View Full Version : UV filter: does it degrade image quality ?

Dell Elzey
24-Nov-1998, 19:42
Does a UV filter used on a large format lens for protection degrade the quality of an image to any degree?

Ellis Vener
25-Nov-1998, 05:17
I use the Heliopan KR1.5 UV filter on virtually all my lenses (modern 65mm Grand agon, 90mm Grandagon, 150mm Fuji W, 210mm Nikkor W, and 300mm M-Nikkor) and see no sharpness, resolution or contrast problems. I shoot 4x5 Velvia and RDPII almo st exclusively.

Jeff White
25-Nov-1998, 12:26
Hello Dell, Every piece of glass used to make the image has an effect. I normally don't use Ansel Adams as a source but in one of his books, The Camera I believe, he reccomends that you not use a protective filter unless the potential for damage is high like in wind blown sand. All filters degrade the image somewhat but we use them because their benifit outways the negative things they do. I only use UV filters when the potential for UV light is high, for images with little or no UV light I don't use one. In LF the potential for damage is different than with a handheld camera. Normally the lens is only at risk while making a photograph, if I am walking around with a lens mounted I put the lens cap back on for piece of mind. So to answer your question if the image is degraded to any degree the answer is yes. It is a personal choice if you feel the protection outways the small degree of degradation.

John Wiemer
25-Nov-1998, 20:01
Lens caps are for protection...not filters. I agree with Ansel, only use a filt er to protect a lens when sand or dirt becomes a factor while photographing. Fi lters, IMHO, are to be used to improve an image. Don't let a salesperson try to sell you a "protective filter" when lens caps and common sense work just as wel l.

Ellis Vener
25-Nov-1998, 22:23

Jeff is correct. It is so easy to forget that filters are there to do one thing: filter something out. if you don't need a filter, don't use one. I like the sli ght but definite warmth of the Heliopan KR 1.5/UV, but contrary to my prior answ er I do not use it for every photo.