best filter for everyday use?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by colin., Jul 22, 2005.

  1. colin.

    colin. Guest

    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., Jul 22, 2005
    #1
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  2. 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
     
    Randy Berbaum, Jul 22, 2005
    #2
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  3. 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.
     
    Hans-Georg Michna, Jul 22, 2005
    #3
  4. colin.

    Pete Fenelon Guest

    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
    --
    "There's no room for enigmas in built-up areas" - HMHB
     
    Pete Fenelon, Jul 22, 2005
    #4
  5. 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
     
    Joseph Meehan, Jul 22, 2005
    #5
  6. In article <240Ee.74990$>, 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.
     
    Randall Ainsworth, Jul 22, 2005
    #6
  7. colin.

    [BnH] Guest

    "Hans-Georg Michna" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > 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=
     
    [BnH], Jul 22, 2005
    #7
  8. colin.

    Stan Horwitz Guest

    In article <240Ee.74990$>,
    "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.
     
    Stan Horwitz, Jul 22, 2005
    #8
  9. colin.

    jeecee Guest

    In article <>, Stan
    Horwitz <> wrote:

    > In article <240Ee.74990$>,
    > "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
    ( - remove pict at the end)
     
    jeecee, Jul 22, 2005
    #9
  10. colin.

    Bob Salomon Guest

    In article <>,
    Hans-Georg Michna <> 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.
     
    Bob Salomon, Jul 22, 2005
    #10
  11. colin.

    Owamanga Guest

    On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 11:43:43 -0400, jeecee <> wrote:

    >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.


    It should be noted that you loose an entire stop when using a
    polarizer, so it's not a good 'always on' filter choice (as others
    have already said).

    >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).


    Metals - chrome or similar mirror-like surfaces shouldn't actually be
    affected that much by the polarizer. Only surfaces that themselves
    polarize the reflection are affected - glass, water, and lots of green
    stuff that grows outside.

    >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.


    Indeed, it is still a fairly under-used filter. Until recently (having
    chatted with people here) it never even occurred to me to consider
    it's use indoors.

    >If you ever need examples, I'll try to send you some low-res shots
    >( - remove pict at the end)


    You don't have a website? These shots sound interesting, maybe you
    should consider setting one up. If they were tripod shots, the style
    where you roll-over the image with the mouse to see before/after would
    work well.

    ....like they use here:
    http://www.glennferon.com/portfolio1/portfolio14.html

    --
    Owamanga!
    http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
     
    Owamanga, Jul 22, 2005
    #11
  12. colin.

    Charlie Ih Guest

    In article <>, Pete Fenelon <> wrote:
    >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 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.
    >



    A circular polarizer is not absolutely necessary. The PL-CIR was introduced
    to overcome the focusing problem of some early SLR's which cannot focus
    properly with linearly polarized light. So a "quarter-wave plate" was
    added to depolarize the light again, thus the PL-CIR. It adds cost and
    more "distortion" (however small, in theory anyway). You probably do not
    notice the difference. Since PL-CIR is more expensive, many people think
    that it is better. You don't have to use PL-CIR if your camera doesn't
    need one. I doubt that any new DSLR using circular light to do
    focusing. I'd like to know which one does.
     
    Charlie Ih, Jul 22, 2005
    #12
  13. colin.

    Owamanga Guest

    On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 17:11:44 +0000 (UTC), (Charlie
    Ih) wrote:

    >A circular polarizer is not absolutely necessary. The PL-CIR was introduced
    >to overcome the focusing problem of some early SLR's which cannot focus
    >properly with linearly polarized light. So a "quarter-wave plate" was
    >added to depolarize the light again, thus the PL-CIR. It adds cost and
    >more "distortion" (however small, in theory anyway). You probably do not
    >notice the difference. Since PL-CIR is more expensive, many people think
    >that it is better. You don't have to use PL-CIR if your camera doesn't
    >need one. I doubt that any new DSLR using circular light to do
    >focusing. I'd like to know which one does.


    It's not just AF that can get screwed up with a standard polarizer,
    it's the TTL metering too. Both the 3DMatrix TTL Metering and the AF
    system in the Nikon D70 *require* the use of a CPL / PL-CIR.

    I would estimate that 100% of DSLRs require circular polarizers.

    Of course, if you meter manually and focus manually you can use a
    linear one.

    --
    Owamanga!
    http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
     
    Owamanga, Jul 22, 2005
    #13
  14. colin.

    l e o Guest

    Hans-Georg Michna wrote:
    > 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



    clealy stated in the manual, Canon recommend to put a filter in front of
    their 17-40/4L to complete the seal. I wouldn't think you can do any
    damage to the picture quality if the filter is multicoated.
     
    l e o, Jul 22, 2005
    #14
  15. colin.

    colin. Guest

    "colin." <colin###@###j0o.com> wrote in message
    news:240Ee.74990$...
    | 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?


    Thank you everyone for your valued advide, I appreciate all you have said.
     
    colin., Jul 22, 2005
    #15
  16. On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 06:09:02 +0000, 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?


    By "...everyday use," if you mean to keep on your lens most all the time,
    then the answer is no filter. The color and UV caveats of film -- the
    extra sensitivity to blue and UV light -- that accentuates atmospheric
    haze and "shifts" colors toward the blue end of the spectrum, which
    requires a more or less permanent filter on the lens to correct, don't
    exist with digital sensors. But, if you mean you just wnat ONE filter
    than would be most effective in improving many of your photographs,
    whether in color or converted to b&W, my recommendation would be a
    polarizer. You wouldn't leave it on the lens all the time. Just use it
    when it's needed.

    If, however, you just want to keep a filter on your lens to protect the
    front element from damage and not modify the scene being photographed, I'd
    suggest a high quality, multicoated, UV filter -- either clear or with a
    very slight yellowish tinge.

    And always use a lens hood.



    Stefan
     
    stefan patric, Jul 22, 2005
    #16
  17. colin.

    Bob Salomon Guest

    In article <dbr9cg$huo$>,
    (Charlie Ih) wrote:

    > The PL-CIR was introduced
    > to overcome the focusing problem of some early SLR's which cannot focus
    > properly with linearly polarized light.


    No it wasn't.

    Circular polarizers were introduced for an auto exposure camera whose
    metering system employed a beam splitter to determine the exposure.

    Any camera that uses a beam splitter behind the mirror to adjust
    exposure or focus or for the finder display needs a circular polarizer
    for proper exposure, focus or readout under all lighting conditions.

    If your camera does not utilize a beam splitter for these or other
    functions then you can use a linear polarizer for all lighting
    conditions. If it does then a circular polarizer is required.

    --
    To reply no_ HPMarketing Corp.
     
    Bob Salomon, Jul 22, 2005
    #17
  18. colin.

    Bob Salomon Guest

    In article <dbr9cg$huo$>,
    (Charlie Ih) wrote:

    > It adds cost and
    > more "distortion" (however small, in theory anyway).


    In theory BS. There is no distortion or reduction in quality or
    polarizing effect with a circular over a linear as long as both are the
    same quality polarizer.

    That .edu in your address should mean you give accurate and correct
    statements.

    --
    To reply no_ HPMarketing Corp.
     
    Bob Salomon, Jul 22, 2005
    #18
  19. colin.

    jeecee Guest

    In article <>, Owamanga
    <> wrote:

    > On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 11:43:43 -0400, jeecee <> wrote:


    >
    > >If you ever need examples, I'll try to send you some low-res shots
    > >( - remove pict at the end)

    >
    > You don't have a website? These shots sound interesting, maybe you
    > should consider setting one up. If they were tripod shots, the style
    > where you roll-over the image with the mouse to see before/after would
    > work well.
    >
    > ...like they use here:
    > http://www.glennferon.com/portfolio1/portfolio14.html


    OK Now I'll try to put some picts on the WEB (God knows how and when -
    I'll have to scan some slides) and show you those before and after
    pict. I saw the website and I'll try my best to do the same thing.

    DreamWeaver and Image Ready beware!

    I'll do my best to keep the readers up to date

    Thanks for the drive
     
    jeecee, Jul 22, 2005
    #19
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