Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?

Started Jul 15, 2013 | Discussions
SkywalkerR2D2
Forum MemberPosts: 53Gear list
Like?
Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
Jul 15, 2013

How frequently do you guys use the CPL, ND, UV filters? are they really worth buying?

 SkywalkerR2D2's gear list:SkywalkerR2D2's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM
mclewis
Forum MemberPosts: 87
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to SkywalkerR2D2, Jul 15, 2013

UV filters are pointless.  If you need protection for the front of the lens beyond what a lens hood provides just get a clear protection filter.  I occasionally use a polariser - when I want a polarised effect.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
MarkInSF
Senior MemberPosts: 1,861
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to SkywalkerR2D2, Jul 15, 2013

SkywalkerR2D2 wrote:

How frequently do you guys use the CPL, ND, UV filters? are they really worth buying?

CPL, sometimes, not often, but still well worth having as nothing gives the same effect; ND, don't own and can do without, but see value for some specific kinds of photography; UV, own one, but only use it in very dirty conditions to keep lens cleaner.   I can always unscrew the UV filter and wash it off.   But most of the time it's in my case.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Barrie Davis
Forum ProPosts: 21,460
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to SkywalkerR2D2, Jul 15, 2013

SkywalkerR2D2 wrote:

How frequently do you guys use the CPL, ND, UV filters? are they really worth buying?

I use them very rarely indeed, and I am (was) a professional photographer

However, if you intend using filters at all, no matter how rarely, you will find it impossible unless you actually HAVE them, wont you? So, whatever your level of use, you will always need 100% of a filter.

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Baz
:
"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mark B.
Forum ProPosts: 14,470
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to SkywalkerR2D2, Jul 15, 2013

SkywalkerR2D2 wrote:

How frequently do you guys use the CPL, ND, UV filters? are they really worth buying?

UV, never.  There's already a UV filter in front of the sensor, and I use a lens hood to protect the lens.

CPL and ND only occassionally.  Polarizer is useful for enhancing blue skies, especially if there are clouds and the sun is roughly 90 degrees away from the section of the sky.  It's also useful for removing or reducing reflections.  ND is useful for getting a slower shutter speed - think moving water that you want to smooth out.

Mark

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Chris R-UK
Forum ProPosts: 12,136Gear list
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to SkywalkerR2D2, Jul 15, 2013

It depends what you shoot.

I have only used ND and graduated ND filters when shooting landscapes and waterfalls which I don't do very often.

I use CPLs from time to time to eliminate reflections.

UV - don't own any but I might if I took a lot of shots in extreme situations with blowing sand or dust.

-- hide signature --

Chris R

 Chris R-UK's gear list:Chris R-UK's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II +6 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Cailean Gallimore
Senior MemberPosts: 6,082
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to SkywalkerR2D2, Jul 15, 2013

CPL and ND occasionally.

UV never.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daisy AU
Senior MemberPosts: 1,561Gear list
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to SkywalkerR2D2, Jul 15, 2013

SkywalkerR2D2 wrote:

How frequently do you guys use the CPL, ND, UV filters? are they really worth buying?

I have a CPL on my 16-85VR permanently on, plus the hood. I mostly take outdoor photos and if I don't need the CPL, I remove it as needed. I have clear protective filters on all my other lenses, plus the hoods. I own some ND but have not used any yet.

You will find people who believe some filters are not necessary and you will find people like me, who prefer to protect the lens with filters and hoods.

If you are going to buy filters, you can get the biggest size according to what lenses you currently own (and which lenses you intend to purchase in the future), and then use step-down rings to be able to use the one filter with all your other lenses.  Most of my filters are either 67 or 77.

-- hide signature --

Thanks,
Daisy AU - Brisbane
( Nikon D7000 and V1 )
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ney_images/

 Daisy AU's gear list:Daisy AU's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
GreenMountainGirl
Contributing MemberPosts: 639Gear list
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to Daisy AU, Jul 15, 2013

Daisy AU wrote:

If you are going to buy filters, you can get the biggest size according to what lenses you currently own (and which lenses you intend to purchase in the future), and then use step-down rings to be able to use the one filter with all your other lenses. Most of my filters are either 67 or 77.

I see a problem with this method.  Using a lens hood will not be possible when using a filter larger than the lens.  OP have said that a hood is not important when using a CPL, but sometimes after adjusting the filter, I snap the lens hood back on before shooting.

For me, the lens hood is protective when using the camera, the lens cap is protective when storing the camera, so UV filters are only useful in dirty conditions, especially with wind.

I own UV filters, seldom use them; CPLs, use them when needed (reflective surfaces, bright sun, skies); grad ND, for sunrise/sunset pictures.

Advice given to me:  don't buy equipment of any kind until you know you need it and will use it.  Photography can be a "money pit" and purchasing filters, lenses, etc. because they sound good is a pathway to having a closet full of items you never use!

Good Luck...

Susan

-- hide signature --

GreenMountainGirl

 GreenMountainGirl's gear list:GreenMountainGirl's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mark B.
Forum ProPosts: 14,470
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to GreenMountainGirl, Jul 15, 2013

GreenMountainGirl wrote:

Daisy AU wrote:

If you are going to buy filters, you can get the biggest size according to what lenses you currently own (and which lenses you intend to purchase in the future), and then use step-down rings to be able to use the one filter with all your other lenses. Most of my filters are either 67 or 77.

I see a problem with this method.  Using a lens hood will not be possible when using a filter larger than the lens.

Yes, this is a problem because using a filter will increase the chances of flare so all the more reason to use the hood.

OP have said that a hood is not important when using a CPL, but sometimes after adjusting the filter, I snap the lens hood back on before shooting.

This is how I always use a CPL.

The only filter I have that I'll use a step-down ring with is a variable ND; it's something I'll use very rarely, and when I do I know it's going to be tripod mounted.  I'll use my hand or hat to shade the lens to keep flare away.

For me, the lens hood is protective when using the camera, the lens cap is protective when storing the camera, so UV filters are only useful in dirty conditions, especially with wind.

I own UV filters, seldom use them; CPLs, use them when needed (reflective surfaces, bright sun, skies); grad ND, for sunrise/sunset pictures.

Advice given to me:  don't buy equipment of any kind until you know you need it and will use it.  Photography can be a "money pit" and purchasing filters, lenses, etc. because they sound good is a pathway to having a closet full of items you never use!

That's great advice

Mark

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Tom Axford
Senior MemberPosts: 1,139
Like?
I use UV filters more-or-less all the time.
In reply to SkywalkerR2D2, Jul 15, 2013

I belong to the minority who always use filters for protection. I have UV filters almost permanently fitted to all my lenses as a protection. I find it easier to clean the filter than the front element of the lens (although it is better to keep it clean in the first place).

There are very few situations in which the presence of the filter causes a degradation in image quality, and in those cases I might remove the filter.

In this thread , some examples showed that UV filters can significantly reduce the amount of purple fringing due to longitudinal chromatic aberration. Almost all of the fringing was removed by a stronger than usual UV filter (unfortunately not readily available commercially).

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daisy AU
Senior MemberPosts: 1,561Gear list
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to GreenMountainGirl, Jul 15, 2013

GreenMountainGirl wrote:

Daisy AU wrote:

If you are going to buy filters, you can get the biggest size according to what lenses you currently own (and which lenses you intend to purchase in the future), and then use step-down rings to be able to use the one filter with all your other lenses. Most of my filters are either 67 or 77.

I see a problem with this method. Using a lens hood will not be possible when using a filter larger than the lens. OP have said that a hood is not important when using a CPL, but sometimes after adjusting the filter, I snap the lens hood back on before shooting.

For me, the lens hood is protective when using the camera, the lens cap is protective when storing the camera, so UV filters are only useful in dirty conditions, especially with wind.

I own UV filters, seldom use them; CPLs, use them when needed (reflective surfaces, bright sun, skies); grad ND, for sunrise/sunset pictures.

Advice given to me: don't buy equipment of any kind until you know you need it and will use it. Photography can be a "money pit" and purchasing filters, lenses, etc. because they sound good is a pathway to having a closet full of items you never use!

Good Luck...

Susan

-- hide signature --

GreenMountainGirl

In my case, I have screw on lens hoods that match some of my filters, so that when using step-down rings I can still use a hood.

-- hide signature --

Thanks,
Daisy AU - Brisbane
( Nikon D7000 and V1 )
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ney_images/

 Daisy AU's gear list:Daisy AU's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mark B.
Forum ProPosts: 14,470
Like?
Re: I use UV filters more-or-less all the time.
In reply to Tom Axford, Jul 15, 2013

Tom Axford wrote:

I belong to the minority who always use filters for protection. I have UV filters almost permanently fitted to all my lenses as a protection. I find it easier to clean the filter than the front element of the lens (although it is better to keep it clean in the first place).

I'm not sure I understand this argument.  Whether you're cleaning the filter or the front element, you're still cleaning something.  Lens elements are actually tougher than glass filters and will stand up to multiple cleanings better.

Mark

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tim81786
Forum MemberPosts: 76Gear list
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to SkywalkerR2D2, Jul 15, 2013

Now that I am starting to do more landscapes I just purchased a set of Cokin ND grad filters(part of kit with slide holder) a ND filter and CPL.  From what I've heard UV filters are pointless as some others have stated because most lenses already have UV protection.  I can see using it in harsh conditions like sand or slat spray at a beach.  If you're worried about dropping it a lens hood should be sufficient.

 tim81786's gear list:tim81786's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 Canon EOS 600D Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Tom Axford
Senior MemberPosts: 1,139
Like?
Re: I use UV filters more-or-less all the time.
In reply to Mark B., Jul 15, 2013

Mark B. wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

I belong to the minority who always use filters for protection. I have UV filters almost permanently fitted to all my lenses as a protection. I find it easier to clean the filter than the front element of the lens (although it is better to keep it clean in the first place).

I'm not sure I understand this argument. Whether you're cleaning the filter or the front element, you're still cleaning something. Lens elements are actually tougher than glass filters and will stand up to multiple cleanings better.

Mark

UV filters (from a reputable manufacturer) are made out of the same sort of optical glass that is used for lens elements and have the same anti-reflection coatings. In general, I know of no reason to think that one is any softer than the other.

I find the flat filter easier to clean than many front lens elements, which are often curved and recessed more deeply.

However, I also worry less about damaging the filter - it is usually much cheaper to replace a filter than replace a lens.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Doug Pardee
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,444Gear list
Like?
Never
In reply to SkywalkerR2D2, Jul 15, 2013

I don't think I've used a filter in over five years. I have them; I just don't use them. I don't see the value vs. the tradeoffs — for everyday photography.

For some specific kinds of photography, specific filters can be useful. But if your photography interests lie elsewhere, filters are a waste of money.

-- hide signature --

The open-source LightZone Project: http://lightzoneproject.org/

 Doug Pardee's gear list:Doug Pardee's gear list
Olympus Stylus 1030 SW Canon EOS 350D Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 Snapseed +20 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mark B.
Forum ProPosts: 14,470
Like?
Re: I use UV filters more-or-less all the time.
In reply to Tom Axford, Jul 15, 2013

Tom Axford wrote:

Mark B. wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

I belong to the minority who always use filters for protection. I have UV filters almost permanently fitted to all my lenses as a protection. I find it easier to clean the filter than the front element of the lens (although it is better to keep it clean in the first place).

I'm not sure I understand this argument. Whether you're cleaning the filter or the front element, you're still cleaning something. Lens elements are actually tougher than glass filters and will stand up to multiple cleanings better.

Mark

UV filters (from a reputable manufacturer) are made out of the same sort of optical glass that is used for lens elements and have the same anti-reflection coatings. In general, I know of no reason to think that one is any softer than the other.

I find the flat filter easier to clean than many front lens elements, which are often curved and recessed more deeply.

However, I also worry less about damaging the filter - it is usually much cheaper to replace a filter than replace a lens.

Never had to replace a lens or had to get one repaired due to front element damage in over 15 years of lens use.  It also depends a lot on where one shoots; I tend not to shoot where there is an abundance of wind, debris, sand, etc.

Mark

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Combat By Design
Regular MemberPosts: 154Gear list
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to SkywalkerR2D2, Jul 15, 2013

Hey Luke,
I like my filters... I shoot kind of all over the place, but primarily at a river up in New Hampshire, and local concerts/shows. I almost alway have my polarizing filters on both my 18-135mm and my Zoom lenses as I shoot out doors A LOT, and really only change them out when I'm going to shoot inside.
I'll toss the UV filter I got with the camera on when I'm at shows to protect the lens itself, but that's because I only have a CPL and UV...
The reality of this situation is that you may lose a some sharpness in the photos, but if you like the way the photos look with the filters...shoot with the filters.
They're your photos, its' your art, it's your call...

 Combat By Design's gear list:Combat By Design's gear list
Canon EOS 650D Tamron SP AF 200-500mm F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF) Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Canon Pixma Pro-100 +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Klaus dk
Senior MemberPosts: 2,306Gear list
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to SkywalkerR2D2, Jul 15, 2013

Never. I could probably use an ND filter and a CPL filter, but I haven't felt the need yet.

 Klaus dk's gear list:Klaus dk's gear list
Canon PowerShot S100 Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM +6 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
GreenMountainGirl
Contributing MemberPosts: 639Gear list
Like?
Re: Filters..how frequently do you guys use them?
In reply to Daisy AU, Jul 16, 2013

Daisy AU wrote:

In my case, I have screw on lens hoods that match some of my filters, so that when using step-down rings I can still use a hood.

Daisy, Screw-on hoods is something I have been meaning to look into.  But thus I haven't had any problems with just snapping the hood on after adjusting the CPL.  I know OP who have the screw-on hoods and it sounds like a time-saver.

Susan

-- hide signature --

GreenMountainGirl

 GreenMountainGirl's gear list:GreenMountainGirl's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads