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khtwo
25-Feb-2007, 06:09
It's normal installing a UV filter on 35mm lenses. The filter also servers as the protector. How about your LF lenses? Do you install a UV filter or protector?

naturephoto1
25-Feb-2007, 06:35
I use the UV filters on all of my lenses. I would rather carry a slight amount of more weight and be safe than sorry. It is much less expensive to protect the lens elements and to replace a filter (and require less cleaning to protect the lens multicoating) than to have to replace an expensive lens. I have never really made a comparison in the lens performance with and without the UV filter, but I have never noted a loss in sharpness.

I try to get the best UV filters that I can, however. All of my most current purchases of UV filters for my lenses have been either the Heliopan SH-PMC (Super Multicoat) or B + W Multicoated filters. The new Heliopan SH-PMC filters are the nicest filters that I have ever used, but they are a bit more expensive than the B + W Multicoated. All of my older UV filters are either Heliopan or B + W.

Rich

David A. Goldfarb
25-Feb-2007, 06:44
I only use UV filters when I want to filter UV with color film (with B&W, I'm more likely to use a yellow or orange filter), or when there is an obvious hazard like crowds, sea spray, or blowing sand.

Ole Tjugen
25-Feb-2007, 06:45
No.

I don't use UV filters on my 35mm lenses either, come to think of it. I do have UV filters on my MF lenses, though - I put them on before a trip to Sahara, and haven't removed them since. So if I were taking my LF lenses to Sahara I might put UV filters on them, I guess. ;)

John O'Connell
25-Feb-2007, 06:49
I don't think it's very common to use UV filters as protection for LF lenses.

First, many of us go to rather extraordinary lengths to protect our lenses during transport--I use individual tupperware containers packed with darkcloths and shading materials. Second, many common lenses that have filter threads do not permit you to screw down a filter all the way without touching the front element. Third, flare and light scatter are bigger issues because of the large image circles of some objectives, and filters make matters worse. Fourth, LF lenses are often vignetted by filters, and you don't want to pay for image circle that you won't ever see because of a filter. Fifth, some lenses commonly used in formats beyond 4x5 have no filter threads. Sixth, I can't imagine buying 3 or 4 UV filters in 77mm and above--and I shudder to imagine shelling out for a protective optical flat in 135mm should my 210 SA ever come.

Jim Jones
25-Feb-2007, 06:51
I rarely use an UV filter on 35mm gear, and never on LF. Metal lenscaps provide better protection between shots. The right lenshood provides good protection at other times. UV or clear filters are useful in blowing rain or sand and in other severe environments. Lenses on 35mm cameras are at greater risk of damage than on LF because of the way the cameras are handled and used.

Walter Calahan
25-Feb-2007, 07:05
No, not on my LF gear, nor on my MF gear. My DSLR and SLR 35-mm lens have them mostly for protection in the rough and tumble world of photo-journalism. That said, I don't have them on my Leica gear.

naturephoto1
25-Feb-2007, 07:15
Walter,

I even have UV filters on all of my Leica R lenses except my 60mm f2.8 Macro Elmarit (very recessed front element), 100mm f4.0 Macro Bellows (front hood and very recessed front element), f6.8 560mm Telyt (no filter threads), and my f2.5 25mm Photar. But again, the UV filters are Heliopan, B + W, or Leica.

Rich

Leonard Evens
25-Feb-2007, 07:20
I've never used a UV filter in any kind of photography unless I needed the optical effect. For medium format, 35 mm and my D70, I use a lens shade to avoid accidentally striking the front element, and I'm very careful about blowing debris off it.

It is important to remember that the front element is only one of many surfaces which contribute to the optical behavior of the lens, so one shouldn't obsess about it. Scratches or worse will usually have only very minor effects on lens performance, mostly a slight increase in flare. In specially dusty situations there may be added concern, but for many lenses, particularly large format lenses, which are not completely closed to the outside air, there should be as much concern about what collects on the inside of the lens as about what you see on the front element. In such circumstances, you should do what you can to protect the entire lens.

Keith Pitman
25-Feb-2007, 09:20
No, not on any lens--35, MF, LF. Why put an inferior (to the prime lens) piece of glass in front of your lens if you don't need to. Just be careful with your lenses.

Sal Santamaura
25-Feb-2007, 09:32
Yes, there's a B+W MRC UV filter on the front of every lens I own. If I primarily shot in a studio, it's unlikely this protective measure would be necessary. But my photography takes place in the great, windy, particulate-laden western outdoors, so I practice "safe shooting."

Brian Ellis
25-Feb-2007, 09:37
Not on LF lenses, because with a 4x5 or 8x10 camera I'm not generally walking or climbing up, down, and all around with the camera in my hand. But I keep them on my Canon L lenses that I use with my digital camera. At about $1200 and up for those babies I want all the protection I can get and I've never noticed any deterioration in the quality of the photographs.

Oren Grad
25-Feb-2007, 12:38
Yes on my 35mm lenses, no on my LF lenses.

roteague
25-Feb-2007, 12:41
I don't use them on any of my cameras, unless needed. I find them quite helpful when traveling in high, mountainous country, but otherwise I rarely use them.

Jim Noel
25-Feb-2007, 14:12
No, I see no reason to put a relatively cheap piece of glass in front of an expensive lens. Even if good optically flat glass, it just makes two more air/glass surfaces to be concerned with as far as dust, etc.

As far as protecting the lens, if i am gong to drop a lens or bang it against something, I would much rather have a metal lens shade on it than a piece of glass which might get broken and scratch the lens.

Kirk Gittings
25-Feb-2007, 14:34
I keep a good quality UV filter on all my view camera lenses, Hassy lenses and Canon L lenses. "good quailty" in case I forget to take it off. I always take them off just before shooting if the image is important.

I once a week old lens $1000+), set the camera and lens down on the hard camera case to switch to 35mm (I was going to switch back again in a couple of minutes). Out of nowhere a stray puppy appeared, stuck his nose in my lens, flipped the camera over backwards and it rolled down a gravel hill, end over end. NO LENS CAP-NO UV FILTER. It became a very expensive paper weight. Either a cap or UV filter would have saved it. I have overcompensated ever since.

khtwo
25-Feb-2007, 16:58
It seems that the using of UV protector depends on personalities. :D
For me, I prefer cleaning the UV than cleaning the surface of the far more expensive lens directly, especially for lenses of $1000+.

Ron Marshall
25-Feb-2007, 18:26
I often use a contrast filter for b/w, so I don't bother with a UV for LF unless shooting near the seashore.

For MF and 35mm I always leave one on, as carelessness insurance.

Capocheny
25-Feb-2007, 19:56
I use a high-quality UV filter on SOME of my lenses... some won't accept them. And, I usually prefer leaving a lens cap on them when they're not in use.

As others have said... I'd rather scratch a filter than the front element... ANY day of the week.

Like Van Camper... I've not worried about a loss of image quality or anything like that. However, I WILL remove the UV filter if I use another one in its place such as a red, etc.

Some people do... others don't! I think it's more of a personal choice between shooters. :)

Cheers

otzi
25-Feb-2007, 21:32
Just to be different I *have* metal rimed UV discs on small and medium glass. It's my habit to fit a lens just to view a scene. Some times lenses are fitted, changed and changed again as I move around. In doing so they tend to get bundled about. Weddings included, no longer bothered with. When a shot is taked the UV is first spun off. If I forget the shot is not entirly lost. For portraiture I (hair)spray the inside of the relevant UV's. I don't use UV's on LF glass unless called for.

Frank Bagbey
25-Feb-2007, 22:57
It is a good idea to keep UV filters, or any for that matter, on a lens just to protect the front element and threads. It is best to remove them upon exposure unless you need a filter to serve a particular purpose. The real pet peeve is to see someone with a $2.00 junk filter on a quality lens and actually shooting with it. A quality lens probably shivers in disgust.

Frank Bagbey

Arne Croell
26-Feb-2007, 10:15
I use them for most of my medium format (Mamiya 7) and 35mm lenses, since they are often held by hand and shoved in and out of bags a lot. I do remove them when using a tripod. I don't use UV filters for my LF lenses; I carry the lenses with their caps on in wraps in a well padded environment, and since I use a contrast filter or polarizer 90% of the time when setting up, unscrewing a UV filter just adds unnecessary setup time for me. There is also the potential problem that a filter might slightly bind after being on the lens for a long time so that rather the front cell of the lens will start to unscrew from the shutter than the filter from the lens - not uncommon for wide angles with large filter sizes and a size 0 shutter thread, even when using quality (brass) filter mounts.

George Hart
26-Feb-2007, 11:57
I'm surprised that any LF photographers bother with the nonsense, which may be derived from amateur photo magazines, that lenses should routinely carry uv filters. Sure, if they have a place in order to achieve a desired wavelength distribution, but it seems that for most people, they are a substitute for keeping the front element clean. Oh dearů

walter23
26-Feb-2007, 12:01
I never use UV filters, for protection or otherwise.

I actually saved a lens with a polarizing filter once (dropped it in a lens case and shattered the polarizer, probably saving the front element), but I still would rather not deal with an additional and usually unnecessary filter. I have insurance for that (though with a 500 deductible, in most cases it wouldn't be much help, as my LF lenses are worth less than that).

C. D. Keth
26-Feb-2007, 16:04
No, not on any lens--35, MF, LF. Why put an inferior (to the prime lens) piece of glass in front of your lens if you don't need to. Just be careful with your lenses.


Exactly my thought. Plus, working as a film camera assistant has made me very used to and very good at caring for EXTREMELY expensive lenses in really terrible conditions and having them come out OK.

Alan Davenport
26-Feb-2007, 16:31
I have one lens in my 35mm kit -- a 300mm f/2.8 -- that came from the factory with a 112mm UV filter attached. I have elected to leave that filter in place, if only because I lack a suitable filter case.

It's beyond me why anyone would keep unneeded filters on lenses as a matter of course. I protect my lenses with lens caps...

Kirk Gittings
26-Feb-2007, 20:31
I'm surprised that any LF photographers bother with the nonsense, which may be derived from amateur photo magazines,

Actually it is derived from 28 years of making my living with LF cameras and the hazards of shooting in the field under extreme conditions like the wind blown sands of the SW etc. When the replacement costs of your lenses averages $1600.00 it is cheap insurance.

naturephoto1
26-Feb-2007, 20:44
Actually it is derived from 28 years of making my living with LF cameras and the hazards of shooting in the field under extreme conditions like the wind blown sands of the SW etc. When the replacement costs of your lenses averages $1600.00 it is cheap insurance.

And some may argue that the expensive brass housed Heliopan or B +W filters are "cheap quality" (they certainly are not) or are too expensive, but as Kirk has indicated they are relatively cheap insurance. And the quality of these filters is very close or equal to the quality of the lens upon which they are used.

Rich

Charles Webb
26-Feb-2007, 23:04
In more than 50 years of making my living totally with LF cameras, I have never fouind the need to suport the myth that a filter is good insurance for protecting a LF lens.
In that same 50 years I have operated in extremely foul weather, sand storms and anything else that was thrown at me. I have never once had to replace a lens because of not using a protective filter. What any one else does is their thing, I have know many big names in the game that have followed my practice with no problems.

CW

docholliday_sc001
27-Feb-2007, 05:16
I am actually the exact opposite...I don't ever use lens caps, but put Heliopan filters on everything and carry a compendum hood. The only thing I wouldn't put a filter on is a Hasselblad 250Sa or 105mm UV Sonnar. What is worse than buying "a UV for every LF lens"? Try buying a UV Bay60 and Bay70 for every Hasselblad lens...that is ridiculously expensive. I think at one time, my Bay filters replacement cost was more than the average LF lens. The polarizer and color filters for my Bay70 stuff was almost $1000 (a bay70 kaesemann polarizer is almost $500.00!).

But, at the same time, I've seem many a LF lens' front element damaged by sand spray, bumping objects when doing extreme macro, etc. as well as many MF lenses damaged by various items. Including an assistant who dropped a camera on the front lens ring and shattered a UV filter (who was then fired, and the filter replaced with absolutely no damage to the front of the lens).

If you really want to see ridiculous stuff, a friend has a set of Zeiss Digiprime and Ultraprime lenses for motion picture. Something like $500,000 to $700,000 worth of lenses. All with UV filters on them, except when shooting low light/nighttime. Of course, once you've seen how much something simple like a mattebox is for motion, everything is relatively cheap...sheesh.

Joseph O'Neil
27-Feb-2007, 06:20
Since I shot B&W almost exclusively, I always leave a good (ie - B+W) yellow filter on the front of my lenses almost all the time. Even for interior shots, I try one frame with the filter, one without.

So I don't know if that counts as the same thing, but i backpack with my gear a lot, and having the yellow filter already in place just saves time and room in my case.

joe

roteague
27-Feb-2007, 10:55
I don't normally use them simply because I use a split neutral density filter or warming filter quite often.

Ole Tjugen
27-Feb-2007, 10:58
That brings up another but related question:

Just how much UV light gets through a LF lens, even without a filter?

Modern 35mm zoom lenses with 25 elements in 22 groups would block just about everything, but what about a Tessar-type lens? There's far less glass on "our" lenses.

On the other hand, different glass types have different absortion spectra. This may need to be tested with spectrophotometry...

Kirk Keyes
27-Feb-2007, 13:59
On the other hand, different glass types have different absortion spectra. This may need to be tested with spectrophotometry...

I've thought about checking that out - I've got a scanning spectrophotometer laying around the house collecting dust that would be perfect for this.

My question is this - for those that have the filters for protection from dropping the lens, do you have a filter for the rear of the lens as well, or do you only drop your lenses on the front element?

(BTW - I keep all my lenses naked until they are put on the camera and the filter then goes on.)

Charles Webb
27-Feb-2007, 17:26
Just because someone shoots for 40 yrs without UV filtration doesn't make it right.[/QUOTE]

Does this somehow make the practice of using UV filters more correct than those who do not? It boils down to the fact that some people believe the filter affords protection to a lens. There are others who have not found it necessary and believe the idea to be founded in myth. Do what you choose to do with your glass, but don't tell me I am wrong for not following the crowd.

C W

Wilbur Wong
27-Feb-2007, 18:02
My question is this - for those that have the filters for protection from dropping the lens, do you have a filter for the rear of the lens as well, or do you only drop your lenses on the front element?

(BTW - I keep all my lenses naked until they are put on the camera and the filter then goes on.)

Kirk is right on, I have a rim ding on the rear element of my 90mm f4.5, a front filter wouldn't have done a thing. I would also note that all of my lenses will not even accept a rear filter! The drop that I had probably would have totalled the lens if it were on my Technika boards. At the time it was on a Sinar board which (6x6) which I suspect saved the glass.

David Karp
27-Feb-2007, 20:46
My question is this - for those that have the filters for protection from dropping the lens, do you have a filter for the rear of the lens as well, or do you only drop your lenses on the front element?

Ouch. The only ding that I have put on a LF lens is the little ding on the rear filther threads of my Fujinon 450 C. That was way worse than the first scratch on a car, even though it does not affect the lens in any way.

I don't keep filters on my lenses, but instead add the desired color filter when needed. Sometimes I even remember to remove and store the filter when I change lenses! Mostly I just try to remember what lens I used last and shuffle through my equipment looking for that Yellow #12 or whatever is missing that I desperately need at that moment.

Kirk Gittings
27-Feb-2007, 21:08
Normally if I drop a lens I quickly stick my foot under it to cushion the fall. Works pretty good........though its definitely better not to drop it at all. Hurts sometimes too if you are wearing tennis shoes and the corner of the lens board pokes you just right.

Just as a reference, in 28 years I remember having dropped lenses maybe 5 times when it hit the ground, twice the rear element hit something, only once with real damage. A couple of other times I believe my assistant (who did not admit it) dropped the lens, once the rear ring was dented. Three times when I dropped them it hit the front-no damage except to the filter or lens cap.

Mostly, on commercial assignments, my assistants change the lenses, but I carry the camera. As an architectural photographer I have banged the camera and lens (while carrying it over my shoulder on the tripod) into door frames or tree limbs countless times. This is where the filter as protection on the front element has paid off for me. I have had quite a few dented and scratched filters over the years. About every 2-3 years I check them and replace ones with meaningful damage. Just a couple of months ago, when I bought a bunch of new Canon lenses, I did my checking and replaced 8 of my ten VC UV filters. Maybe I am harder on equipment than most. We shoot hard and fast over very long days. But all that damage could have been on my lenses.

I am a little surprised by the seeming vehemence of some of the replies. Is there some statement about our manhood if we use UV filters? Its not like we are suggesting Skylight (1A) filters that have a slight pinkish cast. Real men don't use protection?:)

David Karp
27-Feb-2007, 21:23
Is there some statement about our manhood if we use UV filters?

Nope. It just proves that LF photographers are nuts.

roteague
27-Feb-2007, 21:39
As for being just a myth, I have seen the results myself many times... shoot at mountain altitude, or near the equator (Jamaica),

I've found them to be valuable myself in at high altitudes, but haven't found them much use here where I live, at sea level.

r.e.
28-Feb-2007, 10:22
I keep UV filters on my Mamiya 7 lenses and take them off before shooting. For one thing, the Mamiya lens caps are useless. They fall off with the slightest jostling. For another, the filter catches dust and assorted grime, which means that I don't have to clean the lens anywhere near as often. I make a point of using cheap UV filters, and cleaning the front side only occasionally - when I'm out photographing, one look at the inexpensive filter with specs of dust and/or fingerprints on it and I don't forget to remove it when taking a shot :)

For LF, I use lens caps, both rear and front. The rear cap comes off at the beginning of the day and stays off as long as the lensboard is on the camera. If I'm going to spend a long time composing a shot and doing Polaroid tests, I'll put a cheap UV filter on the lens until I'm ready to trip the shutter with film, just to keep the lens clean. Same if I'm outdoors in inclimate weather - rain, wind and sand, etc.

Basically, I don't enjoy cleaning lenses and repeatedly having to check them to ensure that they are still clean. Much easier to affix a filter with inexpensive glass that I don't have to coddle.

r.e.
28-Feb-2007, 10:47
That just means that I have to clean an expensive filter. The whole point is that I don't want to be bothered with all this cleaning :) And honestly, I don't find that putting on or removing a filter and sticking it into my shirt pocket is a lot of work. I mean, if I've just spent an hour or three setting up and testing a shot, a few seconds dealing with a filter is not a big component of the time that I've spent. If I had one of those superduper superexpensive B+W filters, I'd probably spend more time than that cleaning the damn thing and taking it in and out of its filter case. A basic Hoya or Tiffen and a shirt pocket for storage suits me fine.

MJSfoto1956
28-Feb-2007, 11:03
It's normal installing a UV filter on 35mm lenses. The filter also servers as the protector. How about your LF lenses? Do you install a UV filter or protector?

I have stopped using pretty much all filters unless I'm doing infrared work or the occassional graduated filter. I also always keep a micro-fibre lens cloth handy and I never use lens fluid anymore.

GPS
28-Feb-2007, 11:13
I keep UV filters on my Mamiya 7 lenses and take them off before shooting. For one thing, the Mamiya lens caps are useless. They fall off with the slightest jostling.
...

A tape sticked on the caps inner diameter cures your problem with no problem at all...

steve simmons
28-Feb-2007, 11:14
No, just don't feel I need the protection.When using filters I use gels mounted on the back of the lens.

steve simmons, Publisher
View Camera/The Journal of Large Format Photograhy
www.viewcamera.com
Our 20th Year of Publication

otzi
1-Mar-2007, 15:25
I replied earlier but failed to mention the protective UV's used are on a RF Camera, where a solid cap may well pass un-noticed till after the event. And has! For those wishing to engage in minute' The solid plastic rear cover usually needs removal prior to engagement. - Just to add to the thread.

Freelancer
18-Mar-2007, 18:30
I keep a Polorizing filter on all my LF lenses. I have 3 lenses. The only time I remove them is if I am shooting inside.

Anthony Lewis
19-Mar-2007, 03:44
I have a B+W UV filter on every lens I own, 35mm to LF. You need them more for LF, then other formats. It takes a long time to set up LF, and in adverse conditions they are subjected to all the elements. I just unscrew the UV just prior to exposing the shot.

Remember, the best filter can cause reflections - do not actually shoot through it - that is not good. However this is not an excuse to buy a cheap UV. You still need a good one, B+W or equivalent. If weather is bad, like rain, hail ot whatever, then you will need to shoot through this UV filter. When the weather and elements are bad, that is when you get the best shots - so buy a good UV protective filter.

Use them to frame and compose your shot - unscrew them to shoot. If the weather is bad - then shoot through it.

GPS
19-Mar-2007, 06:32
Even an improvised lens shade can shade your lens from "rain, hail or whatever" better than a UV filter. And you're much more sure you don't get there any rain drops than putting a UV filter there and praying the drops will avoid it...

John Berry
19-Mar-2007, 11:16
If you want to shoot chrome in the NW I recommend you bring a B&W KR 1.5

stevebeyer
19-Mar-2007, 11:52
Generally No,

I do not add a filter to any lens that I have unless I can see a potential danger that would suggest its use. (Salt Water Spray - Blowing Sand) I use the John Shaw approach to filters each glass surfaces add the potential for image degredation. A filter also requires a bit more care from sunlight hitting the surface of the lens. There have been many heated debates about this over the years I have been a forum participant. This is my opinion but you can take it with a grain of salt. Try it your self and form your own opinion:)

Dean Jones
23-Mar-2007, 01:20
I prefer to shoot without a filter of any kind...having said that, I keep a UV on there for protection, until it`s time to fire the shutter, then it comes off. I'd leave it on in the case of a landscape, where haze might be a problem. :)

toyoman
25-Mar-2007, 11:05
What has been interesting with this string is that everyone has a different reason for or against using the uv filter, ie. for protecting the lens. One thing I have not noticed that could be considered a question for the user of any filter, uv or haze is, "Is it needed for the exposure?". I have found that there is really good filtration with the other filters such as the light yellow, for which I use more commonly. If you shoot at high altitudes, then the filtration is a must (not just for protection). I have found that with the T-Max film (highly blue sensitive), if I want to lower or raise the contrast index of the highlights, all I have to do is put on the uv or light yellow filter. Voila, no blown out highlights and have kept the detail in the shadows. I am using the haze or uv (or light yellow) exactly for what it was meant for, filtration. For me, the lens protection part comes from putting the caps back on :)

toyoman
25-Mar-2007, 11:39
I went through in more detail and read all of the talk about the protection thing, and some had mentioned what the filter was designed for. Most uv filters spec out as 96.999 +/- % filtration. What is to be aware of is that sometimes the haze filter is more appropriate only because there may be an excessive amount of ir/low level red light in the view along with the uv. Lenses have a natural filtration caracteristic just by the fact that the glass and the coatings can filter out uv. What I have found out is that there is an excessive amount of white/blue light high up on the spectrum that also get's filtered out to some extent by some lenses (Fujinon and Rodenstock for example). I don't have a spectral photometer to measure blue light exiting the lens, but I have noticed the contrast difference in the negative through comparison tests. In order to make the highlights more controllable, I use the uv or yellow filters. The uv filtration factors to a minus density range of .1 to .2 when the negative falls within 2.8 to 3.5 density range for the highlights at high elevations above 2500 ft (not really high for some folks). Photographic papers and scanners seem to have a hard time rendering highlight detail much above 3.5 (even for color), so I try to make that my maximum density.

jonsmith
26-Mar-2007, 11:56
I'm trying to use filters only if necessary, I'd rather keep the optics as pure as possible. Maybe I'm obsessing about the optics, but I can handle and clean my lenses carefully enough to avoid damage.

senderoaburrido
14-Mar-2016, 10:03
I know I have a terrible habit of reviving these dead threads, but-
Is there any reason to purchase a UV filter over a clear protector filter? Maybe, in filtering UV out, UV filters ever-so-slightly darken the image. Either way, both filter types seem to come out to about the same price. I was going to pick up some Hoya clear filters to protect my LF lenses, and I'm not sure whether that's a mistake. Someone with experience please adjust my naivete.

Jim Noel
14-Mar-2016, 11:14
It's normal installing a UV filter on 35mm lenses. The filter also servers as the protector. How about your LF lenses? Do you install a UV filter or protector?

NEVER. Why put a cheap piece of glass in front of an expensive one. Also, some say they do so to protect the lens, but if it is dropped and the filter breaks there is a good chance of damage to the lens.

Jim Jones
14-Mar-2016, 11:31
A lens hood may provide good protection, especially if it screws in rather than clip in.

senderoaburrido
14-Mar-2016, 11:57
NEVER. Why put a cheap piece of glass in front of an expensive one. Also, some say they do so to protect the lens, but if it is dropped and the filter breaks there is a good chance of damage to the lens.

Recently, I accidentally touched a lens with my fingertips, trying to adjust the aperture while looking through the ground glass from behind the camera. Having learned my lesson, I'd still like to take precautions to prevent me from damaging anything in momentary lapses of judgement like that. What if I go shooting and it starts to rain? The residues and bacteria in the raindrops will surely stain my lens, necessitating an inherently abrasive cleanup. I can see situations, including my aforementioned mishap, that would make having the lenses covered a a good idea.

jose angel
14-Mar-2016, 12:30
Recently, I accidentally touched a lens with my fingertips, trying to adjust the aperture while looking through the ground glass from behind the camera. Having learned my lesson, I'd still like to take precautions to prevent me from damaging anything in momentary lapses of judgement like that. What if I go shooting and it starts to rain? The residues and bacteria in the raindrops will surely stain my lens, necessitating an inherently abrasive cleanup. I can see situations, including my aforementioned mishap, that would make having the lenses covered a a good idea.

I don`t think things get that tragic. I don`t believe a couple raindrops "will surely stain your lens", nor it will need an "inherently abrasive cleanup".
If there is a need of it, just use it; to avoid moisture, sand or whatever. But if there is no sand moisture or whatever, where is the reason? Well, I can wear kneepads or a raincoat everyday just in case I fall or it start raining... Or to use rubber gloves everywhere and all the time to avoid "bacteria and residues" that could make me sick... does it makes sense? With a bit of common sense, life turns easier.

Sal Santamaura
14-Mar-2016, 12:33
I know I have a terrible habit of reviving these dead threads...It's not a terrible habit. It's the right thing to do. Please keep doing it!


...Is there any reason to purchase a UV filter over a clear protector filter? Maybe, in filtering UV out, UV filters ever-so-slightly darken the image...The degree of tonal effect depends on how much UV is present in the scene. I keep a UV filter on all lenses I own, regardless of camera format. Little or no UV -- same as clear. UV -- gain the benefit of haze reduction.


...I was going to pick up some Hoya clear filters...


NEVER. Why put a cheap piece of glass in front of an expensive one. Also, some say they do so to protect the lens, but if it is dropped and the filter breaks there is a good chance of damage to the lens.Protecting lenses is more than just providing a possible sacrificial covering in case of impact. The more important function, in my opinion, is to afford a front surface that takes the beating of exposure to elements and required ongoing cleaning. How many times have used lenses been described as having "cleaning marks?" They don't get any if one instead cleans the attached UV filter.

As for putting "a cheap piece of glass in front of an expensive one," I suggest choosing from B+W and Heliopan filters, which certainly aren't inexpensive. Made from top-quality optical glass, their multicoated versions do not degrade lenses' performance, and their brass rings don't gall when screwed into aluminum front cell female threads.

Alan Gales
14-Mar-2016, 13:49
Just my 2 cents.

I bought a Contax 35mm camera and 5 Zeiss lenses back in the 1980's. I always kept Contax UV filters on the lenses. I never tested my lenses with and without the filters but I never noticed degradation to my images due to the UV filters.

When I decided to buy an 8X10 camera just a few years ago I needed to sell my Zeiss lenses to help finance the 8x10. I sold all my lenses on Ebay and got top dollar. All 5 buyers were very pleased with the lenses. One contacted me and said he was amazed at how well the coated optics were. He asked me how I cleaned my lenses. I told him I just cleaned them properly like most photographers did but the key was that I seldom ever cleaned them. I just cleaned the UV filters.

I have kept this same practice up with medium format and large format lenses. If a shot is real important like Kirk says you can always remove the filter. I also remove them to use other filters like polarizers, neutral density filters or colored filters for black and white.

Two23
14-Mar-2016, 15:30
It's normal installing a UV filter on 35mm lenses. The filter also servers as the protector. How about your LF lenses? Do you install a UV filter or protector?

Never use UV filters. Do use colored filters when shooting film (as I only shoot b&w film.) NEVER use filters on my Nikon DSLR lenses. They're more apt to CAUSE damage than prevent it. Personal experience. UV filters are very thin and break easily, and the broke glass is second only to diamonds in ability to scratch a lens. Again, personal experience. I do use lens caps when not taking a photo--those will stop just about anything up to a .22 bullet! Also always use lens hood. Those deflect crap from hitting lens in the first place. It would cost me more to put a coated UV filter on all my lenses than a repair would. I shoot outdoors almost daily for over 20 years now. Have NEVER had an element scratched because a filter wasn't on it. Have had two lenses scratched because a filter WAS on it, which broke and then scratched the lens. Also, I do get image degradation from having filters on so I avoid using them routinely.


--->Filters are more apt to damage your lens than protect it.


Kent in SD

senderoaburrido
14-Mar-2016, 22:59
As for putting "a cheap piece of glass in front of an expensive one," I suggest choosing from B+W and Heliopan filters, which certainly aren't inexpensive. Made from top-quality optical glass, their multicoated versions do not degrade lenses' performance, and their brass rings don't gall when screwed into aluminum front cell female threads.

The issue is that currently, our dollar is garbage. Living in Canada, a lot of prices for special consumer products like these are higher simply because of the limited number of importers and the high taxes. The static minimum wage (which is what I earn) doesn't really help given the current depreciation of our dollar's value. I looked at the Hoya's, and the B+W's together. The B+W's are, in most cases, between 2 and 4 times as expensive than the Hoyas. Most of my lenses came used. Very few of them are in mint condition. My most expensive lens was 450$. Am I being unreasonable in thinking that paying half, or, as is the case with most of my other lenses, 2/3 or 3/4 the price of the lens for a filter is mad?

neil poulsen
15-Mar-2016, 00:29
I avoid them. I think I have one on my 90mm that I remove prior to exposing an image. It helps protect the lens during transit; my Schneider cover for this lens doesn't stay on very well.

jose angel
15-Mar-2016, 04:58
Am I being unreasonable in thinking that paying half, or, as is the case with most of my other lenses, 2/3 or 3/4 the price of the lens for a filter is mad?
I`d think on the lenses or situations where a protection filter is certainly advisable. If you like, say, kayaking, just buy a cheap filter to be attached in the zoom lens you like to use. Or if you have a photography project in a windy beach, or you want an image of the mud coming out from a motocross wheel... just buy an affordable one than can be used on several lenses. To shoot a grandma`s portrait sitting on a living room you actually don`t need a protection filter.
What I (personally) think you don`t need, is to attach a super expensive top brand multicoated fancy filter on every one of your lenses, just in case a raindrop fall over it. If so, you`d need a bunch of high performance filters (=$$$) to be used under any situation, like backlighted or stray light scenarios where a cheap one will show its weaknesses.

Jim Jones
15-Mar-2016, 07:07
Protective filters are nearly a necessity in some environments. In the past 65 years I've had to retire two lenses because I rarely used a protective filter. The pair cost under $200. Film cost in that time was thousands, and other equipment much more. I've discarded a few irreplaceable photos due to reflections from the uncoated filters we used in those early years. Filters are like condoms; you don't need them if you don't go in harm's way.

ottluuk
15-Mar-2016, 07:17
Am I being unreasonable in thinking that paying half, or, as is the case with most of my other lenses, 2/3 or 3/4 the price of the lens for a filter is mad?

I did some thinking on this a while ago. I figured that if a good quality UV/clear filter of appropriate size is more than ~1/10 of the value of the lens, it's not really worth getting for that lens. The chance of catastrophic damage that would be avoided by a filter is pretty small – in typical use by me – YMMV. I use lens caps and hoods whenever needed. I clean the glass rarely and lightly.

Avoid cheap filters. Some lens designs are particularly sensitive to putting crap in front of them. My old Canon 50mm macro was pretty nasty with some filters – not only did it pick up flare but it actually lost a noticeable amount of sharpness.

Noah A
15-Mar-2016, 07:32
I keep B+W brand MRC filters on all of my lenses. I've run tests and not noticed any difference in image quality. But I do work in some rough and dusty conditions, and I know the protection has saved me from a few expensive repairs.

Alan Gales
15-Mar-2016, 07:34
This thread reminds me of me and my friend Harold's argument. I use UV filters and he does not except for when shooting in mountains.

We both have our reasons but are not about to change the others opinion! ;)

Sal Santamaura
15-Mar-2016, 09:20
The issue is that currently, our dollar is garbage. Living in Canada, a lot of prices for special consumer products like these are higher simply because of the limited number of importers and the high taxes...I'd suggest ordering from B&H. Apparently, it has come up with a shipping program that is acceptable to many of your countrymen. As for taxes, they are what they are, and I can offer no way around them. At least you get something in return for paying them. :)


...The static minimum wage (which is what I earn) doesn't really help given the current depreciation of our dollar's value. I looked at the Hoya's, and the B+W's together. The B+W's are, in most cases, between 2 and 4 times as expensive than the Hoyas...Large format photography has always been expensive as a hobby. When the digital revolution mostly buried it as a profession, much equipment became available very cheaply. I believe that time has passed. Engaging in this as a hobby carries with it certain irreducible costs. Perhaps if you can't pay the freight for filters that won't degrade optical performance, your lenses should go "naked."


...Most of my lenses came used. Very few of them are in mint condition. My most expensive lens was 450$. Am I being unreasonable in thinking that paying half, or, as is the case with most of my other lenses, 2/3 or 3/4 the price of the lens for a filter is mad?Madness would be failure to objectively balance risk and reward. If you believe that high quality lenses will continue to be available at bargain prices, even when denominated in Loonies, then paying a substantial portion of their acquisition costs for UV filters might be described as crazy. It's all a guessing game really; who can predict the future?

My lenses, except those few obtained for specific, unique characteristics long after their production runs ended, were all purchased brand new. I consider the B+W/Heliopan UV filters on them, also purchased new, to be worthwhile insurance policies with appropriate premium costs. Only you can decide what level of insurance is appropriate for your circumstances.

senderoaburrido
16-Mar-2016, 10:37
Absurdly, B&H is a little cheaper. I'm surprised. I might just grab a single 82mm filter for my 450$ lens, as it is both in the best condition and the most irreplaceable of the bunch. I have a load of adapters, so, hypothetically were I feeling that the others need protection in a given situation, I could switch the filter around, as none of them have larger-diameter filter threads.

And one last time: UV filters are worth it over simple clear protectors? They come out to about the same price from B+W, but I just want to be sure I'm not making a mistake. There's absolutely nothing lost in filtering UV?

Sal Santamaura
16-Mar-2016, 11:43
...And one last time: UV filters are worth it over simple clear protectors?...Yes, they are. Unless you want to accentuate UV-caused haze (and are using a film that responds to UV), nothing is lost in filtering out UV.

RSalles
16-Mar-2016, 19:52
Actually I ask myself why Zeiss, Schneider, B+W, Leitz, Rodenstock, Canon, Nikon etc. make UV filters. Maybe because there is some folks out there which never - in maybe 40 years using cameras - ever had dropped a lens. Agree that a cheapo filter does more harm then good, but a quality one in a very good shape, why not?
I don't see the point where some folks prefer to be parted in 2 pieces by a train, or being hanged in a tree by the neck then using a good and reputable branded UV filter. Another urban legend...

Cheers,

Renato

Nodda Duma
17-Mar-2016, 03:17
I don`t think things get that tragic. I don`t believe a couple raindrops "will surely stain your lens", nor it will need an "inherently abrasive cleanup".
If there is a need of it, just use it; to avoid moisture, sand or whatever. But if there is no sand moisture or whatever, where is the reason? Well, I can wear kneepads or a raincoat everyday just in case I fall or it start raining... Or to use rubber gloves everywhere and all the time to avoid "bacteria and residues" that could make me sick... does it makes sense? With a bit of common sense, life turns easier.

Moisture left on the lens damages coatings. The MgF2 which, without exception, comprises the outer or only coating layer of visible optics, is slightly soluble in water. More soluble in acidic solutions. That includes finger oils and acid rain (raindrops). Finger oils will also etch glass if left unattended. This is a well-known failure mode. Also, salt fog testing for optics can be particularly brutal even on hardened coatings. So if you shoot near the ocean I highly recommend a protective filter.


That said I don't put a UV filter on the front of my large format camera which I use to shoot hand-coated dry plate, since a) it has no threads and b) a significant part of the wavelengths my homemade emulsion is sensitive to is down in the UV. Older uncoated lenses are a little more durable than coated in this one regard. All my other cameras have uv/haze filters in place.

Doremus Scudder
17-Mar-2016, 09:05
I'll add a good-quality UV filter to my lens when shooting in adverse conditions (rain, salt spray, etc.) but otherwise prefer not to for a couple of reasons.

First why add another pair of air-to-glass surfaces to my lens when I don't need to (even if I use a coated filter).

Second, I tend to use filters for a large enough percentage of my shots that taking off the UV filter to mount another one and then the reverse is just too much of a PITA.

Third, I take good care of my lenses and they are clean; the surface of the lens gets uncovered when focusing and exposing; usually the air I shoot in is clean enough not to damage it. I've got lenses I've owned for over 30 years and they are just fine (even older single-soft-coated lenses). Just clean them once with the recommended materials, keep the clean and don't clean them unless needed.

Doremus

Kirk Gittings
17-Mar-2016, 09:13
I keep a good one on until I shoot. Why bother? Mainly because I often times shoot in adverse weather. I can set up and focus etc. and keep the lens clean until I'm ready to actually pull the trigger.

DennisD
17-Mar-2016, 18:20
I keep a good one on until I shoot. Why bother? Mainly because I often times shoot in adverse weather. I can set up and focus etc. and keep the lens clean until I'm ready to actually pull the trigger.

Just another thing to remember (or forget) !

However, I do the very same and remove the uv filter before I shoot.
I'd rather protect the lens than be troubled with other issues. Fortunately, I've never broken a filter.
Having a filter in place has saved me from more problems than not having one.

Bob Salomon
18-Mar-2016, 09:31
Always, when shooting black and white. When shooting color I always use a KR 1.5 Skylight filter rather then a UV. For digital, with lenses longer then 28mm I always use a Digital Heliopan filter. The only exceptions are when I replace the filter with a polarizer.

Shootar401
18-Mar-2016, 23:08
Never used a UV on my 35mm, 120 or 4x5. I have one for some stupid reason, but never used it, never will.