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Filter or No Filter?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by colbycheese, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    What do you think is the best choice? Personally, i think if I have paid so much for a lens, I don't want to add a cheap piece of glass to the front. This may carry a risk of damage but I think after paying so much for a lens, and then to pay more to sacrifice the quality of images is not worth it. I think the protection they offer is highly debatable as well.

    What do you think?
     
  2. rboate

    rboate Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Nov 6, 2012
    I don't use a protective filter but always use a hood.
     
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  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Every one of my lenses, apart from the 7-14mm which can't take filters (so always extra careful), has a B&W MRC filter. These filters have saved my lenses several times, or allowed me to keep shooting because they are so easy to clean and don't hold water in the rain.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    I don't use a filter for protection, but I will often use a filter for other reasons, polariser, or IR filters mainly at the moment.
     
  5. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    637
    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Dennis
    UV filters and the like are pretty much useless on a modern digital camera. For protection vs. a hood- well, that's like asking if 35mm or 50mm is preferred. Everyone has their own opinions, and no one is right or wrong.

    If you do use a filter for protection though, I always recommend a brand name high quality multi coated UV filter, mainly to reduce any sort of light bounce back on the lens- a cheap vs more costly filter can make a world of difference.

    I do use a filter on one lens, sometimes. The 12-40 Olympus zoom. The only reason I do though is weather. If I'm using it as a hiking lens, it's easier to wipe stuff off of the front of a flat filter vs. the curved front element of the lens.
     
  6. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Go for a walk in dense Australian scrub or near the ocean and tell me filters are useless when the filter is covered in sap, pollen, dust, saltwater etc. Try taking the front of your lens off and cleaning it in a river or tap to get the crud off the lens. B&W MRC filters do not affect the quality of an image to any degree that anyone can notice.
     
  7. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Here we go again....
    Get ready to rumble....:eek::biggrin::tongue:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    If you're a city-slicker shooter, then you can probably go without a filter and never have an issue. But if you're a nature photographer etc and go to gnarly places where you get more than your boots dirty, then a filter can save your bacon many times over. It's just horses for courses. And if I'd had this issue: https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=61784, I would simply have removed the filter and washed it under some warm water and dried it clean. I've had to do similar many times, even after a football match where the winning team sprayed champagne over the supporters and attending photographers.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    But tonight is Tuesday...And it's not football season...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    With a good quality multi-coated filter IMO you are maybe sacrificing an almost undetectable amount of contrast and that's about it. I think the glass is going to be adequately planar and the loss is going to be due to the tiny additional light reflection from the filter's backside surface -- more or less the same as adding an air-separated multicoated lens element inside the barrel. (That's engineering by eyeball & logic; I am not an optical designer. Anyone with better technical qualifications please step in.)

    For me, primarily a travel/wildlife photographer I think they are a good investment and have them on every lens. If I was exclusively shooting in a studio type or other indoor environment I probably wouldn't have them.

    Re saving a lens, a UV filter saved my 14-140mm when the camera jumped off a tabletop onto a concrete floor only lightly padded with commercial carpet. The filter shattered and the front threaded edge of the filter was bent seriously inward. The filter unscrewed easily and left me to clean the glass shards and powder carefully (!) off the front element of the 14-140. Then I was back in business.

    But, hey, do your own testing. Use an optical test target of some kind. Maybe just a piece of newspaper with varying type sizes. Have someone else shoot a couple of pictures with and a couple without the filter, then look at them to see if you can detect a difference. No fair if you know ahead of time which is which.
     
  11. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
  12. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    It depends..
    Normally - no.
    But in conditions like ocean beach with sand and salt water in the air - yes.

    - no offense, but that particular thread is rather anecdotal waste of 4 pages on mi·nus·cule issue. If you're afraid to clean lenses then take a glass of vodka and drink it - it will greatly lessen your fears. :))
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    :rofl:
     
  14. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    ditto others use a hood for the obvious reasons inside though its good for protection to

    protective uses of a filter ? for salty air so cleaning is easier when at a rough beach I like using them but daily I tend not to ?
    if you are shooting say dogs and they come up nose your gear filters are handy
    say at races where dirt and dust is flying those kinda things I like filters to protect things

    for impact protection ? if you hit something hard enough to break a filter the broken glass is going to scratch your lens anyway ? with a hood should stop impact damage


    basically I never use filters unless I know I am going into a situation that needs one then sparingly :)
     
  15. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    This is always a controversial topic. Those supporting the use of filters have usually undertaken tests and use nothing but the highest quality filters so that image quality is not sacrificed, yet also get the benefits of those high quality filters. Those not supporting filters, more often than not, only have experiences with cheap filters and thus eschew all filters yet, on the other hand, are willing to 'sacrifice' quality by using cheap polarising or ND filters.

    The B&W MRC filter for my 14-25mm f2 lens costs AU$140 and is well worth it, and my ND and polarising filters are also B&W. And guess what, my 90-250mm f2.8 lens came with an Olympus UV filter as standard, but after using it once while shooting football in the rain, I replaced it with a B&W MRC filter because the Olympus filter became a soft focus filter after it got wet and you tried to clean it in the field.

    Also, I don't think anyone is suggesting using a filter and no lens hood, which appears that some are suggesting. A lens hood's purpose is not designed or intended to protect the front element.
     
  16. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
  17. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Ever heard about "false sense of security"? People with filters may just care less and have more impacts and then brag how filter saved them. On opposite, people without filters may just exercise greater caution and thus have no accidents at all.
    IMO, filters are not for protecting from hard impacts - caps and bags are for that. Filters are just easier and faster to clean.
     
  18. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I've never said that filters are for protection from hard impacts, quite the opposite, they protect from airborne crud that can potentially be very damaging or very difficult to remove from lens elements. I'd rather replace a $140 filter, than have to send in a lens for factory cleaning or replacement, at probably a vastly higher cost. Nor am I careless just because I have a filter on every lens, I exercise as much caution as if I had no filter, but the filter is there as an impediment to Murphy who is always lurking around every tree, rock and water course. When not on-camera, every lens is in a proper bag with lens cap and hood attached. I have nearly $20,000 worth of Olympus lenses when I go bush. Do you think I'm lackadaisical about how I treat them?
     
  19. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Ah....
    Now the 'battle' begins anew......

    What about filters and JPEG or no filters and RAW :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
     
  20. daum

    daum Mu-43 Veteran

    340
    Aug 26, 2011
    I've always been a no filter kinda guy. But after going over seas to dusty roads of Cambodia, I made sure I got a high quality filter (B&W MRC filter) just so I can keep the lens clean and just wipe the debris off the filter with my shirt. Plus it looks pretty cool.

    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/93275982@N02/12918821794/in/set-72157641044613633/player/" width="640" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>