Lens caps, filters, and me
I decided today to remove the 81-A filter I have on my lens, and simply use the lens cap to keep the lens safe, and to keep out most of the dust. Prior to this, I have been very religious about using a glass filter to 'protect' the lens surface from impact. But I prefer to have two fewer glass surfaces in my way when I take a picture, I have not (so far) had a significant impact to my camera which would damage a lens, and I think that if something were to hit the filter hard enough to shatter it, I would suffer lens damage as well.:o
So I am keeping the lens cap in place at all times to protect the lens (that's what it's there for, right?) except when I want to take a picture. I somehow find the extra filters a nuisance except when I need to use one deliberately to alter the light coming through. YMMV.
Are there any others out there who work crazy like this?
With best regards,
PS Also, I save money when I buy a new lens.
I dont use the filters (I just use a haze/uv filter) for impact protection, but to keep my big clumsy paws off the glass. Especially with my TLRs, I was constantly sticking my finger in the viewing lens for some reason. I don't mind wiping the coating off a filter, but messing up my Rollei glass would be unfortunate.
I haven't used a skylight filter for about six years since someone told me that someone who knows how to take care of a lens doesn't really need one for protection, and little else for that matter.
"Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti
"ymmv" is the key here
in the past two years my cameras met hard surfaces head-on twice--the cliffs of bretagne, a slab of concrete in hogtown... in both cases the L37c was shattered; in both cases the lens behind it suffered no scratch
needless to say, i stocked up on L37c
As I often photograph close to the sea, and there is generally a wind of some kind, I consider a UV filter in conjunction with a lens hood indispensable for protection against salt water droplets and sand grains. Even though I clean the filters regularly and with care, they seem to become unacceptably scratched after 8 or 10 years - I can only conclude the same would apply to my lenses if used without filters. Protection against physical impact is not what filters are about, but they may save a lens from time to time.
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When I began to study photography I listened closely to those who had been in the field for decades.Always best to learn from their,not my,mistakes.While hanging around the local camera shop I was introduced to a chap who was ordering a B&W glass UV filter for his Zeiss Planar 85mm.He explained to me that while rummaging in a closet he accidently pulled a heavy metal tripod off the top shelf and it landed square on his camera bag.
Shattered the filter ,didn't harm the lens. 'Nuff said.
I agree with all the examples above, I use top quality filters on all my lenses. Think how many times you have cleaned your filters of dust, grease and sand? You shouldn't be touching the coatings on your lenses at all. Any scratches on your filters would have been on your lens.
A lot of pros will say that filters are for amateurs...one; they probably don't own the lens and two; I would never consider buying something that a 'pro' had knocked about for years. It's your investment.
Just one thought. If it's a good idea to always use a skylight filter (and I'm not arguing either way). Why don't lenses come with this coating on the front (or any) element as standard?
Obviously this is nothing to do with using a filter as protection.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Because skylight filters have a slight magenta tint to colour correct shadows, so not suitable for all applications.
I see no point in throwing away money on "protective" filters. Why put even a quality filter in front of a high priced piece of glass you bought for its contrast, sharpness, etc.? I'm not interested in degrading the resultant image even the least little bit.
"If your pictures aren't good enough,
you're not close enough." -Robert Capa