Do you use a UV filter as protection?

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Messier Object Veteran Member • Posts: 8,808
Re: Do you use a UV filter as protection?

bobn2 wrote:

nosiesta wrote:


What's the current thinking on using a decent UV filter to protect the lens outer element?

I always have in the past but just picked up a new lens and am debating it now. Obviously the quality of the lens is only going to be as good as the filter glass it's shooting through.

I do a lot of rock climbing so the chance of a scratch is higher than normal.

In the past I've always gone for a B+W UV (never a Skylight). Hoods add bulk and are faff (yep, I know they held with contrast and flare etc)


I stopped fitting UV filters when I had a lens scratched as a result of the UV filter. My camera was dropped by a security guard in airport security, he picked it up, put it back on the tray with the other baggage and it wen't through the x-ray machine. When I picked it up, I was relieved to see it was unharmed, except that the filter had broken. When I looked more closely a little later waiting for the plane, I found that the broken glass had been pressed up against the lens, which now had a few scratches on it. Since then, I haven't fitted a UV filter - whilst it might help in some cases, there are others where it can make things worse. I don't think the bulk of a hood is a serious issue when climbing or hiking, they aren't that big and they are very light, and if you're not fitting the lens cap so as to be ready to shoot any time, then you probably would want to have a hood fitted anyway. I generally keep the hood fitted when the camera is round my neck. When the lens cap is on, mostly the hood fits reversed anyway, and then don't add appreciably to the bulk and ad a bit of protection to the outside of the lens.

Your anecdote can be interpreted another way. Perhaps the breaking filter absorbed energy in the fall, saving the front element of your lens from a lot worse than a few scratches.

I dropped a holster bag containing my E-M1II with 12-60mm fitted. It was a straight drop of 1.5m into hard dirt - landing lens first with the lens cap being  smashed against the filter. The filter shattered. The front element suffered some minor scuffing to its coating but the lens was otherwise OK and fully operational for the rest of the vacation.


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