To UV or not to UV

Started Dec 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
SirLataxe
Senior MemberPosts: 1,536
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Re: Same to ask of color filters?
In reply to mgd43, Dec 2, 2012

mgd43 wrote:

I'm a believer in Murphy's Law that anything that can happen will happen so I use a filter on all of my lenses for protection. I also use a shade on all of my lenses. I don't see a loss of image quality with a good filter. I do take the filter off in high flare situations.

Mr 43,

I believe you are right.

Out in the world there is all sorts of stuff blowing against the lens as one takes an image of this or that.  It's particularly exposed at the seaside or other environment with a lot of moisture and fine particulate in the air.  The accumulation of this stuff on the lens is very obvious after a wander-about taking a few pictures in such a place, especially on a breezy day.

One could allow it to accumulate on the lens then clean that.  The trouble with fine, damp particulate is that it can't be blown off so it is all too easy to rub it over the glass as one cleans, even with a wet cleaning cloth "system".  Since this particulate is often very fine, damage to the lens surface may not necessarily be evident to the naked eye.  Over time, such damage will accululate and images taken with the lens may be degraded as coatings or even the glass itself accumulates micro-scratches.

With seaside photography there is also the danger of salt, which can crystallise on the lens surface and may not all be wiped away when the lens is cleaned. Fine particles too can be left as a thin but stubborn cement after the moisture evaporates.

For this reason I prefer to use a good quality skylight filter for outdoor photography.  A good filter will not degrade the image noticeably.  It can be cleaned more easily than a lens, as it it can be removed and rinsed in fresh water before drying off, which removes fine dirt and stuff like salt crystals before they can be rubbed over the surface with the cleaning cloth.

As Mr Davies mentions, a skylight filter will also help cut down excessive blue light, especially at places like the seaside.  Double-good there then.

So I believe the fellow who turned down the lens for sale because it had not been protected was wise.  That lens may have looked fine to the naked eye but who knows what micro-damage it had already accumulated?

SirLataxe, who also wears sunglasses when out on the bicycle so he doesn't end up rubbing flies into his eyes.

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