One other difference is that the B+W will have a brass housing and threads, which are softer and are less likely to "bind" when tightened down on your lens threads. The filter won't get stuck on your camera as easily as other brands. Heliopan also uses brass. I try to find used or new old stock B+W filters at camera shows or at KEH. Camera stores get loads of used filters in good shape when they take cameras in trade, and they pay essentially nothing for them.
I'd forget about a UV and go for a proper;y sized lens hood
Hood the lens and
you'll have to want to purposely smudge the lens
Will protect from glare
Protect from natures damage quite a bit
Not have to shoot through a filter for no reason all the time
Lens hoods make you and your lens look cool
Bob Atkins wrote a pretty good article a while back on photo.net comparing UV filters of various brands for UV reduction, and found that there is a real difference between filters, and unsurprisingly, you get what you pay for. Better filters like B+W and Heliopan cut UV transmission more effectively.
I've tested various filters for flare and ghosting and discovered that multicoating really makes a significant difference, which most people claim is insignificant, because they've never made a good test. It helps to shade the filter, but this only reduces the kind of flare that happens when extraneous light falls directly on the filter, but much of the flare in an optical system comes from the subject itself, and this is what multicoating reduces. MRC coating also incorporates scratch resistance, as does the latest multicoating on Heliopan filters. Single coating is also an improvement over a cheap uncoated filter.
Brass rings are better than aluminum, as has been mentioned.
Some very cheap no-name filters use green glass.
I have yet to encounter a filter that wasn't optically flat in any apparent way, but it seems this was once a problem.
Heliopan and B+W colored filters are dyed in the mass, while most Tiffen filters are glass/gel/glass sandwiches. A filter that is dyed in the mass will last longer, but Tiffen filters will last long enough usually (like if you had a filter for 20 years, you probably wouldn't worry about replacing it if you had to).
I don't use a UV filter as physical protection unless there is an obvious physical hazard like crowds, sand, or sea spray. I do usually use a lens shade.
David's post reminded me of one other difference, although I'd have to check to make sure it's still in force as a policy. B+W filters have (had?) a lifetime warranty in the US, through their US distributor. I had a B+W circular polarizer that I purchased in 1978 start to have some edge separation in about 1990. It was replaced at no charge.
It's not germane to your request for info on the UV filters, but my son had his Tiffen circular polarizer roll down a bluff into the S.D. Badlands, so he started borrowing my B+W. I warned him about the difference in degree of effectiveness, but he still tended to overdo the B+W setting, being used to using the Tiffen at near maximum. The B+W has a noticeably stronger polarizing effect.
Originally Posted by Lee L
Hang on...For the benefit of those of us in the deep south of the world (k.e. Australia), what, prey tell, is a "Badlands"?? A degraded area? Overrun with Mexican drug cartels or a place culturally/environmentally taboo to native N.A. indians? I think I've heard the term/name before used by mountain bikers, though I'm now even more curious what it is.
In regard to warranty of B+W filters, the Kaisemann POL I have is "unconditionally warranted" against any defects or failing, so I assume that covers such a bizarre event as "edge separation" (I've never heard of that actually, even with HOYA filters from the early 1980s).
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Polarizers are all glass/polarizing foil/glass sandwiches, so, like cemented lens cells, they're subject to separation at some point, though it isn't usually a problem with modern UV-cured optical cements. Kaesemann polarizers have sealed edges to reduce the possibility of separation.
Filters are intended to do many things to/for an image, but I'm sure none are designed to protect a lens.
For the purpose of simply protecting the lens, I always have plastic clip-on lens caps with me.
As for protective filters, design goals and usage are often different. It's difficult to make good images through a lens cap. I always use a UV or skylight filter around blowing sand, and water mist or spray.
Last edited by Lee L; 12-08-2008 at 09:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Welcome to APUG Snaps,
My feelings on filters are:
A. The UV filter is useless unless you are shooting at high altitudes. It never was intended by a manufacturer as a protective device.
B. Never use a filter that is not as good or better than the lens you are filtering. Cheap filters will ruin the image of an otherwise good lens.
C. Lens caps are just that. Use one to protect the lens when transporting your gear.
D. Rather than a UV filter I would suggest a lens hood. It will cut flare.
I generally don't use UV filters. My 35mm macro lens is an exception, however. Insect photography can have its hazards, like bugs seeing themselves in the lens and attacking it... Not that it's going to cause much, if any damage, but it's nice to know that if a bug is going to attack my lens all its going to hit is my filter.
Searching my way to perplexion