Do you use a UV filter as protection?

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Michael Benveniste
Michael Benveniste Veteran Member • Posts: 4,880
Re: Do you use a UV filter as protection?

nosiesta wrote:


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

I don't think there's a photographic subject which generates so much debate and so much heat about so little. The discussion is perpetual, and it always comes down to a subjective judgement of risk and cost.

To address a few points already made in this thread.

  • Unless designed or modified to be "full spectrum", digital sensors filter out UV.
  • Modern lens coatings also filter out UV.
  • UV filters block a measurable amount of light in the violet portion of the spectrum.
  • Protective filters, Lens hoods and insurance provide different and somewhat overlapping forms of protection. A filter acts as a physical barrier between the front element and things like salt spray and thrown dirt and rocks. A lens hood helps to prevent intrusive objects from reaching the front element, and can also absorb more energy from contact than a filter.
  • Just because a filter breaks doesn't mean that it "saved the lens."
  • Any filter, even a clear protector, increases the likelihood of flare.

I personally use protective filters only in adverse environmental conditions. I've paid a price for that choice. Two of my lenses picked up front element "marks" from debris which a protective filter might have prevented. Such marks have virtually no impact on optical performance, but can reduce resale value by 50% or so. On the other hand, I did go out and buy lens hoods for both my m43 lenses with came without them.   I stopped buying UV filters over a dozen years ago.

Given a choice between using a hood or a filter, I'd choose a hood every time. But it's your gear, your money, and your choice.  Filter out the exaggerated claims and go with what feels right to you.

-- hide signature --

Light travels at 2.13085531 × 10^14 smoots per fortnight. Catch some today!

 Michael Benveniste's gear list:Michael Benveniste's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 995 Nikon D800 Nikon 1 V2 Nikon D7200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 +40 more
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
(unknown member)
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow