UV or no UV filter test (please try this & post results)

Started Aug 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
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4gr8pix
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UV or no UV filter test (please try this & post results)
Aug 30, 2013

I have been recently researching the use of UV filters for protection on all 4 of my L-series lenses. I shoot a lot of street photography and love to be in the fray of an event with my wide angles so i tend to be in semi harsh environments the majority of the time and wanted to protect my glass investment. Reading in these forums there tends to be a lot of folks who support the idea that you shouldn't put a UV filter over expensive glass as it will only degrade the final image. I wondered about this so on a recent event, I shot a series of 30 pictures at the same venue, all images were portraits of families and people using my sharpest lens- a Canon 85mm 1.2L. For 10 pictures i shot with no UV filter, another 10 I shot with an el-cheapo Tiffen UV filter and the last 10 I shot with a $300 multicoated Heliopan UV filter.

The end result was very interesting, I took all 30 images to 3 different people in the imaging business and asked them to try and pick out the 10 images without a filter, each person viewed the images in Lightroom at 100%. All 3 of these people couldn't accurately pick out the 10 images without the filter(nor could I). They were able to pick out the images made with the el-cheapo filter as these images were consistently a tad softer at 100%. The verdict for me, keep a high quality UV filter on my L glass and protect the investment. I understand the theory behind what some folks say about adding additional glass to your optics. But that theory didn't really hold true in my un-scientific, real-world test. I am interested to see if anyone else have performed similar blind tests and what were the results.

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