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Old 02-06-2013, 07:46 PM   #1
caa1277
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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?
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by caa1277 View Post
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.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:22 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:03 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:24 PM   #5
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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!

Any other suggestions or tips with filters?
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:26 PM   #6
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Used a uv filter for past 20 years on every rebel I've had, don't like pictures without it
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:07 AM   #7
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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.

No filter


With a polarizing filter
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:30 AM   #8
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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?

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Old 02-07-2013, 09:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
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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?

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.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:41 AM   #10
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I like my polorizing filter....UV I don't bother with anymore.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeandReneePlus5 View Post
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?

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.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:39 PM   #12
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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.


TDD5 0932 by Terry McGraw Photography, on Flickr


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.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixel Dust View Post
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.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:11 PM   #14
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Thanks, it's easier to justify one nicer brand polarizing filter (translation=get spendy) and use a step up ring than buying 3 filters for the different diameters my lenses have, luckily my 18-135 IS STM lens and my 18-55 2.8 ate both 67mm. If the vignetting isn't really bad it's not that hard to fix it in Lightroom or photoshop. I should also look into a circular polarizer.

Sadly I don't think I've used a polarizer since the film days. Maybe it's just because I was using cheap ones, back in my college days, and wasn't happy with the results (or too lazy to put them on ). The reality is their is no excuse for this and I better pick one up along with 2 step up rings.

What impact does this have on lens hoods? My 18-55 came with a hood that attaches to the lens, not the filter screw area, but luckily they are my largest (at least for now) diameter lenses. Should I pick up a 67mm screw on type lens hood and use the step up ring to use it with others, or should I buy a lens hood for each size?

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Old 02-10-2013, 05:25 PM   #15
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I have a lens hood for each lens. It just works better for me. And even if two lenses are the same diameter one may use a regular round hood and the other might be wide enough to require a petal hood... it's never as easy as one size fits all.
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