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  1. #11

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    To answer OP's question more directly....

    Plan to spend 30 to 80 dollars on a filter, depending on size. Obviously, you can get one for 52mm a lot less expensively than one for 77mm. The Nikon NC filters I mentioned belong in this price range.

    Any cheaper, you are looking at a plain glass filter with no or poor coating on them. The threads may be made inaccurately or into a poor material which can bind to the thread on lens. You can pay more but I don't know why you'd want to.... Put a quality filter on a quality lens. That's my idea.

    Many of us tend to over-clean lenses. More damage is caused by over-cleaning than accidents. Filters are good for that too. If t gets dirty or get scratched as a result of improper and/or poor cleaning method, you remove it and get another. Obviously, there's very little you can do for direct impact type damage.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #12
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    More damage is caused by over-cleaning than accidents. Filters are good for that too. If t gets dirty or get scratched as a result of improper and/or poor cleaning method, you remove it and get another.
    Absolutely true. Replacement filters are a lot cheaper than replacement lenses.

    As to filter material (metal), buy brass filters (like B+W) if available. They're much less likely to bind on a lens than aluminum filters.

    - Leigh
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  3. #13

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    First, let me say that I agree that whether to use or not to use full-time protective filters is a personal and subjective choice. It's a never ending debate that's outstayed its welcome by at least a decade.

    That said, unless you expose traditional, non-chromogenic black and white film or tungsten balanced slide film through 25+ year old lenses without multicoating, I would recommend against spending any money on UV filters. Other modern films, and even TMax 100, have UV filtration built in. So do modern lenses, thanks to a combination of multicoating and the optical cement used to create element groups.

    Instead, should you choose to use a full-time protective filter, I'd suggest buying multicoated clear protectors instead.

    P.S. On occasion, I do use a couple of old lenses with B&W film, so I do own B+W 010 MRC filters. I just don't use them full-time.

  4. #14
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    The recommendation for using UV filters as protection has nothing to do with ultraviolet light.

    Until recently those were the only clear filters available. Now there are actually clear protective filters on the market.

    I agree that the question of whether or not to use one is a personal choice, and not an appropriate digression for this thread.

    - Leigh
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  5. #15

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    If the optical performance is the same as a less expensive filter, I can not justify spending $50-$60 on a lens that cost less than that or a little more.

    So let me clarify, how much does a filter that does not diminish my optics but will protect my lens go for?

    Thanks.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by bladerunner6 View Post
    If the optical performance is the same as a less expensive filter, I can not justify spending $50-$60 on a lens that cost less than that or a little more.

    So let me clarify, how much does a filter that does not diminish my optics but will protect my lens go for?

    Thanks.
    The filter is most effective for protecting the lens from dust and light touching of the glass which could cause scratches. Heavy impact would ruin both filter and lens and I don't think this would happen often while using the lens.
    I normally don't use the UV filter because it's expensive and I won't use cheap one that degrade image. So for my inexpensive but good lenses NO FILTER.

  7. #17
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    I still have yet to buy into the more expensive filter vs non stuff. From practical experience, a $15 Hoya printed just as sharp and well as a $90 B+W in the darkroom. Visibly nothing different, nada. Yes, light is moving through it, but it's not being focused by it. It's like if you had some crud on your reading glasses. Its out of focus and doesn't really affect your vision minus the smudge you might get. I have had a filter save a lens though, so I can vouch for that. But hey, who am I to speak? I have a lens with a severe spot in it's multi-coating that has taken 100s of pictures to no ill affect. I've even shot a lens that was cracked! But by all means, spend all you want.

    Use em for protection and take em off when you're about to snap that moment if you're really concerned.
    K.S. Klain

  8. #18
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Degradation is an interesting phenomenon.

    You don't know it's there until you find an example where it's absent.

    - Leigh
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  9. #19
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    Short answer to the original poster: if you really have to permanently mount a filter on your lens, buy the best you can buy, and don't think it will not degrade the image. The higher the quality, the less the degradation, but degradation is inevitable, you have two more air-glass surfaces and even if it were possible to produce perfect glass (which it is not) you would still degrade the optical performance of your lens by introducing further refraction. Compulsively cleaning the UV filter will result in degradation of the filter coating with further image quality degradation.

    My personal idea is that this kind of "protection" makes sense only when you use your camera in "risky" environments: seaside (sand, salted water "spray"), dust of various kind such as in a laboratory, or some sport photography such as rally racing with "clouds" of dust etc.

    For walking around in town it makes no sense IMO to degrade the optical quality of your lens, which is never enough for my personal taste, to protect the lens from a not existing menace.

    I also tend to clean my lenses quite rarely. When I do I never use the small "photographic" paper, only use paper hankerchiefs after breathing on the lens. Only if very strictly necessary I use some cleaning solution, normally I don't, breathing on the lens works a lot.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  10. #20
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Working on the maxim that you never stick a $5.00 bottletop on a $5,000 lens, any of the well-known respected brands such as B+W, Hoya (made by Tokina), Nikon, Canon etc will do it just fine. Any filter though will very slightly upset the way the front element collects and disperses light (filters can introduce a higher risk of flare), particularly aspherical/apochromoatic lenses. An additional point is many front elements protrude out and can be damaged by clumsy filter attachment. Such lenses are best used without any filter; indeed, they probably have provision for a small gel filter at the rear element: not ideal and generally only recommended for critical colour work. Personally I have never put a cheap filter on my lenses and one lens in particular, with a prominent aspheric front element, requires all filters to be used on it to have speciallly engineered clearance to avoid contact with the front element. For you, a UV filter is only good for protection but even so, the best you can afford is the best way to go if you care for the results your lens provides.
    “The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
    Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
    the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see."
    ~Edward Weston, 1922.

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