Filter for lens

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by tim_tan|1, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. There are lots of discussion on pro and con on using flter to protect
    your lens. Do you normally use one? or you don't bother. Would like
    to hear the general concensus
  2. Filter as a protection? No. I use the lens shade for that purpose. There are two filters I normally use for esthetic reasons: For black and white photography an excellent yellow-green filter from Heliopan and sometimes Leica's nice but overpriced M-polarizer.

    Frank Thoma
  3. I don't follow strict rules on protective filter use. It depends on the lens and the circumstances. I don't have filters on Japanese lenses of any mount including Voigtlanders, Nikkors, EOS, except for two "L" zooms because the elements are large and I like the keep the hoods on all the time. For those prime lenses I use the cap for protection. Also on the L zoom I have hundred dollar B&W MRC filters on them. I don't see the point of using expensive filters on inexpensive lenses, and I don't see the point of using cheap filters at all.

    With Leica lenses I don't use any filter if I bought them used, and I don't waste time with odd size filters like the series filters. I keep MRC filters on all my newly purchased M lenses. The compromises on image quality caused by handholding a camera using relatively fast film make degradation from filter use a minor issue. That said I don't use filters if I am using a tripod.

    I live in Asia where it is dusty and dirty in most cities so a filter may not be optional at time. If I lived in San Francisco I would not use any filters at all.
  4. Me too -- I never use a filter to protect my lens, I always use a hood to protect the lens (not only against the sun). For me, the only questions about a filter are e.g. which yellow, orange, red, which quality, which company?
  5. I guess I'm the dissenting voice here... I always, if possible, keep a filter on the lens for protection (gasp!). I use B+W filters with MRC only, and if it causes a wee bit of degradation, so be it. I've seen too many Leica lenses with cleaning marks, faint scratches, swirly marks etc etc. Maybe they're all the victem of careless cleaning, but I dont think so. Inevitably the lens gets dust and crud on it, and I think that that crud degrades more than a filter. I feel much safer cleaning a filter than the lens itself.

    On a side note... the look and feel of the Leica lens is not changed by a protective filter. I love the OOF areas, the smooth tonality, and this remains the same. If the filter degrades anything, its maybe a bit of contrast, and a few LP/MM resolution - but not to any amount discernable by me.
  6. What Charles said, vebatim.
  7. There is no "general consensus." Do what you want. Almost all
    of the time, like Michael Kastner, I employ filters only to achieve a
    certain look w/B&W, not to protect the lens (a nice, rigid lens
    hood does a better job protecting against flare & impacts).
    However, somewhat like Ray Tai, if I know I'm going to be in an
    unusually dirty environment, I may use a protection or UV filter.
  8. Okay, I'll fess up right now. When I'm out in the Arctic or back in the desert, I may put on a UV filter, but I'm not there all that much any more.
  9. I guess I'm in the minority here as I always use a filter. For color I generaly have a Hoya Sky-1B; with B&W I mostly use a Yellow 12 or a 25A Red; sometines an orange or green filter is called for. I have a yellow 8 or 12 for each of my lenses from 39mm to 95mm - I must have 5 in 49mm size.

    I've done this since 1976 and haven't had a problem. I do keep them clean and I'd rather clean a filter than the lens. From 35mm I don't make prints larger than 10 x 15; from my 6x6 negatives 16x20 is the max.

    I guess there is some degradation of the image with a filter in theory; in practice I've never seen any (well, except for a soft focus filter). I did a test of Hoya Sky 1B filters (single coated) in 1976; no one in my photo class at the UW Madison could tell the difference looking at 11x14 prints or 35mm projected slides. After that I put the filters on and have never worried about it since.

    My advice is to run your own tests; if YOU can SEE a difference then decide if the loss in image sharpess is offset by the benefit of using the filter. Test a UV Haze or Sky light filter; testing a yellow filter with B&W pan film against a blue sky will darken the sky and it then becomes difficult to judge loss of sharpness.
  10. No filter. I didn't pay all that money to have a piece of additional glass lower the contrast of my lenses.
  11. I agree with Carles B. and Jay as well.
  12. A Leica UVa for B&W film; a B+W KR1.5 MRC, for color slide. It has nothing to do with protection.
  13. I keep filters on all of my lenses. When you are shooting in the rain, wind, snow and coastal regions with all of the above, the filter is far easier to clean. I get salt, sand and particulates from the rain building up on the filters. I do not have filters for the 400 or 280 Telyt's but they are not used much.

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