UV Filters....Yes or No?

Started Jan 22, 2014 | Discussions
Trheberling Regular Member • Posts: 125
UV Filters....Yes or No?

Hello everyone!

Ever since I started getting into DSLR video and photo about 4 years ago I always wondered if I should or shouldnt throw UV filters on my lenses. I always did from the start when I had cheaper glass, but now I have been investing in more expensive glass and wonder if any UV filter will do or if I need to look into more expensive options.

The lens I will be putting it on is the Sigma 85mm 1.4. I also plan to get a Sony 70-200 2.8 soon.

I mostly want the filter to protect my glass...I do use a lens hood but I figured the more protection the better right?

Thanks!

 Trheberling's gear list:Trheberling's gear list
Sony Alpha a99
sybersitizen Veteran Member • Posts: 9,886
Re: UV Filters....Yes or No?
2

No. (That's my opionion, of course. Yours may be different.)

dolbyscat
dolbyscat Regular Member • Posts: 250
Re: UV Filters....Yes or No?
2

I'm in the "no" camp as well, I use a filter as, or when needed.

 dolbyscat's gear list:dolbyscat's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony Alpha a99 Sony a6000 Sony DT 11-18mm F4.5-5.6 Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +6 more
MediaArchivist
MediaArchivist Veteran Member • Posts: 4,327
No (with qualifier)

I use a rubber lens hood indoors, and the packaged lens hood outdoors for protection. The only exception I would make is in a very dusty environment where the lens you are using does not change length externally. The ∑85/1.4 does not extend when focussing, although the inner section moves back and forth (but not the filter ring). This does cause a slight amount of air to move, and a filter of any kind on the front would create a (more or less) closed area that would help a great deal to prevent dust from getting into the lens and camera. Just to compare, I have the Minolta 85/1.4, and the entire front section moves a bit when focussing, including the filter. The lens becomes a piston, sucking and pushing air every time I focus.

For normal use in most environments, a UV or clear filter just creates another surface for flare.

-- hide signature --

Want a roXplosion!?

 MediaArchivist's gear list:MediaArchivist's gear list
Sony a99 II Sony 135mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* Sony 135mm F2.8 (T4.5) STF Sony 24mm F2 SSM Carl Zeiss Distagon T* Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art +22 more
Nereo Contributing Member • Posts: 802
Re: UV Filters....Yes or No?

it depends...

a UV filter protects the front element.  If the front element gets scratched you loose most of its usefulness and value (depending on how bad the scratches are and where on the glass).

The more expensive the lens, the more valuable it is to protect.

BUT...

any filter will degrade IQ somewhat.  Good filters will give virtually undetectable IQ loss in most scenerios (although with some lenses vignetting will increase, particularly wide-angle zooms).

FWIW I put a filter on any lens I'm likely to trot around with. If I'm going hiking or if the camera will go into and outof a bag frequently it'll have a filter on it.   When I'm doing studio shots, macro or have my camera on a tripod I typically have take the filter off.  For me it's a ~$25 insurance policy on the front element.

William Curtindale
William Curtindale Veteran Member • Posts: 7,882
Re: UV Filters....Yes or No?

A Yes for me.

I have all FF lenses (Carl Zeiss and Sony G) and have the Sony / Zeiss T* filter on each lens. That's just my preference.

-- hide signature --

A99, A900, A700 w/Zeiss + Sony G Glass
http://curtindale.net/ http://www.youtube.com/TheWillybug

VirtualMirage
VirtualMirage Veteran Member • Posts: 3,956
Re: UV Filters....Yes or No?

Add me to the 'no' camp.  It's just one more piece of glass that can degrade image quality.  The only filter I want on the front of my lens is one that is needed to achieve a certain effect, such as a polarizer or an ND filter.

Here's an article that neither promotes nor demotes the use of a UV filter but does show some of the impacts using a filter can do to your image:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7333331953/should-you-use-a-uv-filter-on-your-lens

Here's an article that shows how much (or how little) debris and such on the front lens element impacts your image quality:

http://kurtmunger.com/dirty_lens_articleid35.html

-- hide signature --

Paul

 VirtualMirage's gear list:VirtualMirage's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony a77 II Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD +18 more
JerryCurtis Veteran Member • Posts: 9,017
No here...

For all the same reasons already mentioned...

What protection does a paper-thin bit of brittle glass offer if a projectile is about to hit your lens's front element? Very little, and the glass shards could do additional damage, even.

The only place I use a protective filter is on the ocean, shooting whales or seabirds. I don't like the idea of seawater on the front lens element - especially whale spray that is very oily.

-- hide signature --

*Jerry*
Sony V1, H5, A350 and A77... Still learning...
'The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.'
-- Dorothea Lange
http://www.pbase.com/icicle50/root
http://www.pbase.com/icicle50/image/88943577/medium.jpg

 JerryCurtis's gear list:JerryCurtis's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V1 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H5 Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 Sony SLT-A77 Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM +9 more
Jeadm Senior Member • Posts: 1,738
Re: UV Filters....Yes or No?

It's a personal decision really, there isn't a right or wrong answer (and you'll find no universal agreement on the subject either).  I would only say that if you do choose to use one, don't get the cheapest thing you can find.  While some may argue anything in front of the lens detracts from IQ, a lousy filter really wrecks it.  You want a higher quality filter that something $10 won't get you.  When I use them I usually get a B+W UV MRC filter like this model here, they're high quality and well regarded.  I use a filter more often than not.  Hope that helps.

 Jeadm's gear list:Jeadm's gear list
Sony a77 II Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM +15 more
justharry Regular Member • Posts: 370
... well, it's a yes from me ...

... I seem to be the distinct minority here, but you can imagine my relief when I removed my B&W Filter and found that - yes - it was only the filter that was cracked and not my precious 16 - 50! This happened during one of those once in a lifetime trips to Hawaii as I was climbing out of lava tunnel and the camera (as well as my knee) hit the asphalt lens first.  Yes I should have had the lens cap on, and I did not have hood on (which probably would have also saved the lens, but was shooting in low light) ... but the B&W lives on my lens (i.e. on every one of them).  Am neither arguing nor denying the image degradation issue, I'm just responding directly to your question from another point of view.

http://www.amazon.com/72mm-Clear-Haze-Multi-Resistant-Coating/dp/B0000BZL9J/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390432631&sr=8-1&keywords=b%26w+72mm+uv+filter

 justharry's gear list:justharry's gear list
Canon PowerShot SD700 IS Canon PowerShot G9 Sony SLT-A77 Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +2 more
nandbytes Senior Member • Posts: 5,972
Yes and No
1

I have used some really nice quality expensive filters in past (mainly hoya pro i think) and have noticed no IQ difference. So in this case I would use it, especially on a CZ lens for example.

But recently I have invested in other filters I use anyways (cokin, polarising, ND grad etc). So the lenses I use are well protected from the front glass point of view.

But if my lens is worth less than £50 each, which all my minoltas are (beercan, and recently ordered 50mm+28mm), I am not going to spend £40 on a a filter for those. Those lenses are probably worth slightly more in this country at least but I just bid at ridiculous times so I got good deals.

 nandbytes's gear list:nandbytes's gear list
Panasonic LX100 Sony Alpha a7R III Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM Sony FE 35mm F1.4 Sony FE 85mm F1.8 +2 more
MrChristopher
MrChristopher Senior Member • Posts: 1,296
Re: ... well, it's a yes from me ...
1

I don't let anything get between my lens and my subject.
--
http://chriscurnutt.tumblr.com/

 MrChristopher's gear list:MrChristopher's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R +1 more
123Mike Veteran Member • Posts: 4,643
Re: UV Filters....Yes or No?
2

No. I don't think it'll ever improve image quality. It'll only deteriorate it, with all kinds of reflections all over the place. The best way to protect the lens is the lens hood. It's also not necessary to put the lens cap back on as much as you might without a lens hood.

K E Hoffman
K E Hoffman Senior Member • Posts: 5,102
Re: UV Filters....Yes or No?

Rarely...  Might if I am wrapping the camera for rain..

But also think about dry winds... where sand could hit the lens or get wedged in the edges of the element.. sand / silica is the one thing that can scratch Gorilla Glass.

I have a set.. and some polarizers.. Don't use them much

I did some tests even with good ones like B+W and did find at times I could find IQ issues..

reflections glare etc..

almost all my lenses have hoods so I use that to reduce the chances of the front element being compromised. or the lens is recessed from the end..

If you see a reflection when you look at your filter at an angle.. that is light not getting to your sensor... like the SLT mirror.. but it is doing a lot less for you.

-- hide signature --

K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<
Don't Panic!.. these are just opinions... go take some pictures..

 K E Hoffman's gear list:K E Hoffman's gear list
Canon EOS 450D Nikon 1 J1 Sony a6500 Sony E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS +3 more
AarSee
AarSee Veteran Member • Posts: 4,673
To Filter or Not to Filter
2

To Filter, or not to Filter, that is the question—
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous opinions,

Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To Filter, to sleep—

My apologies to William Shakespeare.

-- hide signature --

Rick

 AarSee's gear list:AarSee's gear list
Sony a77 II Sony RX100 III Sony Alpha NEX-3N Sony a6500 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS +11 more
Alan_S
Alan_S Senior Member • Posts: 1,831
nope (NT)
-- hide signature --

- AlanS

 Alan_S's gear list:Alan_S's gear list
Sony a99 II Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II +2 more
cosmonaut
cosmonaut Senior Member • Posts: 2,223
Re: UV Filters....Yes or No?
1

Only when in dusty, sandy wind blown environments. Otherwise a lens hood.

-- hide signature --

www.gregmccary.com

WaltKnapp Forum Pro • Posts: 13,857
Re: UV Filters....Yes or No?
3

Trheberling wrote:

Hello everyone!

Ever since I started getting into DSLR video and photo about 4 years ago I always wondered if I should or shouldnt throw UV filters on my lenses. I always did from the start when I had cheaper glass, but now I have been investing in more expensive glass and wonder if any UV filter will do or if I need to look into more expensive options.

The lens I will be putting it on is the Sigma 85mm 1.4. I also plan to get a Sony 70-200 2.8 soon.

I mostly want the filter to protect my glass...I do use a lens hood but I figured the more protection the better right?

Thanks!

At least match the quality of the filter to the quality of the lens.  I, in fact may be using a filter that's much higher quality than the lens it's on, that's how you insure the optics.  Most of the folks having problems with filters are cheapskates and cut corners with the quality of the filter they use.  You can even get things like the latest nano coated filters now.

The primary damage I have a filter on to prevent is the wearing away of the lens surface and it's coatings by cleaning the lens.  The filter takes the wear instead, and even if it's quite a expensive filter it's a lot cheaper than a lens.

Folks always seem to want to protect the lens from blows.  Well, It's very very rare that I drop a lens.  When not in use it's not only got caps front and rear, but is in a padded lens case. Lots of protection in that part against blows.  And, yes the special tempering of some high quality filters makes them extra tough as well. I don't consider blows to be all that significant a reason to use the filter.

Lens hoods are not the same type of protection and do not substitute for the protection of a filter. Hoods have an entirely different function.

As far as being a UV filter or not, a UV filter at high altitude is going to help the image a lot. At sea level far less.  So your protective filter could be one of the new ones that are clear and only for protection if you are only going to be at low altitude.

I use protective filters and get ones that can be left on fulltime.  No matter what the lens cost. Since I tend to primarily buy the higher quality lenses it's rare for the filter to be a significant part of the combined cost.

Lensmate
Lensmate Senior Member • Posts: 2,346
Re: UV Filters....Yes or No?
3

Don't ever use one when shooting the aurora borealis...........you'll get coating 'rings' on all your photos!

Once you get use to being careful with your lense and camera, you'll kiss those filters goodbye..

-M

nandbytes Senior Member • Posts: 5,972
best answer /nt

No text.

 nandbytes's gear list:nandbytes's gear list
Panasonic LX100 Sony Alpha a7R III Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM Sony FE 35mm F1.4 Sony FE 85mm F1.8 +2 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads