question about filters and IQ

Started Aug 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
scorrpio Veteran Member • Posts: 3,595
Re: question about filters and IQ

Sir Canon wrote:

yes but a shattered front element costs way more.

Show me one situation where an impact heavy enough to shatter the extremely thick, curved, tough and internal strain-free (strains cause optical aberrations) front element would be averted by a 1mm-thick flat piece of glass? There are plenty of shattered filter pictures out there. That's what they are: filters shattered by impacts that the lens itself would just shrug off. Might as well put a porcelain cup on a steel plate, drop a brick on it, and claim that the shattered cup 'prevented damage to the steel plate'. Me, I am yet to see a shattered element that would have been saved by a filter.   BTW, it is not THAT expensive.    Google about it - about $280 parts and labor for 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM.    Around $150 for 17-55 f/2.8.    Plus the cost of the filter, if there was one.

Show me one study by any filter maker where lens are subjected to various types of damage, with and without filters - showing that filter makes a difference. I am not talking about conditions where you got flying shrapnel or spray paint in the air. After shoots like that, you take the filter off and put it in the garbage. Probably wouldn't use a Heliopan. And with that much gunk in the air, it probably won't matter anyway if the filter is a $5 or $150 one.

As to getting an occasional ding or scratch? A hood will prevent vast majority of those, and as to how a scratched lens performs, see this:

If what matters most to you is your lens resale value, consider this: I bought a used original Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 (non-OS) on eBay for $560. It had pristine 'always used a filter' front element, but the filter itself was a goner, since owner apparently used it in lieu of a lens cap. I used that lens for almost 4 years, no filter, but always with hood. And with a proper cap when not in use. When I upgraded to Canon 70-200 2.8L IS II, I sold the Sigma for $500 - price difference mainly due to the elapsed 4 years and OS version dropping ~$300 and pushing the other prices down.

So, YMMV, but in my case, I am yet to see a single case of clear filter providing even a marginal benefit.

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