Question about filters

Started Aug 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 5,759
Re: Question about filters

As I recall, (and I can't re-read the link because it's in Polish) the Opticzyne tests on various filters found that they vary quite a bit and unfortunately that you don't always get what you pay for.

There is a body of thought around that one should protect by using a filter only when there's an identified need for protection (like blown sand and sea spray).  There are two flaws in this argument.  One is that this doesn't protect against unidentified threats.  (No threat at a family dinner?  Try a well aimed handful of spaghetti bolognaise as you snap baby Johnny).  The other is that if the images are good enough (for you/your client) with the filter on when there is a threat, why aren't they good enough at other times?

My recommendation is to test your own filter if you want to be completely confident.  Then you're not reliant on anyone else's tests - you're evaluating the one you're actually going to use.  No theory, no opinion - your lens, your filter.  I'd be tempted to get a higher grade filter from one of the standard lines like Hoya and try it.  Set your camera on a tripod and take a set of identical shots with and without.  Pixel peep, and you've got your answer.

I used to do this rigorously but got tired of it because most of the time I couldn't see any difference.  I have had many landscape photos published and almost all were taken with a lens with a filter on for protection.  I don't publish much any more but I still use them -  I feel a bit more confident of protecting my lenses when I do use a filter - I still do a lot of hiking and outdoor photography.

I agree with the earlier posters sentiment about hoods - they're good.  It's not either/or though - you can use both and in some cases that may be worthwhile.

Cheers, Rod

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