UV filters on a Canon 100mm Macro

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by barnaby_harding|1, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Good evening!
    Okay, so I'm one of these people that religiously screws a UV filter to the front of every lens; a good quality Hoya item that will - in theory - minimise loss of quality, but allow the odd bump and scratch because I am still a little wet behind the ears. Right or wrong, that's what I do.
    My question for today comes from the fact that (**very excited** *EVERSO EVERSO EXCITED!*) I am about to buy a Canon 100mm Macro lens! Yay! So - does it matter if I just slap a cheap UV, or even a cheap skylight on this lens due to the nature of the photography, and the fact that UV light may not play such a naughty factor in interfering with nice pictures?
    Advice, as always, very gratefully received.
     
  2. [[so I'm one of these people that religiously screws a UV filter to the front of every lens]]
    Sorry to hear that. I guess we all have our faults....
    ;)
    [[So - does it matter if I just slap a cheap UV, or even a cheap skylight on this lens]]
    Cheap filters degrade image quality. I can't see any reason to use one on a fine macro lens.
     
  3. I will use the same type I have been using all along then - getting that close to subjects with an exposed element freaks me out a little!
    Maybe I should relax and not bother with the filters, but I do want some protection, you know? I have already been saved once when my 2 year old daughter got sun cream on my filter (which destroyed it, by the way) and that would have seriously done for my lens at the time had I not been using it.
    Hey-ho - I'm happy to be a screw-on weirdo for now.
     
  4. Sorry to hear that. I guess we all have our faults....​
    LOL.
    Yay! So - does it matter if I just slap a cheap UV, or even a cheap skylight on this lens due to the nature of the photography​
    For me yes it does. I use UV's only when near hazards like water, sand, etc. For protection I use hoods instead. Even the best filter is still a piece of glass in front of the lens. Even the best one will degrade IQ to some degree. For some people that minor difference does not matter. Hell, some would not even notice if you put dirty hockey plexiglass in front of their lenses. So it's all very subjective. But if I were to use filters I would definitely go for the best ones.
     
  5. I've never bought a UV filter in my entire life. Lens while working + cap when not working, works for me:) I suppose a UV filter probably has its value, but I want all the information the lens/camera can give me. Might be silly, and actuallly once while I was flossing I got crap on a lens, no UV filter.Big chunk of meat from my tooth, scary...
    It was awesome, the pic turned out and God personally thanked me for not using a UV lens. And I turned the peice of meat into a statue for my ant farm...:) Kidding...
    That all said, I clean my lenses with whatever I'm wearing. Socks work well if you have a bathroom close by. If not your shirt is awesome.
    Point is, lenses break when you drop them, but unless you are in volcanic ash or fart a lot in your bathroom with your camera in your hand, protective glass is not needed:):)
     
  6. If you don't need UV filtering - and you don't - just get a high quality clear glass filter. They are available, and filtering UV light is completely non-productive on DSLRs.
    Putting a cheap filter on your L lens is like putting $5 recap tires on your Porshce - why did you get that Porsche, again?
    And, of course, you really don't need a "protective" filter on your lens anyway.
    Dan
     
  7. And now for the opposite opinion. All my lenses have good quality uv or protective filters on them. I've shot test photos with and without the filters and can not see any difference. And over the years, I've removed some crud from the filters that didn't end up on the lens. On the other hand, a cheap and/or non coated filter can deteriorate image quality. Go with a good quality, multicoated one. I've been using the Hoya HD ones lately.
     
  8. Barnaby,
    I would recommend you use the lens hood for protection instead.
     
  9. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    1. I particularly use a filter for protection on my 100/2.8M more than on any other lens and I use a quality filter – I suggest you use a quality filter if you decide a filter is necessary.
    2. The suggestion to use the lens hood for protection (as an alternative to a filter) is not as applicable for the macro lens as for other telephoto lenses.
    The two main reasons for both these points are the same.
    If a Macro lens is being used to its potential one might be using rings with it, (very close and the hood needs to be removed).
    Or laying on the ground crawling around chasing lizards . . .
    At ground level the sticks and twigs easily get beyond the protection of the lens hood:

    [​IMG]
    WW
     
  10. Barnaby:
    Have you seen the 100 macro lens?
    The reason I ask is that the front element is already recessed. Add a hood, and it will be very hard for something to scratch it. If it gets dirty, wipe it off. Modern front elements are surprisingly hard to scratch.
    Eric
     
  11. "At ground level the sticks and twigs easily get beyond the protection of the lens hood"​
    William, I'm not sure what you mean by "easily get beyond". The lens hood of the 100mm macro is a good 7 cm deep and in my experience not only offers excellent mechanical protection, but also helps to keep those close twigs out of the optical path.
     
  12. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe “can get beyond" is better phraseology.
    Understand that I am NOT saying that the hood does not offer protection.
    Nor am I saying “DO NOT USETHE HOOD” - (which I think you might have thought I was meaning) . . . in the garden I DO use the hood and the filter as well. And yes the HOOD is good for levering the twigs aside. I do that too.
    I AM saying, that because of the circumstances we (I) often use a macro lens - the hood does not offer as much protection as (just as examples) when using the 100/2 or the 200/2.8 or the 85/1.8 for indoor sports.
    Crawling around the garden it is easier to brush or move sideways into a bush where a small branch might find its way into the front to the lens hood - that scenario is not too difficult to visualize I am sure, especially when one's mind is focussed on following a lizard or butterfly or bug . . . that's all I am pointing out.
    I am not arguing that you shouldn't use the hood, but I am just arguing the specific point you made which was: "use the lens hood for protection instead."
    Please note my phrase "(as an alternative to a filter)" reiterated your use of the word "instead"

    My point being that "instead" is less applicable to the macro and its uses, than suggesting “use the lens hood instead” if we were discussing another Telephoto lens and their usual and common uses, that's all.
    Does that make better sense?

    WW
     
  13. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    That second last para should not be in bold . . . too late to edit it now . . .
     
  14. I guess one does whatever helps their comfort index. For many years I used UV lenses on all of my cameras. Since I have gone digital, circa 2004, I do not use them at all. I am sure there are times when they are useful, but I may have gone to the other extreme. Except for my Canon 100 mm Macro lens, I have a polarizing filters on all my lenses. They remain on except when I am taking interior shots or it is dusk or low light and I need an extra f stop or shutter speed. When the combination of ISO, F stop and shutter speed doesn't seem best, off comes the filter. I use MRC or the best HOYA polarizing filters. OC, I use lens hoods most of the time too. No, I don't use the filters for lens protection, but rather I find them useful in the bright light of the Sonoran desert.
     
  15. If you want to add a protective filter to any lens then use the best you can.

    Uv is not and issue for digital cameras, but flare is see the protective filter FAQ here
    http://www.zen20934.zen.co.uk/photography/LensTests/Flare/Protective_Filter_FAQ.htm

    An additional issue with the 100mm macro is adding filter stops you mounting a macrolite flash, to do this you will
    need to add a macrolite addaptor ring.
     
  16. @ William
    Yes, that makes sense.
    @ Roger
    A polarizer would certainly be my last choice for a filter to use permanetly. Not only does it suck up quite a bit of light, but it can also shift the colour hues noticably, and not neccessarily for the better. After all it is an effect filter.
     
  17. I used filters many years back in my film days. One day I decided to stop using them and never looked back. These days I use my lens hood for protection and don't miss the filters at all.
     
  18. Which 100/2.8 macro are you talking about? And are you going to be using it with a macro flash? If not, then with either the 100/2.8USM or the 100/2.8L IS USM, the hood alone provides reasonable protection, but I am another of those who always use high-quality protect (not UV) filters, and the many tests I have done with an ISO chart have never shown up any perceptible loss of IQ. Because I often use the MR-14EX I cannot in any case rely on the hood for protection. I have recently upgraded from the USM version to the L IS USM version of the lens. The USM version has the mounting ring for the flash built in, but because it takes 58mm filters, you can't use flash and filter together. What you have to do is put a Macrolite Adapter 58 on the front of the filter, and then you have the inconvenience of not being able to fit a lens cap securely. The L IS USM version takes 67mm filters and does not have the flash mounting ring built in. So in any case if you use flash you need the Macrolite Adapter 67. That screws onto the lens or onto the front of the filter, and there is no vignetting caused even on FF with that combination, and the good news is that the MA67 has a 58mm female thread on the front allowing a 58mm lens cap to be fitted securely.
     
  19. ANSWERING THE QUESTION POSED:
    Yes, it does matter. A cheap filter will reliably degrade images, irrespective of whether there's any UV haze or sunlight shining on the front of the lens. I say this as someone who protects her lenses with GOOD filters. A bad coating (or no coating) will produce ghosting of specular highlights and will reduce the contrast of the image overall, and the float glass used in the cheapest of filters will also degrade sharpness.
    I feel you don't need a lecture on whether or not to use filters, especially since you politely suggested you don't want one.
    ------------------------------
    For those inclined to lecture the OP about his choices, I'll relay this anecdote: I was doing some photography in Yellowstone and one day found that I could no longer clean the "dust" from my front filter. In fact the filter had been etched by volcanic ash. The filter was ruined, but the $1200 lens underneath it was perfectly fine. I was of course very relieved I had used a protective filter. I don't think a hood would have helped me much. You might say I should use a filter only when anticipating such hazards, but I honestly didn't anticipate that hazard. Stuff happens, and it's hard to anticipate when, what, and how. If I had only used my protective filter occasionally, it wouldn't have been at that moment I really needed it.
    And then there are the times when a lens cap has fallen off the lens in my camera bag... and when I've fumbled a lens cap... and worse, when I've even forgotten to put the cap back on before dropping the camera back in my holster bag. (Yes, I'm absent-minded sometimes). I know these sorts of things NEVER happen to other photographers. NEVER!
    If I were doing macro photography, I think I might be concerned about sticky pollen and bugs spontaneously taking flight into my lens. I also have a somewhat amusing image in my head of some bug bouncing around inside a hood for a couple of return strikes. Dunno... Maybe insect exoskeletons aren't hard enough to scratch lens coatings. I don't often do macro work, so I wouldn't know.
     
  20. Pollen? You're worried about pollen and bugs landing on the front element?
    To counter your anecdote: I've had pollen on the /rear/ element of my 50mm lens when I used it reversed and got too close. Cleaning it was a trivial task and the lens came away from the experience completely unscathed.
    As a counter-point to both our stories, how about a test:
    http://kurtmunger.com/dirty_lens_articleid35.html
     
  21. The only filter worth using on a macro lens is a polarizer. Other than that I don't use any other filter.
     
  22. Rob, the oft-cited "dirty lens article" is something that really should have been written by KR. It's for entertainment value only, and no serious photographer would take it seriously. One would obviously see a quite few serious image problems with the lens stopped down.
    Put another way, I invite you to ship me all of your lenses. I would be happy to convert them all into miracle lenses, such as featured in the article. I'll even rub them with bugs, twigs, and pollen for you, AND I'll pick up the return shipping, just for the pleasure of having done the good deed. Please PM me if you're interested.
     
  23. I agree with Ron Hartman. +1! And if you ever photograph spitting cobras in South Africa or sneezing babies in your living room you will be glad you've purchased a multi-coated UV0 filter. And BTW some of us still use our lenses on EOS film bodies as well.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5dtpMj9Ehs&NR=1
     
  24. Look, never mind the palaver about the ills of poor quality filters. The real answer is that if you want to use protection filters (UV is not really needed for digital) good ones are better, but there's no evidence that filters that cost as much or more than the lenses they're on (an exaggeration, but not as much as it should be) are necessary either. I have both B+W and Hoya multicoated ones, and can't see any significant degradation with either of them. (for an objective comparison of Hoya to bottle bottoms see my post at http://www.photo.net/casual-conversations-forum/00WWb7 )
    However, the sort of place where no filter at all should be used is precisely in relatively close-up work of the macro sort. Too many chances of additional reflections, etc. in this kind of setting.
    However, outdoors--in inclement conditions--maybe a good idea, accepting the inevitable contradictions of the use of them.
     
  25. [[no serious photographer would take it seriously]]
    Good thing the same could be said of your response, Sarah. I'm glad to see you're still able to completely and totally miss the point.
     
  26. Then you're not interested in my generous offer?
     
  27. Of course not, Sarah. I use my equipment every day and don't have time to wait for you to throw straw men at it.
     
  28. Pity... It would have been spendid.
     
  29. You don't say if you're getting the $500 or $1,000 L version. The question is: should you protect a $500 or $1,000 investment with a $40 or $50 UV filter? (Rough prices for lenses and Hoya S-HMC UV filters at B&H.) I think the obvious answer is yes.
    People who lecture that you should never use UV filters because they degrade images have either a) never used quality filters, or b) never actually tested with those filters on and off. I've tested Hoya S-HMC filters a dozen times and they do not degrade the image. Based on light transmission specifications I would say the same is true for Hoya HD and B+W filters as well.
    People who say hoods offer enough protection shoot in gentle conditions. That's fine for them if they never shoot beyond the studio or a pleasant park on a sunny day. I do not limit myself to gentle conditions or weather, and those of us who do not would be fools if we didn't protect our lenses from rain, salt water spray, wind driven sand, etc. A couple of my filters already have scratches/marks and are near replacement. But for the filters those marks would be on the front elements of $500-$1,500 lenses.
    Keep in mind that hoods for some lenses offer poor protection (UWA lenses and mid range zooms), that some lenses require front filters to complete weather sealing, and that even for some non weather sealed lenses if you cover the front element you have dramatically increased it's ability to survive an accidental splash of water.
    So yes, if I were buying either Canon 100mm macro, I would protect it with a Hoya S-HMC or HD filter.
     
  30. and those of us who do not would be fools if we didn't protect our lenses from rain, salt water spray, wind driven sand, etc.​
    You probably did not read all previous posts completely. This is exactly when I would advise using a protection filter. If you mostly shoot in similar conditions then you would probably leave it on all the time. I personally find myself in similar situations probably once a month. But the rest of the time I shoot in how you said it in "pleasant parks on sunny days" so it wold be foolish to leave the filter on all the time. I can tell you right now that I never forced my cameras through tree branches or bushes and would never drag it on the ground. Apparently some people do, yet they are not worried about scratching the camera and lens (and damaging either one) but they do worry about protecting front element. Funny.
     
  31. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I dunno about you, Daniel Lee Taylor, but I am constantly amused by some commentators here who consistently twist the meaning of previous commentary and then make remarks upon it . . .
    I re read the posts here and it seems that you and I are the only two who mention using a macro lens in “rough conditions” like crawling through bushes or such like.
    Yet I can glean no mention, inference or statement in either of our posts that either of us “are not worried about scratching the camera and lens (and damaging either one)” . . . but rather we just were just commenting upon how we afford the best protection on the front bit.
    Funny how these “twisters of commentary” seem to be the same people all the time . . . maybe I am misinterpreting the meaning of the comment . . . as I said . . . I dunno?
    WW
     
  32. But the rest of the time I shoot in how you said it in "pleasant parks on sunny days" so it wold be foolish to leave the filter on all the time.
    If you're using a high quality filter there's no degradation of image quality. Why is it foolish then to leave it on all the time?
    Instead it seems foolish to constantly take it on and off. Even in gentle conditions it might save your glass. You can drop a lens, lose a lens cap, or have an unfortunate front element impact on the best of days. Not to mention you're taking the risk of dropping or losing the filter every time you play with it. What's the point?
    People avoid protective filters or constantly change them on the assumption that they're losing image quality from the filter. I've looked for this loss a dozen times with Hoya S-HMC filters and cannot find it. Half the time it's hard to tell that there's actually glass in the filter ring! Their light transmission rate is that high.
    Even the minor impact to sharpness and contrast from the next step down (Hoya HMC or manufacturer filters) is probably meaningless in the digital age, a couple points difference when applying local contrast enhancement and sharpening. I only use S-HMC and wouldn't personally buy and use lesser filters, but the truth is I could probably take a shot with both tiers and post process them to an identical level of IQ.
     
  33. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    If you're using a high quality filter there's no degradation of image quality. Why is it foolish then to leave it on all the time?
    Two (general) shooting scenarios where I usually remove the filter:
    1. Inside – and or Outside at Night – as generally I shoot without Flash and in environments with multiple light sources like reception rooms etc or at night multiple light sources in city environs.
    Ghost Images and Veiling Flare can both be exasserbated with a Filter – even good filters which I use – this is worse with some lenses than others - I have learnt which they are
    2. When outside and shooting into the sun – again for the same reasons as above, but mnainly because of Veiling Flare – and I do shoot a lot into the sun.
    But as I am on the seaboard I have to balance these facts with the fact that I shoot a lot at the Beach – and I usually always use a filter when shooting there.
    WW
     
  34. Instead it seems foolish to constantly take it on and off​
    As I said before I do it probably once a month so putting it on and taking it off does not bother me at all. I use other filters more often than that (Vari-ND and polarizer) and if I follow your advice then I would have to stack all of my filters and never take them off. Imagine how much protection that would give me. As for the safety issue I would say that a lot really depends on a person. In about 30 years that I've been using cameras I did not scratch or break one lens yet (knock on wood). In fact my equipment looks like as if it was purchased yesterday (hoods are the exceptions). Counting out forcing the camera through bushes and dragging on the ground it went through a lot of nasty conditions and hood was all I ever needed. But that just me, if you feel that buying and having UV on all the time makes you feel better then why not.
    I re read the posts here and it seems that you and I are the only two who mention using a macro lens in “rough conditions” like crawling through bushes or such like​
    Go back to first page and see what I said about using UV filters. Sorry I did not mention lizards and ground levels. That would probably make you understand a bit more.
     
  35. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    That would probably make you understand a bit more.​
    I did . . . and . . . no it doesn't . . . I still didn't mention anything about how I treat or care after my cameras and lenses . . . which is the comment of yours, which I was referencing, specifically:

    "I can tell you right now that I never forced my cameras through tree branches or bushes and would never drag it on the ground. Apparently some people do, yet they are not worried about scratching the camera and lens (and damaging either one) but they do worry about protecting front element. Funny."
     
  36. Or laying on the ground crawling around chasing lizards . . .
    At ground level the sticks and twigs easily get beyond the protection of the lens hood:​
    Ok, it happens, people forget stuff. Here, let me remind you. Quit smoking crack, it's bad for your head.
     
  37. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I'd reckon you need to take up English Lessons, Honey, because your comprehension and interpretation of the written word fails elementary school standards . . . still no mention of how one is concerned about camera and lens protection or that there is no other means by which one does so. . .
    I agree smoking crack is bad for your head: Is that comment from you a result of personal experience?
     
  38. Wow. Is it the weather?
    We seem to be a little touchy today, eh?
    "I know you are, but what am I?" sort of comments, and so quickly too. A time-out seems called for.
    This whole thread could be deleted with little loss to the world at large.
    If you people don't straighten out, I'll be forced to go the maximum punishment.
    Yes, if I need to, I'll post my Tru-Scru filter again!
     
  39. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    No not the weather . . . but anyway straight to the bottom line:
    Truce - Hatchet is buried this end.
    Thanks, JDM, it is always nice to hear your voice.
    The end.
     
  40. I'd reckon you need to take up English Lessons, Honey, because your comprehension and interpretation of the written word fails elementary school standards . . .​
    Honey my ass. When somebody talks about crawling and branches getting inside the hood it would be logical that the lens and body could get scratched or damaged as well. Even an idiot could understand that. But apparently not you. Are you that retarded? Damn, how can you operate the camera? Do you even understand what the manual says?
    still no mention of how one is concerned about camera and lens protection or that there is no other means by which one does so. . .​
    LOL, that was the smartest thing you've said today.
     
  41. Your real problem is a lack of confidence in your ability to take reasonable care of your lenses or your belief that you are "naturally" careless. At least that's what I get from your post.
    In stead of addressing those things, you're putting a piece of glass between your lens and the world. It offers no real protection that a hood won't. Any filter ( including clear filters with super-duper coatings ) increase the likelihood of lens flare and contrast reduction.
    Don't believe that ? Have a look here :
    http://www.lenstip.com/113.1-article-UV_filters_test.html
    Pay particular attention to the flare tests.
    My view is that there are times when you have to use a filter. But unless you have to, don't.
    Getting a quality macro lens in which every component is carefully designed to function as a whole to the highest specifications and then bolting on a piece of generic filter that's not designed to match anything seems pretty daft to me. But it is your lens and camera.
     
  42. Good Grief!
    All over whether to use a filter or not!
    It's a "personal preference," type of choice, and a "choice" it is!
     
  43. Any filter ( including clear filters with super-duper coatings ) increase the likelihood of lens flare and contrast reduction.
    Don't believe that ? Have a look here :
    http://www.lenstip.com/113.1-article-UV_filters_test.html
    Pay particular attention to the flare tests.​
    I frankly find this rather funny. Yes, this was an excellent analysis of a broad variety of filters, and it gave me considerable pause about some of the B+W filters. It also gave me much warmer thoughts about the Hoya HMC. However, we apparently read these results very differently. I suppose we read what we want into these sorts of tests. Perhaps you're fixated on the Tiffen results, where Tiffen filters are correctly revealed as having window-glass quality. I don't care about those results. I don't use Tiffen filters. I'm frankly looking at the results for the filters I use -- mostly Hoya Pro-1:
    http://www.lenstip.com/index.php?art=113&roz=17
    Now, when I pay particular attention to the flare tests, per your suggestion, honestly I can't see much, and they tested under some extremely challenging conditions. The image defects from the lens itself (i.e. without filter) are far, far, FAR more significant. They used probably an "average" lens for this analysis. I'd have loved to have seen the tests repeated with a better lens. I think what I carry away from the flare tests is that the quality of the Pro-1 filter greatly exceeds the quality of the lens.
    I frankly see no reason to get so freaked out about the filter over the lens, when I've not yet seen any discussion on this list -- EVER -- of the relative merits of a lens based on the number of elements in its optical path. You'd think, based on this silly discussion, that people would be popping champaigne corks over any new lens design that manages to eliminate an element. You'd also think that in all the equally stupid fights over primes vs. zooms, SOMEONE in the prime camp would declare, "... but primes have fewer elements than zooms, which is why they produce less flair and have superior sharpness!" But nobody ever makes that point. And yet a single piece of glass -- ONE piece of high-quality, precision ground, multicoated optical glass is so roundly vilified.
    I think most people have lost all perspective over this issue.
    The ONLY good arguments I've heard in opposition to the use of protective filters are these:
    (1) Sometimes the lens isn't valuable enough to justify the cost of a good filter (e.g. the 18-55 IS or the 50/1.8)
    (2) The cost of a front element replacement is considerably less than an investment in protective filters -- if you can do without your lens while it's in the shop, that is.
    Why haven't these points been raised in this thread? (Perhaps they have, and I just don't remember. If they've been raised, they've certainly been drowned out by all the noise.)
    And then the ultimate idiocy is that the sophisticated filterless photographers on this list love to defend that we can shoot excellent pictures with dirty and even broken lenses. Is this some sort of economic argument? Don't bother with filters, because they cost money, and don't clean your lens because it takes time and materials? It seems strange to me that someone can get so freaked out about the deleterious effects of a filter and not have a complete psychological meltdown over a speck of dust.
    PERSPECTIVE, people! Geesh!
     
  44. Thanks, JDM, it is always nice to hear your voice.​
    Irony? but I am still keeping the option to post the Tru-Scru. Mind you.
    (cries of oh no, anything but that!)
     
  45. In stead of addressing those things, you're putting a piece of glass between your lens and the world. It offers no real protection that a hood won't.
    Say that to me after spending a day shooting in a desert sand storm, or at the beach with waves crashing next to you and salt water spraying all over the place.
    Pay particular attention to the flare tests.

    What am I paying attention to? The fact that the filters I recommend (top tier Hoya and B+W) show virtually no difference in flare? Thanks for offering another source to confirm what I've said for years.
    If you open up the Hoya HMC, Pro1, S-HMC, and B+W MRC tests side by side you get this:
    * Building shot: no real difference between the filters and the no filter shot. Some nudging of the camera is apparent between shots which accounts for slight differences in flare position.
    * Trees shot: a little bit more flare on the filter shots, varying filter to filter. However, it's obvious that the shots were made at different times and the no filter shot is shared across all pages. With the sun going down even 1 minute will alter the characteristics of the flare. Nudging the camera by a hair can do the same. I'm not convinced that the filters are actually causing additional flare rather than the flare shifting as the sun and camera move. Indeed, you can just about tell the order in which the shots were taken. Sure enough the filter taken the closest in time/position to the no filter shot looks the best, while the filter with the greatest time/position gap looks the worst. If the test had been more carefully controlled I bet you would see no difference between these filters and the no filter shot.
    * Street lamp shot: no real difference between the filters and the no filter shot. Some nudging of the camera is apparent between shots which accounts for slight differences in flare position.
    Early on I would routinely test with the filter on and off when shooting into a light source and I never once saw a significant difference in overall contrast or flare so long as I controlled for both camera position and light angle (i.e. not waiting 5 minutes between the shots when shooting into the sun). I now avoid such nonsense as worrying about whether or not a top tier filter is destroying my image. Hoya top tier filters and B+W MRC filters simply do not degrade the image, and the link you gave confirms this.
     
  46. [[ But nobody ever makes that point.]]
    This is complete nonsense.
    [[I think most people have lost all perspective over this issue.]]
    Pot? The Kettle is on line 1 returning your call. He's got more info about some of that highly deadly, diamond-strong pollen he has seen floating around.
     
  47. Yes, this was an excellent analysis of a broad variety of filters, and it gave me considerable pause about some of the B+W filters.
    I always forget to write B+W MRC filters. They have a couple tiers themselves and you want the MRC filters if you buy from them.
    I frankly see no reason to get so freaked out about the filter over the lens, when I've not yet seen any discussion on this list -- EVER -- of the relative merits of a lens based on the number of elements in its optical path.
    LOL! Good point Sarah. Occasionally someone will mention that a prime lens has more contrast than a zoom, but people certainly aren't avoiding zooms or discussing the issue to death as they do filters. If top tier filters destroyed images as claimed then people should be avoiding zooms and IS lenses like the plague.
    And then the ultimate idiocy is that the sophisticated filterless photographers on this list love to defend that we can shoot excellent pictures with dirty and even broken lenses.
    LOL again! On one hand you shouldn't use filters because they degrade the image, on the other you don't need filters because even a dirty scratched lens doesn't noticeably degrade the image. Amazing.
    Stephen's link demonstrated the exact opposite of his point. There is no difference between shooting with a top tier filter vs no filter. Filters most certainly do offer greater protection for those of us who shoot in rough conditions. (And rough conditions can simply be shooting street with an UWA and a shallow hood. It's easy to get bumped.) There's no reason to worry about slapping a top tier filter on your lens and leaving it there. It's not going to make a visible difference.
    I tend to shoot a lot of beach sunsets where I'm shooting directly into the sun and exposure blending for DR. I've given up taking the filter off because it makes no difference. I will however nudge the camera around or wait a few minutes because the angle of the light, even a degree or two, can make a huge difference. Water spray on the lens will also make a huge difference which means if I'm shooting low near the water I'm constantly wiping the lens. No way I'm doing that without a filter in place.
    If I'm not seeing a quality loss in my sunset shots then there's no hope of seeing a quality loss in less demanding conditions.
     
  48. Stephen Geary , Nov 11, 2010; 04:59 a.m.
    Don't believe that ? Have a look here :
    http://www.lenstip.com/113.1-article-UV_filters_test.html
    It looked to me like there was no real difference between a good filter and the naked lens, I also found this with my own tests (these are linked in the FAQ in my earlier message).
    So this kind of goes against your argument.
    It does however show why the OP should use a high quality filter.
    Indeed the poor OP has probably run off long ago with all the point scoring going on in the thread.
    We all have out own views on this issue but please lets all try and be objective and leave our own prejudices out of it.
    Give the OP the access to the measured data and let him draw his own conclusions.
     
  49. LOL! Good point Sarah. Occasionally someone will mention that a prime lens has more contrast than a zoom, but people certainly aren't avoiding zooms or discussing the issue to death as they do filters. If top tier filters destroyed images as claimed then people should be avoiding zooms and IS lenses like the plague.​
    Haha! OK, I'm going on record right here: The 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, with its 23 elements, absolutely can't be as good a lens as the 75-300 f/4-5.6 III, which has a mere 13 elements and therefore 20 fewer reflecting surfaces! Those of you with the inferior 70-200/2.8L IS II may send me your lenses for proper disposal. As a public service to my Canon colleagues, I will replace them with the superior 75-300 III. The 5 mm loss on the short end will never be missed, in contrast to the extra 100 mm on the long end and the superior clarity that 20 fewer reflecting surfaces can produce! Can't do without the IS? I'll throw in a tripod. (You should be using one anyway, instead of that slacker IS nonsense.) :)
    BTW, I'm also still accepting Pro-1 filters of any size for proper disposal, according to accepted environmental standards.
     
  50. Haha! OK, I'm going on record right here: The 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, with its 23 elements, absolutely can't be as good a lens as the 75-300 f/4-5.6 III, which has a mere 13 elements and therefore 20 fewer reflecting surfaces! Those of you with the inferior 70-200/2.8L IS II may send me your lenses for proper disposal.
    You're on fire today Sarah :)
    Feel free to contact me if you receive too many lenses or Pro1 filters to properly dispose. I would be more than willing to help out. For the environment of course!
     
  51. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    JDM: No not Irony - but an honest comment.
    Sarah: is smokin' hot. I wanna rummage through the disposal bin.
    The end.
     
  52. Whew!
    Wow...well, I'll just say this. I have never normally used filters for protection. I don't particularly want that extra piece of glass on the front. But I doubt that a high quality multicoated filter will have much effect on the final image in most cases; it would probably be indiscernable in most cases and might cause some extra flare in some situations. I shoot with the sun in the frame a lot and prefer to not have one on. I do wonder if the flat surface might reflect directly back into the lens more than a curved one.

    But I think if it gives peace of mind, or you think damage could happen, use one. Most people using B+W film use filters a lot and don't sweat it.
    Hoya has come out with a protective filter of tempered glass which is highly resistant to impact, so should reduce the likelihood of a shattered filter scratching the glass.

    I consider a protective filter absolutely necessary when the wind's blowing sand at me in the desert, and salt spray and/or sand at me at the ocean. I use one in wet weather. I also used one recently while photographing under a cedar tree that was dropping lots of sticky pollen.
    The worst for me though was when I was taking pictures at an air show where I was positioned at the end of the runway where the planes were taxiing into position to take off. Lots of prop/jet wash when they revved. I positioned myself to the side some to avoid it, but didn't consider that they might rev while turning onto the runway. I got blasted by a P-51's prop wash and I did not have a filter on the lens. I covered the lens with my hand as soon as I heard the engine rev up and avoided damage to the glass, but had to clean and relube the focusing helicoid when I got home. I was picking grit out of my right ear for days. I can definitely state that if you're a gearhead, until you've been right behind a Merlin engine in full song you haven't lived.
    So, I say use one for sure when the lens could be damaged. It makes no sense to worry about filters degrading an image while allowing a bunch of crud to get on your lens.
    The rest of the time do what you want. I prefer to not use them. If you puts your mind at ease or simplifies things or whatever, use them. If you're concerned about the filters' effect, do some tests. You will then know what's best for you in any given situation.
     
  53. A good quality lens hood will suffice, even excel and will give more protection than a filter can. The lens hood will absorb much more shock than a filter . Long narrow objects will also be prevented from hitting the front element by the hood. If I am paying thousands of dollars for super sharp lenses , I am certainly not putting images through glass that I would get from consumer grade lenses. But then I love sharp so I may be over the top !
     
  54. A good quality lens hood will suffice, even excel and will give more protection than a filter can.
    Hoods do not stop wind driven sand or rain, splashed water, or saltwater spray from crashing waves. Nor can they completely prevent head on impacts.
    If I am paying thousands of dollars for super sharp lenses , I am certainly not putting images through glass that I would get from consumer grade lenses. But then I love sharp so I may be over the top !
    Tell me please which side was shot through a filter.
    00XfMs-301181584.jpg
     
  55. A good quality lens hood will suffice, even excel and will give more protection than a filter can.
    Hoods do not stop wind driven sand or rain, splashed water, or saltwater spray from crashing waves. Nor can they completely prevent head on impacts.
    Of course you are right Daniel but commonsense must be used as well. I was referring to a lens hood and impacts such as dropping or hitting, the others are obvious if you are in blowing sand or salt spray etc.​
    If I am paying thousands of dollars for super sharp lenses , I am certainly not putting images through glass that I would get from consumer grade lenses. But then I love sharp so I may be over the top !
    Tell me please which side was shot through a filter.
    Both look like they were taken with a poor quality lens.​
     
  56. I would say the left was shot through a filter.
     
  57. Both look like they were taken with a poor quality lens.
    LOL! I don't think you have a clue what you're looking at here. These are 100% crops from a pair of test shots made with a Canon 7D and a Canon 85 f/1.8 USM at f/5.6 (tripod mounted, MLU, LiveView focusing). The test target was a subset of a Rand McNally world map. At the distance the target was shot printing patterns and ink bleed are clearly visible. At an average screen resolution this is like printing the shot to over 60".
    More telling, you haven't a clue which side was shot through a Hoya S-HMC filter and which was not.
    Here's another similar test for detail retention with a 300 f/4L IS. Target magnification is higher than in the 85mm test, and again we see patterns from the printing process and ink bleed. The slight inconsistency of black ink coverage in this target is also apparent. (Good luck finding a sensor/lens combo in small format to yield more detail with the same target magnification.) Please tell me which side was shot through a filter.
    00XfQt-301251584.jpg
     
  58. Jeff - I'll reveal both after Peter guesses (if he cares to).
     
  59. Jeff - I'll reveal both after Peter guesses (if he cares to).​
    [chuckling] OK, I get to guess too. My two coin flips say the filters are both on the right-side images. I figure I have a 25% chance of being correct.
    Seriously, it would be fun to have a "Find the Filter Challenge," in which enough pairs choices are put up on a web page to determine a correct response probability. A simple "signs test" could be applied to assess whether the responses were significantly different from random, and scores could be plotted in a histogram to keep track of how well or badly everyone scored. I suppose to be fair to the participants, a variety of shooting conditions would need to be represented, including the more challenging ones (like shooting into lights).
    It's quite far from being the first and foremost priority on my list of things to do, but it sure would be a smart thing for the various filter merchants (e.g. filterhouse and 2filter) to develop.
     
  60. It has been long enough that I'll post the answers: filter was on the left in the first pair, and on the right in the second. The second one is a good one to throw people because the filtered shot is actually the very slightest bit sharper for some reason. (Not likely the filter, just some variable in the whole process.)
    I agree with you about the Find the Filter Challenge, but it would probably only benefit B+W and Hoya, and then only their higher tiers of filters.
     
  61. Well, later on, I am really pleased that this didn't come down to my having to post the Tru-Scru again. By the end here, there is almost civility. eh?
     

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