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Daylight filter in front of prime

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Guest

Would using a DL filter be like your grandparents putting clear plastic seat covers on a new couch? Does it add or subtract from the quality of the photos of the average user?

I wish I had the time to plan my photography. However, it's often a last minute item. Yet I want even these situations to produce the best results. (kit: RX + 50mm 1.4 )

I appreciate any thoughts you may have.

...best in the new year.


jim
 
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Guest

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. I've been absent from the list for a while, but hopefully back now.

Jim, you pose a valuable question about filters. I always place a filter of high quality on the front of any lens that comes into my hands for use, even rented ones. To protect the front element, but also to have a minor positive affect for outdoor shooting, my filter of choice is always the B+W KR1,5 (Skylight) filter. Equal quality glass/coatings exist in the Heliopan line. And, of course, I don't think you can go wrong with the actual Contax filters, but I don't have those myself. In fact, I even keep a B+W KR1,5 on my yucky old sigma - and I'm sure the quality of the glass of that filter is better than the glass in the lens ;)

Anyway, back to the point. I won't put other brands of filters on the front of a lens because I feel that the glass has to be at least as good as the glass in your lens or you will be degrading your image. (Why pay good money for a good lens to put a sheet of window glass between lens and subject? - a crude comparison, but it makes a point)

If you add a good quality filter, you will NOT degrade the image. You might possible improve it, and you will certainly protect your investment in that expensive lens. (I'd rather damage a filter than front element, wouldn't you?)

If you use a poor quality filter, you will most likely receive lower quality images back than if you used none at all.

The reason I choose a skylight is that I shoot mostly outdoors, and the minor affect is has on haze/light is either positive, or not noticeable.

So, is it like putting plastic seat covers on the new couch? Maybe, but you never know it is there (unlike the covers), it makes no noise when you sit down (unlike the seat covers, don't sit on the filter!) and it actually might improve things a bit (not sure about the seat covers).

Hope that helps! -Lynn
 
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Guest

Everyone that uses protective filters: how many filters did you ruin (replace) upto now?
 
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Guest

I have replaced exactly one protective filter in approximately thirty years of photography due to physical damage, and it was not in front of a Zeiss lens at the time. I think the filter was more valuable than the (Yashica DSB) lens it was covering. A solid rubber ice hockey puck left the rink and hit the filter at an angle of about 30 degrees.

I have had to replace one protective filter due to salt sea spray. In this case it was covering one of my Planars.

Alex
 
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Guest

I second Lynn (and I also use B&W UV filters when not using YELLOW or ORANGE for Black and white). Last month on my return from an overseas flight I discovered the front dust cover pushed in and the B&W filter fractured in 4 places (but not floating free). This camera was in a soft LOWEPRO camera bag in the overhead aircraft locker. The front element of my expensive ZEISS (35-70/f3.4) was not damaged due to the filter.
 
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Guest

.....and I was about to run about naked! I sorta assumed (what do you become when you ASSume?) that it was over-protective. Maybe if you had a duplicate lens...

So, I'll chuck my 55mm Canon 1A and get a Helio or B+W daylight, as most of my stuff is outside also. Thanks all.

jim
 
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Guest

Last month on my return from an overseas> flight I discovered the front dust cover pushed in and the B&W filter> fractured in 4 places (but not floating free). This camera was in a> soft LOWEPRO camera bag in the overhead aircraft locker.

I really fail to see how this much damage could be caused to your gear within the confines of the planes overhead lockers - surely this must have happened elsewhere??
 
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Guest

Generally speaking, if you're going to use a filter, any filter, it should be the best possible quality you can get (multi-coated, etc.). Because a filter adds two air-glass surfaces, it cannot help but affect image quality, even if only a tiny amount. So the goal becomes keeping the effect to a minimum.

The irony, of course, in shooting with high quality lenses such as Zeiss is that the consequences of damage are so painful, so it makes a lot of practical sense to always have a filter. I usually use a hood with no filter, and hope for the best.

I used to routinely use warming filters because I shot a lot of E6 film which all seemed to tend towards the blue. But that doesn't seem necessary any longer. I do still use them when at high altitudes, though.

--Rick
 
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Guest

>I really fail to see how this much damage could be caused to your gear within the confines of the planes overhead lockers - surely this must have happened elsewhere??<

This may be true, but surely the point is that the filter protected his lens, not where the damage actually happened?

Alex
 
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Guest

>I really fail to see how this much damage could be caused to your gear within the confines of the planes overhead lockers - surely this must have happened elsewhere??<

This may be true, but surely the point is that the filter protected his lens, not where the damage actually happened?

In reply to Stephen. I also was amazed to see this result. In fact, I was stunned on the removal of the camera from it's bag and to see this damage. I stopped to think for 5 minutes on the history of my travel between the hotel and the airport, but unless my mind went blank, then this is the fact. I might add that I am very protective of my RX and the attached lense. My back-up camera (Aria with 28mm lense) in the back pack was OK.

A comment on Rick Dreher's email. I too use a hood when I feel the occasion is needed in place of a filter, but this does not work very well for a wide angle lense (protection wise).
 
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Guest

I agree with Rick Dreher about using only quality filters. I used to rigorously use a UV filter on all lenses to protect them. After 50+ years in photography, I now use filters only when I need the effect, or if it's d& weather. I always use a hood for protection. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never had a lens damaged. But then I'm not a sports photographer or celebrity snapper. I like high quality lenses and don't really like putting any other glass in front of them, particularly my Zeiss lenses!
 
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Guest

> This may be true, but surely the point is that the filter protected> his lens, not where the damage actually happened?

Actually no , I think the original point is what precautions one can/should reasonably take to prevent your precious CZ lenses from foreseeable accidents or damage . Clearly nobody would anticipate the posibility of damage to a lens secured within a bag [with the cover on] and all placed within the confines of a solid locker . This is one of those freak accidents you just cant prepare for . To me the only way this could have happened was if someone lunged across from the otherside of the planes cabin and stabbed the bag full force with a spear . ;-) If this sort of thing occurs on your usual airline then I think protective filters are the least of your problems! Steve
 
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Guest

William , I'm still gobsmacked by this - you would need a longish solid object and enough space for a good swing at it to cause that much damage in that environment!! Clearly we have to ask Contax to start producing solid metal lenscaps - the P filters are no longer sufficient! Steve
 
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Guest

I would recommend using another airline in future ! The discussion in this thread is getting more and more philosphical, so I use a lens hood and a soft case when carrying the camera and no filter when photographing (for B&W I use filter, of course,but not as a protector).

Matthias
 
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Guest

William , I'm still gobsmacked by this - you would need a longish solid object and enough space for a good swing at it to cause that much damage in that environment!! Clearly we have to ask Contax to start producing solid metal lenscaps - the P filters are no longer sufficient! Steve

Steve, I can't really answer the question because I don't know the answer.

But to get back to the original question from Jim Cancil, it depends on the photographer's situation. In my case, the answer is yes. I mainly use my camera for city street photography and need some protection from bumping into things and people. I often look for opportunity shots and usually carry my camera in my hand ready and to the side when in interesting places. These are usually crowded. Sometimes there is rain, and I prefer to clean my filter rather than the lense. But if I were in a controlled situation, I may have chosen to leave the filter off. Earlier this year I met a professional photographer in the streets of Paris who had 2 Contax cameras hanging around his chest (I am a keen amateur). I noticed he did not have filters on his lenses and ask him about this. He just replied that there was no point unless he was after a special effect. I also noticed his lenses were marked with scratches and some dust. He commented that these did not make noticeable difference to his photographs. So I guess we all have a different view! Cheers William.
 
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Guest

Personally , I dont own any P filters despite living in a relatively camera hostile environment[Africa] - I'm fairly careful with my gear and try to be scrupulous about replacing lens caps when not in use . I will however resort to using a UV filter sometimes in particularly harsh environments like deserts or beaches with flying sand , or to protect from salt spray when at the coast or sailing/surfing etc . It would be a relatively simple thing for me as I try to keep all lenses with the same thread size for interchangeability - the only two exceptions being my D21 and my Tamron 300 F2.8 . As the 300 has a filter size of 112mm its just going to have to take its chances!! Steve
 
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> testing .... just wondering if my messages are getting through (attempt #3, none seen so far)
 
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Guest

For protection purposes, I use Contax filters for my G lenses, and Hoya Super HMC filters (1mm or 5mm) on my SLR lenses (for a while, Delta International had some fabulous prices on those). They are generally skylight or UV filters. I haven't noticed any particular difference in image quality when I've removed the filters, but I'm curious to know what others who have used the good Hoya filters think of them. I like them because they are slim profile, multicoated and relatively cheap. The b+w filters I find to be a bit on the heavy, vignette-causing side.
 
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