Expert advise needed on Lenses!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Omega, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. Omega

    Omega Guest

    Ok I figured out where to get lenses for my camera (Finepix-3800) Now I just
    would like to know what lens to get. They have so many different kinds. I
    was thinking of a UV lens. Some folks told me if I take many outdoor images
    like sky and water involved, than I should get a polarizer lens. Some folks
    tell me other things.
    What lens should I get for my camera? I want to leave it on most of the
    time. This will also protect the camera's own lens. The add-on lens will be
    attached to the adapter ring. Currently I have the ring on and the lens cap
    at the end. Kind of pain in the butt taking the lens cap on & off all the
    time. I would much prefer just having an ad-on lens there which serves two
    purposes. Protect my camera's lens from dust and other elements, plus
    improves the quality of the shots I take.

    What do y'all say?!?!?
     
    Omega, Nov 2, 2003
    #1
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  2. First, what you are describing is a filter, not a lens. It's not a sin
    to call it the wrong thing, but it could be confusing.

    Filters are designed to do some specific thing, sometimes more than one.

    Clear glass filters are sold just to "protect" the lens. They make the
    least impact on the results. Not many are sold so they are a little hard to
    find and are often expensive.

    UV filters remove UV light that we don't see, but film does. The glass
    in your lens removes much UV light, but not all. UV filters come in
    different flavors filtering out more or less UV and filtering out different
    parts of the UV light many also filter out some near UV light (blue) so the
    image is warmed a little. Digital sensors don't seem to be sensitive to UV
    to the same degree as film is so them seem to make less impact on the final
    image. For the most part you can consider these as glass or slight warming
    filters and you will not be far off.

    Polarizing filters are active. They selectively block polarized light.
    Often reflected light (from other than metal) is polarized so they can
    reduce or emphases reflections. Light from the sky is also somewhat
    polarized so they can often darken some parts of the sky compared to the
    rest of the image. All these things work at the same time and you MUST
    adjust the filter for each image or you will get unpredictable results.
    This is best consider a filter for special occasions. It is also generally
    more expensive than other filters. Very useful, but not a universal filter.

    There are many other filters, each designed to do a specific job.

    So, I appears you are only looking for some form of protection for your
    lens. I could not tell if you can leave a filter on the camera all the time
    or need to remove it when you turn off the camera. It appears that the lens
    may retract and you may need to remove it after each use. You should
    consider this and consider that a lens cap and/or lens hood offer good lens
    protection.

    The following is my standard lecture on UV lens:


    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, Nov 2, 2003
    #2
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  3. Omega

    jam Guest

    The short answer:

    o Get a polarizer and learn to use it properly. Do =not= leave it on
    all the time.

    o UV filters and their variants won't do you much good on a digital
    camera, except perhaps as lens protection. Personally, I favor a lens
    cap for protection--no chance of flare. A filter serving no immediate
    optical goal can easily degrade your images by inducing flare, among
    other problems.

    The long answer: www.cliffshade.com/dpfwiw/filters.htm
    --
    Jeremy McCreary
    Denver, CO
    www.cliffshade.com/dpfwiw/
    -------------------------------------------

    | Ok I figured out where to get lenses for my camera (Finepix-3800)
    Now I just
    | would like to know what lens to get. They have so many different
    kinds. I
    | was thinking of a UV lens. Some folks told me if I take many outdoor
    images
    | like sky and water involved, than I should get a polarizer lens.
    Some folks
    | tell me other things.
    | What lens should I get for my camera? I want to leave it on most of
    the
    | time. This will also protect the camera's own lens. The add-on lens
    will be
    | attached to the adapter ring. Currently I have the ring on and the
    lens cap
    | at the end. Kind of pain in the butt taking the lens cap on & off
    all the
    | time. I would much prefer just having an ad-on lens there which
    serves two
    | purposes. Protect my camera's lens from dust and other elements,
    plus
    | improves the quality of the shots I take.
    |
    | What do y'all say?!?!?
    |
    |
     
    jam, Nov 13, 2003
    #3
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