49mm UV filter /protective filter for nex 5n

Started Feb 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
TOF guy Forum Pro • Posts: 14,794
Hoods protect a lens better than a filter

A filter will protect the front surface of the glass.

To some degree.

Filters will protect the front element. A hood only marginally.

It would seem so since a filter is in front of the lens. However it is the exact opposite in practice: the filter sometimes fail to protect a front element (not frequent, but not rare either), while the hood is very effective at protecting the lens (not just the front element).

There are two issues with filters:

  • They may shatter, and the piece of filters may scratch the front element behind the filter. This happens more than one would think, see for instance this thread
  • The filter does not absorb any of the impact. It attaches tightly to the front element and communicate the whole force of the impact to the lens. The result may be internal damage to the lens even if the front element stays intact (see the thread I pointed to for people who have had that exact experience). By contrast the hood breaks the fall, and, if the impact is severe, will pass the brunt of the energy to the spring which connects it to the lens. The hood will become useless because the spring and clipping mechanism will be toast. But a hood is cheap to replace, and the lens will be fine.

Filters often work, but not as well as a hood.

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Thierry -

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