To use or not to use UV filter

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by wolfbomb, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. wolfbomb

    wolfbomb Mu-43 Rookie

    May 6, 2012
    Real Name:
    Hi M4/3,

    Currently, all my M4/3 lenses are protected with UV filters and I'm happy about it since I am not worried of my front glass getting some dust/dirt and smudges. After shoots, i just clean the filter instead of the front glass before i kept it on my dry cab. I'm getting some flares sometimes (very rare) but I'm OK.

    Now, suddenly I met a guy not a friend who is also a M4/3 user and ask me why do i need to put filters on a lens such as that as he point to my Panasonic 14mm 2.5. I replied him because i want to protect it. And he added, you will only get a flare on that and its really not necessary to use filters on a M4/3 lense. After that I was speachless. I am new to M4/3 system and Im not really sure of what he sad.

    For Panasonic 14mm 2.5 users or shall I say M4/3 users in general, I just want to know your thoughts on this. Do you really need a UV filter to protect your front glass or you can live without it and just clean it after use.
  2. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    It is true you will get flare unless you use expensive multi-coated filters. Sometimes, under certain situations, even with expensive UV filters you'll get flare. But you will have a permanent layer of protection on your lens should you drop them.

    Easy way to test this, go out to your sidewalk at night and aim your lens at the street lights and see what you get.

    Personally I just be careful when I'm swapping lenses. I rarely have accidents for a somewhat clumsy person, YMMV.
  3. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    There is no wrong right answer here... You just have to smart about it. Its all personal preference.

    There was only one time ever that i dropped a lens. Optics where ok but he aperture ring and focus was all screwed up... A very expensive mistake More importantly, it was dropped while futzing with caps.... Caps that i kept loosing anyways. They also slowed me down a lot.... I shoot mostly with primes.

    As such, none of my lenses use caps. I also dont baby them. I tend to clean them with my shirt. I use filters for a measure of protection. Be aware, know when to remove them in situations that may introduce flare. I also only use he highest of quality filters.
  4. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    I agree that this is a personal preference issue. Myself, I do not use protective filters, that's what hoods are for. I have a hood for every lens I own, and figure that a hood will save a lens from an impact while it will cut down flare and may increase contrast as a bonus. Less likely to bend a hood vs bending a filter at the threads, and if so would be easier to remove.
    Hoods are often less expensive than a quality uv/protective filter in my experience. YMMV
  5. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    There have been long debates in many forums regarding this issue. And generally no clear resolution or consensus. Film was considerably more sensitive to UV than digital sensors. So photographically the actual need to use UV filters is not as great. I generally don't use them. If I'm at the beach or hiking in brushy areas I sometimes use a clear filter to protect the lens. Using high quality filters will minimize image degradation and flare.
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Whether or not you use a filter, it's generally wise to always use a hood (when available). A hood offers physical protection from bumps and scrapes, but also improves contrast and reduces flare. Clear filters can do the opposite. Also, hoods will absorb some of the shock of a fall, whereas a filter can be dangerous in a fall as it is much weaker than the front element and much more prone to breakage... which will put your expensive glass at risk of glass shards from the filter.

    Whether or not you should use a filter is a personal choice. It has some advantages but also many disadvantages. A hood however is nearly all positive.
  7. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    I agree with the hood as a first line of defense. I pretty much always use a hood.
  8. wolfbomb

    wolfbomb Mu-43 Rookie

    May 6, 2012
    Real Name:
    thanks guys for all the feedback. it really helps me alot. now i started buying hoods for my lenses.
  9. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2011
    Real Name:
    I use filters simply for peace of mind when carrying the camera around my neck (no need to pop the lens cap on and off). I have noticed on my p14 and p20 a green halo effect appears in some low light situations where there's a single strong light source. In these cases I unscrew, shoot, then replace.

    I'm using HOYA UV filters, and wondering whether using a more 'premium' filter would eliminate the problem. You may find this table interesting if you are considering buying filters:
  10. musicmaster

    musicmaster Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 19, 2012
    I've only bought UV filters (multicoated) for my 70-200 2.8L and my 17-50 2.8 Tamron. Those are expensive enough that it's cheap insurance.
  11. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    In all honesty, I relatively rarely use hoods (don't have any for my MFT gear, although all my Canon lenses have them and I usually take them along. Landscape/tripod shooting and tele is where I use them most consistently) although I'm a big fan of them in principle.

    UV filters...not so much. I don't really think they'll save a lens or element in a fall, and what's the point of buying a high quality lens only to put an extra piece of potential flare in front of it? Only time I ever use them is to protect the front element in harsh situations such as wind + sand + water. The only filters that go on my lenses are polarizers (and NDs/grad NDs when I get around to buying them...)
  12. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    To solve the hood problem I recently bought a 58mm rubber hood from eBay. One that can adjust to 3 positions.

    Going to field test it when it arrives to see how well it does. I already have step-up rings (46mm to 52mm, 52mm to 58mm, I may add a 37mm to 46mm) for my filters and they should also work for the hood.
  13. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Real Name:
    My fingers are magnets for front elements :redface:
  14. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord

    Nov 4, 2010
    Real Name:
    I dont use caps. Theyre flimsy little buggers and im a clumpsy guy. I lose it almost everytime i go out so i stopped bothering using one and slap a UV filter infront and forget about it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
  15. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Can you believe I actually got my fingerprint onto the REAR element of one of my lenses!
    I haven't a clue how I managed that.

    Anyway : I never use UV filers, I feel they encourage flare and smudges and some of my favourite photos are almost into the sunlight, so a filter would have degraded them.

    A trendy vented hood sits nicely on three of my lenses and that seems to keep stuff off the glass nicely ... so far.
  16. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    That's what microfibre lens cloths are for.
  17. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    I don't use filters for protection, a local camera store has on display a lens dropped where the "protective" UV filter shattered and drove shards of glass into the front lens element.

    As for hoods when I shot canon, I had a rather rude gentleman slam into the side of my camera with a metal briefcase, the hood took the hit, broke apart, but it saved my lens, since that time a firm believer in hoods for every lens I have, except my body cap lens, I'm still waiting for Olympus to release one ;) lol
  18. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    I use hood for protection and filters when needed. That includes rainy and dusty/sandy environments where I know I'll be at the front element often. I do not beleive a clear/UV filter protects the front element of a lens from impact. I've seen too many buggered filter threads and pieces of glass driven into the front element to think that (from my days working in camera stores and for camera distributors).

    I don't think its a clear cut issue anyway. Some pro lenses require the use of a clear filter to complete the weather sealing properties of the lens. Some lenses flare without a filter (and are sought after because of it). Some people shoot at the beach every day or live in a desert.

    There are only two "rules", I think. Buy the best filters you can. And don't stack them unless you have a really good reason.

  19. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I hate caps... He one time I dropped a lens was futzing with a cap. I also loose them all the time. I also hate hoods, you dont need them most of the time and they introduce bulk when weight and size are important to me. I prefer not to worry and simply shoot... My sleeve is often my lens cloth. My lenses are also expensive... Hard to replace.

    Filters suite my needs. I use only good high quality filters and remove them when necessary.
  20. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Real Name:
    You should at least have a protective filter for each lens, just in case you shoot in adverse conditions. For example I was in Yellowstone this summer and they have both acidic and alkaline geysers. Could etch the front element. However I use the clear filter instead of UV.

    I also carry hood hats for my lenses for extra protection.