UV filters, unscientific test

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
robgendreau Veteran Member • Posts: 9,349
Re: It does flare.

There is some antipathy towards the use of UV lens filters for sure. I tend to agree.

But UV filters are necessary; most every OEM camera has them, just on the sensor instead.

I wonder if one mounted on the lens is more likely to degrade an image than one mounted on the sensor or behind the lens (in a filter holder, or a clip filter). I have cameras with no UV filters at all, but don't have the patience to try it.

Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 14,579
Re: It does flare.

robgendreau wrote:

There is some antipathy towards the use of UV lens filters for sure. I tend to agree.

There are strong feelings both for and agains the use of "protective" filters.

Digital cameras, have built-in UV filtering, so the only use is for "protection".

But UV filters are necessary; most every OEM camera has them, just on the sensor instead.

Unlike film, digital sensors have a mirror like surface. A flat glass element (such as a filter) that is parallel to the sensor can set up an infinity mirror effect. This isn't an issue when the filter is attached to the sensor.

I wonder if one mounted on the lens is more likely to degrade an image than one mounted on the sensor or behind the lens (in a filter holder, or a clip filter). I have cameras with no UV filters at all, but don't have the patience to try it.

With a modern digital camera, there is no need for a UV filter behind the lens.

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RCicala
RCicala Contributing Member • Posts: 782
Re: Test @ 200mm
5

So people who report degradation are either using REALLY bad filters, using less rigorous technique (flimsy tripod, handholding, difficult subjects, changing outdoor conditions), or they're just parroting what they read and they haven't really tested themselves.

I like your tests, don't get me wrong, and agree with your conclusions in general. But in science when you don't find something others find, you must also consider that they are using more, not less, rigorous testing methods.

I say this as someone who tests batches of filters for several filter brands for their QA departments. An interesting thing we've found in doing that is the manufacturers (with a few exceptions) buy their glass from China and a constant problem is batches of glass that don't meet specifications.

robgendreau Veteran Member • Posts: 9,349
Re: It does flare.

Michael Fryd wrote:

robgendreau wrote:

There is some antipathy towards the use of UV lens filters for sure. I tend to agree.

There are strong feelings both for and agains the use of "protective" filters.

Digital cameras, have built-in UV filtering, so the only use is for "protection".

But UV filters are necessary; most every OEM camera has them, just on the sensor instead.

Unlike film, digital sensors have a mirror like surface. A flat glass element (such as a filter) that is parallel to the sensor can set up an infinity mirror effect. This isn't an issue when the filter is attached to the sensor.

I wonder if one mounted on the lens is more likely to degrade an image than one mounted on the sensor or behind the lens (in a filter holder, or a clip filter). I have cameras with no UV filters at all, but don't have the patience to try it.

With a modern digital camera, there is no need for a UV filter behind the lens.

I ask because as noted my cameras have no hot mirror filter, being converted. So I do need to use UV filters (either behind the lens or in front of it) when I use to take visible light photos. Nice tip about the infinity mirror though; hadn't thought of that. I haven't experienced any distortion with the behind the lens filters I've already used (like on UWAs that allow for that).

Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,346
my thoughts...
1

I didn't see much of a difference with any of these. I realize that on a theoretical level a filter might degrade the image a bit, but by such a tine amount that in real world usage it generally isn't much of a thing. Of course I realize that filters (at least ones like UV) aren't really necessary for digital photography, but nonetheless I like the piece of mind in using them (just as lens protection). The one exception that I make is is I'm shooting something really high contrast, lit by single point lighting sources, like a city at night or a band on a stage... then I definitely take the filters off.

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saltydogstudios
saltydogstudios Senior Member • Posts: 2,410
Re: UV filters, unscientific test
2

s4myd wrote:

<snip>

I hope that it will help a few people in their choice and if you have some suggestions, don't hesitate to tell me.

Your flare test is ok but where I really noticed the difference in quality between filters is near bodies of water.

Light coming directly into the lens is one thing.

Light coming from thousands of tiny points of specularity bouncing off the waves quickly reduces contrast on poorly coated filters.

You could probably construct something with tin foil & a strobe to mimick this.

Also, I've caused more damage because of filters - they're very thin glass, unlike the lens elements and are far more likely to shatter (and thus scratch the lens) from an impact than the lens itself.

So I've basically given up on using filters for lens protection.

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