1. Marc1548

    Marc1548

    Messages:
    70
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Easy Question. Is there really any difference with regard to quality against cost?
    I’m looking for a 77 mm uv filter for my lens.
    Iv seen them from various manufacturers, ranging between £10 to over £100 for what essentially to me anyway is just a piece of protective glass. Is there really any benefit in splashing out, not that I would?
     
  2. kendo1

    kendo1

    Messages:
    6,769
    Name:
    Ken
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Yes
     
    Nod likes this.
  3. Marc1548

    Marc1548

    Messages:
    70
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Ok, perhaps divulge?
     
  4. kendo1

    kendo1

    Messages:
    6,769
    Name:
    Ken
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    :D

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
    Cheap filters are made of cheap glass.
    Expensive filters tend to be made of better quality glass, are multi coated to prevent flare and assist the transmission of light.

    Imagine taking a pic from inside a greenhouse....

    Best value and quality in numerous tests are Hoya and B&W - the more expensive ones.
    The link to an exhaustive test is on another PC - I don't have it to hand at the moment.
     
  5. soeren

    soeren

    Messages:
    1,167
    Name:
    Soeren
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I've found the lens hood, correctly mounted provide the needed protection.
     
  6. Marc1548

    Marc1548

    Messages:
    70
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thanks,perfect. just needed an explanation on the least interesting piece of kit, & whether it’s worth spending more than a tenner?
     
  7. kendo1

    kendo1

    Messages:
    6,769
    Name:
    Ken
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I don't use filters, well, sometimes a neutral density or grad, but very rarely. (last time was about a year ago)

    I do use filters on film camera lenses, mainly for B&W.

    I do use lens hoods all the time.
     
    Nod likes this.
  8. chris malcolm

    chris malcolm

    Messages:
    1,335
    Name:
    Chris
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    It's difficult and expensive to get a UV filter which is almost as good in image quality as no UV filter. Accidentally acquired along with some package buys I have a few UV filters and a clear glass lens protection filter. (No none of them 77mm :). I used to think they looked pretty similar. Then I had my cataracts removed, which involved replacing my ancient age yellowed and cataract fogged biological lenses with modern plastic ones. Now the UV filters are quite dramatically yellow looking!
     
    TheBigYin and Petrochemist like this.
  9. Retune

    Retune

    Messages:
    973
    Edit My Images:
    No
    This is a bit out of date (some modern filter ranges are not included), and I think over-emphasises UV blocking in the overall rating, but the test photos show some of the large differences you can expect between (say) uncoated and multi-coated filters:

    https://www.lenstip.com/113.1-article-UV_filters_test.html

    Even a filter with excellent glass from a good company like B+W can flare badly if it's from their uncoated range and you are shooting into the light. But their MRC and MRC-Nano ranges have very effective multi-coating that greatly reduces flare and is easy to clean. Hoya has similar coatings in their HD and Evo/Fusion ranges (their older Pro-1 and HMC coatings are good at reducing flare, but are harder to clean). Note that there are a lot of fakes out there, though - some ebay and Amazon sellers are notorious for selling dubious filters, and even Amazon themselves have been known to do this (presumably because they have shared inventory with third party sellers that distribute via their warehouses).

    Plastic lenses can be more transparent to UV than even healthy biological lenses - you may actually be seeing colours a bit beyond the normal visible spectrum, with near UV perceived as blue and UV filters as yellow. It would be interesting to ask someone without cataracts (or replacement lenses) how they see those filters.

    http://www.komar.org/faq/colorado-cataract-surgery-crystalens/ultra-violet-color-glow/
     
  10. RichardC27

    RichardC27

    Messages:
    2,571
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I honestly wouldn't bother, all it will do is make your images softer and introduce a load of flare when there's a bright light source in the frame. I bought a mid-priced UV filter when I first started out, realised that at best it made no difference and most of the time made my images worse, and took it off my lens again. That was 10 years ago and I haven't used a UV filter since.
     
  11. Nawty

    Nawty

    Messages:
    6,252
    Name:
    Ned
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    To save everyone the keyboard wear and tear, search the forum for "UV filter protection" or similar and get ready to spend the weekend reading the same thing over and over again...
     
  12. swanseamale47

    swanseamale47

    Messages:
    8,037
    Name:
    wayne clarke
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    There was a test some years back that showed the differences, I think Hoya did pretty well and Cokin were easily the worst optically, they do make a difference, try a pic with and without and look at fine detail, if you cant see any difference all good.
    I've had two lens saved by having a skylight/UV filter to protect the front element. Personally I'd go with a cheap if I have a low budget and risk the very slight loss of detail, rather than lose an expensive lens.
     
    gcgraphs likes this.
  13. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

    Messages:
    22,712
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Loss of sharpness is not usually a problem with filters unless of poor quality or faulty, but it can be an issue with longer lenses that magnify imperfections. Common to all filters is increased flare and ghosting that shows when shooting into the light as an overall reduction in contrast, coloured flare spots, and reflections of very bright light sources which appear as a ghost image (light bounces off the flat surface of the shiny sensor, travels back through the lens and is reflected back off the flat rear surface of the filter). Ghosting is most visible in night scenes with bright lights set against a dark background. Coating and multi-coating reduces flare substantially.

    UV is not a problem with digital. Both UV and infrared filters are fitted in front of the sensor.

    There are conflicting views on the physical protection benefits of a filter in the event of a drop. Shattered glass can make things worse. There's no doubt about protection from dust, sand, mud and other nasties like sea spray. A lens hood offers good physical protection and also improves image quality in back-lit and side-lit situations, ie mostly.

    FWIW, I always use a lens hood, and only use a protection filter when there's an obvious danger of flying crud, like sea spray or mud.
     
  14. soeren

    soeren

    Messages:
    1,167
    Name:
    Soeren
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  15. StephenM

    StephenM I know a Blithering Idiot

    Messages:
    2,768
    Name:
    Stephen
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Outside my experience, so only heresay. On another now dead and removed forum, one member who photographed airshows reported that the various fumes etc. from fuel, oil and so forth did mount up over the season into a non-removeable coating. Hence he replaced the uncleanable filters on his lenses each year. This is the only convincing argument I've come across for protective filter use
     
    TheBigYin likes this.
  16. Chappers

    Chappers

    Messages:
    5,366
    Name:
    John
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Have had at least one very expensive lens saved by a UV filter If you do buy one don't buy cheap. In practice I've found the a good filter has little if any affect on the final image .I've done side by side shots with and without and find it difficult to see the difference, if any.
     
    Mr Badger likes this.
  17. Marc1548

    Marc1548

    Messages:
    70
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Well as an aircraft engineer at Heathrow of over 35 years I can vouch for this, our vehicle windscreens get covered in this oily film coating. Not easy to remove.
     
    Graham W, TheBigYin and StephenM like this.
  18. Caerus

    Caerus

    Messages:
    26
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Never bothered with UV ones myself so don't know if they do anything.
    Always used quality clear or polarising but I found cheap ones are awful and often are not actual glass but some sort of substitute.
    I would say try a quality one like Hoya from a reputable dealer { not ebay ) and see for yourself because people always have different opinions about it.
     
  19. soeren

    soeren

    Messages:
    1,167
    Name:
    Soeren
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I'd suspect that's not the only places that stuff would build up and since it's airborne it might also get into e.g. zoom lenses when zooming etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  20. gad-westy

    gad-westy

    Messages:
    5,986
    Name:
    Graham
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Out of genuine curiosity, how do those who say a UV filter has saved their lens know that this is the case? I've long been a skeptic with regards to how much 'impact' protection a UV filter can offer but it's interesting to hear real world experience.

    I admit I'm cynical but I can see the need for them in certain environments. Basically anywhere with airborne nasties. But I have seen very negative effects from UV filters in the past. The first occasions was using a decent UV filter shooting around artificial lights that caused all sorts of weird ghost effects. Another time was when my mother had a telephoto lens that simply could not deliver a sharp image at any length.... until the UV filter was removed. I genuinely thought that lens had a fault or had been damaged. Everything was fuzzy. That was a cheap filter though.
     
    Petrochemist likes this.
  21. ecoleman

    ecoleman

    Messages:
    4,750
    Name:
    Elliott
    Edit My Images:
    No
    10 years doing photography seriously and I've never owned a UV filter
     
  22. soeren

    soeren

    Messages:
    1,167
    Name:
    Soeren
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Given that the UV filter is less resistant to impact than a piece of paper and the shatters will likely scratch the surface of the front element I find that odd too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  23. soeren

    soeren

    Messages:
    1,167
    Name:
    Soeren
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    add 20 more years to that number :D
     
  24. gcgraphs

    gcgraphs

    Messages:
    352
    Name:
    GC
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    As with most things I guess it comes down to what you do.

    I don't use UV filters as a matter of course but do fit them if shooting in an environment where there is a risk of flying debris hitting the lens. I've had 2 x instances when grit/gravel has been thrown up and has broken the filter but left the front element undamaged.

    YMMV, horses for courses etc.
     
    Mr Badger likes this.
  25. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

    Messages:
    3,188
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    And I can add another 9 to yours! Not that that has much to do with anything though. :) However, coming from a film camera background I grew up using UV and Skylight filters and still use UV filters on most of my Canon EF lenses today, as I also use these lenses on my 35mm EOS film cameras, plus a filter completes the weather resistance of some of my Canon 'L' series lenses (something that hasn't been mentioned yet?).

    The only time I would definitely remove a UV filter is if I wanted to take photos of the Aroura Borealis, as the light frequency from that reacts with a UV filter, which causes a Newton's rings type effect on the image. Apart from that I'm happy to use them, after all, if I noticed some flare or ghosting when taking night shots of bright street lights, etc. I could soon whip the filter off and try the shot without it.

    As for the protective effect, I believe that a good quality UV filter can protect a lens against impact, and save the front lens element from getting accidentally scratched too. Plus, a scratched or broken UV filter is usually cheaper to replace than a front lens element. Years ago I was shown a broken UV filter that had a stone road-chipping embedded in it, it had come off a zoom lens someone was using to photograph a special stage on the RAC Rally. Fortunately the chipping had been caught by the filter and hadn't touched the front element of the lens, so after removing the filter with a filter wrench the lens was found to be undamaged. Without the filter it's almost certain that the front lens element would have sustained sufficient damage to require replacement. Yes, it was lucky the chipping hadn't touched the front element, but without the filter it certainly would have done.

    As others have said though, using a filter is down to personal choice and is not compulsory, so I'm sure you can all make your own minds up. (y)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  26. soeren

    soeren

    Messages:
    1,167
    Name:
    Soeren
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Actually the video in the link I posted earlier showed thats unlikely. The front element of the lens is a magnitude more rubust and scratch resistant than the filter that in only rare occasions will the filter do anything good in impact situations. Often when we get there the internal of the lens has given in and will in some cases be severely damaged. I do see the idea in using a protective filter where you risk sandblasting or minerals drying on the lens risking fine scratches
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  27. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

    Messages:
    3,188
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I know what I've seen with my own eyes, so that was at least 1 lens that was saved by a filter! Also, I find a modern high-quality UV filter is usually a doddle to clean with something like a lens pen, so I can keep them spotlessly clean and grease and smear free, and I'm secure in the knowledge that if I do make a pig's ear of it and scratch it, then it's only the cost of a new filter, and not the cost of a replacement front lens element or more likely a much reduced resale/trade-in value as the lens is scratched. Also, if modern lenses are so tough, then where do all these scratched/marked second hand ones come from then? ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  28. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

    Messages:
    22,712
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Those are common examples of how a filter can seriously damage image quality, but filter users should bear in mind that these effects are happening to a greater or lesser extent all the time. It might take a careful with/without side by side comparison to see it, but any situation where there's bright light in or near the frame, even it's just a bright sky, will start to show a reduction in image contrast and saturation. Flare is the main problem, not loss of sharpness except with longer lenses.

    The other thing is, lenses are pretty tough. Glass is hard and lens coatings are designed to be robust and cleaned when necessary. In normal everyday use there's just no need for a protection filter. Use the lens hood, and that'll both protect the lens and actually improve image quality in bright light - it works the same as when you're driving into the sun and flip down the visor. The video below from Mike Browne contains a lot of good old common sense plus a demonstration of what happens to an expensive lens when you deliberately jab it with a metal fork, ie nothing.

    When there's sand or mud/stones or sea spray flying around, for those occasions a good quality protection filter makes sense. Hoya, Marumi and B+W are good brands but choose a high end version with flare-reducing multi-coating and preferably an easy-clean outer surface - they're resistant to water marks and difficult stuff like greasy finger prints wipe off easily.

    https://www.photographycourses.biz/videos/reviews-and-help/help-and-advice/camera-care

    Edit: there are a lot of fake filters about and they're very hard to spot. Only buy from an authorised seller supplied by the official importer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  29. soeren

    soeren

    Messages:
    1,167
    Name:
    Soeren
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Do you know for a fact the lens element would have been damaged without the filter? Have you watched the forementioned video? Filters have almost none resistance to impacts whereas the front elements of lenses are very sturdy. In fact the video demonstrates that a lot of lenses internals are shattered to pieces before their front elements are chipped or damaged. A plastic lenshood that will act as a deformation zone offering some softer deceleration of the lens while the hood breaks will be a better choice.
     
    HoppyUK likes this.
  30. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

    Messages:
    22,712
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    No
    (y)

    Lens hoods tend to be lens-specific and that's important with wide-angles to ensure they don't intrude into the image. If buying third-party, some have quite shiny plastic inner surfaces that are not helpful. Canon makes very good hoods lined with black flocking and you can simulate that very easily with self-adhesive black felt - about 75p from Hobbycraft etc.
     
  31. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

    Messages:
    3,188
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    From the position of the stone-chipping embedded in the filter I saw, it was clear that it would have come into direct contact with the front element of the lens if the filter had not been in place. I would not have bothered mentioning this if that were not the case.

    However, the chance of a front lens element surviving unscathed behind a filter in the event of it being struck by a projectile will depend on numerous factors, such as the velocity, shape, hardness and angle of strike of the projectile, the size of the gap between the filter and the lens, the curvature of the front lens element in relation to the angle of strike of the projectile, the hardness of the filter, whether any stress flaws are present in the glass, etc. etc. I believe this makes carrying out replicable and exactly comparable experiments (particularly those carried out outside a specialist test facility) very difficult. Just randomly dropping an object on something is unlikely to be entirely replicable or comparable, unless your purpose is merely to replicate random chance, or if the objects are so disproportionate that the probability of causing damage to one of them is almost certain (a sledgehammer hitting a grape for instance).

    Don't believe me? Have you ever dropped a conventional SLR type camera from around waist height? Did it survive unscathed and continue to work perfectly? If it did, then you (or it) were probably 'lucky', had it landed at a different angle and/or on a different surface it could well have sustained serious damage. That's the point, in some circumstances a filter may save damage to the front element of a lens, in other situations it may not.

    A plastic lens hood will offer no protection to the front element of a lens if a projectile is coming straight at it. It may protect the front element in the event of dropping a lens with the lens hood fitted, but conversely, it could potentially damage the lens casing and/or focus/zoom mechanism due to the impact being transferred to that. Again, it depends how it falls, the height it falls from, what it falls onto, the angle at which it lands, whether the hood pops cleanly off and absorbs some of the impact in doing that, and numerous other variables. Conversely, might a lens hood cause damage to a lens because it increases the length of the lens and potentially increases the risk of catching the lens on an object when using it (for instance, banging it on a window frame when moving the camera away from your eye after taking a photo out of the window)? Could it possibly also increase wear and tear to the front of the lens assembly, resulting in a mechanical failure that would not otherwise have occurred, or occurred as soon? We could probably go on all day about this! In my view, a plastic/polycarbonate lens hood is useful for stopping some/most lens flare and may keep vertically falling raindrops off the front of the lens (if it's not too windy and the hood is long enough) but I wouldn't rely on it to have any other protective qualities beyond that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  32. soeren

    soeren

    Messages:
    1,167
    Name:
    Soeren
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Unreplicable or not the test show without doubt That the front elements of lenses take impact forces straight on that are much greater than those that will break a filter. I can't see an truly scientific experiment will reach much different conclusions from the ones in the video because of the big differences. Make those impacts at an angle and you'll soon find a lens hood will deflect such impact. The lens hoods are normally slightly bendy in an elastic way so the force from impacts are seldom transfered 1:1 to the lens. I've had my camera hit a lot of stuff both in nature and in cities and never seen any damage to my front elements.


    Re dropping cameras and lenses, both an Nikon FM and a olympus OM 1 survived the drop hight you mentioned. A nikor afd zoom didn't when dropped while changing lenses, the front element was intact, zoom and focusing on the other hand was beyond repair.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  33. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

    Messages:
    3,188
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Have you seen the thickness of some front lens elements compared to that of a modern high-quality UV filter? It's not a comparison of which will break first though, it's about reducing the likelihood of an object coming into contact with the lens element in the first place. If the filter stops the object before it reaches the lens element then it's not going to leave an impact mark or scratch on the lens, is it? Likewise, if it's the filter you're cleaning then you're not touching the front lens element, so no chance of putting cleaning swirl marks on the lens or inadvertently scratching it during cleaning. Furthermore, as I mentioned above, a filter is required on some lenses to complete the weather resistance too.

    As I said, there seem to be quite a few second-hand lenses around with marks or scratches on their front elements, so how has that happened, given you say how tough and resilient they are?

    Anyway, good-natured discussion/arguments aside, I'm not suggesting anyone should use a UV filter, but neither am I suggesting they shouldn't use a UV filter either (except in certain circumstances, such as photographing the Aroura Borealis, etc.). People can do their own research, believe what they wish, and make their own decisions. (y)
     
  34. soeren

    soeren

    Messages:
    1,167
    Name:
    Soeren
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Cleaning lenses in a nonabrasive way is not that difficult if you have a little common sense.
    Cleaning marks is the most serious problem Re image quality when it comes to scratches but I've seen professionel photographers stick capless lenses in their pockets and using their shirts to clean them, All in all abusing their lenses in a way I never could even think about and still get good results. How people manage to get cleaning marks on their front elements other than the above mentioned method is a mystery to me since I manage to avoid them without much effort
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  35. Retune

    Retune

    Messages:
    973
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Not just the forum, but any online discussion about this topic going back to the pre-web Usenet days, not to mention passionate debate at camera clubs and in the letters columns of photo magazines for decades before that. The problem is that these threads always become arguments for and against the use of filters, rather than answers to whatever question was actually asked...
     
    Mr Badger likes this.
  36. kendo1

    kendo1

    Messages:
    6,769
    Name:
    Ken
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    ... and some people will badger the topic to death about extremely specific circumstances :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
    Mr Badger likes this.
  37. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

    Messages:
    3,188
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Snip:
    Funny that, professional rally drivers seem to throw their cars around all over the place too and treat their tires, brakes, gearboxes and car body panels is a way I would never consider doing.

    The reason? Professionals are earning money (in some cases very good money) from their chosen equipment, for them it's time and results that cost or make them money, their kit can be quickly mended or replaced if it wears out or gets damaged (and the cost of this offset against tax as a legitimate business expense). So you can't compare what a busy full-time professional photographer does with their kit... I imagine a lot of top pros regard their everyday cameras and lenses as just a tools for the job, and not a hobby item to be looked after and cosseted.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
    Phil V likes this.
  38. Horden Hillbilly

    Horden Hillbilly

    Messages:
    166
    Name:
    David
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    A few years ago, I had a walk down the local beach & I had my Canon 55-250 lens on the camera. When I got home, I noticed a nasty chip on the UV filter. no problem, I got another filter & I've no doubt that the filter saved my lens glass from being chipped.
     
  39. LongLensPhotography

    LongLensPhotography

    Messages:
    13,521
    Name:
    Truth Teller
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Cheap UV filter can seriously affect image quality particularly on slightly longer glass or shooting into contrasty light. Your beloved plastic grads are the worst possible kind of filter to put in front of the lens. The worst of the worst. But even then wideangles seem to handle them OK in many circumstances.

    Good filter has almost no effect. The are all multi-multi coated. The likes of Hoya HD are fine and can be picked up on ebay nearly new for less than 20 if you have the time to play the game. Paying close to 100 for one is the ultimate insanity as they are not worth anywhere near it.
     
  40. Phil V

    Phil V

    Messages:
    21,939
    Name:
    Phil
    Edit My Images:
    No
    You may have ‘no doubt’ but without evidence, others may indeed have a lot of doubt, and without an experiment under lab conditions, your amount of doubt isn’t really worth owt ;)
     
    kendo1 likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice