UV Filters

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by reub2000, May 13, 2007.

  1. reub2000

    reub2000 Member

    Messages:
    646
    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It seems like a lot of people put a UV filter on the front of their lens to protect it. I've also heard that it cuts out haze. Does a UV filter in front of a lens really do anything?
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,677
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Clear lens cap
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

    Messages:
    3,894
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Middle Engla
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yes, it protects the lens, and reduces haze a little.
    It's primary purpose is to reduce the blue cast obtained in colour work from excessive Ultra Violet light.
     
  4. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,115
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Nikon have two UV filters. L37, L37C and L39.

    The L37 eliminates invisible UV light and haze, but has no effect on visible light. The L37C features Nikon Integrated Coating (NIC) to unfavourable light reflection. The L37(C) eliminates UV light shorter than 370nm in wavelength.

    The L39 absorbs that shorter than 390nm. The L39 produces prominent effects in B&W photography.

    The L37C can be left on the lens as a lens protector.

    That is the instructions on the Nikon filter paper that came with my Nikon filters when I purchased them 25 years ago.

    To be honest I tried to see a difference between the L39, L37 and L37C using B&W film I couldn't detect any. I have since relegated them to just run of the mill lens protector.

    With B&W, I find I have far more difference using coloured filters, like Yellow, Orange and Red.

    Mick.
     
  5. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Louisiana, U
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use them for protection. I stopped using them for a spell but noticed my front elements needed much too frequent cleaning so I'm using them again. When they get scratched, I toss them out and buy another. They make nice clear lens caps, as previously noted.
     
  6. nicolai

    nicolai Member

    Messages:
    190
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This is like Mac vs Windows. There are arguments for both using and not using them.
     
  7. cowanw

    cowanw Member

    Messages:
    1,302
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, On
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I took a fall on a trip in China the B+W yellow 67mm filter took the hit on the paving stones on its edge and cracked. The zeiss lens was uninjured. May never happen again but if it does there will be a filter on the lens.
    Regards
    Bill
     
  8. reub2000

    reub2000 Member

    Messages:
    646
    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Well dust and dirt, and minor scratches seem to have little effect on image quality. I protect the front element of my lens using a lens hood.

    Can anyone post an example of the filters effect on haze?
     
  9. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

    Messages:
    1,691
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    Saratoga Spr
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    They help the filter manufacturer make money.
     
  10. wheelygirl

    wheelygirl Member

    Messages:
    204
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    [for now] Ar
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi one and all!
    I have used an UVfilter since I had gotten the Minolta. It was simply there on the 50 mm lens and I only noticed it being on there a few months back. That's how much of a "noobie" I am!!
    If you care to check out "Ducks in Silhouette" in the Gallery, [my image] I did indeed use the filter. It certainly cuts the reflective glare from the pool's water.
     
  11. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

    Messages:
    472
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Shooter:
    Large Format
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,000
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Bob Atkins' article that JG Motamedi mentions above is a good one.

    I use UV filters to filter UV (see Atkins article to find out which ones are really effective) or when there's an obvious hazard like sea spray or sand or crowds. I don't use a filter otherwise unless there's a photographic reason for doing so. I do use lens shades to shade and protect the lens.
     
  13. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

    Messages:
    472
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Actually it was David who told me about the article.

    I have found that in everyday use UV filters are of questionable value in reducing UV haze, but are quite effective in preventing fingerprints on glass, particularly from inquisitive 2 year-old fingers...
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    SF & Surroun
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I make the choice per lens. On my Contax G lenses, which have large screw-on metal hoods, I've foregone the UV's.

    On my heavy Canon 24-105 L, which has a shallow plastic petal hood and a large exposed lenses element, the UV goes on (a nice one, B+W, to avoid flare)

    Flare is the greatest hazard of any UV filter. Any filter at all, actually.
     
  16. ehparis

    ehparis Member

    Messages:
    376
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Shooter:
    35mm
    UV and Skylight Filters

    It costs money, it introduces higher possibility of flare. It does nothing to protect the lens from breakage (from dropping) that a hood won't do. Why would you put a cheap piece of glass in front of a good lens unless you were interested in degrading picture quality?

    There may just be a reason why a filter costs 8X or 10X from a vendor like B+W than the el cheapo kind.
     
  17. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Louisiana, U
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    "Well dust and dirt, and minor scratches seem to have little effect on image quality. I protect the front element of my lens using a lens hood."

    "Why would you put a cheap piece of glass in front of a good lens unless you were interested in degrading picture quality?"

    So if dust, dirt and scratches on the lens do not degrade picture quality, why would a piece of optical glass degrade picture quality?

    If my life depended on it, I wouldn't be able to come up with a single picture I've made that was degraded because of a UV filter. On the other hand, I can come up with thousands of shots degraded by my own carelessness. Makes the issue of using a UV filter or not pale in comparison.
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,702
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    *2

    Many times taking photos on the beach or in the mountains, I have cleaned dust off my filters. I have always been glad that it was on the filters which are cheap to replace than on the lens. I would rather have a scratched filter than a scratch in the coating of a lens.

    Yes, lenshoods can prevent damage from impact, but not damage to the surface of a lens from dust or branches. These points are observable and provable.

    When taking photos of mountains in the distance the UV, Haze or Skylight filters make a difference because of the water vapor and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. These are observable facts. [No, they will not remove smog nor will they improve the composition of a photograph.] Others in this thread have pointed out articles discussing the wavelength cut off of these products, so I will not repeat their technical points.

    Frankly, this forum is a techincal forum. Arguments that are completely emotional and devoid of scientific or photographic backup are WOMBATs*.

    *WOMBAT = Waste Of Money, Brains, And Time

    Steve
     
  19. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

    Messages:
    1,602
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Location:
    Henrico, Vir
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The only lens I have a UV filter on is my macro lens. I take lots of pictures of insects and such so mine is used mainly for protection. I've had several Praying Mantids attack my lens, I've had frogs and grasshoppers jump straight into my lens, I've even had a territorial dragonfly attack my lens.

    If you get a good quality filter, it won't degrade the shot.
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,702
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Attacked by insects! Now that is a new one for me!

    Very valid points.

    Thank you,
    Steve
     
  21. reub2000

    reub2000 Member

    Messages:
    646
    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I've shot with lenses that many specs of dust on the front element. I don't see any diminished quality because of it. The dust blows off with a rocket air blower.
     
  22. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

    Messages:
    1,602
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Location:
    Henrico, Vir
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm not really sure what my previous post has to do with dust on a lens.
     
  23. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,452
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Rural NW MO
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
     
  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,174
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Correct me if I am wrong, but filters are a problem when they are of poor quality because filters both transmit and refract light, and therefor can add optical distortion to the lens. Dust and dirt, unless there in great quantity, only cut down on the light transmitted.

    Grease, because it can refract light in certain circumstances, can do both.

    Matt
     
  25. reub2000

    reub2000 Member

    Messages:
    646
    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Opps, I meant to quote Lee, not you. My mistake.
     
  26. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,702
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Agree. Buy the best filters you can afford.

    Dust and grease can affect photographs whether they are on a filter or a lens. I would rather clean a filter and discard it when its coating gets worn then replace a lens when its coating gets warn. YMMV. If you are independently wealthy then this comment may not apply to you.

    Steve