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

Started Apr 15, 2014 | Discussions
Michel J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

cplunk wrote:

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.

To confirm that, the only thing left for you is to try on, as I did in spite of myself...

GOOD LUCK !

(Ah! And I forgot the legendary MC/MD Rokkor 135mm F/2.8, used without a UV filter as protection: the result was many scratches -- some only on the multi-coating and two damaged the glass -- moreover a minuscule shard of glass escaped near a border, all due to differents impacts. But I confess I was very young at this time and floating off in my own thoughts...)

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Cordialement,
Michel J
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ebjerke Forum Member • Posts: 72
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'm being lazy to not just search for this myself, but I am pretty sure I have read multiple times that there is no reason to filter out UV rays and that the ONLY reason people use UV filters is for the supposed protection.

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Jim Funston Senior Member • Posts: 1,698
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

As far as "protective filters" I rarely use them and only if I am in a environment that is hostile to lenses like wind blown sand or salt spray.

But I usually always use filters in my scenic photography and the only filters I will put in from of my glass is Singh Ray filters.... there truly is a difference!

Allan Olesen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,391
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.

And I will ask for the third time in this thread:

How do you know that the front element was saved?

A shattered filter glass is not a proof that anything would have damaged the front element.

In your case, the filter ring probably did some protection. And as I have written many times before, I think that a glassless filter ring is a good idea because it will add actual protection.

But the filter glass certainly did not save anything in your case. Actually the presence of filter glass will only increase the risk of damage to the front element when you drop a camera. There are several stories of a front element being damaged by shattered filter glass after dropping the camera.

John Tait
John Tait Regular Member • Posts: 456
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.
1

Allan Olesen wrote:

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.

And I will ask for the third time in this thread:

How do you know that the front element was saved?

A shattered filter glass is not a proof that anything would have damaged the front element.

In your case, the filter ring probably did some protection. And as I have written many times before, I think that a glassless filter ring is a good idea because it will add actual protection.

But the filter glass certainly did not save anything in your case. Actually the presence of filter glass will only increase the risk of damage to the front element when you drop a camera. There are several stories of a front element being damaged by shattered filter glass after dropping the camera.

I'll ask in return, how do you know that "the filter glass certainly did not save anything in your case".  We're in an area where I don't know what would count as proof either way.  I had a freak accident where the pointy end a broom handle hit my 135mm Zeiss straight at the front element.  It broke both the lens cap and filter, but the lens itself was not damaged.  You can say the filter "certainly did not save anything" but you have no more proof of this than I have proof that the filter and lens cap absorbed enough of the impact to save the lens.  Real proof either way would require a type of testing no one will want to do so demanding proof is empty.

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fishy wishy
fishy wishy Senior Member • Posts: 5,782
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

okay, so we are supposed to be inhibited from making common-sense assertions just in case perseverating pedants will try to argue the toss with us to suit their agenda.

This kind of tedium is what the rolleyes was invented for.

tqlla Veteran Member • Posts: 3,893
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.
1

Allan Olesen wrote:

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.

And I will ask for the third time in this thread:

How do you know that the front element was saved?

A shattered filter glass is not a proof that anything would have damaged the front element.

In your case, the filter ring probably did some protection. And as I have written many times before, I think that a glassless filter ring is a good idea because it will add actual protection.

But the filter glass certainly did not save anything in your case. Actually the presence of filter glass will only increase the risk of damage to the front element when you drop a camera. There are several stories of a front element being damaged by shattered filter glass after dropping the camera.

Really, its just a nonsense argument.

Poster: My helmet saved my life, when I hit a rock
you: How do you know you wouldn't have survived without the helmet.
Poster: Uh common sense.

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heliguy Regular Member • Posts: 410
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

The first time because the camera slid off my shoulder and the lens dropped right on top of a concrete ballard. Had the filter not been on the front element would have had direct impact. The second time the camera was in my soft briefcase in the overhead bin. There was a lot of turbulence and the lens cap popped off. My laptop power adapter was in there. during the flight the plastic power box was hammering into the lens filter and shattered it. If the filter had not been on the plastic power box would have been hammering the lens element. Now I never leave home without a spare filter.

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

Allan Olesen wrote:

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.

And I will ask for the third time in this thread:

How do you know that the front element was saved?

Because my first job was to study about static's, dynamics, strength of materials, engineering materials, and that give you some idea. For exemple the moment is equal to zéro for this kind of impact point. Reason why the dissipation of forces have its repartition on the very first lens and why the glass can't resist, because this material can't resist to a flexion effort, imho. Same reason why we fill steel inside concrete into critical zones only.... Reason why we put a foil of polymer inside laminated windscreen, and so on...

A shattered filter glass is not a proof that anything would have damaged the front element.

In your case, the filter ring probably did some protection. And as I have written many times before, I think that a glassless filter ring is a good idea because it will add actual protection.

But the filter glass certainly did not save anything in your case.

Of course yes, the glass will absorb and distribute forces inside its structure, and can resist until the rupture (not much, because its very quickly in this case)!

Actually the presence of filter glass will only increase the risk of damage to the front element when you drop a camera. There are several stories of a front element being damaged by shattered filter glass after dropping the camera.

If yes, with a same huge impact and same repartition of forces, it surely want to destroy the front element as well, no matter if you screwed a filter or not!

Anyway, the little likelihood of such big impact, is not in favour of the absence of a filter.

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Cordialement,
Michel J
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Alan_S
Alan_S Senior Member • Posts: 1,821
This is always a nice addition to the debate...

...scroll down to the sample image of no filter vs 5 good ones vs 5 crappy ones:

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

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Alan_S
Alan_S Senior Member • Posts: 1,821
case closed...
2

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51737158

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tqlla Veteran Member • Posts: 3,893
Re: case closed...

Just a quick test, between no filter, Sony Zeiss T* VF62CPAM, Quantaray Pro Digital, and Quantaray DMC UV(OLD filter, brand new in packaging though)

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tqlla Veteran Member • Posts: 3,893
Re: case closed...

Those pics were taken with my A77, and my Minolta 28-105mm RS lens.   I took two shots per filter, and used the best of each.

Even at 100%, its tough to see the difference between the No filter and the VF62MPAM.  (I incorrectly listed it as a CPAM)

The Quantaray Pro Digital is also very good.  The Quantaray DMC-UV filter is not looking too good, but that filter was probably sitting on the store shelves for decades.

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WaltKnapp Forum Pro • Posts: 13,857
Re: Protective filter… or not? I say beware of filter quality.

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.

What you seem to be saying is if you don't choose your filters wisely, with the same level of optical quality as the lens and then neglect dirty surfaces on them you may not get as good images as you would with high quality filters that match the quality of the lens and are kept clean. (and ideally with a quality matching hood) that your poor choices can decrease the quality of your images.  Yes, I agree, you should choose your gear more carefully for quality and not for price or other such reasons.  And then you should maintain the gear.  That's the lesson that was right in front of you.

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Michel J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Case closed: use it if the QP of your filter is high!

tqlla wrote:

Those pics were taken with my A77, and my Minolta 28-105mm RS lens. I took two shots per filter, and used the best of each.

Tripod was used I guess?

Even at 100%, its tough to see the difference between the No filter and the VF62MPAM. (I incorrectly listed it as a CPAM)

Here you tend to confirm my post above, since it depends of the combo lens/filter used (since I noticed it's very picky between the choice of two copy of the same lens w/ VS w/o), the only thing left for us is to try on, imho... BUT: as you wrote, no visible difference with an excellent filter VS without, so why not mounting a filter with a walkaround lens?!? (And more).

OTOH it  seems to be you don't tried in such light situations which these filters are made for (faulty lens haze nor UV colour cast...). I regret it, but it's a good news as well, since that proves the lack of harmfullness in a "normal lighting situation".

I think the case can be closed like this: "evaluation of benefit/risk depending of the way we use (and we care of) our gear".

The Quantaray Pro Digital is also very good. The Quantaray DMC-UV filter is not looking too good, but that filter was probably sitting on the store shelves for decades.

It's a known fact that old or cheap coatings sucks VS highest Quality Products (QP) and dedicated to the digital era...

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Michel J
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Michel J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Re: This is always a nice addition to the debate...

Alan_S wrote:

...scroll down to the sample image of no filter vs 5 good ones vs 5 crappy ones:

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

Sounded like the guy of this blog would apply on his skin 50 different UV creams at the same time, just to enhance the protection of his skin against the harsh effects of the sun?

Anyway, this is a total non-sense and proves nothing.

Thanks for sharing this "usefull" information Alan S.

( )

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Michel J
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tqlla Veteran Member • Posts: 3,893
Re: Case closed: use it if the QP of your filter is high!

Michel J wrote:

Tripod was used I guess?

Here you tend to confirm my post above, since it depends of the combo lens/filter used (since I noticed it's very picky between the choice of two copy of the same lens w/ VS w/o), the only thing left for us is to try on, imho... BUT: as you wrote, no visible difference with an excellent filter VS without, so why not mounting a filter with a walkaround lens?!? (And more).

OTOH it seems to be you don't tried in such light situations which these filters are made for (faulty lens haze nor UV colour cast...). I regret it, but it's a good news as well, since that proves the lack of harmfullness in a "normal lighting situation".

I think the case can be closed like this: "evaluation of benefit/risk depending of the way we use (and we care of) our gear".

Cordialement,
Michel J
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Yes, I used a tripod, but I left SSS on.

As far as using the filter, for times they are meant for, I will try to test again when summer arrives. I am really only concerned about protecting my lenses from scratches and cleaning.

The Quantaray filters I bought when Ritz was closing. I have tons of the old DMC-UV filters, and quite a few of the Pro Digital Filters. (I was forced to buy them, to get a bigger discount on other stuff).

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