Do you always have a filter on your lens?

Started Aug 16, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Rich Z
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Do you always have a filter on your lens?
Aug 16, 2011

Back in the 70's, when I moved from rangefinders to SLR cameras, and started buying lenses, and old pro at a camera shop told me not to cheap out and buy a good filter to protect my lens. He told me that a filter could save a lens if the impact came at the lens. He also told me that a cheap filter could reduce the quality of my pictures. He also told me that the delicate coating on the lens certainly was not helped out by constantly cleaning it. I was buying the Minolta Rokkor 58 mm, f 1.2 lens. It was so expensive, and I was in such a daze at the expenditure, that I just did what he said. A couple of years later, while shooting ( I wish ) a young child, the little darling picked up one of his toys and smashed my lens. He got it dead center, and the filter broke. The lens was undamaged. The infant, also, remained undamaged because his parents were in attendance.....Just kidding.

In the following 40 years, I have always had a UV or Clear, expensive filter on my lenses. No more breakage until 2005 when I dropped my E500 with ZD 40-150. It fell on the lens, broke the filter, and no damage to the lens, or the camera.

Then, again last Friday I fell, this time. I slipped in some water and fell forward, I twisted as I fell to try to get the camera out from under me, didn't work. The camera hit the corner of a conveniently placed planter box, lens first. I fell on the E5, with ZD 12-60 attached, with its constant companion, a B&W pro series MRC 010 UV haze. The E5 and ZD 12-60 make a very substantive sound when contacting concrete at high speed. As it hit, I thought what a solid clunk it made. You should try it, you'll be amazed at the sound, and realize that paying up for quality gets you quality.

I got up looked at the camera and lens in bright light and there was not a mark on any part, except the filter. It was smashed, but good. However, the strong brass filter ring, which, by the way does not get stuck like aluminum and plastic filter rings, was perfect. It unscrewed easily, the lens surface was pristine, after I brushed off the shattered glass.

Subsequently, I took about 50 pix with the camera and lens and no filter, of course. No sign of any malfunction.

So, a word to the wise: I'd be out one ZD 12-60 at around U.S. $900. If not for that filter. $64.50 for a new B&W filter seems like a bargain. $11. to ship it in two days seems like chump change.

Result: I fell on my face, got bruised, broke $75 worth of equipment and I am so, so happy. Any questions? Rich

These pix taken with the same E5 and ZD 12-50, just an hour ago.

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