Lens protection filters: sensible precaution?

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horace

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I'm considering buying a nice Canon L series lens. In my old 35mm days, I had UV filters on all my lenses.

I realise that digital sensors don't need external UV filtration, so am considering adding something like a Hoya Pro1 clear protection filter.

There are two schools of thought, it seems: don't bother, as a lens hood provides adequate protection fro the front element and an extra bit of glass could degrade image quality. Alternatively, it's easier to clean a filter and a lot cheaper to replace a cracked one than damaged lens glass.

I'm thinking that I'd probably trade an ounce of image quality (if indeed that loss would even be noticeable) for a couple of pounds of peace of mind.

What do you think? The Hoya I mentioned costs about £20 - is it good enough?

 

jkbmusic

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Ask yourself, how much is your L series lens worth with a scratch on it?. Then ask yourself how much was that filter again :wall: .

 

horace

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Ask yourself, how much is your L series lens worth with a scratch on it?. Then ask yourself how much was that filter again :wall: .
The sums aren't difficult  :)

OK, time to order a small shiny screw-in thingy.

Might buy the lens while I'm at it - the pictures will look better that way - possibly  :whistle:

 

HoopsOnToast

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With UV filters, the only real degredation I've noticed is issues with flare, making the lens more prone to it.

Saying that, I don't use any clear/UV filters on any of my lenses, I've never had any issues of scratching the lens.

I guess it may be easier on wide angle lenses that have very bulbous front elements, which you can not mount filters on anyway.

 

horace

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With UV filters, the only real degredation I've noticed is issues with flare, making the lens more prone to it.

Saying that, I don't use any clear/UV filters on any of my lenses, I've never had any issues of scratching the lens.

I guess it may be easier on wide angle lenses that have very bulbous front elements, which you can not mount filters on anyway.
I suppose it all depends on how much faith one has in one's ability to refrain from breaking things.

Sadly, that means I need the protector  :brick:

 
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HectorHughMunro

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Purists probably wouldn't use them. I do though. My preference is Marumi Super DHG which are so well coated that you can hardly see them on the lens.  Better than Hoya in my experience. 

 

Bolts

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I've got one on my Leica Q - don't see any difference in the IQ and it means I can just leave a lens hood on and chuck it in my bag, no worries 

 

tkimages

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I have to admit that I don't have any filters on my lenses, but I do always use a lens hood.  I can understand the reasoning why so many do use a UV for protection, but I just never have.

 

unintended1

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Like TK I don't use them personally, but always use the lens hood.

One thing to consider is that some Canon L lenses require a filter to complete the weather sealing. It'll say in the user manual if it needs one.

 

Sumdumgi

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I have to admit that I don't have any filters on my lenses, but I do always use a lens hood.  I can understand the reasoning why so many do use a UV for protection, but I just never have.
Me too. Lens hood and cap. Not used a UV/Skylight in years.

 
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gintonic

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I do on all my L-series lens.  It saved my 100-400 front from damage.........

 

MrMister

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I use a UV filter on all my lenses, simply because I know the day I take one off I'll put a fecking great scratch down the lens. I prefer to use them rather than the hoods for protection, because they are more discreet (I find lens hoods draw a lot more attention). I often just chuck the SLR over my shoulder or in a canvas bag: if using a fancy camera pack or something I'd probably not bother. And then scratch it anyway.

 

Tony_J

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I have to admit that I don't have any filters on my lenses, but I do always use a lens hood.  I can understand the reasoning why so many do use a UV for protection, but I just never have.




 
This. I broke the habit when I moved to digital and haven't used a filter since. I do always fit a lens hood though - except on macro lenses where it would just get in the way and reduce light on the subject.

 

mj446

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I used to do a lot of motorsport shooting and it's amazing how quickly stone travel towards you, so I always used a filter, horses for courses ~I suppose.

 

NeilM

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Eventually whatever is at the front of the lens will need cleaning. If it's a filter, you have no risk of a costly scratch. If there's no filter .....

Ironically, a scratch on the front element of a good lens will have little impact on image quality. But just try selling it.
 

StingRay

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Eventually whatever is at the front of the lens will need cleaning. If it's a filter, you have no risk of a costly scratch. If there's no filter .....

Ironically, a scratch on the front element of a good lens will have little impact on image quality. But just try selling it.
If the filter breaks then it can scratch the lens, had that on a macro lens when it fell out of my bag, if no filter it would not have been damaged. You dont want these filters on the lens if doing night time images because you can get reflections between the filter and sensor. I never use protection filters anymore on digital cameras. I use other filters sometimes such as ND and GND.
 

tuga

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I stopped using UV filters when I started using digital cameras, but I understand the protection argument.
Never scratch a filter or a front element, and I use short prime lenses 90% of the time.
 

gintonic

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i only use a 400mm on my EOS5 mk III - always with a filter.....