Well I think a filter is like a condom---when you need it you need it. I think a filter is cheap protection for the lens. I shoot 90% B&W so I normally use a colored filter anyway. As far as degrading image quality----poppycock. I shoot outdoors and all my favorites used filters extensively. Galen Rowell and Ansel Adams use filters most all the time---no image issues there. But a filter is like anything else--you get what you pay for. Personally I like Hoya Multicoated have had great results with those. But the bottom line is it's your gear and pic so to what [U]You[U] want. I like to keep skylight filters on all my lenses for a little protection and to cut some haze.