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-   -   Filters....use or don't use? (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3060613)

caa1277 02-06-2013 07:46 PM

Filters....use or don't use?
 
Is there any point to using filters like UV or polarizing? Just got my first SLR and I know they make them for them, but I've never used one. Any benefit to using them?

wbeem 02-06-2013 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caa1277 (Post 47428381)
Is there any point to using filters like UV or polarizing? Just got my first SLR and I know they make them for them, but I've never used one. Any benefit to using them?

UV, not so much. A polarizer can be quite useful to reduce glare. For example, you could be shooting water or a window without a polarizer and the surface will just give you a lot of reflection. Put on the polarizer and you can see what's under the water or behind the window. Keep in mind that it will cut a stop of light when you use it.

photo_chick 02-06-2013 08:22 PM

I agree with wbeem. UV filters can cause more problems than they solve. But a polarizer is a very handy tool to have in your bag.

littlekidagain 02-06-2013 09:03 PM

I started out using UV filter and now I feel I wasted my money. Photo Chick and wbeem mention polarizer filters which I agree with. Now I pretty much only use Neutral Dentistry filters to slow my shutter speed during the day.

caa1277 02-06-2013 11:24 PM

Well I'm glad that I didn't run out and but a UV filter. I may look into the polarizer. I knew I could count on you guys to give great advice! :thumbsup2

Any other suggestions or tips with filters?

disneybaker 02-06-2013 11:26 PM

Used a uv filter for past 20 years on every rebel I've had, don't like pictures without it

Pixel Dust 02-07-2013 08:07 AM

The UV filters are no longer necessary. They were a must using film. As film is sensitive to UV light, it would cast a bluish haze outdoors.

Digital sensors have the UV (and IR) filters built right into them. Adding an additional UV filter does nothing to improve the image. Many would argue that adding that extra glass would degrade the photo, make it less sharp or less contrast. Any improvement is a placebo effect.

UV filters (or plain clear filters) definitely increases the chance of flare and reflections in the lens. Here is my mistake. On the left, you can see the reflection of the bright lights from the right. This wasn't a cheapo brand filter either. It was taken with a Hoya UV Multi-Coated filter. Which is now collecting dust.


Polarizing filters can be very useful. Like others have said, they can reduce reflections off of water and glass, or have the sky a deeper blue and vegetation more vibrant. Here are my samples.


MikeandReneePlus5 02-07-2013 09:30 AM

I like my polarizing filter, but you really nned to be at the right angle to the sun. Or maybe I'm using it wrong. See this example where some of the sky isn't polarized becasue the light isn't at the right angle.

Is this avoidable?

http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/...5/IMG_0994.jpg

photo_chick 02-07-2013 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixel Dust (Post 47431814)
The UV filters are no longer necessary. They were a must using film. As film is sensitive to UV light, it would cast a bluish haze outdoors.

Digital sensors have the UV (and IR) filters built right into them. Adding an additional UV filter does nothing to improve the image. Many would argue that adding that extra glass would degrade the photo, make it less sharp or less contrast. Any improvement is a placebo effect.

Yep. They don't do anything good with digital. And newer films do not have color shift from UV as much as older films so a lot of film photographers forgo the UV filters now as well.

mom2rtk 02-07-2013 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeandReneePlus5 (Post 47432586)
I like my polarizing filter, but you really nned to be at the right angle to the sun. Or maybe I'm using it wrong. See this example where some of the sky isn't polarized becasue the light isn't at the right angle.

Is this avoidable?

http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/...5/IMG_0994.jpg

I do know polarizing filters can add vignetting at ultra wide angles. That looks like a fairly wide shot. Maybe that's what's going on here.

wiigirl 02-07-2013 09:41 AM

I like my polorizing filter....UV I don't bother with anymore.

cpbjgc 02-07-2013 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeandReneePlus5 (Post 47432586)
I like my polarizing filter, but you really nned to be at the right angle to the sun. Or maybe I'm using it wrong. See this example where some of the sky isn't polarized becasue the light isn't at the right angle.

Is this avoidable?

http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/...5/IMG_0994.jpg

Like Mom2RTK said, you get this uneven polarization with a wide angle lens. It's not really avoidable, though it can be more or less pronounced than you have here, depending on where the sun is in relation to the shot you are taking. My only advice is anticipate it will happen and either adjust your composition, or use the effect creatively in your composition.

Gianna'sPapa 02-07-2013 12:39 PM

I agree with most everyone about the UV filter. There is only one time that I use it and its only for added protection. I photograph Team Demolition Derby which is run on a wet, mud track. The mud and mud clods are flying everywhere. I can't count the number of times my cameras have been hit.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8306/8...4ef185b9_b.jpg
TDD5 0932 by Terry McGraw Photography, on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8424/7...331ed466_z.jpg
TD3 K 9132 by Terry McGraw Photography, on Flickr

I use the polarizing filter (and my ND filter) quite frequently for reasons the others have mentioned.

caa1277 02-07-2013 09:20 PM

Thanks for all of the info and suggestions everyone. Is there a particular brand of a polarizing filter that is better than another or are they all pretty much the same?

I may get one and play around with it to see how it affects my shots. I'm not afraid of messing up or making mistakes. After all, that is how one learns the best in my opinion!

boBQuincy 02-08-2013 01:40 PM

Digital camera sensors are not sensitive to UV so the filter does not provide a useful function unless we want it only for lens protection. A lens hood usually does better at this and has no chance of degrading the image (unless it vignettes). An inexpensive filter can degrade the image (slightly) and can also cause strange reflections when used in a dark area where there are light sources. This applies to polarizers or any other filter as well but the inexpensive (uncoated) filters are usually the worst.

A polarizing filter is useful for reducing reflections and atmospheric haze as well as improving color saturation. As long as there is sufficient light a polarizer could be left on the lens without any harm although in certain lighting it may not provide any benefit. For most dSLRs a circular polarizer is required, a linear polarizer may affect the focusing system.

Some good brands are B&W, Heliopan, Schneider; many others may be good also but the cheapest ones are probably not so good. They are definitely not all the same, some have color shifts, uneven polarization, glass that causes distortions, etc.


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