Protective Filter Preference

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dan_brown|4, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. I need a couple filters in 62mm and 72mm.
    Anyway, I've usually gotten the Hoya UV multicoated ('MC'). But, wonder what the hive likes?
  2. hoya HMCs are good. if you want to go whole-hog, you can get the pricier B+W joints. optically, the glass is about the same but B+W use a brass ring for the metal parts which makes the on-off aspects of filter usage less fiddly. if you're just going to leave the filter on, i wouldn't bother. but if you switch out filters regularly from, say, UV to CPL to GND, B+W makes more sense, i suppose.
  3. I generally don't use protective filters, only use them in risky situations like spray or blowing sand.
    You can expect to hear from both camps, the "neves" and the "always".
  4. I use Hoya HMC too, and they work fine for me. All the reviews I've read also indicate that they are pretty good.
  5. Hmmm... I've voiced my opinion on this subject many times...
    My protective filter is the lens cap when not shooting and the lens hood when shooting. Only when shooting at the beach or in the desert will I add an extra piece of glass to my lenses for protection.
    OTOH, a nice CPL is something I always carry with me...
  6. I'm in the "no" camp...Any glass in the optical path that isn't part of the original design is going to have an impact on the IQ, no matter how small it may seem...
  7. I'm in the always camp, but like Scott said I realizes it degrades glass quality. I try to help alleviate the situation somewhat by always using high quality multi-coated filters.
    I always remove filters in a studio setting or when shooting into the sun since they're pretty prone to flaring.
  8. I'm in the almost always camp. It has saved my bacon and other optical properties too many times. Sometimes I take it off if the situation absolutely has to be the sharpest it can be, though I still don't think I can tell any difference.
  9. I you want zero color alteration use Nikon NC, they are not too expensive. I use Hoya HMC and B+W, but my favourites are Nikon and Hoya in this order.
  10. I think the question is 'which brand' as compared to the eternal question. I have a slew of Nikon L37c's and B+W UV filters but only a couple of Nikon NC's. None show a cast and all are easy to clean. I have noticed some of the B+W 'keeper rings' sometimes work loose. I also have a few Hoya HMC's and have no complaints. If altitude and film, esp b/w, is part of your equation, a UV can make a difference. I shoot b/w at altitude and can vouch for the improved IQ. There is a vast disparity of UV filtering-effectiveness amongst those touted as UV filters. As for the eternal question...
  11. B+W UVA MRC. Absolutely no image degradation. Two weeks ago it saved my pricey 35mm/1.4 Total
    believer now.
  12. I have them on some of the time. B+W for me.
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    In these days I prefer Nikon's own NC filter; I have had one for a couple of years and just added two more. Prior to that, I had (and still have) a bunch of Nikon L37c filters.
  14. Thanks everybody, I ordered a few Hoya HMC UV filters.
  15. LOL, this comes up every month. So, here's my experience. So-called "protective" filter do nothing. I sometimes had shots ruined from flare/ghosting caused by them (yes, using B+W mrc.) I once had a lens ruined BECAUSE there was a filter on it. Lens dropped "face down," filter shattered and scratched up my lens. That almost happened again to me last week except this time I had the lens cap on: no damage. The older Nikon lenses had coatings that could scratch, but modern coatings are actually harder than glass. I've never had a single one get scratched, and I am very hard on lenses as an outdoor shooter. Filters just don't do anything, and are a risk to scratching the lens when they break. If I were to put a coated filter on all my better lenses, that would cost MORE than a repair. This makes NO sense at all. I used to use them, but then figured out how useless they really are. Read:
    Kent in SD
  16. Filters protect the front element of the lens from scratches, dust, and fingerprints. Front elements have expensive coatings to improve image quality. If not cared for, these coatings can be damaged. Protective filters are much cheaper to replace than front elements, and much easier to clean.
    I use Hoya HMC Super, B+W, and Nikon filters on my lenses. Most are multi-coated. The front element on my lenses are pristine and as clean as they were when new because the filters protect them.
    Filters just don't do anything​
    Kent, this is just plain untrue. Filters are used by pros around the world for many different purposes. Just because you do not like filters doesn't mean you have to spread untruths about them. You can go on and not use filters on your lenses but don't spread propaganda about them to others on this list.
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dan Brown is asking which type and brand of protective filters he should get, not whether he should use them at all to begin with. If you choose to provide an answer, please respect the OP and answer his question, not to provide an off-topic answer just because that is what you would like to talk about.
  18. I am in the camp that says that there are a dozen threads like this already in the database and, based on this one, there is not much new to say. :)
  19. I always use uv filters on both my Nikon and medium format lenses - Hoya HMC, B+W or Nikon. I won't get into the issue of whether one should or not.
    However, Hoya uv HMC can be designated (o), (c) or (n). I had understood that (o) is the best one, and I usually buy those. Does anyone know the difference - if any?
  20. I always use a high end UV filter. It has always seemed silly to me to spend thousands on a state-of-the-art lens and then leave the glass to the mercy of the environment or worse, curious hands! One can argue about the possible degradation in images, but if you spend the bucks on a really good filter, there is nothing to worry about.
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dan Brown is asking which type and brand of protective filters he should get, not whether he should use them at all to begin with. If you choose to provide an answer, please respect the OP and answer his question, not to provide an off-topic answer just because that is what you would like to talk about.​
    As one of the moderators here, may I remind everybody again that the topic here is not whether one should use protective filters or not?
  22. If you wanted to put a filter on you lens, for protection, use a NC (Neutral Color ) filter. B+W or Nikon is highly recommended.
  23. Shun; after I read your post on the Nikon NC filters, I went and looked at the prices. I was surprised at how reasonable they were, and that they were multi-coated. I thought Nikon only had expensive single coated filters.
    But, my order had already shipped, so Hoya HMC it shall be for now. Next time, I'll go Nikon for sure...
  24. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The reason I am switching to Nikon NC filter is precisely that they have no color. The old L37c has a light yellow cast that should block some UV. I still use them but I prefer NC nowadays.
    It is not all that difficult to make a flat piece of optical glass. I am quite certain that as long as you use multi-coated UV or NC filters, it makes little difference whether it is Hoya, B+W, or Nikon, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of people are programmed to debate such trivial differences that nobody should worry about.
  25. Shun,
    Perhaps you can answer the unanswerable question? If it is not all that difficult to make a piece of flat optical glass, why are filters so ridiculously expensive - at least in the UK. It used to be said that it was because the dealer margin was huge........
    As I said before, I use Hoya HMC, B+W and Nikon uv filters. I must have at least 20. I've never noticed any difference in the quality of results. I usually buy mine (mint) used. Whatever of those three comes along at the right price, I buy.
  26. Whatever goes through the lens has to go through the filter first. If the filter glass isn't as good as the glass in the lens, why pay for the lens quality? I use filters only for a desired effect, and only rarely.
  27. Heliopan or B+W, they're the best, and filters are cheap, so that's what I get. But I don't use protective filters as a
    general rule....the lens cap came free with lens, and it's much stronger than a filter. If you're shooting film at altitude,
    the the UV filter may help with you're pics however.
  28. I'm satisfied with the Hoya multicoated UV and skylight filters - they've worked as well as the Nikon L37c for me. Even the less expensive Kenko UV filters have been fine - I've used one for years on my 28/3.5 PC-Nikkor when conditions warrant (blowing grit, tree sap, etc.), no problems with flare or image degradation that I can see.
  29. As to the eternal question- you can always remove it for fussier shooting. Using one HAS saved a lens front element from accidental damage for me on rare occasion, and I was glad I had one on. The lens cap was cracked and the filter destroyed, but the lens was ok. Hoya HMC or super HMC are fine. Of course it is true that more glass in front will mean a greater chance of flare occuring under conditions that make it more likely, and other possible undesirable influances, but those filters will have very minimal negative effect.
  30. For those wanting to use filters, be aware of the fact that just because a brand of filter costs more, it doesn't always means that it's better...Most filter manufacturers offer several lines of the same product (like any other industry eg: autos for example)...While not dealing with UV filters, here's a link to tests done on polarizing filters...The results may suprise you...
  31. Here's why I use filters when I'm in the field. Those B+W filters are tough, man.
  32. Hey, at least that's not Dick Cheney.
  33. Hey, I've been hit by birdshot (in the face) more than once, and no politicians were involved. My grandfather lived the last forty years of his life with some birdshot buried in his scalp (delivered by a good friend - a very familiar story!). If you photograph around events like these, there's a great deal of trust involved.

    And all humor aside, I carry cameras - in a hurry, and with uncapped lenses - through walls of thorn bushes, past horses and dogs kicking up gravel and mud, and a dozen things just as bad or worse. I'm a lot happier cleaning gritty partidge poop off of a filter than I am cleaning it off the front element on a $1500 lens! That's a factor for me in choosing a filter: how easily does it clean? That's one of the reasons I like the B+W coatings over some of the others.
  34. Hoya UV, highest quality available.
  35. I've had flawless performance with Nikon & B+W filters. 'Flawless' does not include performance degradation (reflections) with high-contrast point-source lighting visible.
    I generally keep filters on for protective reasons. However, I recommend filters off when shooting unless absolutely needed. Even the best introduce flare and ghosting in certain circumstances. If you're outside in the elements, use the best filters (not the best that you can 'afford,' use the best). Otherwise, try to avoid.
  36. Hoya UV, highest quality available.​
    Ha! Maybe one of the newer models, not specified here. One of the older Hoya UV filters was the only filter I've ever had that decided to divorce its coating.
    Also to say that Hoya is the "highest quality available" seems to ignore B+W, et al. Sort of a Hyundai vs. Lexus comparison, IMO.
  37. Anyone try the Hoya HD range? Supposedly tougher glass than their other filters (they make a big deal about how they withstand impact from dropped ball bearings) and new oil and water resistant coatings that sound like they might address the main problem I have with their otherwise excellent Pro1 range - they're difficult to clean (especially fingerprints, etc.). If this works as advertised, it would bring Hoya HD more in line with B+W MRC, which are easier to clean than Hoya Pro1, but are similarly non-reflective. So, hype or a genuine improvement?
  38. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Also to say that Hoya is the "highest quality available" seems to ignore B+W, et al. Sort of a Hyundai vs. Lexus comparison, IMO.​
    Sorry, I don't think that is a good anaolgy. Hoya has been around for a long time. When I was a kid getting my first SLR back in the 1970's, I used Hoya filters, and they have been making fine filters for decades. Even back then, Hoya had multi-coated filters. Today, Hoya owns Pentax, which makes fine optics.
    I think a better anaolgy is that the German B+W is like BMW and Hoya is like Lexus. As I said before, a protection filter is just a flat piece of glass. A lot of companies can make fine ones, just like a lot of us have good experience with Sigma, Tokina, and Tamron lenses today. I tested Tamron's 70-300 Di VC last year and was shocked how good a $400 zoom can be optically.
    As I said I added two Nikon 77mm NC filters recently to the one I already had plus a bunch of L37c filters. They are $55 each. B+W and Hoya have multi-coated UV filters around that same price, but if something that costs over $100 makes you feel better, by all means go for it. I once stacked 3 L37c together and at least I cannot see any image degradation at all, so Nikon filters are good enough for me:
  39. If the lens is not too expensive it could be better to not use a filter. No sense putting an expensive filter to protect a cheap lens.

    For example, I don´t use a filter on my 50mm f1.8 ($100), but I do use one (sometimes) on my 18-200mm ($500). If I owned a $1,500+ lens, then I would use one all the time.
    Also... I don´t worry too much about scratching a lens after I read this article:
  40. Anyone try the Hoya HD range?
    Yes, in fact the Hoya HD Protector is the only filter I use apart from the excellent Marumi CPL. If you dropped your lens onto concrete it would be destroyed before the Hoya HD filter shattered. They're multi coated but crystal clear and I haven't been able to determine any IQ degradation by pixel peeping at 200x.
    I can attest to the HD filter's resistance to grease as I was in a photography chain retail store showing the salesman my new 85 f/1.4 (which had the Hoya HD on it) when he suddenly started taping his fingertip quite forcibly on the filter. Stunned, I asked him what he was doing and he said, " what do you mean"? After retrieving my lens and checking it later I was surprised to find that there wasn't any finger prints on the filter. I even tried to put some on there myself but couldn't.
    However, I only use these Hoya HD filters when there is a chance that there is a risk of damage as they're too expensive to have them on every lens I own and not necessary in most situations anyway.
  41. For example, I don´t use a filter on my 50mm f1.8 ($100), but I do use one (sometimes) on my 18-200mm ($500). If I owned a $1,500+ lens, then I would use one all the time.
    i put UV filters on all my lenses. every single one of them, even the 50/1.8. i frequently photograph in conditions where beer spray, roaming hands, spray paint, spittle, drool, or contact with objects and surfaces could result in a splotch or even a nasty gash. i'd rather move a smudge or fingerprint from a filter than a front element . if i was just shooting landscape in mild conditions or studio, then filters wouldnt be such a big deal. you can always take a filter off for better flare resistence. but you can't apply a filter after the fact, once a scratch has occurred. preserves the resale value, too. i've twice cracked filters instead of lenses, so even a $10 filter can be worth 50 times its price if it saves a $500 lens.
    mostly, i use Hoya filters, with a couple of cheap Tiffen single-coated ones scattered about--mainly for lenses that are either inexpensive or dont see a lot of outdoors use or direct sunlight. i do have a Hoya slim 77mm UV for my 12-24, and a nikon 77mm CPL for the pro zooms, which is tied for my most expensive filter purchase at $149, with the Genus multi-GND i just picked up. i tend to get CPLs in common focal lengths and step-up rings for uncommon FLs. Thusfar i have resisted buying any lens with 82mm threads.
  42. Eric Arnold raises a valid point about scratches to lenses and value. I have said in an earlier posting that all my lenses are protected by top quality uv filters.
    It is generally accepted that a small scratch on the front element is unlikely to have an adverse effect on images. It will, however, cause a major difference in the resale value of the lens. Mention a scratch, and most potential buyers will run away very quickly.
    A few years ago, I bought from a dealer a 35-70mm f2.8D. It was near mint apart from a tiny scratch: you had to look very carefully to see it. Yet the dealer had had to discount by almost 50% to move it. It continues to perform perfectly.......
    Cleaning a lens or a filter entails risks however carefully that is done, especially in adverse conditions. I know which I would prefer to be cleaning in that sort of situation.

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