Do you use a UV filter as protection?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
Tom Axford Veteran Member • Posts: 6,747
Re: Lens Elements vs. UV filters
1

Adielle wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

Adielle wrote:

Let me know when you get a QuartzLine or Exus or a UV filter of similar quality to show that kind of horrible performance. Filters are not "all made equal", there's a huge quality spectrum, starting from extremely poor and ending in way beyond reasonable specs.

Now you are talking nonsense. The reflections from different filters will vary, but none are so low as to give no noticeable effects.

No, I haven't "talked nonsense", learn to read. Like I said, there's always a chance for noticeable negative effects and the point is that this chance greatly decreases with very high quality filters which have extremely low refraction and reflectivity. You just used a very low quality filter to demonstrate a point.

I did not use a "very low quality" filter.  The filter used was a Hoya HMC UV(C) filter which is very comparable in quality to the great majority of filters used by photographers.  Indeed, there are many cheap filters is use that give much worse ghosts.

There would be no point in trying the experiment with a filter that is a much higher quality than normally available to photographers.  I haven't tried to repeat the experiment with a variety of different filters, but many others have found similar results using different filters.

It would be interesting to do the experiment to compare the results of different brands/types of filters, but I am not aware of anyone having done that.

If you can produce evidence that other filters (that are reasonably affordable) produce significantly better results than the Hoya HMC filters, I would be very interested to know.

Try demonstrating it with a high quality filter, next time, instead of scaring people with such a terrible picture. The problem is that you won't be able to get something like that, so you won't be demonstrating anything, but I'm sure you'll keep talking about how a single piece of glass with extremely low reflectivity and refraction and multiple essential coatings has a high chance of ruining your pictures.

The fact is that the circumstances in which these ghosts occur do not crop up very often.  The lights need to be extremely bright and the part of the picture where the ghosts occur needs to be quite dark for the ghosts to be noticeable.

I use filters on all my lenses almost all the time and very rarely experience problems.  Nevertheless, it is as well to be aware that problems may sometimes occur, even if very rarely.

Adielle
Adielle Senior Member • Posts: 1,754
Re: Lens Elements vs. UV filters

Tom Axford wrote:

Adielle wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

Adielle wrote:

Let me know when you get a QuartzLine or Exus or a UV filter of similar quality to show that kind of horrible performance. Filters are not "all made equal", there's a huge quality spectrum, starting from extremely poor and ending in way beyond reasonable specs.

Now you are talking nonsense. The reflections from different filters will vary, but none are so low as to give no noticeable effects.

No, I haven't "talked nonsense", learn to read. Like I said, there's always a chance for noticeable negative effects and the point is that this chance greatly decreases with very high quality filters which have extremely low refraction and reflectivity. You just used a very low quality filter to demonstrate a point.

I did not use a "very low quality" filter. The filter used was a Hoya HMC UV(C) filter which is very comparable in quality to the great majority of filters used by photographers. Indeed, there are many cheap filters is use that give much worse ghosts.

Hardly "comparable" to good filters, that's a cheap 20 dollar filter that's known to be prone to flare and ghosting, there's nothing high quality about it. Yes, the majority of stuff is crap.

There would be no point in trying the experiment with a filter that is a much higher quality than normally available to photographers.

"Normally available" stuff is usually crap stuff. I guess there's no point in testing anything else, then.

Tom Axford Veteran Member • Posts: 6,747
Re: Lens Elements vs. UV filters
1

Adielle wrote:

"Normally available" stuff is usually crap stuff. I guess there's no point in testing anything else, then.

I assume that most people reading this thread are using normally available stuff and that is what the discussion is about.

Adielle
Adielle Senior Member • Posts: 1,754
Re: Lens Elements vs. UV filters

Tom Axford wrote:

Adielle wrote:

"Normally available" stuff is usually crap stuff. I guess there's no point in testing anything else, then.

I assume that most people reading this thread are using normally available stuff and that is what the discussion is about.

Oh. Sorry, I didn't know that that's what the discussion is about.

bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 64,420
Re: Lens Elements vs. UV filters
2

Adielle wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

Adielle wrote:

"Normally available" stuff is usually crap stuff. I guess there's no point in testing anything else, then.

I assume that most people reading this thread are using normally available stuff and that is what the discussion is about.

Oh. Sorry, I didn't know that that's what the discussion is about.

I use airbag lens protectors which deflate before each shot then inflate afterwards myself.

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Smith-64 Regular Member • Posts: 310
No, with History

I have dropped two lenses in the 60 years I've practiced photography.  In the late '70 I dropped a 50mm f1.4 lens from waist high. No UV filter and I bent the filter mounting threads.  The lens was otherwise undamaged and continued to function and I was able to restore the threads enough to be usable if one was very careful.  The second lens I dropped was in about 2010, the 40-150 f4-5.6 kit lens for the Oly DSLRs.  It fell out of a pocket hitting face down on asphalt impacting the mounted factory lens hood.  The lens is still functional and only tiny mark on the plastic exists as evidence of the event.

I have recently looked through my collection of lens from the early '70s to the present and I found no evidence of front element damage due to scratching.  Two (at least 40 yrs old) have front element issues, lubricant migration to the front element internally but lens hoods, lens caps, nor  lens filter would have had any  effect on that problem.

In normal usage lenses go back into my bag or my vest with the hood in its normal position and the rear cap on.  Only the lenses with a separate case are the front lens caps used with the hood reversed.  Lenses with no hoods are stored with front cap in place.

As I've stated elsewhere, even in the days of film and did sometimes use either UV or skylight filters I was never comfortable that the photos were as with as without.

A. C.

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yellodog Senior Member • Posts: 2,304
Re: Variable UV filters?
3

If there really is a problem that can be easily addressed by a coat of chemicals on glass, why don't the lens manufacturers add that coating to their lenses or improve it of they do? I can't imagine the filter manufacturers know something the lens manufacturers don't.

Erick L Senior Member • Posts: 1,282
Re: Do you use a UV filter as protection?
1

No filter and no lens cap most of the time. I use a hood though.

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kickoff3pm
kickoff3pm Regular Member • Posts: 322
Re: Do you use a UV filter as protection?

I don't, but then most my photos are with old lenses I can replace for less than buying a lens. In fact I take all the filters off the lenses I buy second hand. Point being if they have been on since new I can shoot with new clean glass not the old glass of the filter

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3dwag
3dwag Veteran Member • Posts: 4,369
Re: Do you use a UV filter as protection?
6

Michael Benveniste wrote:

nosiesta wrote:

Hello

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.

This doesn’t tell the whole story. No digital sensor filters out 100% of all potentially distracting UV. Various sensors and sensor stacks have slightly different UV filtering (i.e. sensitivity response curves), and there are no magical 4th- or 5th-order (ultra-sharp rolloff below some wavelength) filters. Therefore, precisely how effective this filtering is varies between sensor and camera manufacturers and models.

  • Modern lens coatings also filter out UV.

See my comments above regarding camera sensors and sensor stacks. The same applies to lens optics.

There have been many threads on this in this forum for years, and it is a proven fact that generally Panasonic camera sensors have heavier UV filtering on the sensor stack and lighter UV filtering in their lenses, and vice-versa for Olympus. This becomes particularly visible as purple fringing, and in extreme cases of strong lens flare as “purple blobs” when using some Panasonic UWA lenses (especially for example the 7-14mm f/4) on Olympus bodies.

Here is a good writeup on that: https://alanwatsonforster.org/writing/mft-purple.html

And by the way, these concerns and effects are not limited to the μ4/3 world alone.

  • UV filters block a measurable amount of light in the violet portion of the spectrum.

Again, basically true, but not the whole story. The frequency (wavelength) response to light in the visible and ultra violet regions through a so-called standard or haze or 1A UV filter varies between models and manufacturers. The filtering is closer to that of a 1st-order filter, and the “half-EV down point” (wavelength response rolloff) will vary in wavelength between manufacturers and models. With some more sophisticated coatings this may be approaching a 2nd-order filter below the visible, but I’ve not seen many precise curves — there are some, but no standard for every (or even many) makes and models to effectively compare.

So, the final response to violet and ultraviolet light is a combination of camera sensor, sensor stack, lens optics and coatings, plus any specific filter.

And in addition to that, there are under certain location and lighting conditions specific justification for some level of additional UV filtering, even in the digital camera world.

  • 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.

Generally all true. There are cases in your above list whereby a lens hood is not enough for some physical protection needs.

  • Just because a filter breaks doesn't mean that it "saved the lens."

I agree with this, particularly the notion that a filter saved the lens in a drop, unless that drop involved a rock(s) or other object(s) actually otherwise hitting or spraying the front element. If there is shattering of the filter’s glass involved, however, there is a danger that the broken glass shards could damage the lens’ front element.

  • Any filter, even a clear protector, increases the likelihood of flare.

True. Which is why this is no place to cheap out, and one must do the research.

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.

I still usually use “protective” filters, but only the best B+W MRC Nano filters. There are cases for which I remove them, usually to reduce flare under certain conditions. And there are cases where the location and lighting conditions specifically promote the use of a 1A filter. So, mostly I have these on most of my lenses.

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.

The community here is divided about 50-50 on UV or Clear filter vs no filter, and there are a lot of misconceptions and incomplete statements and information on both sides of the coin, especially when an “all or nothing” attitude is adopted, which happens often in this and in other DPR forums.

Me, I use both good UV filters and hoods in most circumstances, but not all.

And by the way, another concern with any kind of filter is with filter flatness in front of very long telephoto lenses, i.e. 300-400mm and up (on μ4/3).

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bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 64,420
Re: Do you use a UV filter as protection?

Erick L wrote:

No filter and no lens cap most of the time. I use a hood though.

I prefer to take my photos with the lens cap on. Saves time composing and focussing.

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Dave Andrade Contributing Member • Posts: 547
Re: Do you use a UV filter as protection?

nosiesta wrote:

Hello

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)

Thanks

My two cents.

No. Pointless. Like, not just a little....entirely.

If you do happen to drop your lens, the filter could get stuck on the mount. The glass on the filter will never be as good and the lens glass and if "you" (not you in particular) think that your lens will shatter if it drops as if it were house window panes....then I am not sure what else to say.

I usually leave my lens hood on, and that's enough protection. I genuinely cannot think of ONE upside of "wasting" money on one.

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HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 5,484
Novice
1

If you think hoods are a waste of time then you are probably too foolish to listen to any advice.

Do whatever you want. Just don't whine when it goes south.

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JakeJY Senior Member • Posts: 3,827
Re: Lens Elements vs. UV filters
2

Adielle wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

Adielle wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

Adielle wrote:

Let me know when you get a QuartzLine or Exus or a UV filter of similar quality to show that kind of horrible performance. Filters are not "all made equal", there's a huge quality spectrum, starting from extremely poor and ending in way beyond reasonable specs.

Now you are talking nonsense. The reflections from different filters will vary, but none are so low as to give no noticeable effects.

No, I haven't "talked nonsense", learn to read. Like I said, there's always a chance for noticeable negative effects and the point is that this chance greatly decreases with very high quality filters which have extremely low refraction and reflectivity. You just used a very low quality filter to demonstrate a point.

I did not use a "very low quality" filter. The filter used was a Hoya HMC UV(C) filter which is very comparable in quality to the great majority of filters used by photographers. Indeed, there are many cheap filters is use that give much worse ghosts.

Hardly "comparable" to good filters, that's a cheap 20 dollar filter that's known to be prone to flare and ghosting, there's nothing high quality about it. Yes, the majority of stuff is crap.

Lens Rentals actually did testing on the $20 Hoya HMC UV(C). It performs pretty much exactly the same as the $124 Zeiss T* UV Filter in all metrics (transmission, reflection, optical distortions). Out of 20 filters, there are 6 more expensive ones that perform better, but I think for $20 it's the best cost to performance ratio and you won't be doing much better.

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2017/06/the-comprehensive-ranking-of-the-major-uv-filters-on-the-market/

There would be no point in trying the experiment with a filter that is a much higher quality than normally available to photographers.

"Normally available" stuff is usually crap stuff. I guess there's no point in testing anything else, then.

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magnesus3 Contributing Member • Posts: 600
Re: The changes are visible
2

The thing is the changes are not visible. Your photos show that it is not worth it to use UV filter, at least for that photo. It looks like someone took one photo and changed curves a tiny bit in post processing in the second one.

Additionally a lot of us are amateurs shooting for fun and we don't need the professional quality you presume is needed. You say we must - no we don't.

And why you assume a different UV is needed in different situations is beyond me - a strong UV filter will block a certain spectrum of light better of worse, when the UV outside is lower it will work the same as a weak UV filter. Why have different UV filter then? A strong one would suffice.

spike29 Senior Member • Posts: 2,046
Re: Do you use a UV filter as protection?
2

bobn2 wrote:

Erick L wrote:

No filter and no lens cap most of the time. I use a hood though.

I prefer to take my photos with the lens cap on. Saves time composing and focussing.

Very long waiting time for the "click" which ends your photo taking time doh.

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Adielle
Adielle Senior Member • Posts: 1,754
Re: Lens Elements vs. UV filters

JakeJY wrote:

Adielle wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

Adielle wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

Adielle wrote:

Let me know when you get a QuartzLine or Exus or a UV filter of similar quality to show that kind of horrible performance. Filters are not "all made equal", there's a huge quality spectrum, starting from extremely poor and ending in way beyond reasonable specs.

Now you are talking nonsense. The reflections from different filters will vary, but none are so low as to give no noticeable effects.

No, I haven't "talked nonsense", learn to read. Like I said, there's always a chance for noticeable negative effects and the point is that this chance greatly decreases with very high quality filters which have extremely low refraction and reflectivity. You just used a very low quality filter to demonstrate a point.

I did not use a "very low quality" filter. The filter used was a Hoya HMC UV(C) filter which is very comparable in quality to the great majority of filters used by photographers. Indeed, there are many cheap filters is use that give much worse ghosts.

Hardly "comparable" to good filters, that's a cheap 20 dollar filter that's known to be prone to flare and ghosting, there's nothing high quality about it. Yes, the majority of stuff is crap.

Lens Rentals actually did testing on the $20 Hoya HMC UV(C). It performs pretty much exactly the same as the $124 Zeiss T* UV Filter in all metrics (transmission, reflection, optical distortions). Out of 20 filters, there are 6 more expensive ones that perform better, but I think for $20 it's the best cost to performance ratio and you won't be doing much better.

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2017/06/the-comprehensive-ranking-of-the-major-uv-filters-on-the-market/

Then it performs very poorly indeed, because the T* UV filter is also known to be prone to flare and ghosting, and their spectrogram page shows that it will have some significant reflectivity, but the Zeiss filter is a special case where this can be forgiven because it's a filter with a very steep cutoff in the UV spectrum, unlike that of almost all UV filters which only give mild attenuation, so there are tradeoffs.

spike29 Senior Member • Posts: 2,046
Re: Do you use a UV filter as protection?

Not  at the moment.

did ones with a cheaper bridge camera, needed polishing twice every time, the front and the back of the filter and the front element. Nasty flaring too from time to time.

blazing Sand? yes could help but  i was told that if your lens is suffering from the blowing sand the camera is wasted too when it's starts to show on the images.

The sand is more damaging for the lens tube casket, mount plate/electronics and knobs and buttons then the hardened front glas. So a full protection housing is then far more preferable.  (i think i bring my camera to the beach or dunes only when it's not swirling with sand particals and i am not using sunblock (Sunblock is horrendous for your grip and camera => every thing sticks and cleaning cost you hours)

(i just have a lens brush and cleaner with  me at all time to get rid of dirt)

Extra glas by UV filter means lower light intake, more optic distortion , color distortion,  more money spent, more polishing/cleaning, more weight.

So  i just be careful and using the lens hood and cap al the time for bump protection and mussy fingers. (one anoying thing happens to me one in a wile: taking off the cap wile it's already off and not looking  first so i smear my sticky fingers on the lens thinking  where is the release grip.... )

So no, only a PL in my bag, i want to buy ND's  doh.

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JaKing
JaKing Senior Member • Posts: 6,253
Re: Lens Elements vs. UV filters

From my experience, the Hoya HMC filters make zero detectable difference to the IQ of any of my lenses, including my FTs 50-200 at 200mm or my 75-300 at 300mm.

Hoya HMC filters cost a LOT more than US$ 20 here in Oz, so do other good quality filters.

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Wu Jiaqiu
Wu Jiaqiu Forum Pro • Posts: 25,688
Re: Lens Elements vs. UV filters

JaKing wrote:

From my experience, the Hoya HMC filters make zero detectable difference to the IQ of any of my lenses, including my FTs 50-200 at 200mm or my 75-300 at 300mm.

Hoya HMC filters cost a LOT more than US$ 20 here in Oz, so do other good quality filters.

Hoya HMC filters start off at about 16 euros here, then depending on the size reach about 47 euros, they do much better ones that can get really expensive but the HMCs are pretty cheap

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