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The Olympus 12-40/2.8 Doesn't Like UV Filter!

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by hkpzee, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I don't feel comfortable using any lens without an UV filter to protect the frontal element of a lens, especially a $1,000 lens (with the only exception being the Panasonic 7-14 because it cannot fit a front filter). However, this is the first time I've noticed an UV filter causing internal reflection that's worse than when there is no filter:
    Lens_Filter_Test_01.

    As the above test shows, when pointing the 12-40/2.8 directly into a bright light source, you can see a blurry internal reflection when no filter is used. When a UV filter is applied, the reflection sharpens so much so that you can see the lamp shape clearly. I tested this on the 12-35/2.8, and it doesn't make much difference with or without filter. I then repeated this test on the E-M5 with the 12-40/2.8 and it's the same thing, so this issue seems specific to the lens. I'd like to test this with a Panasonic camera, but, unfortunately, I don't own any... Now, I am forced to use the 12-40 on my E-M1 without any filter...

    I reckon this is not a major issue, since I won't be pointing the lens at a direct light source most of the time, but having bad experience with the 7-14 on my E-M5, I just don't want such internal reflection to spoil any image... I don't know what's worse, having this internal reflection, or leaving the frontal element of my lens exposed... :frown:
     
  2. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    What kind of UV filter are you using? This is known to happen on the cheaper UV filters, so a higher quality one may solve the problem.
     
  3. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    That's what I thought, too. I was using a Hoya Pro 1 Digital UV Filter, so I went to a local camera shop and tried some more expensive filters, but it was the same. If a high-end UV filter like a B&W nano coated UV filter can solve the problem, I'm willing to spend the extra money on it. Unfortunately, there was none available at the shop for testing...
     
  4. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Try a high grade filter, I'm using a B+W MRC 010 on mine with no problems.
     
  5. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    You might also try Marumi super dhg uv filters. I believe lenstips had some very favorable reviews regarding the Marumi products which lead me to switch from B+W.
     
  6. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I have read some favorable reviews on Marumi Super DHG as well. Might give that a try...
     
  7. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Did you use it on the 12-40?
     
  8. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Yes, and I use B+W MRC series filters on all my other lenses as well.
     
  9. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Why don't you feel comfortable without a UV filter? Unless you're using the lens in especially splash/dusty environments, adding a UV filter probably makes the lens more vulnerable. A light drop is unlikely to break the lens itself, but probably will break the filter - which will shower the lens with broken glass fragments; removal of which will likely cause scratches. Then there is the chance that the filter mount will bend and need specialist skills to remove. Then of course, you're adding some (relatively) cheap glass in front of an expensively-designed optic that can only reduce its IQ. Personally, I only ever use filters if there's a good reason - ND, polarising etc.

    A good hood will offer better protection.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  10. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I am worried about scratching the lens surface more than anything else...
     
  11. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    This discussion is generally pointless, in that no one changes their mind in the end. There might be some theoretical loss of image quality with a high end uv filter, but one only needs to have a single close call to change their mind. I am extra careful when using my Panasonic 8mm fisheye especially since I had an encounter with a grabby child. Just yesterday, I had a moment of inattention with my Panny 100-300mm that could have ended badly. It gave me the impetus to go order an extra 67mm filter and a 62mm as well. I also really should buy a decent cpl but man they are expensive. It's really a personal comfort issue at heart and just like weather sealing it allows one to worry less about your gear and more about your photos.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I also have a child who likes grabbing onto my camera lens, which is another reason why I put UV filter on all my lenses as long as they allow, but I'm just trying to figure out if there are filters that doesn't cause this kind of ghosting... Seems like either the B+W or Marumi is a potential solution...
     
  13. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    Actually, I've changed my mind several times. I've also dropped a lens and broken the UV filter but not the lens itself, so I have good reason to be scared. I've never actually scratched a lens in almost 40 years of IC camera usage. I think a rigid lens hood can provide the same or more protection, while actually reducing glare rather than adding to it.

    As it turns out, I'm traveling naked these days - no protective filters on my lenses. A couple of reasons:

    Cost - Good UV filters, like B&W, cost real money. And the front element of your lens is actually repairable. I haven't had to price it (fortunately), but it's probably a small multiple of the cost of the filter. So the cost of buying lots of UV filters is probably higher than the cost of repairing one lens every ten or 20 years.

    IQ - Even good filters add something to the optical path which can only detract from the image. As shown above, they do increase flare and reflections even if coated. You spend a lot of money on quality lenses, so why spend more to lower their quality (even a little)?

    Convenience - I find myself using CP filters frequently and GND filters occassionally, so I wind up swapping the UV filter on and off all the time.

    So, who knows? I may change my mind again someday. But for now, my lenses are operating at their highest possible level with nothing between them and the light.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. DeoreDX

    DeoreDX Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Mar 13, 2013
    Alabama
    Personally I prefer to use a lens hood to protect the front element. The UV or Not UV argument has been going on since the dawn of time. Getting more expensive multi coated filters will help minimize ghosting and flare but it isn't going to eliminate it. I do have a protective filter but it only gets used on rare occasions, like when I am on the beach in heavy wind facing salt spray and blown sand. Personally after a multi coating I prefer a filter with brass rings for their anti-seize qualities with ground glass for the best optics i.e. B+W.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. m43man

    m43man Mu-43 Veteran

    359
    Aug 28, 2012
    Vancouver
    I bought an original Olympus filter to go with the Olympus 12-40 lens, assuming that they use the same glass coating on their filters and lenses, meaning the colors should match too.
     
  16. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012


    I guess I was being a bit dismissive but I dunno I guess I am argument fatigued atm. What with all the m4/3 has no dof and a 2.8 lens is not a 2.8 lens trolls\idiots\uneducated bumpkins we have had to deal with since the E-M1 was announced and released that I just did not feel like seeing another kinda pointless discussion.

    You are right of course and the UV filter thing is something everyone has to decided for themselves much like most other things in life but I digress. I just find the peace of mind worth the costs involved.

    Why do you believe the uv filter breaking somehow negates their benefits? What I mean is that the energy that went into breaking your uv filter had to end up somewhere and it ended up breaking your uv filter, without the uv filter maybe you would have broken a front element.

    Have you priced Marumi Super DHG filters? A 67mm filter costs around $44 the DHG costs around 30. Compared to the cost of a large front element I found it to be sensible. I just don't want to degrade the front element of my lenses by environmental contact namely rain, fingers, and babies among other natural hazards like branches and trees and concrete walls.
     
  17. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    And I wasn't trying to be dismissive of your perspective, either. I am also worn down by the stupid, fact-free "debates" which go on here and on other forums on the same stupid subjects. I was just trying to add my (fact-based?) perspective on the filter issue.

    I use B&W filters, because I trust their optical quality and like the brass metalwork. After you've had an aluminum or other cheap metal filter jam on your lens, this becomes an important feature. I was also just making the point that you can also look at the financials and see that there are costs on both sides.

    The cost issue is straightforward. I have seven m43 lenses, so at roughly $85 each, that would cost me a definite $595 to buy (actually, it did cost me that much as I did buy them). If I drop a lens and break the filter, it will cost me another $85 to replace it. If I drop the lens sans-filter and break the front element, will it cost me $510 to repair? Definitely not, since only one of my lenses even cost that much to buy (the 12-35/2.8). What would it cost - $100 or $200 to repair? So unless I expect to break lots of lenses, I'm probably better off from a purely cost perspective by not using filters.

    I think the scratch issue is similar. I haven't actually gotten any important scratches on my front elements or filters (excluding the one filter I smashed). Smudges and fingerprints on the filter have the same impact as on the lens itself. Although I believe that the pure optical quality of the best filters is high, I also believe they increase reflections and flare, even when multicoated.

    And I really find the inconvenience of swapping the filters off before I put the CP on a pain, which probably contributes to dust, fingerprints and dirt on both the lens itself and the filter. But that's just me, and is clearly related to my frequent use of CPs.

    As an aside, the one lens that I did drop and smash the filter on was apparently seriously damaged internally as well; the zoom mechanism stopped working several months later.

    Anyway, that's my thoughts on the issue. Not trying to impose my view on anyone, and in fact I'd welcome other contradictory views that show my analysis is incorrect so I can do better. But fact-based only, please. As a wise person once said, you're entitled to your own opinions. But you're not entitled to your own facts.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    That is the first time I have heard that statement but I do like it.

    I think we can all agree to keep those sun shades pointed outwards on onwards.

    I haven't used my cpl filters much, so that is why I ask. Do your filters not have threads on them or is it a case of the filter stack causing vigentting?
     
  19. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    That is the first time I have heard that statement but I do like it.

    I think we can all agree to keep those sun shades pointed outwards on onwards.

    I haven't used my cpl filters much, so that is why I ask. Do your filters not have threads on them or is it a case of the filter stack causing vigentting?
     
  20. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    The more filters you stack in front of the lens, the more you degrade your image from the extra glass and the extra dust. There may or may not be any vignetting; that's dependent on the lens being used and the filters being used, but it hasn't been my primary concern.