UV Filter Question

Started Feb 16, 2003 | Discussions thread
Gregory Smith Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: UV Filter Question

I keep a UV filter on my 35mm SLR lenses by default for no-brainer protection, but I remove it in all medium to low light situations, since I don't need to make the light work any harder to get to my film. You can often see a difference in the auto settings with the filter on/off; try it on a tripod with a fixed subject.

I have compared bright outdoor shots with the UV filter on/off and could only detect a very slight difference in the sky blue tint. In some cases, the UV filter seemed to yield a slight (subjective) improvement, and in others, it had a slight negative effect. Generally it seems to work best with photos mixing bright skies with dark or richly colored ground subjects, but the differences in the photos are always slight.

Whenever I take the filter off I quickly replace it when I am done, as it is wonderful cheap insurance.

Marc Jutras wrote:

Martin Stein wrote:

I used to do that. But John Shaw in his excellent "Nature
Photographie Field Guide" discourages in the filter section of the
book the use of a UV filter as permanent "protection". Your image
quality will suffer. Better to always use a lens cap.

So what I do now is leave the adapter on all the time and
religiously put a 58mm lens cap back on. The G3 looks more
'professional' with the adapter, the lens is protected and no image
quality reduction.

Disadvantage is that the viewfinder is always obstructed. Also the
lens cap pops off when I turn the camera on (gets pushed out). I
would like to find a lens cap that sits just a bit higher, more
removed from the lens.

I'd like to know the ratio between image quality loss vs lens
protection and convenience of the UV filter.

John Shaw might be right but to me, it sounds like a quality
freak's point of view. I hung around some real outdoors photograhy
maniacs and they would pack an entire 4x5 kit for casual shooting
and wouldn't consider anything less than an 8x10 view camera for
serious work. Of course, they saw "huge" differences between two
identical filters from the same brand and would spend hours
discussing it!

I prefer to protect my lens and lose that 0.0001% in image quality
(which a CCD might not see!). A fellow on this forum had to pay
700 $CAN to get his G3 lens fixed. We all get to be anal about
something and I choose lens safety over quality.

Of course, if you see a difference with and without filter and
can't live with it, take it off and enjoy your hobby again!

-- hide signature --

Marc Jutras
G3 + 420ex

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