UV Filter with modern multi-coated lenses?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by MrBaz, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. MrBaz

    MrBaz Member

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    Googling yields near-useless results since 99% of the posts on the interwebs are digital shooters.

    I shoot film at high altitudes (7000ft+) as well as shoreline. What I want to know is if using modern day multi-coated lenses usurp the need for a UV filter for film?

    Would a UV filter really benefit me? I know digital sensors are more sensitive to IR and not UV, yet film is sensitive to excessive UV.

    If a UV filter is in the mix, then I have a question:

    What is the difference between a Hoya DMC Pro1 and a Hoya SHMC (besides the price)?
     
  2. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    A skylight (1B) filter might be more useful at those altitudes because of the much more pronounced atmospheric haze. 1B filters are lightly pink. UV is colourless and is most commonly used as protection against impact damage of the front lens element.

    Digital filters have extensive coating applied because of the risk of ghosting and flare. They are an overkill for film use. Hoya's Super HMC has around 6- 12 coatings either or both sides depending on the filter — notably UV, 1B and POL filters, in slimline or standard thickness mounts. It is my personal belief that it is pointless putting a $5 filter on a $5,000 lens: essential match the filter quality to the lens. In the same vein, it's not a wise thing to leave a lens unprotected — my earliest memory of disaster reminds me so!

    Research Hoya's filters on their website: http://www.hoyafilter.com/products/hoya/hoya-02.html
     
  3. ath

    ath Member

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    I never had issues in the Andes up to 5100m when shooting Kodak Elite Chrome 100 without filter.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Not all UV filters are created equal, and a good one, like B+W or Heliopan will be more effective than others. Bob Atkins did a good comparison of UV filters some years ago as an article over on photo.net.

    Multicoating reduces flare and improves contrast by reducing reflections between lens elements. It isn't particularly designed to reduce UV transmission.
     
  5. MrBaz

    MrBaz Member

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    I believe that test showed that the Hoya SHMC and a Tiffen variant actually did better than all the others. I remember that comparison you speak of.

    My overall question: Is it really worth it for me? (I'm looking for UV filtration since I'm shooting film - not so much lens protection).
    Will having a $30 Hoya SHMC filter on my $140 Nikon 50mm/1.8D help or hurt?
     
  6. benveniste

    benveniste Subscriber

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    What sort of film do you use and with what lenses?

    Modern Daylight balanced color film is relatively insensitive to UV, and so is chromogenic B&W and TMAX-100. At least some tungsten balanced color film and most other black and white films are sensitive to UV.

    Two things in modern lenses can block UV. The first are broadband anti-reflective coatings and the second is modern optical cement. The problem is that lens manufacturers don't typically publish transmission curves for their BBAR coatings. Occasionally you'll see an early example like this 1973 Minolta Patent, but more recent stuff is much harder to find.

    Personally? If I was at 7000 feet and using Tessars, Planars, or other relatively simple designs with traditional black and white film, I'd add a UV filter unless I was worried about flare. For more complex primes and zoom lenses, I'd only add one in adverse environmental conditions. I use B+W 010 MRC's for this purpose; when I tested one (with digital, sorry) I found it blocked about 1.8% of the incoming light and imposed a color shift of about 25 degrees K. I don't consider either significant unless you have to do precise matching of shots with and without filters.

    The DMC are slimmer filters and have a hard top coat to make them easier to clean.
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Probably not! :smile:
    I doubt very much it will make much difference to your images at all. UV filters are also called variously "blanks", "protectors", "UVOs"... Are you really extra-critical of image quality and characteristics when flying around with the birds?
     
  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    UV's have a slight yellow cast. High altitude have an even deeper yellow cast. Check the B+W site(I assume they have one) for further information.
    I'm assuming you're shooting B&W film, not color if it's slides at altitude they're going to have a blue cast.
    Keep in mind, the lenses coatings are designed to give a neutral color, the filter is to correct for atmospheric haze and the like.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You might go back and check for details of Atkins' comparison (the Tiffen Haze-1 filter is particularly good, Tiffen UV less so), but in answer to the question, yes, at altitude with modern lenses and films, I'd recommend using an effective UV filter for landscapes, and I'm not an advocate of filters for protection when there is no obvious hazard.
     
  10. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    As you state you like working along the shoreline, then a good reason for using a UV over your lens is for protection of the front element from minute particles of salt water spray, which is present in the atmosphere near sea water, even though you may not see it.
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I'm wondering....

    With modern lenses and coatings already on the lens, is UV protection by adding a filter really necessary? Has there been any recent study on this?
     
  12. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I would use a UV filter if there was a risk of overexposed skies on mountain scenics due to a meter being less sensitive to UV than my film.

    For interesting thoughts along this line you might follow some threads about Fred Picker and the Zone VI modifications to light meters.

    He put in an IR filter to keep the meter from inflating the readings from foliage.

    But he chose not to deal at all with UV. Instead he told customers to put a UV filter on the lens.

    His simple, if inelegant, solution was to cut the UV at the camera because the meter doesn't properly read it.

    You probably don't want UV anyway, so if you are not using any other filter, it might still be a good idea to use a UV filter today.

    I've recently seen a post suggesting TMAX films doesn't need a yellow filter, and a post on this thread suggesting it doesn't need UV filter. Interesting thoughts, I don't know so I can't confirm. But it sounds like a good topic for follow-up.
     
  13. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    If I remember correctly many of Canon's newer "L" lenses are UV coated from the factory.
     
  14. MrBaz

    MrBaz Member

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    I guess I should have posted more info.

    I'm using (mainly) a Nikon F5 shooting various types of film. Mostly print films (the new Kodak Portra 160/400, a lot of Ektar 100, and some Fuji 160s), but I've been shooting a lot more B&W too (TMX, some TMY, and one roll of TRI-X but wanting to shoot some more).