Do I Need Lense Filters?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by nicholas_siebenmorgen, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. I just ordered a Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX lense for my Canon 20D and the
    salesman at Adorama tried to convince me that I needed some filters
    for the lense but I declined because of my budget. My question is, do
    I really need filters are can I simulate most of what a filter would
    do in Photoshop? As I recall the photographer I just interned for
    never used filters. I'll appreciate any help

  2. you don't need anything but you can use filters creatively. the effect of polarising filters can't be reproduced in photoshop. neutral density filters can be used to get long exposures in bright light. many people use UV filters to protect the front element of the lens in case of a drop or something hitting/scratching it
  3. The only filter that really makes sense from a creative point of view is a polarizing filter. It must be a circular (as opposed to linear) polarizing filter, though, because of the auto focus system in the camera.

    Many sales people will try to sell you a filter for "protection". I feel it is because they make a handsome profit selling filters. A good quality lens hood will provide much more physical protection as well as protection from stray light sources (strong light sources outside your subject area). A filter over the lens for protection makes sense only in extreme situations such as taking photos in environments like blowing sand, etc.
  4. I have two filters for almost every different size lens that I own. I automatically cost in the price of the two filters when I buy a new lens. Circular polarizing filter and a UV filter.. The first is essential, IMHO, for clouds, rivers, reflections etc. The second protects my lens. Don't scoff, I dropped a camera twenty years ago at a graduation exercise and believe it or not, the filter ring dented.. Unusable! The lens was undamaged. No, it hasn't happened again, but.... Roger
  5. You no longer need CC filters or B&W fitlers. You can still use ND fitlers, polarizing filters, UV/Haze filters & star filters (if you like that effect).

    For everything else Photoshop is better.
  6. I use UV filters but I don't think they are necessary. I do however think the polarizer lens and a neutral density filter are very useful. I own that lens and the 82mm filter size is expensive. I buy most of my filters on ebay, its only way to get a good filter at a reasonable price.
  7. Are there any filter brands that are better than others? Is sharpness compromised with a filter?
  8. B&W is probably considered by most to be one of the best. The upper end Hoya is not bad either.
  9. My UV filter has saved my front element from salt spray, doggie noses, tree branches and
    kiddie fingers more times than I can ever hope to count. I've had to throw away several UV
    filter due to cracks and scratches. That's much cheaper than replacing a lens or front

    I take 75% of my landscapes with a polarizer. I'd feel naked without one.
  10. Maybe s/he never went outside, or near a beach, or worked in a desert. I did as a working PJ and filters saved my a$$ more than once.
    No matter what, filters put in (or take out) effects and colors you cannot duplicate in Photoshop.
    ND filters for examples, especially graduated ND filters. A LEE filter set w/graduated filters will give you more on-camera control than PS can even imagine.
    The LEE system (and others) lets you move the gradient line to where you want it instead or mid-way the lens.
    If the millions of off-color, burned out, low contrast images on are any indication, the use of filters is a lost art.
    I worked as a PJ for more than 30 years. I always had a HOYA HMC 1b on all my pro lenses. "Protection"? Yeah but also to keep my fumbly fingers off the front element.
  11. I have Lee .3 & .6 soft ND grads, I bought these after starting down the route of individual filters for my lenses. I really wish I had saved the money I have spent on polarizer and UV filters to put towards more Lee equipment, it really is worth every penny.

    I'm now saving for a Lee polarizer, their standard bellows hood and probably a .9 ND grad. The great thing is that as my lens collection expands all I have to do is purchase a new Lee adapter ring (?15 or ~ $22, probably less abroad) and everything is usable again. A great system, high initial outlay but worth it.
  13. I never use a 'filter'...meaning a protective/UV cutting filter. I always use a hood. And most of the time, I buy a hood that either lets me use a regular cap...or I buy a cap that fits the hood.

    In my eyes, therefore, you don't NEED a filter...the hood protects the glass most of the time. I don't want to think about things like nicotine though, if that kind of garbage seeps through...atmospheric gunk too...

    The way I see it, I just don't want to put more glass in front of a lens...just doesn't make sense to me.

    I'm not saying a good filter will degrade your image, I'm sure you'd not notice the difference. But it's a philosophy I like to extra glass.

  14. Circular Polarizers and lens hoods for all your lenses.

    Not much anything else.

  15. I agree with circular polarizer for effect (it also cuts haze, which a "haze" filter does not), and a UV or 1A for protection in windy/sandy/salt spray type conditions

    I tend to keep my polarizer on, and take it off if not needed, as I want it for the majority of shots. I only put the protective filter on in the above conditions
  16. My camera salesperson tried to sell my a protective filter. Should I get one?
    As I see it - No. I am doing fine (for 15 years) without any. I think that the use of a protective filter is justified only in hostile environments (e.g. in the middle of a sand storm) where there is a real risk that something will actually touch the lens (water and fingerprints are easily wiped off). And as I'm never in such places I simply use the lens caps when the lens is in the bag and the lens hood at all other times (i.e. when it's on the camera). This way...
    1. I have the best flare protection. Some mediocre filters actually increase the chance of getting flare. Good ones are pricey.
    2. I have better physical protection.
    3. I save money of "protective" filters. A dedicated lens hood is cheaper than a good filter.
    4. I have best optical results.
    The only filter I own is a CPL. As I have good lenses (Canon primes), I chose an equally good filter: B+W MRC. If I'd buy a UV filter at some point in the future it will also be B+W MRC. From what I hear B+W are the best. My experience with my CPL confirms this.
    Also, have a look here and here.
    Happy shooting ,
  17. Funny really,

    notice how so many people say a lense hood is better protection than a filter?

    Its as if you actually can't have both!

    If you are nervous, get some, but if you do get the best. I have B+W MRC Skylight filters on
    all my lenses, but that's just me. And I also always use lense hoods.

    If you want to chance it, don't get some.

    Neutral grad filters are worth it to cut down on the contrast for some landscape work. But
    you can get around it by taking multiple exposures, exposing for shadow and highlights
    and merging them all. But, you know what? Why bother? Why not just use the filter and get
    it right in camera instead of wasting your life in front of the PC?

    The exception? A polariser. You need one of those...PS cant do it.
  18. >> Its as if you actually can't have both!

    Sure you can but it's pricey. That's why most people don't go that route.

    Happy shooting,
  19. Those 82mm filters are a true budget-buster. With the crop factor on the 20D, you might be able to use a step-down ring and use 77mm filters. A circular polarizer is probably all you need, by the way (as nearly everyone else has pointed out).

    Adorama has really been pushing filter sets - they held up shipping my Tamron Macro lens until I called them so they could give me the filter sales pitch.
  20. >>Its as if you actually can't have both!

    True, but also a lens hood gives that small chance at a better image (increase in contrast) vs. that small chance at decreasing image quality (maybe a cheap filter).

    I guess both a filter and a hood can vignette...hehe.
  21. I always use at least either a UV or a skylight filter on the end of my lens. I'm always cleaning my filters, I rarely ever clean a lens.

    I have UV, Skylight, polarizer, neutral density, yellow, orange and red filters for almost every lens I own. I also have a cokin kit with two grey gradual filters.

    Filters are filters are filters by the way. I've used Jessops, Hoya, Kood, B+W, Hamma, Tiffen and Mamiya and I can't tell them apart image wise. Also always check with your secondhand dealer(s) for secondhand filters before purchasing a new one. You can often pick em up for buttons.
  22. My question is, do I really need filters are can I simulate most of what a filter would do in Photoshop?
    That is indeed a very good question.
    As I recall the photographer I just interned for never used filters
    ... which points to the fact that neccessity of filters is more of a personal choice. Just because the salesman says you need them does not mean you need one. If the same salesman had said - well you really need an additional lens say the 28-300L - would you believe it ? So why give any credence to the salesman anyways ?
    Personally, I stick hoods and a combo of CPL+warmer (81A or C) when I feel I need to. Works for me.
    - Harman
  23. Personally. . .I find the hood on my 17-40/4L to be fairly worthless in general -> Particularly for "lens protection". I have a bunch of hoods that are "notched". . .I would not rely on them for protection.

    I also am in salt spray more often than I care to admit. . . .Filters are alot easier to clean than a lens front.

    To date. . .I have trashed one 77mm filter due to some crud getting on it.

    And any rule has its exceptions -> For critical work, I will take the UV filter off.

    - - - - -

    And I don't go outside on a sunny day without a circular polarizer.

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