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best filter for everyday use?

 
 
colin.
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      07-22-2005
Does anyone have any recommendations as to the best lens filter for everyday
use? Some people tell me UV, some say skylight, some say polarizer. What's
your opinion?


 
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Randy Berbaum
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      07-22-2005
colin. <colin###@###j0o.com> wrote:
: Does anyone have any recommendations as to the best lens filter for
: everyday use? Some people tell me UV, some say skylight, some say
: polarizer. What's your opinion?

It depends on what you are meaning about everyday use. Many of us use
either a UV or a skylight filter as a general lens protector. These lenses
do very little for the actual photo, but are inexpensive protection for
the lens. If something happens it is easier to replace a scratched filter
than a scratched lens. The choice between UV/haze or skylight tends to be
dependant on what is available and what is cheapest. I have also noticed
recently that there are now optically clear "filters" that can be used for
this protection.

A polarizer is a good item to have in your kit for the times it could be
useful, but as an "always on" filter may not be a good idea. This filter
is good for when the lighting conditions are over bright (as it reduces
exposure by 2 f-stops) or when there are reflections on water, glass, or
reflective surfaces (as it can reduce the reflection). But in general use
the f-stop reduction alone would make its use not too helpful (such as
indoors). So as a good item for your kit, yes, but always on the lens, not
likely.

Randy

========
Randy Berbaum
Champaign, IL

 
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Hans-Georg Michna
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      07-22-2005
On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 06:09:02 GMT, "colin." <colin###@###j0o.com>
wrote:

>Does anyone have any recommendations as to the best lens filter for everyday
>use? Some people tell me UV, some say skylight, some say polarizer. What's
>your opinion?


Colin,

that's simple. The best filter for everyday use is no filter at
all.

Every filter, like a UV filter, severely degrades the maximum
contrast, which you see most clearly in night shots with light
sources.

The most effective filter for me is the polarizer, but it also
needs most additional work and can only be used in sideways
sunlight or in a few other special situations.

A skylight filter makes little sense, because every good digital
camera already has color correction. A UV filter is rarely
needed, partly because many lenses already filter out UV light
themselves.

Lens protection is also not needed, because the lens is recessed
and has a hardened surface that you can occasionally clean with
lens paper and lens cleaning fluid. I rarely have to do that
more often than once a year.

So just do nothing and be happy.

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
 
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Pete Fenelon
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      07-22-2005
colin. <colin###@###j0o.com> wrote:
> Does anyone have any recommendations as to the best lens filter for everyday
> use? Some people tell me UV, some say skylight, some say polarizer. What's
> your opinion?
>


Really depends what you're doing.

I usually keep a UV filter on just to protect the lens (it's the first bit
of glass that would hit the ground and it's a lot cheaper than repairing
the camera!) and kill off some haze in bright sun sun. A UV is cheap
and *does* make a real difference to summer shots.

A PL-CIR usually goes over the top of that if I'm shooting in bright
sunlight. A good one isn't cheap, but the improvement you'll get is
dramatic - especially if you're shooting with a lot of glass or water in
the picture.

Beyond that, an 812 warming filter if you're shooting people, and a
couple of ND filters of different strengths. A graduated ND is good if
you do a lot of summer landscape work; getting the right exposure for both
sky and land can be tough without it!

pete
--
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) "There's no room for enigmas in built-up areas" - HMHB
 
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Joseph Meehan
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      07-22-2005
colin. wrote:
> Does anyone have any recommendations as to the best lens filter for
> everyday use? Some people tell me UV, some say skylight, some say
> polarizer. What's your opinion?


That all depends on what you want to filter.

Sort of asking what color to paint your room.

Many people use a skylight (a type of UV) or other UV filer to "protect"
their lens. It does not improve photos in general. In fact it has very
little to no effect on a digital camera.


Skylight, Haze and UV filters are much the same. They both block UV
light. You can't see UV light, but most films can. Those films see it as
blue or blue grey. There is no rule as to exactly what a UV or Skylight
filter is so different manufacturers often have different ideas. They
differ in exactly where they cut off the light and how smoothly they cut off
the light. Different films react differently so that complicates things
even more.

You can say in general that Skylight filters are a little stronger and
often will "warm" the colors because they generally cut off a little of the
blue light. Some manufacturers offer a number of different such filters of
different ?strengths? (higher of lower cut off points). The best part of
this is they all do about the same thing and they generally do their thing
best when needed most. That is if there is a lot of UV light they get ride
of it and if there is little, they don't do much.

In short, for the most part it does not make much difference in real life.

Most people don't buy, or should I say, most people are sold UV filters not
to correct light problems, but to "Protect Your Expensive Lens." Keep in
mind that for many years the guy behind the counter (I was one of them) may
have made more on the filter, than he made on the lens! His incentive was
to make money and sell you something. Fear of damage is a good sales tool.
Sort of like the paint protection package they will offer you on a new car.

In real life, with a few exceptions like a windy sandy beach or a
photographer who over-cleans his lenses, few photographers need the
protection of a filter. But then again, even a good one does not cost all
that much* and they are easy to use. The down side is they will very
slightly reduce sharpness and very slightly increase flare. It is a wash,
little gain and little loss.

Most of the time you would get better protection with a good lens shade and
it would be likely to reduce flare, but they are more difficult to use.

So if you want one and if you like warmer colored photos get a skylight, if
you like less warm photos go for a UV or Haze.

* On of the tricks of selling add ones like filters is to have the price low
enough that the buyer will say, even if it does not work I did not speed
that much on it. Which is why you will not often find the sales person
trying to sell you a B&W brand filter that is going to cost a few additional
$$$ but cause less image problems.

Given the real protection offered (on a small percentage of lenses will
suffer any damage to a lens preventable by a UV filter and the fact that the
UV filter is not free, especially if you buy a good one (a good UV for a
typical wide angle lens can cost of the $100 US range a lot more difference
than the $10 you suggest) the value factor is likely to be negative. In
addition the lose of optical ability of a lens which does suffer damage that
might have been prevented by a UV filter is generally very small.

What may well be worth the cost to most photographers is the feeling of
security, which is one of the real values of any insurance.

My training is in economics and accounting and I tend to go overboard on
the measurable facts. I also see that many people don't understand or
properly measure those economic facts.


Please note that this author is not the same Joseph Meehan who is a
professional author of Photograph materials.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit


 
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Randall Ainsworth
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      07-22-2005
In article <240Ee.74990$(E-Mail Removed) >, colin.
<colin###@###j0o.com> wrote:

> Does anyone have any recommendations as to the best lens filter for everyday
> use? Some people tell me UV, some say skylight, some say polarizer. What's
> your opinion?


You don't want to be walking around with a polarizer on all the time,
and the other two serve no real useful purpose with digital.
 
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[BnH]
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      07-22-2005

"Hans-Georg Michna" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...

> Every filter, like a UV filter, severely degrades the maximum
> contrast, which you see most clearly in night shots with light
> sources.


Not severely imho. I am not a landscape photographer that uses medium format
cameras, but from my observation when using my S2 Pro camera
+ top Nikkor glass [17-35 , 20-35 etc ] I rarely see any contrast
degradation when I mount B+W MRC or Hoya S-HMC filter in front.

Sure if you mount cheap filters the quality will degrade severely [+ flare
and all other nasties] , but if you are using the right filter .. some
degradation do exist , but not severe.

=bob=


 
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Stan Horwitz
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      07-22-2005
In article <240Ee.74990$(E-Mail Removed) >,
"colin." <colin###@###j0o.com> wrote:

> Does anyone have any recommendations as to the best lens filter for everyday
> use? Some people tell me UV, some say skylight, some say polarizer. What's
> your opinion?


A polarizer would not be a good choice for everyday use unless you shoot
exclusively outdoor shots with a lot of blue sky in your photos. Use a
UV or skylight filter. I doubt you'll be able to tell the difference
between the two types of filters.
 
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jeecee
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      07-22-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Stan
Horwitz <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> In article <240Ee.74990$(E-Mail Removed) >,
> "colin." <colin###@###j0o.com> wrote:
>
> > Does anyone have any recommendations as to the best lens filter for everyday
> > use? Some people tell me UV, some say skylight, some say polarizer. What's
> > your opinion?

>
> A polarizer would not be a good choice for everyday use unless you shoot
> exclusively outdoor shots with a lot of blue sky in your photos. Use a
> UV or skylight filter. I doubt you'll be able to tell the difference
> between the two types of filters.


As a lot of posters wrote, you can make your choice between UV or
Skkylight (best quality you can buy if you don't want the degradation
associated with "cheap" filters"). This kind of filter is for
protection only (it's allways cheaper to get a new filter!).

As for the polarizer, this is my filter of choice; not always
(depending on the subject and the lighting but believe me, after 35
years, I'm still amaze with some changes that this filter is making in
my pictures. Forget blue skies and sideway lighting, this filter works
even in cloudy, haze or whatever condition you may encounter. This
piece of equipment kills reflections on surfaces (be it metal, glass,
leaf. wood, flowers or whatever catches reflections).

I gave a lot of workshops and lectures on filters. and people are still
surprized when I show 100 slides of side by side comparison with the
polarizer.
If you ever need examples, I'll try to send you some low-res shots
((E-Mail Removed) - remove pict at the end)
 
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Bob Salomon
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      07-22-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Hans-Georg Michna <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Every filter, like a UV filter, severely degrades the maximum
> contrast,


Nonsense.

Use a bad quality filter and you may have a point. Use a high quality
multicoated filter and you have no point.

Additionally you now have another choice. Heliopan is now offering
totally clear SH-PMC protection filters. They are not a UV or a
Skylight. Just clear multicoated glass. The SH-PMC MC repels both
moisture and dust to make keeping them clean easy.

--
To reply no_ HPMarketing Corp.
 
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