Best filter as lens protector for b &w, slides & color neg film

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by RobertT, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. RobertT

    RobertT Member

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    Hi all -

    I shoot film (black & white, color negative and slides)on a Nikon F100 and need some help to choose a filter as a lens protector. Ideally I would like to use one filter for all three film types.

    Suggestions I have heard include Nikon Neutral Color, Nikon Ultraviolet L37C and Nikon Skylight L1BC.

    1. Which filter would be best?

    2. Which company - Nikon or third party?

    3. Which company (if any) is generally acknowledged to be the best third party filter manufacturer?


    Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise.

    Robert
     
  2. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    Skip the filter

    Filter / protectors are a waste of money. Keep the lens cap on when you aren't shooting. I have a stack of them (UV and skylight) that keeps growing bigger with every used lens purchase. I take them off when I shoot even if I do have one on.

    Just my 2 cents, but fretting over small stuff like this is pointless. Go shoot.
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    If you think you need a protective filter, get one, but change it often if you tend to abuse it.

    My only suggestion, if you do get a filter, is get a thin one. Nikon & B+W make very good thin filters. All you need is the L37C, or the B+W equivalent.

    Generally I don't put filters on my lenses, except my 35mm SLR gear that tends to get thrown into my camera bag quickly when switching lenses.

    My Leica, Hasselblad, and large format glass all goes 'natural.'
     
  4. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I use either a skylight (1A or 1B) or UV filter on all my lenses. I do this because broken filters are much cheaper to replace than broken lenses. In other words, I use them primarily for the prophylatic purpose of protecting my glass. Oh besides, I rather risk cleaning marks on cheap filters than expensive glass.

    YMMV and you may not care, or be financially immune such that replacing good glass is a matter of fact exercise.

    I am not so exalted.

    That said, I've never smashed a filter such that the glass behind it would have been endangered. And I am the kind that when I am in a car I use my seat belt even though we have air bags.

    I'm likely considered a "wuss" compared to the "nakkid shooters" here. Couldn't give a damn what they think either.
     
  5. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Whenever I take a look at the front of my protective filters & see how much dust & unidentified smudges there are I'm grateful that I only need to clean that off the filter rather than the lens.
    I use B+W UV filters, I think the skylight would be just as good. Wouldn't make much difference for colour neg or B&W but might be noticeable with slide film.
    I've also heard good things about Nikon, Heliopan & the top Hoya filters.

    One thing to remember is to remove the filter if you're doing night photography of cityscapes or any scene with lights such as neon signs, moon etc. You will almost certainly get a ghost like reflection of the lights caused by the filter.
     
  6. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    I'd go with the Nikon filter, an l37c. It's a high quality filter for a decent price. I take the filter off if conditions look promising, but I regularly photograph by bodies of water. If there's spray, I keep the filter on.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I use filters on my cameras to cut the molecular scattering of UV and blue light; to keep dust , grease and finger prints off the lens surface; and as cheap insurance.

    Have I ever dented a filter ring? yes.

    Have I ever dented the front ring of a lens? no because I have a filter on the lens.

    Do I thing filters are good ideas as asked in the OP - yes.

    Do I care what others think about my using filters? In a word - NO I have over 50 years experience on my side.

    By the way, I typically shoot ever 50 rolls of 135 a year plus many rolls of 120 [I do not have a count]. There are someothers here that shoot ten times that amount. I suggest you ask the=m.

    Steve
     
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Robert,

    1 UV or skylight, doesn't matter much.

    2 Doesn't matter. ANY decent-quality filter is adequate; the equality needs to be really abysmal (= window glass) before you get image degradation. As others have said, remove it before shooting into the light.

    3 Probably B+W, but it's mostly about mechanical construction and coating quality, not optical quality. 'Third party' manufacturers make the filters for most of the manufacturers anyway.

    In a bit over 40 years I have broken two filters when they were on the lenses. When you stumble and fall, and see a star-shaped crack in the front of your 35/2.8 PC-Nikkor, you're REALLY glad it was a filter...

    I've used Hoya HMC, Vivitar VMC, Leica, Nikon, Toshiba and, yes, B+W.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  9. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I too use filters on my lenses, at Yosemite, at the end of the utility road going to Mirror lake there are some stone steps. I slipped and fell in a kind of a twisting motion. My camera was around my neck and slammed against the stone wall. The filter was destroyed around the rim but the lens and camera survived. It's a one in a million risk but a little insurance works for me.
     
  10. dferrie

    dferrie Member

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    I would be of the same opinion and have always used filters. It's something I picked up from my Father who worked with the national TV station here in Ireland, he ran the engineering services dept and as a rule insisted that lenses on still cameras be fitted with a skylight/UV filter, he reckons it saved the organisation a fortune over the years.

    So for me it may be a habit, I think a good habit, naturally others may not agree. I know that because of my upbringing/training that I shudder when I see a lens without a filter. I too would much prefer to be cleaning a filter than the front element of a lens. If the filter gets scratched or if I can't clean it, then I can always take it off for a shot (and have done so), not an option if it's the front element of the lens.

    I have a variety of brands fitted including B+W, Hoya and Tiffen.

    David
     
  11. ehparis

    ehparis Member

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    Use lens hoods to "protect" your lenses. Use filters like the L37, UV, etc. only when you're shooting near sea water, blowing sand, etc.
     
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    ...kids, rain, snow, dust in the hot season, rivers with spray/rowers (if you're close)...

    Lots of etcs!

    Cheers,

    r.
     
  13. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    windy days, city pollution ...
     
  14. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Yes, a lens hood will likely protect against the smash/crash incident. It will not protect against other possible damage.

    Quite frankly, as to ordinary risks, "cleaning marks" are the worst. Go to eBay and look particularly at MF lens listings (MF photogs apparently do not like UV filters - probably since many of them are studio portrait shooters). Almost invariably those listings note that there are "light" (it's always "light") cleaning marks on the lens.

    Folks, that means the coating has been worn down - with the worst wear in the center of the glass as almost everyone cleans in a circular motion.

    Imagine. You notice that you have a dusty lens. You squirt your cleaner and then pull out your "micro magic" cleaning cloth. And you grind and grind the dust as you "clean" the lens with a circular motion.

    Oh, I know, now that I mention this basic "habit" you're all saying "Hey, I don't do it that way!"

    B.S.

    How else does one clean circular (bulbous) glass?

    Clean the filter - not the lens! :wink:
     
  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Yes, I too am guilty of using lens hoods for light scattering and protection.
    Steve