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Protective filter?

Discussion in 'photo' started by Newboy, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. Newboy

    Newboy pfm Member

    Who is in favour of a protective filter & who against?

    At present I have one on my X100S to avoid the possibility of getting any dust to the sensor with the movement of the lens focus, particularly as the sensor is non-get-atable, but am thinking of buying my first interchangeable lens digital camera & wonder if it's worth it given that dust will get in on changing lenses.
  2. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart pfm Member

    I don't use one. I'm not against them, but I'm reasonably careful with my gear when out and about, and I don't go to dusty forest rallies anymore. My 70-200 usually has a polariser fitted anyway.
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I've always used a simple UV filter as a lens cap right from the days of my first decent camera (an OM1). I could never be bothered with plastic caps etc so just used the filter as protection in the ERC. I've got one on my current Fuji X-Pro1 too.
  4. Bananahead

    Bananahead pfm Member

    I only use them on lenses that need them for weather sealing.

    I always use a hood that provides enough protection.
  5. Cesare

    Cesare pfm Member

    With normal or longer lenses, the front element of the lens is a long way from the depth of field, so you can have a large lump of dirt on the front element and it won't affect the lens performance (as in, you won't be able to see it in the resulting images). A big scratch will affect performance if you put the sun in the frame, as will grease, but otherwise, again, will be hard if not impossible to see any effect in the resulting image.

    For wide and ultra-wide lenses, the front element is much closer to the depth of field, and in this case, you can see some sort of rough blobs if you have a big enough bit of gunk on the front element, so you will need to clean these lenses for best performance. Personally, I would rather have a filter that I can remove and wash in the sink than try to fiddle around with blowers and cloths on the front element, so I use a filter on wide lenses to aid cleaning.

    For all lens types, using a hood is a massive win - it improves contrast even in somewhat flat light, it avoids glare if you have a strong light source, and it protects the front element or filter from physical knocks, and from fingers (grease marks).

    So, use hoods whenever possible, and use filters on wide lenses. I'd recommend multi-coated filters as the way to go, and certainly don't bother with uncoated filters. Look at B+W as a good starting point.
  6. Newboy

    Newboy pfm Member

    Thanks for the replies; I too think that a serious investment in lenses would be protected by a filter & B+W are IMHO the best. I am getting an Olympus Pen F by the way - anybody have any experience?

    I already have a Fuji X100S which I shall keep but I think the Olympus, being dinky & small for travel will have sufficient IQ for me as more of a happy snapper (with pretensions!) & I love gadgets anyway & it is a gagdgeteer's delight!

    In an ideal world I would get the new Leica M10 but after much thought I came to the conclusion that to tie up that sort of investment in something that, however well made, is at the mercy of limited life electronics.

    I wish I had never sold my father's Leica II!

    I could afford the M10, though my life would be in danger from SWMBO if I didn't come up with that emerald ring!!

  7. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat pfm Member

  8. Derek Wright

    Derek Wright pfm Member

    If you have not got a forum home for photography there is a lot of helpful people in the
    - it is for Olympus 4/3rds and m4/3rds users.
  9. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I use filters on my Leica M8 because not using them can screw up the colour on synthetic black fabric.

    I used filters on my film cameras when I was shooting B&W and wanted contrast between clouds and the sky - usually a yellow.

    Apart from that I don't use filters on any of my other cameras.
  10. Newboy

    Newboy pfm Member

    Many thanks for all the replies & particularly to Derek for that pointer
  11. i-s

    i-s pfm Member

    I use them because with a decent one they provide no significant detriment to image quality and can help the resale value of a lens.

    However, a colleague of mine bought a cheap one (wasn't even that cheap, because it was an 86mm!) for his sigma 150-500, and it resulted in a really weird effect. Through a load of his shots with the lens there was something "odd" about the bokeh, and eventually we figured out that it was the filter. Here's an example of the effect:


    Strange diagonal lines in the bokeh. Rotate the filter a bit on its thread:


    Lines moved with the filter rotation. Remove filter:


    Ultimately there can be no argument that the best image quality will come from using no filter.

    I will state however, that over my 25 years of photography I've twice had a lens saved by its filter.
  12. Bananahead

    Bananahead pfm Member

  13. Asimo

    Asimo Member

    My lenses are quite expensive, just got a simple UV filter on all my lens.
  14. Rico

    Rico Registered User

    B+W 010M on all of my lenses, I trust them not to F$%k up my images (I experimented and experienced the differences), and to protect my glass. I'm not well-heeled enough to wander around without protection on the front element.
  15. Bananahead

    Bananahead pfm Member

    How often do you have to replace the filters?
  16. Mr Perceptive

    Mr Perceptive Perceptive Member

    If a lens is dropped, most damage occurs internally, damaging the front element is the least of your concerns, a hood will often help break the impact of a fall.

    That said if you are photographing a rally stage for example (flying gravel) or are in a sandstorm, then a filter would be useful.
  17. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart pfm Member

    I photographed dozens and dozens of forest rallies in the 80s, and never had anything damage my lenses. In fact, the only piece of flying gravel I remember landed in my jacket pocket after being launched by Michèle Mouton's Sport Quattro! Kept it for years :)
  18. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    I always use them but am happier to do so now I have discovered the Hoya pro1 digital MC protector filter series. After much testing I can see NO difference with these in place. I always now fit one and always anyway use a lens cap. Since some of my lenses are upward of a thousand quid, who wouldn't?
  19. Rico

    Rico Registered User

    infrequently. only if they're damaged (coating, scratches, or breakage),
  20. Bananahead

    Bananahead pfm Member

    In 40 years of SLR usage I have never dropped either a camera or a lens.
    I have never had any damage to front elements or (when I didn't know better) a filter.
    And I am not known as someone who is precious about their equipment.
    Foe example I was getting about as wet as this young lady


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