Clear filter to protect my lenses

Started May 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
Bob Janes
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Re: Clear filter to protect my lenses
In reply to Mscott65, May 17, 2012

As has been said by others, this is a topic which polarises opinions.

Any UV/Skylight/Clear filter will have an effect on image quality. The further away from the front element the filter, the more adverse effect it is likely to have. Good filters will give less flair/degradation, but they will still have an adverse effect on image quality. Having said that all filters will affect image quality, I have to admit that it won't be by much.

I'd suggest that in normal circumstances, the kit zoom will be better off without a filter; it is clear enough that if it does get damaged, a replacement will only probably be less than twice the price of a good UV filter... even if the front element does get a scratch or a little dink, that is still likely to give less degradation in image quality than putting a filter on...

By now you will have guessed that I'm in the no filter camp

What does help with image quality and protecting the lens is a lens hood, as it makes the front element less vulnerable and cuts out light from just outside the frame that can cause flare and lessen image quality.

There are some environments where even I will use a filter - even on a cheap lens - if you are somewhere where gravel or sand is likely to be flying around (motocross or similar), a filter is a good idea - but I'd just suggest a cheap one in these circumstances and used with a lens hood to try to block out flare-inducing light.

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