Filters on production leica lenses

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by tim hyde, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. Is there a real difference between Leica and non-Leica filters for
    ASPH Leica lenses? I've heard it said here that ANY filter disturbs
    the magic of a Leica lense, but I can't imagine going without a UVA
    filter, and there are times when I need a polarizer or a
    red/orange/yellow, and I still think about my warmers fondly.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Tim,
    <p>I've only started using filters on my asph and I've been told the same things about magic and such. I like the effect of using a warming filter and I'm going to continue using it on some B&W shots. Not to offend anyone, but I think some of the talk regarding the use of filters on Leica gear could be a bit snobbish or at best zealous.
     
  3. Some of us prefer the B+W filters with MRC coating. A good piece of filter glass by any top manufacturer is about the same, but the MRC coating puts the B+W ahead because of how effectively the coating kills reflections.
     
  4. I second the MRC reco.
     
  5. " Is there a real difference between Leica and non-Leica filters for ASPH Leica lenses?"

    First off, Leica does not make their own filters, they outsource them and most likely to B&W. So glass-wise they are certainly at the top compared to no-brand cheapos. But, in terms of invisibility, the B&W MRC filters as other have said, are in a league of their own. The biggest difference are the rims. Leica filter rims will retain a Leica clip-on lenscap better than the B&Ws because they're deeper in front. There are also instances (the 43mms for the older 50 Lux is one example) where only Leica rims will permit attaching the correct lens shade. Then there's the purely esthetic thing. I put B&W MRC glass into a Leitz UVa filter for my older Summicrons because they're silver chrome and matched the period. Vain and of no functional value perhaps, but so what?

    "I've heard it said here that ANY filter disturbs the magic of a Leica lense, but I can't imagine going without a UVA filter"

    You can hear a lot of opinions phrased like gospel fact said, especially on the internet. IMO the MRC filters are practically invisible. If I can see barely any reflection in them, I can't imagine they're capable of causing visible effects in my photos, certainly not as much as a mess of wipe marks on the front element. But someone may have a shot to post of some horrible UFO-looking blob they swear happened because of the MRC filter they were using, and some will say they've never gotten a wipe mark on a lens in 120 years of shooting, or that you can clean a modern Leica lens with pumice and steel wool and not get a mark. I've never personally heard someone who uses them berate someone for not using them, but I have read and heard many people who don't use them berate and sneer at those who do. Rolls off my back like water off a duck, since I'm the one paying for my lenses not them.
     
  6. There's nothing heretical about using filters on Leica lenses. There's nothing sacred about Leica filters.
     
  7. Tim don't worry about it. I've been using filters for many years without any problems. Also when its time to sell a lens that front element is mint - no "light cleaning marks" LOL. The B+W MRC (multi-coated) are indeed the best, but then they also list at US$70-90. I get them when I can and I also use Hoya - the coating is a little soft but they are excellent filters. I use filters for contrast in B&W work and I encourage you to continue to do so as well.
     
  8. B+W MRC F-Pro are truely outstanding but use the SLIM version
    for WA.
     
  9. "Is there a real difference between Leica and non-Leica filters for ASPH Leica lenses"

    count the dollars when you buy b+w mrc filters. better glass too.
     
  10. it is wise to keep your filter on when you shoot under normal conditions.

    but when you have situations in which there will be a bright light source/reflections, you may want to take off your filter then to avoid "blobs".

    the MRC seems wonderful, i shoot in the rain often, and my hasselblad filters do not even have the ability to sheet water off. (i always thought hasselblad filters were equivelent to B+W filters, but maybe they lack MRC?, could someone explain?)
     
  11. The reality is that under some shooting conditions the use of a UVA filter is essential to protect the lens front element. So it is wise to have one with you.

    However, unless the filter is made to the optical standards of the lens used, logic dictates that it may degrade the image quality. But I suppose, depending on the image's use, any degradation may not be noticed (except if you use a really cheap filter).

    Unquestionably the B&W (Schneider) MRC (pro) filters are leading quality.

    But, with regard to specific use of a filter on some Leica lenses, my experience has been to "take care". There are 2 risks:

    1. Rangefinder limitations - with a rangefinder we are not "seeing what we get" and in some lighting situations we may be unaware that flare is creeping in to the shot. The filter may increase the lens' sensitivity to that flare. I found this with a 'cron 35mm ASPH using a B&W MRC. It may not have been an issue with an SLR as we can see flare developing and react accordingly.

    2. Causing flare - these Leica lenses have hoods of limited size by obvious necessity. Using a filter moves the glass forward in the lens hood and exposes it to flare that may not otherwise have occured. This is less of an issue with the longer focal lengths.


    I generally use my 'cron 35mm ASPH without a filter but keep one handy. I have filters fitted to my 50mm 'cron and 90mm Elmarit and just take some care.

    Defginitely the Leica filters are a "neater" fit - blend into the lens front better. But they cost a lot more (double or so) and Leica provides no details on them. So I generally use B&W MRC.
     
  12. "Defginitely the Leica filters are a "neater" fit - blend into the lens front better. But they cost a lot more (double or so) and Leica provides no details on them. So I generally use B&W MRC."

    One of my Leica filters also says made by B+W on it, so im not sure you can say that Leicas are always a neater fit!
     

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