Lens Filters....Which ones or dont bother?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Irishrover, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. Irishrover

    Irishrover Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    2,176
    Location:
    Wicklow Town, Ireland
    Hi guys, Wondering should I get a set of filters for my DSLR....as the title says, what do you recommend or do they take away from picture quality and therefore not worth the hassle?....cheers
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,426
    Likes Received:
    25,079
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    A UV filter is good as a lens protector.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. Irishrover

    Irishrover Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    2,176
    Location:
    Wicklow Town, Ireland
    Thats one reason for using them ( A good one at that ). do they take from image sharpness/quality?
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,426
    Likes Received:
    25,079
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    No, just a piece of good quality glass and a very thin coating.

    I do have a polarising filter, very good for water shots.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    25,834
    Likes Received:
    76,120
    Location:
    Sutton on Sea
    Yes they can degrade a little, especially in direct light, unless you buy very good quality one. I always use Hoya Pro and they are great
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Irishrover

    Irishrover Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    2,176
    Location:
    Wicklow Town, Ireland
    Thanks for the link Jim...I havent a clue which are good/bad etc....will order a set....cheers
     
  7. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,035
    Likes Received:
    4,105
    Location:
    Cotes d'armor, France
    Never use them. One of my lenses has a "Nano " coating. Whatever that is, but I assume it is there to stop reflections and encourage more light to enter the lens.
    Seems a backward step to fit a filter on the front, you lose all the benefit of the special coating.
    But, after many years of camera ownership and never using filters ( except for special effects) I found a scratch on the front element of one of my new lenses this week!
    Bu**er!
    I thought about fitting a uv filter on it, but, to be honest, the damage is done now and it doesn't affect the images. Still annoying though.....
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,433
    Likes Received:
    11,111
    Location:
    Kettering
    Hoya are good. Don't buy the very cheapest ones. For a basic UV filter look to spend £10-£15 as a minimum

    I've got them on all my lenses just to protect them. I dropped a lens face down on a tile floor once. £10 UV filter smashed, £850 lens was fine. That's reason enough for me.

    There are plenty of types but apart from two of them you can recreate the effects they give afterwards if you need to. Those ones are the circular polariser and neutral density. You don't need either of these unless you are specifically trying to achieve the effects they give. They are both ways of limiting the amount of light entering the lens useful mainly in landscape/outdoor photography.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. Irishrover

    Irishrover Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    2,176
    Location:
    Wicklow Town, Ireland
    Thanks @Allanm and @NickNic......For good or bad, I've ordered some Hoya jobbies.....Will give them a try and see how they are, If anything....they should protect my lens as you all have mentioned...thanks again guys(y)
     
  10. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,433
    Likes Received:
    11,111
    Location:
    Kettering
    If you want to play with the others then you can get a cheap full ND kit from eBay for next to nothing. They aren't great and you won't get fine art results but they are fine to play with and get the hang of what they do without spending a couple of hundred quid on a real set.

    There are some circular polarisers in Jim's link. It's not worth spending any less on them so stick with Hoya again.
     
  11. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    8,568
    Likes Received:
    11,547
    Location:
    Plympton, Devon
    I'm glad the OP asked the question because it led me to the discovery that for a modern DSLR they are no longer necessary from a photographic point of view as the sensors have a UV filter built in!

    So they are really just a dust cover now. :)

    http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7333331953/should-you-use-a-uv-filter-on-your-lens

    But I have ordered an ND filter recently so I can take some cliché shots of moving water. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  12. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,433
    Likes Received:
    11,111
    Location:
    Kettering
    Yep, mechanical protection only. Of course it's far better to scratch or smash a filter than a lens so they're still worth having (y)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Shrimp64

    Shrimp64 Funster

    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    602
    Location:
    Bedford
    Definately a UV filter!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Irishrover

    Irishrover Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    2,176
    Location:
    Wicklow Town, Ireland
    Thanks Nick....Ordered from Jims link....cheers
     
  15. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,490
    Likes Received:
    8,231
    Location:
    NW England
    It's amazing how many people out there have high end Canon and Nikon lenses fitted with cheapo Jessops filters. As others have already said, protect the lens with a good quality UV filter.

    A variable neutral density filter is fun for a bit of experimentation with very long exposures (ie making mountain waterfalls look like smoke). If you shoot in RAW format you get a great deal of control over the image which tends to make filters redundant.

    As I buy in job lots of old camera kit I now have a large pile of the old Cokin 'creative' filters. As soon as I can find a filter holder wide enough I might have a laugh with some retro 1970s style DSLR photography, but much of it can be achieved in software these days.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. Irishrover

    Irishrover Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    2,176
    Location:
    Wicklow Town, Ireland
    Good article @DBK.....thanks(y)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. tony_g

    tony_g Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    187
    Location:
    Nuneaton,some of the time
    As so many of us spend time in sunny places I recommend a polarising filter...blue skies, fluffy white clouds and white buildings, unwanted reflections and shadows, all dramatically improved.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  18. Clive

    Clive Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    1,083
    Location:
    Canvey Island
    I have what's left of a Cokin pro kit. The only ones I still use are the ND's, be they full, hard edge or graduated. Have always used UV to protect the lens and have always found this best with a lens hood to protect from side light hitting it (y)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. gomotorhome

    gomotorhome Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Hants
    I also use a UV filter for 90% of the time (just as a lens protector, they don't do anything else on a DLSR) but PLEASE take it off for your really important photos.
    Manufacturers go to immense trouble to create that front element. Screwing a flat piece of glass in front of it always degrades the image (reflections, refractions, reduced light..etc).
    The most you can hope for is that you can't spot the degradation.
    Ask yourself "What would a Pro do?" (Answer..they wouldn't use a UV filter)

    As for filters that do something creative:

    1 - Variable Neutral Density. (Variable because they are so useful for making good quality video).
    2 - Polariser.
    3 - Photoshop (The best filter ever made).
    4 - Lens Hoods for all your lenses(Ebay sell perfectly good copies for a fiver)

    Then, if you aren't shooting RAW files,....start shooting RAW files because, if you don't, you are discarding the "Wow factor".
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  20. Nethernut

    Nethernut Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    NE Scotland
    Agree with gomotorhome - as the wife of a professional photographer (ended up running photography in the Army) I would say learn how to use your camera in manual mode without any filters etc, keep a record of the settings you use to get used to the difference that different apertures and speeds make, and different ISO settings. Once you really understand your camera you will then know what you will need - nowadays nowt apart from Photoshop!!!!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1

Share This Page