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View Full Version : UV filters, what brands to avoid and are they necessary?


d3mckinl
05-21-2011, 08:28 PM
looking at accesories to go with SLR cameras and wondering if the UV filters are worth it to put on the lens? :confused3 Then do you put one on each lens or change it with multipal lenses? then ther's the question of CP filters and FL filters? what do you all use out there?

Thanks

ukcatfan
05-22-2011, 12:42 AM
You say SLR, so maybe you are using film??? :confused3 If so, then those are good to get. If it is digital, then only a CP filter's effect cannot be duplicated in the camera. If WB is a concern of yours, then use RAW and you have a lot of flexibility to change after the fact.

The UV vs. no UV for protection is a long standing debate. It basically only protects from accidental bumping into a surface that could damage it. I have been carrying a camera around for many years and have never once needed that kind of protection. A hood is better in my opinion because it protects against things like forceful impacts, like dropping it, where the force of the impact could damage internal parts. The hood will protect it by absorbing much of the shock wave. A filter just passes the shock wave on to the lens. The ultimate protection is using both. The reason that many do not use a UV is that it will degrade the image since the light is passing through more glass.

So, if you are going to use one then use the best quality you can afford. It should be multi coated at a minimum. Also be sure to also use a hood with a filter though since the flat surface makes it easier for unwanted light to enter and cause things like flare and ghosting. Also, it is best to take them off at night or in really low light because the flare and ghosting can get really bad in those conditions.

Another type of filter that you cannot duplicate in camera for digital is a ND filter.

photo_chick
05-22-2011, 12:51 AM
I'm in the anti-UV filter camp for digital and some films. If you want protection use a lens hood. I do like a good CP or ND filter though and there are a few others that are fun to play with. Buy one filter and adapters for your lenses. I have a Cokin filter system that I drop my filters into.

Gianna'sPapa
05-22-2011, 09:06 AM
I'm also in the anti-UV camp for DSLR's for the reasons stated earlier, more glass to shoot through. When we were shooting with film, then yes, because it had an effect on the film image. With digital, that effect is negligible or non-existent. For protection, okay. I very rarely have my hoods (my protection) off my lenses. I think the only time I have them off is when I'm caught without my external flash and I need to use the onboard. The hoods can sometimes cause a shadow at the bottom of the image. I do have circular polarizer for my lenses (one with step down adaptors to save some money) that I use occasionally. That's another time I may not have the hood on, but then I have the CP for protection. I do have the intention to purchase a neutral density filter. The DW also has a set of Cokin drop-in filters that I'm trying to figure out. This photography thing is a constant learning process!:rotfl:

d3mckinl
05-22-2011, 11:34 AM
I actualy am shooting DSLR slight typo in the original post. I'm currious what situations you would use a CP vs a ND filter.

Thank you all for your imput.

ukcatfan
05-22-2011, 11:53 AM
I actualy am shooting DSLR slight typo in the original post. I'm currious what situations you would use a CP vs a ND filter.

Thank you all for your imput.

They are for completely different purposes and have completely different effects.

The ND filter is to slow everything down. Say you want to get some motion blur, but the sun is shining bright and your slowest possible shutter speed is say 1/60. That will not blur much. Add a four stop ND filter and you now get a shutter of 1/4. A graduated ND filter is a very useful tool. It has one side with the ND and the other side clear. It is for when your scene really needs two different exposures.

A CP filter removes polarized light. It is most effective when the sun is low in the sky and you are shooting either 90 or 270 degrees from the sun. It will cut reflections off windows, reduce glare off moving water, etc.

The Cokin system is a good system for the price. It allows for moving the filter up/down and rotating.

VVFF
05-22-2011, 12:45 PM
They are for completely different purposes and have completely different effects.

The ND filter is to slow everything down. Say you want to get some motion blur, but the sun is shining bright and your slowest possible focal length is say 1/60. That will not blur much. Add a four stop ND filter and you now get a shutter of 1/4. A graduated ND filter is a very useful tool. It has one side with the ND and the other side clear. It is for when your scene really needs two different exposures.

A CP filter removes polarized light. It is most effective when the sun is low in the sky and you are shooting either 90 or 270 degrees from the sun. It will cut reflections off windows, reduce glare off moving water, etc.

The Cokin system is a good system for the price. It allows for moving the filter up/down and rotating.

Good summary

I own ND filters and polarizing filters because, as he said, you really can't duplicate the results of these afterward. I've never gotten into graduated ND filters, the results can be awesome, but they take a long time to set up and can take some post processing if the skyline wasn't perfectly flat. I've favored using HDR instead and combining in post processing.

For some reason people still buy UV filters...if you want a protection filter buy a protection filter. No reason to pay for a coating that does nothing.