View Full Version : UV/Haze Filters: What Do You Think?

6-Feb-2007, 22:54
It just occurred to me that I have come into the habit of always using a UV/Haze filter (B+W MRC) on the lens when shooting outdoors. Not so long ago, I would use a UV filter only when working in conditions perilous to the glass, at higher altitudes, etc. Am I actually doing myself a disservice in using the filter when it is not absolutely necessary? Can the little bugger do more hurting than helping? I have found some interesting opinions elsewhere, which strongly suggest I revert to my previous strategy of only using filters when I must. What do you, the kind members of this great forum, think?

7-Feb-2007, 01:21
I've used high quality filters (Heliopan, B&W, Rodenstock) on some of my lenses in the past and haven't noticed any image degradation as a result.

So, IMHO, unless you really, really notice something that can directly be attributable to the use of filters... I don't personally see any issue.

Just my 21/2 cents worth! :)


Scott Rosenberg
7-Feb-2007, 01:50
a lot of people only use protective filters when shooting in harsh environments (blowing sand, etc). i leave one on all the time, and after about a year, the filters have developed lots of fine scratches on close inspection. will they degrade the image quality, i dunno. am i glad the filter is scratched and not the front element of my lens - you betcha. it's a lot earier to replace a filter once a year then a lens.

7-Feb-2007, 05:59
I know that some argue that having a UV or any other filter over a lens adds an additional element to the design of the optic, increases the number of glass/air spaces, increases the likelihood of reflection, and will decrease the performance of the lens. I try to use the best UV filters that I can with the latest ones purchased the new Heliopan SH-PMC or the B + W Pro (Multicoated Filters). Older UV filters on my lenses are all Heliopan or B + W. I have personally never noticed a reduction in lens performance (probably including color) or increased reflection. They do however, give me peace of mind because no matter how expensive the filters they are much less expensive than replacing or repairing the much more expensive lens. The filters will protect the lens from moisture, salt, spray, dust, debris, wind, impact, and lessen the frequency that I need to clean the lens front elements thus preserving the multicoated surfaces.

As to the filters, my favorite and the nicest UV filters that I have ever used are the Heliopan SH-PMC. These are slim filters, beautifully finished with wonderfully applied multicoatings.

My other filters have mostly been Heliopan and B + W for Polarizers, Grad ND, and Warming Filters for my color transparencies. However, and previously I started using Singh-Ray Warm Polarizing filters to substitute for my Polarizers. I am now presently using the Cokin P Adapter system for most of my work and when I need to use filters other than my UV filters I am now using filters to fit the Cokin P Adapter system including Singh-Ray Lighter Brighter Warm Polarizer (Glass), Singh-Ray Lighter Brighter Intensifier (Glass), Singh-Ray Galen Rowell's Grad ND filters (Resin and in different grades and soft and hard), Singh-Ray Daryl Benson's Reverse Grad ND filters (Resin), Singh-Ray A-13 Warming Filter (Resin), Lee Coral Stripe (Resin), and Lee Graduated Sunset (Resin). The Singh-Ray and Lee filters for the Cokin P Adapter System are of exceptionally high quality and maintain the performance of the lenses. But the UV filters are removed and substituted for by the filters for the Cokin P system when needed and fit most of my lenses via the appropriate adapter rings.


Maris Rusis
7-Feb-2007, 19:00
I am glad my photographic colleague had a UV filter screwed onto the front of her brand new Commercial Congo 360mm f 6.8 in Copal #3 shutter when it fell clean out of the front of her Tachihara 8x10 and onto rocks. It is definitely a bad feeling when you reach down to the rock level to find out what is left of your new $3000 lens.

The UV filter was smashed and its rim was severely bent but there was not another mark on the lens or lensboard. Phew!