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Haze/UV Filter necessary for 4/3 Lens/ cameras?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Fred Gunckel, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. Fred Gunckel

    Fred Gunckel New to Mu-43

    2
    Jun 29, 2012
    Coming from a film camera background, I was always taught that using a UV/Haze filter was one key to producing sharp photos. However, I read a post somewhere is this forum that suggested that a UV/Haze filter was superfluous in digital cameras.
    Question # 1: Is this correct?
    Question #2: If it is correct, why so?
     
  2. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    It's a subject of much debate among digital photogs. I had haze filters on film lenses years ago. So I bought filters for each lens when I got my Pentax DSLR. I ended up removing them all and couldn't give them away. Now I just have Marumi Super DHG polarizer, Hoya R72. I will probably get one large size Marumi Super DHG for possibly shooting in windy, dusty conditions and use stepping rings. I'm holding off buying, because it likely won't get used, and I won't be able to give it away. My opinion, skip UV, haze, digital protection filters.

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2
     
  3. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    269
    Jun 29, 2012
    1.) It is correct. UV filters are superflous now. The only thing they offer is some level of protection against damage. But they also degrade image quality. A really good one doesn't degrade it much, but they do degrade it.
    2.) Film is sensitive to UV light. Digital sensors are not.
     
  4. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Welcome to the forum, Fred. I think that you will find both camps, pro filters and no filters, on just about any consumer photo forum, including this one. If you confine your question to just the question of producing sharp images, then I would speculate that the no filter camp is probably in larger numbers, at least if you are talking about "generic" UV filters. You are introducing another glass surface into the light path, and depending on the quality of the glass and its coatings, it could possibly impact what you can see in a final image. Personally, I use filters for protection, especially when I am photographing around food, kids, or ocean air. If IQ was absolutely paramount, I would probably remove the filter. I am sure that others will respond to your thread with good advice, but you might want to also have a look at this blog post and LensRentals: LensRentals.com - Good Times with Bad Filters .

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  5. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    "...they also degrade image quality."
    What in particular do they degrade?
     
  6. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    269
    Jun 29, 2012
    They make the final image softer and can potentially add flare or ghosting. Depending on various factors this may not be all that significant, but the softening happens, guaranteed, with all UV filters. No glass is perfect and so some level of degradation is always introduced by filters.

    If the filter does something useful at the same time then the degradation is usually acceptable, such as when you use a 10 stop ND filter to take a long exposure and blur water. But if the filter is not creating a separate positive effect that outweighs any possible loss in image quality then it is pretty pointless. Some people feel the protective effect of a UV filter does indeed outweigh its potential negative impact on image quality. Others feel it does not. That is a personal decision. I am merely pointing out that, unlike with film, UV filters do not have an inherent positive effect when shooting digital aside from their potential to protect a lens from abrasions and such.
     
  7. Fred Gunckel

    Fred Gunckel New to Mu-43

    2
    Jun 29, 2012
    Wow! My very first post on this forum and i am afforded prompt responses and the benefit of three member's collective experience. :bravo-009:

    Thank you twocatmew, arentol and replytoken for your help.Based on your feedback, I think I'll forgo mounting UV/Haze filters on my digital camera.
     
  8. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    In fairness, it was a subject of much debate among film photographers, too. I started out using them on all my lenses back in the early 70s and eventually decided that the risk of additional reflections was not worth the theoretical benefits. I can think of situations where they'd be worthwhile (splash risk, for example), but in general I'd skip it.
     
  9. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I've been seriously involved in photography since the mid-1970s and this is exactly how I feel about filters. I'll use them if I'm trying to create a certain effect but otherwise, no. As for protection, I humbly submit that unless one is a constant klutz and is always jamming the front end of one's lens into nasty bits, you'll find that your lens is actually tougher than you think. But if you feel you simply must use a filter, I recommend B+W slimlines. "Constant Klutz." That's a technical term. :smile:

    EDIT: If I feel I'm going into a situation that might put my lens in jeopardy, I usually employ a lens hood.
     
  10. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    I'm been involved in photography since the mid-sixties and I have always used protective filters. I believe in Murphy, I know the moment a lens is unprotected Murphy will raise his ugly head and say "Hello!".

    I've tested cheap. better and best protective filters and found no significant differences in I.Q. at 100%. But, the cheaper the glass the greater the flare when shooting directly into a light source.

    If I shoot in a controlled environment, like a studio, then I probably wouldn't use filters, (a money matter not an IQ matter - would rather use the money on beer).

    But I don't shoot in a controlled environment ... I've shot all over the place from deserts to rain forrest from the Equator to the Arctic and a few times the protective filter has saved my front element, allowing me to remove the damaged glass and keep on shooting.

    Personally, I don't care if you use a protective filter or not, but for me it's cheap insurance with no significant trade-off in I.Q.

    Gary
     
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  11. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    "...UV filters do not have an inherent positive effect when shooting digital aside from their potential to protect a lens from abrasions and such."
    Can you point me to scientific data that supports this contention. Perhaps you can provide some image samples of the specific type of photography with which this effect is inherent.
     
  12. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    Back then I was "on my own" with no GAS-inducing internet, so I listened to the guys at the camera store and got haze, polarizer and a bluish filter whose name I forget (and prolly never used). Never knew there was a debate back then! Thx for the correction. :smile:
     
  13. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    I agree with this statement. I found that protective filter are neutral, and project neither a positive or negative effect upon the image (the exception being flare when shooting directly into a light source).

    G
     
  14. Exposed

    Exposed Mu-43 Regular

    136
    Apr 13, 2011
    Central Washington State
    Randy dawson
    I agree with filter on. I do remove it when taking the shot if possible but have found zero to little difference. Why not have it on when storing gear, moving from one spot to the another just for protection. Have been doing this for over 30 years and never had a mishap with a lens.

    Randy
     
  15. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    "...the exception being flare when shooting directly into a light source"
    I have recently scientifically-tested at least three modern, high-quality UV-haze-type filters. I do not know if any on these have an anti-reflective (AR) coating. That info was not provided by the makers. Based on the test, each of these likely have the AR coating; one that significantly reduces reflection which in-turn appears to reduce flare as compared to older filters that I have in my inventory from decades ago.

    While anyone can argue the merits of the AR coating's efficacy to reduce flare because it is a subjective conclusion that I made based on testing with only my own eyes (instead of calibrated instrumentation); I did control this test using the same camera, camera settings, lens, light source, and tripod to a confidence level that placates me.

    The stand-alone test of the individual filters was conducted with a PerkinElmer Model 9500 Spectrophotometer with a Universal Reflectance Accessory (URA) with a NIST-traceable calibration performed using traceable, reference artifact standards: Deuterium for transmissivity and a reference "cold" mirror for reflectivity. The lambda wavelength range during the test was in the visible (Vis) range of 400-700 nanometers (nm); typically the range that the human eye can see. The tungsten-halogen lamp was the default light source of the 9500 during this test.

    Because of what I estimated to be VERY low reflectivity values to measured, I attenuated both the sample and reference beams to 1% to minimize photonic scatter.

    The results of each of the filters that I tested were all less than 1% reflection. That means that over 99% of the light incident to the side of the filter exposed to the environment will go though the filter, though the lens aperture, and to the sensor. Since the inside of most modern lens, by design, have a non-reflective surface (black-body technology) designed to NOT reflect light regardless of Angle of Incidence (AOI), whatever minute, residual light manages to find its way back to the side of the filter facing the sensor will ONLY minimally reflect due to the AR coating on that side of the filter. It is the bouncing around of any light that greatly contributes to the flare that is captured by the sensor.

    If the lens itself is NOT made with AR glass, it shall greatly contribute to the flare captured by the sensor. Properly-made and with good-quality AR glass, modern UV filters will contribute little if any perceptible flare on the images captured by our digital cameras.

    I you see flare in your photos, suspect the glass on your lens and NOT the lowly, much-maligned UV or haze filter unless that filter is of the "cheapy" variety where the glass is not properly ground or it does not contain the AR coating.

    Based on my scientific testing and results, I can comfortably metrologically-conclude that the UV-haze filter that I use does not significantly contribute to the flare in my photos.

    How have you arrived at your opinion about this type of filter?
     
  16. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    967
    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Steve
    I had an old school photo teacher at university who said the less between the image and the film the better. I never used them... until now.

    The spaces and gaps on the front of the lenses are too big for my liking, so I put a filter on the front to better seal the front of the lens from sand, grit etc.
     
  17. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    It was never all that important for me to measure UV/protective filters to such exacting standards. What's important was how the final image looked. I noticed significant/visible increase in flare and ghosting with a filter which was significantly reduced when the filter was removed. I never felt it was necessary to take the time to quantify my results, just looking through the viewfinder satisfied my need for determination of significance.

    G
     
  18. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    "...such exacting standards"
    Most people generally don't have the resources that I used to quantify such things. I just happen to have them available to me and have made a career of doing just that; quantifying things such an length, electrical power, light level, etc., through metrological means and techniques.

    I have found this particular argument to have lingered far too long so I decided to actually make measurements in order to settle it in my mind.

    In the end, few if any really care. They just want a purty pit-ture.:cool:
     
  19. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    "...the less between the image and the film the better."
    I believe that the teacher meant between the subject and the film.:biggrin:

    That's why I like primes with big, honkin' apertures.
     
  20. Shade

    Shade Mu-43 Regular

    74
    May 30, 2012
    Using a UV/Haze multicoated filter is your best bet if you wan't best results. They "eliminate" haze from UV rays and that is true. However there is a (non) significant sharpness and colour decrease since you're adding an extra element in front of your lens. It's just like when you drive in your car, no matter how clear your window is, you'd still get a better image when you roll down your window.

    The image degradation is barely noticable and I suggest using a filter at all times and avoid using a lens cap (like what I do), and you can take pictures right away without fumbling and forgetting where the lens cap is.

    Hwoever, there are certain problems where the filter MAY cause ghostings on light blobs in certain cases (this depends on the lens and the filter and the situation of the shoot), but IT CAN happen. Without a filter this is LESS likely (not impossible).