Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
This whole topic can be definitely proven on an optical bench. But otherwise, it's common sense. I can even tell when wearing a smudged or
cheaper pair of reading glasses that something is off, compared to a recently cleaned good pair. How much does it matter? Just depends. I'm
of the school of thought that these little things tend to add up. A minor compromise here and there, and eventually it really does show in the
print. But not everyone has the same priorities. What I categorically deny is that filter quality is not a factor. Every filter manufacturer knows
that! I could same about the lens analogy above: If you've ever owned a multicoated dagor lens with only four air/glass interfaces no way
your eyeballs won't pop out (I know, hyperbole- but you get the point), compared to a plastmat, not to mention some zoom lens with sixteen
or seventeen separate elements. I really really does make a difference, and if everything else in the workflow follows suit, even the public
will quickly perceive something, even if they can't explain it. Happens all the time to me. But a misaligned enlarger, or cheapo lens on that,
why bother....?

I agree wholeheartedly.

The OP was talking about multi-coated B+W filters, which are as good as it gets for filters; plano-parallel Schott glass and top-notch coating. The effect of using one of these, when you have to, would be negligible. Sure, a lot of "negligibles" will add up to a tangible, but we were just talking about filters. The real question was if a particular color (orange) itself was responsible for degrading the quality of the image. I rather think not. The culprit is likely something else besides the color of the filter.

As to craftsmanship and careful working: Yes, don't use cheap and uncoated filters, get the best optics you can afford, etc., etc. I'm way with you there. I replaced all my pretty-good filters with B+W filters some time ago.

On the other hand, if you are a careful worker and the need arises to use a bit-less-than-optimum-quality filter, that alone is not going to make a noticeable difference in the final result; it is only one "negligible."

And, sometimes, "good enough" is really good enough. The best modern lenses are indeed superior to much of what was used in the past. We have things available to us that were not available (or affordable) for the likes of Adams, Weston, et al. Nevertheless, they made the best of what they had and some rather good images as well...