Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

Started Apr 15, 2014 | Discussions
NAwlins Contrarian Senior Member • Posts: 2,955
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

tqlla wrote:

If you are spending $50, you might as well go all out.

I bought my Sony Zeiss 77CPAM for $66

My research suggested that the top-end Hoyas are actually better that those filters. Lensrentals.com did some tests, I think this is the article:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/06/good-times-with-bad-filters

Also, Hoya has a wide range of options, depending on whether you just want a glass protector (i.e., little to no actual filtration) or you want something like a UV filter.

 NAwlins Contrarian's gear list:NAwlins Contrarian's gear list
Nikon Coolpix S30 Canon PowerShot S110 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +5 more
tqlla Veteran Member • Posts: 4,893
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

NAwlins Contrarian wrote:

tqlla wrote:

If you are spending $50, you might as well go all out.

I bought my Sony Zeiss 77CPAM for $66

My research suggested that the top-end Hoyas are actually better that those filters. Lensrentals.com did some tests, I think this is the article:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/06/good-times-with-bad-filters

Also, Hoya has a wide range of options, depending on whether you just want a glass protector (i.e., little to no actual filtration) or you want something like a UV filter.

Hmmm, I think you have the wrong article.

Here is a test of 4 filters including the Zeiss UV filter and Hoya Pro1D UV filter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfAwd_8aklE

You can see one clearly outclasses the others in the UV filtration test.

 tqlla's gear list:tqlla's gear list
Sony RX1R II Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony Alpha a99 Sony a99 II Sony 16mm F2.8 Fisheye +10 more
heliguy Regular Member • Posts: 410
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

I cracked 2 uv filters last year, both Times they saved the front element from damage. So I really don't care @ the iq debate......

 heliguy's gear list:heliguy's gear list
Sony RX100 III Sony a77 II
Renato1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,327
Minolta Filter Experience.

Some time back, I bought a Minolta 200mm f/2.8 G lens which came with its own specially made filter, with creamy white edge to exactly match the lens.

I took shots and was getting weird results.

Puzzled, I eventually took the lens off and cleaned the inside of the lens - which had quite a film on it. There wasn't any film on the outside. The lens then worked fine.
I've since cleaned a number of filters on Minolta and other old lenses, and a few seemed to have a fine film inside rather than outside - though none as bad as with that 200mm lens.

Is it the lens or is it the filter? I suspect something in the lens.
Regards,
Renato

RoxanneY Contributing Member • Posts: 646
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

William Curtindale wrote:

I guess I'm an old stuck in the mud and will never get out of that mode.

When I order a new $2000 lens I always add a T* filter to the order and install it when the lens is received.

I am fortunate to enough to have all high quality lenses that suite my photographic needs and I have a T* filter on each.

I have used T* filters on all my lenses way back from the days when Hasselblad introduced T* coatings. At that time I did a research project to analyze the capability and affect of T* coatings. If I remember correctly, the T* coating thickness was equal to one third the length of green light wave length and would greatly reduce refraction / reflections inside the lens. The signal of light passing through T* coatings would cancel unwanted characteristics and retain contrast.

I know modern lenses have coatings to handle these things but I am still stuck on using a T* filter (maybe too bad for me but that's it).

Oh, yes I have had an occasion where the filter has saved the front lens element.

Hi William!  What is a T* filter?  Is it a Tiffen?  Sorry for my ignorance.

For those of you in the know, what is the best filter to purchase?  I may splurge for my better lenses.  So far I only have Tiffens.

Did any of you test and confirm?  I tried my beercan 70-210 w/ and w/o my Tiffen and it seems to be the same.  I need to test my large beercan, but as I recall I didn't like it much because it wasn't sharp.  Hopefully this will fix the problem.

Roxanne

-- hide signature --

Don't focus on exceptional photography focus on exceptional subjects to photograph. -Bill

tqlla Veteran Member • Posts: 4,893
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

RoxanneY wrote:

William Curtindale wrote:


Hi William! What is a T* filter? Is it a Tiffen? Sorry for my ignorance.

For those of you in the know, what is the best filter to purchase? I may splurge for my better lenses. So far I only have Tiffens.

Did any of you test and confirm? I tried my beercan 70-210 w/ and w/o my Tiffen and it seems to be the same. I need to test my large beercan, but as I recall I didn't like it much because it wasn't sharp. Hopefully this will fix the problem.

Roxanne

He means Zeiss Tessar T* filters

 tqlla's gear list:tqlla's gear list
Sony RX1R II Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony Alpha a99 Sony a99 II Sony 16mm F2.8 Fisheye +10 more
cplunk Senior Member • Posts: 1,834
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

tqlla wrote:

NAwlins Contrarian wrote:

tqlla wrote:

If you are spending $50, you might as well go all out.

I bought my Sony Zeiss 77CPAM for $66

My research suggested that the top-end Hoyas are actually better that those filters. Lensrentals.com did some tests, I think this is the article:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/06/good-times-with-bad-filters

Also, Hoya has a wide range of options, depending on whether you just want a glass protector (i.e., little to no actual filtration) or you want something like a UV filter.

Hmmm, I think you have the wrong article.

Here is a test of 4 filters including the Zeiss UV filter and Hoya Pro1D UV filter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfAwd_8aklE

You can see one clearly outclasses the others in the UV filtration test.

Interesting test, VERY interesting results.

But, I don't think anyone is actively trying to filter UV on this discussion, just using the filters to protect the glass on there lens with as little side effect as possible. Of course, one might assume that the company doing the best job at making the filter effective may have the best overall filter.

 cplunk's gear list:cplunk's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony Alpha a99 Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha DSLR-A330 Sony a6300 +19 more
tqlla Veteran Member • Posts: 4,893
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

cplunk wrote:

tqlla wrote:

NAwlins Contrarian wrote:

tqlla wrote:

If you are spending $50, you might as well go all out.

I bought my Sony Zeiss 77CPAM for $66

My research suggested that the top-end Hoyas are actually better that those filters. Lensrentals.com did some tests, I think this is the article:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/06/good-times-with-bad-filters

Also, Hoya has a wide range of options, depending on whether you just want a glass protector (i.e., little to no actual filtration) or you want something like a UV filter.

Hmmm, I think you have the wrong article.

Here is a test of 4 filters including the Zeiss UV filter and Hoya Pro1D UV filter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfAwd_8aklE

You can see one clearly outclasses the others in the UV filtration test.

Interesting test, VERY interesting results.

But, I don't think anyone is actively trying to filter UV on this discussion, just using the filters to protect the glass on there lens with as little side effect as possible. Of course, one might assume that the company doing the best job at making the filter effective may have the best overall filter.

I dont care about the UV filtration either, but I do care that the filter does what it claims to do.  In this case, the Zeiss UV filter is obviously superior to the other UV filters.

 tqlla's gear list:tqlla's gear list
Sony RX1R II Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony Alpha a99 Sony a99 II Sony 16mm F2.8 Fisheye +10 more
mick232 Contributing Member • Posts: 964
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

I made the same experience a while ago. I inherited a couple of Minolta lenses, all came with UV filters. I was so disappointed about the image quality until I removed the filters.

Since that day, I have never been using filters again.

 mick232's gear list:mick232's gear list
Sony Alpha a99 Sony Alpha NEX-C3 Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN Sony 135mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD +19 more
RoxanneY Contributing Member • Posts: 646
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

tqlla wrote:

RoxanneY wrote:

William Curtindale wrote:

Hi William! What is a T* filter? Is it a Tiffen? Sorry for my ignorance.

For those of you in the know, what is the best filter to purchase? I may splurge for my better lenses. So far I only have Tiffens.

Did any of you test and confirm? I tried my beercan 70-210 w/ and w/o my Tiffen and it seems to be the same. I need to test my large beercan, but as I recall I didn't like it much because it wasn't sharp. Hopefully this will fix the problem.

Roxanne

He means Zeiss Tessar T* filters

Wow, those are pricey!  Probably not worth protecting my Minoltas with those, but maybe for my more pricey lens I should take the plunge.

Thanks tqlla!

-- hide signature --

Don't focus on exceptional photography focus on exceptional subjects to photograph. -Bill

tqlla Veteran Member • Posts: 4,893
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

RoxanneY wrote:

tqlla wrote:

RoxanneY wrote:

William Curtindale wrote:

Hi William! What is a T* filter? Is it a Tiffen? Sorry for my ignorance.

For those of you in the know, what is the best filter to purchase? I may splurge for my better lenses. So far I only have Tiffens.

Did any of you test and confirm? I tried my beercan 70-210 w/ and w/o my Tiffen and it seems to be the same. I need to test my large beercan, but as I recall I didn't like it much because it wasn't sharp. Hopefully this will fix the problem.

Roxanne

He means Zeiss Tessar T* filters

Wow, those are pricey! Probably not worth protecting my Minoltas with those, but maybe for my more pricey lens I should take the plunge.

Thanks tqlla!

For the Minolta, I would suggest buying the Hoya Pro1 Digital filter from amazon. I think you need a 55mm uv filter, which is $14 +shipping from amazon(free with prime)

http://www.amazon.com/Hoya-55mm-Digital-Multi-Coated-Filter/dp/B000BH1MHW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397701204&sr=8-1&keywords=hoya+pro+1+digital+55mm

 tqlla's gear list:tqlla's gear list
Sony RX1R II Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony Alpha a99 Sony a99 II Sony 16mm F2.8 Fisheye +10 more
RoxanneY Contributing Member • Posts: 646
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

tqlla wrote:

RoxanneY wrote:

tqlla wrote:

RoxanneY wrote:

William Curtindale wrote:

Hi William! What is a T* filter? Is it a Tiffen? Sorry for my ignorance.

For those of you in the know, what is the best filter to purchase? I may splurge for my better lenses. So far I only have Tiffens.

Did any of you test and confirm? I tried my beercan 70-210 w/ and w/o my Tiffen and it seems to be the same. I need to test my large beercan, but as I recall I didn't like it much because it wasn't sharp. Hopefully this will fix the problem.

Roxanne

He means Zeiss Tessar T* filters

Wow, those are pricey! Probably not worth protecting my Minoltas with those, but maybe for my more pricey lens I should take the plunge.

Thanks tqlla!

For the Minolta, I would suggest buying the Hoya Pro1 Digital filter from amazon. I think you need a 55mm uv filter, which is $14 +shipping from amazon(free with prime)

http://www.amazon.com/Hoya-55mm-Digital-Multi-Coated-Filter/dp/B000BH1MHW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397701204&sr=8-1&keywords=hoya+pro+1+digital+55mm

Thanks for the link tqlla!

Do most pros agree that UV filters work?  Just wondering.  All of my lenses currently have Tiffen UV filters on them.

Roxanne

-- hide signature --

Don't focus on exceptional photography focus on exceptional subjects to photograph. -Bill

tqlla Veteran Member • Posts: 4,893
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

Thanks for the link tqlla!

Do most pros agree that UV filters work? Just wondering. All of my lenses currently have Tiffen UV filters on them.

Roxanne

No, filters usually degrade the quality.  BUT if you want to protect your lens, then you should buy a UV filter.

Better filters should not degrade the quality by much.

 tqlla's gear list:tqlla's gear list
Sony RX1R II Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony Alpha a99 Sony a99 II Sony 16mm F2.8 Fisheye +10 more
Michel J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
A fundamental issue...

First of all, thanks a lot for sharing this!

Now a fundamental issue, not about front filter nor front lens, but concerning the groups of lenses themselves, inside. Few weeks ago I makes some testing with old Minolta lenses and get cottony rendering, mostly called "lenses haze".

In respond to your thread, I am wondering if maybe that is not one of the major concerns for these oldies lenses we like (near 30 years old lenses such as: SH, BC, BBC and so on). Here the question: does a very small amount of powder of dust can penetrate inside and are deposited on both sides of the lenses over time, and can give rise to specific concerns (lenses haze?) due to their potential to accumulate and to the unpredictability of the effects of such accumulation in the long term.

So, do we need to take care of this small amount of dust inside, or mostly these lenses are virtually "maintenance-free" and do not need servicing to remove this tad of deposition for literally decades?

JohnFrim wrote:

I know this debate has gone on forever and will not likely end any time soon. My intent here is not to rekindle such discussion, but rather to show that a cheap filter may not be a good idea.

I have always believed in using a protective filter for all those good reasons (prevent accidental damage, frequent cleaning, etc) AND because I believed that a (good quality) filter will not degrade an image. Further, when you see Kurt Munger's Dirty Lens article you kind of think that anything really close to the lens probably does not affect the image quality a great deal. Finally, we have all taken photos through dirty windows, and we know that holding the camera close to the window greatly reduces the effects of the window dirt.

I have a few Minolta lenses from my Maxxum days, so I pulled out my 75-300 mm Big Beer Can the other day to shoot some wildlife on my A57. The lens has not been used for many years, but I have always taken good care of my equipment and the lens looks like new. The filter on the front is an Optex 55 mm HAZE(UV) and it did not appear "overly" filthy, but it did appear to have a film of sorts.

I was VERY disappointed with what I was seeing on the LCD display when I magnified the images. Thinking it was perhaps just poor focus I took several shots, but they all looked bad. I did not have my tripod along, but I decided to shoot a few photos of a distant scene with the lens sitting quite solidly on my thighs while sitting on a bench. Shutter speeds were reasonably high to stop motion blur on Day 1, and very high (with elevated ISO) on Day 2.

The first two photos below are with the dirty filter.

Day 1, dirty filter.

Day 1, dirty filter.

The next image below is with the filter removed and is noticeably sharper.

Day 1, no filter.

I went home that day and cleaned the filter several times with lens cleaning fluid and a microfiber cloth. It actually took several fairly aggressive attempts to get the film off both surfaces of the filter, as seen by angling it against the light. It finally looked pristinely clean.

A few days later I returned to the same spot and took photos with and without the filter.

Day 2, clean filter.

JF

-- hide signature --

Cordialement,
Michel J
« Shoot RAW+ ...think JPEG »

 Michel J's gear list:Michel J's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony SLT-A37 Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +10 more
OP JohnFrim Contributing Member • Posts: 572
Re: A fundamental issue...

Michel J wrote:

First of all, thanks a lot for sharing this!

Now a fundamental issue, not about front filter nor front lens, but concerning the groups of lenses themselves, inside. Few weeks ago I makes some testing with old Minolta lenses and get cottony rendering, mostly called "lenses haze".

In respond to your thread, I am wondering if maybe that is not one of the major concerns for these oldies lenses we like (near 30 years old lenses such as: SH, BC, BBC and so on). Here the question: does a very small amount of powder of dust can penetrate inside and are deposited on both sides of the lenses over time, and can give rise to specific concerns (lenses haze?) due to their potential to accumulate and to the unpredictability of the effects of such accumulation in the long term.

So, do we need to take care of this small amount of dust inside, or mostly these lenses are virtually "maintenance-free" and do not need servicing to remove this tad of deposition for literally decades?

-- hide signature --

Cordialement,
Michel J
« Shoot RAW+ ...think JPEG »

When I examine the lens I don't see significant material of any kind inside the lens. I can see the odd little spec of dust somewhere, but nothing that would affect so much of the image as shown in my photos. I tried hard to look for a filminess of sorts inside, but to me it looks very clean and clear in that regard. Also, while this lens is old, I have to admit that it did not get used all that much over those many years, so it was capped at both ends for most of its life. And over the past 10 years it certainly wasn't used because that's when I moved to digital point & shoot (boy, was that expensive considering what $800 buys you today!!).

Enough people have confirmed to me that filter/lens interaction can be quite specific, with certain lenses being more susceptible to degradation. And I know my filter is not overly expensive.

It will be a few weeks before I can get to more detailed testing of filter/lens interactions, but I do want to check out a few other combinations to at least resolve how I should handle my equipment -- to shoot with or without a filter on specific lenses. I will worry less about possible damage and aim for good clear photos. In 50 years of photography I have never damaged any equipment (so, yes, statistically I am due for the big one :-D) and I am willing to take that chance now.

J

 JohnFrim's gear list:JohnFrim's gear list
Sony SLT-A57 Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM Sony DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 +3 more
Allan Olesen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,391
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

heliguy wrote:

I cracked 2 uv filters last year, both Times they saved the front element from damage. So I really don't care @ the iq debate......

I will ask the same question to you as I did earlier in the thread:

How do you know that the filters saved the front element?

fishy wishy
fishy wishy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,333
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

RoxanneY wrote:

Do most pros agree that UV filters work? Just wondering. All of my lenses currently have Tiffen UV filters on them.

Tiffen didn't do very well in a UV filter roundup by lenstip - http://www.lenstip.com/113.24-article-UV_filters_test_Tiffen_72mm_UV.html

You may not think you need specific UV filtering if your sensor is insensitive to it.

Not all filters are created equally. Looking at spectacle manufacturing, the price rises sharply for  coating add-ons.

The best filters seem to be those with multiple coatings which mute the reflections at different layers. You can see the effect of the multiple coating yourself, like a double reflected image in different colours.

I typically use filters for safer transport and ease of cleaning, but anyone would have to carefully consider the quality if they were shooting toward strong light sources because the main image quality issue is of flare and reflections.

Michel J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

Allan Olesen wrote:

heliguy wrote:

I cracked 2 uv filters last year, both Times they saved the front element from damage. So I really don't care @ the iq debate......

I will ask the same question to you as I did earlier in the thread:

How do you know that the filters saved the front element?

I personnaly saved the front element, when my 28-135mm knock a marble floor, attached to my Minolta 9000.

The glass of the UV was ruptured by the violence of the shock and I only could remove it by bending the metallic ring around (after removing the broken glass). The edge of the SH was bended as well, and I had to sent it to replace the metallic front element, by the customer service, but the front lens in optical glass was totally intact. He fell more than one meter high, and if the UV filter had not absorbed the shock, it was absolutely certain that the front lens which paid for it (and it would have been good for the trash) an assumption yes, but with strong probability!

It was just my luck !

-- hide signature --

Cordialement,
Michel J
« Shoot RAW+ ...think JPEG »

 Michel J's gear list:Michel J's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony SLT-A37 Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +10 more
cplunk Senior Member • Posts: 1,834
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

Michel J wrote:

Allan Olesen wrote:

heliguy wrote:

I cracked 2 uv filters last year, both Times they saved the front element from damage. So I really don't care @ the iq debate......

I will ask the same question to you as I did earlier in the thread:

How do you know that the filters saved the front element?

I personnaly saved the front element, when my 28-135mm knock a marble floor, attached to my Minolta 9000.

The glass of the UV was ruptured by the violence of the shock and I only could remove it by bending the metallic ring around (after removing the broken glass). The edge of the SH was bended as well, and I had to sent it to replace the metallic front element, by the customer service, but the front lens in optical glass was totally intact. He fell more than one meter high, and if the UV filter had not absorbed the shock, it was absolutely certain that the front lens which paid for it (and it would have been good for the trash) an assumption yes, but with strong probability!

It was just my luck !

Ever drop a pint glass on a tile floor and watch it bounce?  Close inspection, and you can't find a scratch.

Glass can be made to be very tough. I suspect that most of the front elements on these lenses are made that way. The filters, not so much.

 cplunk's gear list:cplunk's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony Alpha a99 Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha DSLR-A330 Sony a6300 +19 more
ebjerke Forum Member • Posts: 90
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

Allan Olesen wrote:

William Curtindale wrote:

Oh, yes I have had an occasion where the filter has saved the front lens element.

How do you know? Did you afterwards remove the filter to repeat the accident without a filter?

Or did you just see the filter glass shatter and jump to the conclusion that the shattering of the filter glass somehow had protected the lens?

LOL! Good question. I have never understood how somebody could put a filter in front of good glass except when absolutely necessary to get a specific spot. I thing the camera stores and the filter manufactures have fooled a ton of people into  throwing away money and possibly degrading their images. I simply make sure always to use alens hood and to be careful. Also, I pay $200 a year to insure my equipment against theft or damage even if that damage is me dropping it.

 ebjerke's gear list:ebjerke's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony Alpha a99 Sony a7R III Sony a7 III +5 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads