken with filters on and off the lens,on a tripod and both outdoors and controlled lighting indoors,I could not discerne any difference;The light loss,if any,was absolutely insignificent!
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Old 24-08-2011, 18:56   #16 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

A debate able point.. Though I always use the UV filter just to protect the front element of my lens.. No risks..As far as image quality is concerned with or without , there will always be two schools of thought.Each has it's own valid reasons
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Old 24-08-2011, 20:33   #17 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

I understand the protection point of view but to me, I'd rather not spend over £1k on a lens and then put a £10 filter in front of it. No matter what quality the filter, it's going to detract from the reason I purchased a high quality lens.

I take more care of my lenses and camera than I do of my kids (they'll heal) and I have house insurance. If I was to fall downstairs I'd be annoyed but I haven't done that sober (or drunk) since 1995 so I'm prepared to take my chances.
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Old 24-08-2011, 22:34   #18 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

Generally keep filter (UV) on, but a lot of times I am out and about in mixed conditions. Wind, rain etc. Indoors and fine conditions leave off but hood ALWAYS on.

Circ Pol use a lot with waterside shots but that is for its own properties and nothing to do with lens protection of course.
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Old 26-08-2011, 10:33   #19 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

Those of you who are not seeing any difference with filter off or on are probably not tesing in the right conditions. In most situations, the addition of the filter will not make any significant reduction in performance. However, there are situations where the addition of a filter is critical. Try taking a shot towards studio lights. Typically you may have a light in front of the lens highlighting the models hair. The light will be outside the frame but the internal reflections from the filter will cause contrast reduction. Similarly shots taken towards the sun (even though the sun is not in the frame). The effect can be dramatic if you use two filters and no lens hood in such situations. For the case even with a single filter and lens hood there will be a reduction in contrast; perhaps not enough for some to worry about though it still may be the equivalent to replacing your expensive lens with a cheap lens.

Whether you feel the need to protect a lens with a filter is for the individual photographer to judge. I know photographers who are, in my view, careless and disorganised and thus have a higher probablility of damaging a lens so using a protective filter may well be best for them if they do not change their ways. However, it is important that such photographers do recognise that there is a filter issue and ensure that they never use more than one filter at a time and always use a lens hood when there is a strong light source in front of the lens.

I am trying to make it clear that this is not a Black & White issue i.e. a filter is always a problem or never a problem as the truth lies in between.
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Old 28-08-2011, 12:23   #20 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

Apart from dust and the occasion rain spot, nothing serious has ever got onto my lens, and the lens cap is never far away for storage...

I suppose I am either lucky or there is a very minor risk.

Saying that, flying debris from racing events, good point on that...

Having a filter to prevent damage, for me, I would use it if I expected damage, but, everyone is not the same, so personal choice?...
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Old 28-08-2011, 13:19   #21 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

Always use filter to protect the lens but have started recently to remove them before shooting, they are put straight on after though.
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Old 28-08-2011, 15:32   #22 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

I always have a filter on my lens, just in case. I put my camera down on a footstool the other day, and shortly afterwards sat on the same footstool without thinking. The camera jumped off as I sat down, and it landed on the front of the lens, or would have had I not had a filter on it. Fortunately, the filter just had a small mark on it, the threads are all ok on filter and lens, but I would rather have had to buy a new filter than a new lens
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Old 28-08-2011, 20:57   #23 (permalink)
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Re: A Quick Straw Pole: Permanent Filter or Not?

I also keep a filter for protection on my lenses, in this case a Hoya super hmc pro1
skylight (B1) on my Sigi 70-200. Dropped my camera bag thus pushing the lens cap through the filter.My worst fear was glass from the filter hitting the lens,but luckily no damage.
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