Which skylight filter?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Wizzard, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Wizzard

    Wizzard Guest

    I am fairly new to Digital SLR and have just got Canon 350D. I need a
    protection filter for the 58mm lens. I plan to get a circular
    polorizer later. Will a simple glass filter do for the lens
    protection? Are Hoya filters good enough?
    Wizzard, Aug 7, 2006
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  2. Wizzard

    sally Guest

    Why a skylight filter? The color tint can screw up the white balance
    of a digital camera. If you really think you need glass protection
    in front of your lens, then get something that is well coated to reduce
    reflection and refraction problems.
    sally, Aug 7, 2006
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  3. Wizzard

    gypsy3001 Guest

    When I first got into photography, I was also worried about protecting
    my lens with UV or skylight filters. Over time, I learned that the more
    element you have between your lens and your subject, the less image
    detail you would capture.

    Today, I don't protect any of my lens with filters. Not even my
    thousand dollars lenses. In effect, I feel the $100 to $200 lens that
    comes in camera kits are not worth protecting with filters at all.

    Having said that, I am not against lens protection. In fact, I
    encourage it However, I encourage lens protection through the use of
    lens hood rather than through filters.

    gypsy3001, Aug 7, 2006
  4. I'm with you, Gypsy. Granted, it is very hard to spot the difference
    (maybe impossible with a really good filter *most* of the time), but I
    can't see why you would put an extra layer of glass between reality and
    your image, when the designers of the lens have gone to such pains to
    get it right with as few bits of glass as possible...

    A filter, even the very best, places a new set of refractions into the
    light path, along with two new reflective surfaces which *may* increase
    flare when shooting into the light. Like I said - I happily concede
    that the degradation *may* be infinitesimal, and unseeable in most
    circumstances. But I *have* been able to spot the difference on some

    So when there is mist/rain/sea spray around, I may throw on a uv (or
    polariser if applicable), but otherwise.. And skylight filters have a
    color cast and limited usefulness for digital. Whatever filters you
    use, make sure they are a good brand (=optically flat and coated to
    reduce reflections/flare).

    In 30 odd years of photography including on boats, hiking, storms,
    beach scenes, etc, etc, I have never damaged a lens. Had to clean
    them? yes.. But nowadays with microfibre cloths, that is far easier
    and safer than it ever was, too.
    mark.thomas.7, Aug 7, 2006
  5. A quality or skylight filter will make no noticeable difference
    in image quality.

    If you work in tough environments, including dust, aerosol spray
    (like the beach, or near waterfalls), a filter is a wise idea.
    I work in such environments and filters get very dirty. I
    will clean a filter up to a point, then simply put on a new one.
    I use only Hoya multicoated filters. I carry one spare in the
    field and will put on the spare if the other gets dirty
    and there is no time or miss the shot. I have saved
    one $600 lens when I dropped it on a rock and the filter
    broke, but the lens came through perfectly.

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Aug 8, 2006
  6. You really NEED one??
    Good enough for what? You want a really good filter that will cause the
    least amount of image quality reduction go for the high end B&W filters.
    generally simple glass filters are more expensive since they sell less of
    them. Also even a simple glass filter usually comes coated to reduce image

    In real life the image loss caused by even a cheap filter is too small
    for most people to ever see, but it is there. Also the chance of real lens
    damage is so small that very few people will ever experience it. In fact I
    would be willing to put good money up that if the facts were known, far more
    money has been spent on filters to "protect" lenses than would have been
    spent to repair or replace any damaged lenses.

    My experience as a professional photographer, many years ago, taught me
    that cameras are tools, not works of art. Most scratches and chips on
    lenses can be fixed with as black felt tip marking pen and the resulting
    images are less diminished by that repair than by a cheap filter on the

    My experience as a photo retail manager (also many years ago) taught me
    that often more money was made selling bags and filters (to protect lenses)
    than on the camera itself. You can bet any camera salesman on commission
    (and most were) told lots of scary stores about lend damage. I never worked
    anywhere that had commission sales. I never would have lasted in a place
    that did.
    Joseph Meehan, Aug 8, 2006
  7. Wizzard

    Roy G Guest


    Up until I changed to Digital, the lens I used most on my Film Camera was a
    Tamron 80-210mm.

    It took excellent shots and no-one ever mentioned any quality problems with
    any of my 16 x 12 competition prints. That lens did not just have a
    scratch, it actually had a quarter inch chip out of the front Element. I
    bought it very cheaply, with that damage, just to see if I liked using a
    Zoom. I liked it so much that I kept it for 10 years, and still have it as
    part of my back-up system.

    Do not worry too much about lens damage.

    Roy G
    Roy G, Aug 8, 2006
  8. Wizzard

    Bill Guest

    For the 18-55 kit lense, a filter is a waste of money. If the lense is
    ever damaged, you can buy a new one for the cost of two good filters.

    If he insists on getting a filter to use as protection, a good UV filter
    is relatively inexpensive and does the job.

    My heart skipped a beat...I may be traumatized over this and experience
    nightmares. Great...thanks.

    Bill, Aug 8, 2006
  9. Wizzard

    no_name Guest

    I dunno. I get outdoors a lot.

    I find it a lot easier and cheaper to clean dirt off a filter than to
    clean it off of expensive glass lens elements.
    no_name, Aug 9, 2006
  10. So far I just took care not to touch the lens, but after a pretty
    convincing shooting (glowing embers at a medieval festival) with an UV/IR
    blocker I think I'll just leave that filter on until the missing detail
    cathes my eye.

    Lots of Greetings!
    Volker Hetzer, Aug 10, 2006
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