I used to use them, until a UV filter shattered and then caused about $200 damage to a very expensive Nikon lens. There are a lot of problems with thinking a filter is really going to protect anything. First, it is flimsy glass. When it breaks, it's going to scratch up your lens WORSE than it would have been. Few things are as good at scratching glass as another piece of jagged glass. This has happened to one of my friends as well. Second, using a flimsy piece of glass generally seems to make people a bit more careless. REAL protection comes from using the very tough plastic lens cap. It's not going to break, and even if it did it's not going to scratch your lens up. I also always use a lens HOOD. These protect my lenses in several ways. First, it deflects a lot of crud from ever getting near my front element. Second if I accidentally drop the lens it keeps the front element away from the ground. The plastic flexes a bit and takes some of the shock. I like to photo trains, and I often have a lot of trouble with flare from even the very best multicoated filters. I've had a lot of great shots ruined by flare caused by using filters*. Finally, I've figured out that for me to place QUALITY filters on each of my best lenses, it would cost me MORE than a repair! What's the sense of that? I've been shooting outdoors pretty much daily, in the worst conditions the Dakotas can come up with. I've used my lenses in wild places such as Iceland, Baffin Island, Hawaii, Artic Canada, and shooting from a sea kayak in Florida. I've been doing this for 20+ years now. The ONLY time I've damaged a lens was when a stupid filter broke and scratched up an expensive lens. I see filters as more RISK than they are "protection." No thanks--I use the lens caps.
Kent in SD
* yes dessertrat, filters have very
DEFINITELY caused me problems.