UV or skylight filter for Digital Rebel

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Phil Stripling, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. Louise and I will be a Burning Man with her Digital Rebel for the first
    time. I use a UV or skylight filter on my lenses at Burning Man because of
    the horrible dust. It's an open playa at 4,000 feet altitude, and the dust
    is a _very_ fine powder that covers everything. I feel better about washing
    the dust off the filter with copious amounts of cleaning fluid than doing
    that to the lens surface, and I'd like to get a filter for the Rebel so we
    protect its lens coating from the dust.

    I shoot slide film, and I really don't care whether it's a UV or skylight
    filter, given that I'm using it for dust protection. Will there be a
    difference on a digital camera? Is one less distorting to color imagery on
    Phil Stripling, Jun 11, 2004
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  2. Skylights are also warming filters. I would shoot witha UV.

    Robert Meyers
    Robert Meyers, Jun 11, 2004
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  3. Whatever filter you use...the effect is minimal. If any effect is
    noticed...it is a warming...generaly a good thing as digicams tend to be on
    the cold side. And...if you are concerned...do a white balance through
    it...the camera will compensate
    Gene Palmiter, Jun 11, 2004
  4. Phil Stripling

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Tony Spadaro, Jun 11, 2004
  5. my Canon S40 doesn't compensate for pale filters. only if I
    do a manual white balance does white come out white. w/o a
    colored filter, the auto white balance works fine on my
    digicam. YMMV


    Bay Area Dave, Jun 11, 2004
  6. Phil Stripling

    Steve King Guest

    Steve King, Jun 12, 2004
  7. Phil Stripling

    Ken Hall Guest

    From what I've read digital cameras are insensitive to UV compared to
    film. Digital Preview among others suggest UV filters are not
    effective on digital cameras other than for lens protection. The
    following is from DP:

    But How Much UV Can a Digital Camera Really See?

    UV sensitivity seems to vary from one digital camera to the next, but
    most digital cameras seem to be substantially less UV-sensitive than
    film. In fact, few digital cameras are UV-sensitive enough to reap a
    noticeable optical benefit from UV filtration, even in the most
    extreme UV conditions—at very high altitude (well over 10,000 feet) or
    in very long shots over water. A good quality multicoated neutral UV
    filter is as good a choice as any for a lens protector if you feel
    compelled to use one, but don't expect to see much of a benefit in
    your digital images.


    They also say:

    Protective filters are widely used, but their net value remains
    controversial. . . . many professional photographers categorically
    reject protective filters in favor of lens caps, rigid lens hoods or
    meticulous handling. Here's the discussion of pros and cons


    Ken Hall, Jun 12, 2004
  8. Phil Stripling

    leo Guest

    In a windy, sandy beach, I certainly want an UV filter. A hood won't help
    leo, Jun 17, 2004
  9. I know of the controversy, and my personal preference is not to use a
    filter to protect the lens under all circumstances, save one: Burning
    Man. No amount of meticulous handling will keep playa powder off the
    lens. Rigid lens hoods will provide protection from bumps and such,
    but they offer no protectiona against playa powder. Lens caps _do_
    protect against playa powder, but I already have all the photos of
    the inside of my lens cap that I can use. :->

    If these pros have been to Burning Man and know of a way to keep
    playa powder off their lenses, I'll sit at their feet and learn from
    them in complete awe. If they haven't been to Burning Man, their
    opinions are worth, I am sorry to say, absolutely nothing.

    Under this one circumstance, I prefer to clean the UV or skylight
    filter, rather than the lens itself, with copious amounts of
    cleaning fluid and lens tissue.

    EMV (Everbody's Mileage Varies) :->

    Phil Stripling, Jun 17, 2004
  10. Phil Stripling

    Ken Hall Guest

    That certainly seems like a case where the physical protection is
    warranted. My main point in posting was to say that the UV aspect of
    UV filters is probably of little or no value -- that their main value
    is for physical protection and there is dispute over whether this is a
    good idea.

    I don't have occasion to go into situations like Burning Man and I
    quit using protective filters years ago, depending instead on regular
    use of a lens hood, lens cap and care where I put my fingers.

    Ken Hall, Jun 18, 2004
  11. Phil Stripling

    Bob Salomon Guest

    How do you protect against blowing dust, ocean spray, rain, water
    splashes, etc?
    Bob Salomon, Jun 18, 2004
  12. Hence, my question -- does it matter which I choose for a digital camera
    (UV or skylight)? Many of the replies referred to various sites which
    discuss the warming effects of filters on film, and my query is whether
    CCDs react the same? My preference for film cameras at Burning Man is for
    UV, because it's a high desert -- altitude 4,000 feet.

    I'm not used to white balance settings, so it may be that Louise can set
    her white balance on the digital Rebel with either filter and have no
    issues at all. Am I raising a film issue which has no meaning for digital
    Hey, go with us. :-> See our site at
    for snapshots and info.
    Phil Stripling, Jun 18, 2004
  13. Phil Stripling

    Bob Salomon Guest

    Use a UV as you would probably want to do a white balance for a skylight
    since they are warming filters. In any case you can use either and, if
    you don't want to do a white balance then you can easily correct for any
    extra warming with your software program.
    Mine would be for a strong Skylight like a KR 3 or 6 since scenes at
    altitude usually are cooler in color then those at sea level, especially
    in the shadows. Same with scenes in snow.
    Bob Salomon, Jun 18, 2004
  14. Phil Stripling

    Paul J Gans Guest

    With respect to all who have taken part in this thread, this
    sounds like one of those issues where each person will have
    different needs because of different circumstances.

    Speaking for myself, I use a UV filter simply because otherwise
    I end up with a dirty front lens element. If I am in a situation
    where I want the utmost high quality picture I, wait for it,
    simply unscrew the UV filter and take the picture.

    The rest of the time it is on the lens.

    I too have taken pictures of the inside of my lenscap -- and
    with an SLR too. But that's why God invented digital cameras.
    So we can delete those frames and never tell *anybody* what
    we did.

    ----- Paul J. Gans

    PS: I hope that one day somebody invents a lens cap that
    beeps when signalled so I can find the $%^#$ thing after I
    put it down somewhere...
    Paul J Gans, Jun 18, 2004
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