A filter is....
My first post and question but first... Greetings to one and all and...Merry Christmas.
Okay. As a complete novice I'm a little confused at to which UV to buy. I've been told I should by a UV if for no other reason than to protect my lens. But I've just been on Amazon and well, I ran away
Can anyone offer me a little guidance please!
My question is.....What's the difference (apart from price) between......
A Hoya G or Green series UV.
A Hoya HMC -UV.
A Hoya pro digital protector.
A Hama (coated on both sides) UV.
A Hama UV HTMC Filter
A B&W-UV with multi resistant coating.
A Sigma EX DG Digitally Optimised UV Filter.
IMO the only real differences are in claims of performance and manufacturing technique. Maybe there is something more, but I am unaware of it. It's a pretty benign item so there will be plenty of marketing effort to say why a particular brand is the better choice. The "Hoya pro digital protector" doesn't seem to claim any UV performance, just protection and optical clarity. Quality usually follows price in regard to filters, at least to certain degree.
Oh, welcome to APUG BTW.
Well, now that you mention it, the main difference is - - - price.
Seriously, if your objective is to provide physical protection for the front element of your lens, then any of these will serve. The differences in price represents how well they function optically (ie, which introduce less distortion) and how well they function as UV filters (which means how well they address light balancing in situations where there is an abnormal amount of UV present, for example, in the mountains on a very clear day). And of course there is the matter of price - some filter manufacturers choose to market themselves at the 'premium' brand and charge a higher price just for that.
You characterize yourself as 'a complete novice'. On that basis, I would venture to guess that you won't notice the optical effects of a UV filter. And you very well might not be able to see whatever distortion that a filter introduces.
There is a long tradition in 35mm photography for manufacturers and retailers (especially retailers following the "sell that sucker something else" approach to marketing) to recommend either a UV or a 1A (or skylight) filter to 'protect the lens'. In theory, the presence of any filter degrades the image to some degree, and purists would argue that the only time you should use a filter is when you need filtration. And it is true that having a filter on a lens will protect the front element of the lens from fingerprints, grit, scratches, etc, and replacing that filter is less expensive than replacing the lens.
I have a 1A filter on each of my 35mm lenses. Yeah, I know it's probably unnecessary, but I followed 'conventional wisdom'.
As a complete novice your seller of cameras is trying to sell you a haze reducing filter that works slightly and is primarily created for use by those photographers who are careless enough to allow the front glass of the lens to be damaged/scratched due to carelessness. I would instead invest in a circular polarizing filter or a basic color correction kit for black and white photography. You'll learn more sooner and get more practical use from it IMHO.
As an ex-retailer of photo. gear I have to agree that an extra sale is an advantage, but that's not to say that you have been given incorrect advice. A UV or Skylight will protect the front element of the lens and is much cheaper to replace than the lens itself. These days I shoot only colour transparency material and always use either a Skylight (Haze) or UV filter on all my lenses. The only exception is in landscape work when I use a polarizing filter. I would suggest a Skylight if you are mainly shooting colour or a UV (sort of the same thing, without colour correction) for monochrome. Buy the best you can afford, multi-coated are better than standard ones but you don't NEED filters at this stage. You will know when you do!
I'm into painting with light - NOT painting by numbers!
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Allan's right. Don't overdo it at this stage. Keep it simple.
Hi and welcome.
IMO, you should use a UV filter only if you want to reduce the amount of UV light hitting your film. I might use one if I lived at high altitudes, but otherwise, to simply protect your lens, I recommend a clear protective filter that is multi coated, but not expensive.
That being said, the only situations in which I use a protective filter are when there is spraying water, etc. I use a lens hood instead most of the time. The only time I have ever scratched the glass on a lens was when a filter shattered and a shard of glass scratched the lens.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 12-07-2008 at 07:54 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
I don't use filters meant for digital cameras as I all my filters are used only a film camera, not a digital. Hoya HMC UV(0) and SKYLIGHT 1B filters have a total of 6 layers of coating (3 front/3 rear) which dramatically cuts down ghosting and flare when used on digi cameras. I definitely wouldn't put a stock-standard filter on any of my L-series lenses; match the filter to the task. German manufacturer B+W's filters are superb (the Kaisemann polarisers particularly) albeit mega-expensive and well suited to top line optics, ditto Hoya's Super and Pro series filters.
Be aware that a Skylight 1B filter is slightly pink and may impact upon positive film with a magenta bias. In my experience, this filter should not be used with Provia or Velvia 100F: use a UV(0) filter instead. The pinkishness 'tones down' the blue haze in distant scenes and can 'warm up' an image shot in the shade, but not by much. Reiterating a couple of posts here, it is very important to protect your lens with a filter: it's much cheaper to smash a filter up front than the lens front element!
One rule is match the filter to the quality of your lens, if only to protect that big element up front. If you buy a $1,700 lens, don't put a $16.00 "high quality" filter on the top — it's not the done thing, son.
For the record, all my lenses have a HOYA Super HMC Skylight 1B interchanged with Super HMC UV(0) filter and a B+W Kaisemann circular polariser (one size with step-up/down rings for other lenses).
Amazon.com is not the best place to go for advice. APUG is!!
I once purchased a very wide angled zoom from a seller on eBay who apparently decided it would be best to protect it in shipping by screwing a UV filter onto the front of it. If the filter had had a spacer ring placed between it and the filter threads then the filter would not have marred the center of the front element when it was tightened on.
Originally Posted by Christopher Walrath
...Which leads us to another subject: filter clearance.
Many aspheric front elements actually protrude very slightly beyond the front filter thread, posing a very real danger to the unwary, inexperienced or plain clumsy. If you own such a lens, you must be extremely cautious before fitting any filter to the front element, even then, probably one which is a low-profile type specifically designed for protruding front elements. I have seen far too many lenses offered second hand with front-element damage caused by just this. If there is any doubt, one way to check is to smear the centre rear side of a filter you wish to try with rubber stamp ink, then very carefully screw it on. If the ink contacts the front element at any time (not just when fully-on), it will be very obvious and that filter (if not all) is thus immediately eliminated from your deliberations. My Canon TS-E lens is fitted with slim (low profile) filters for this very reason: a pronounced aspheric front element.
Last edited by Poisson Du Jour; 12-07-2008 at 08:39 PM. Click to view previous post history.