CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Protection filter for 50mm Planar



I've just ordered a 50mm f1.4 Planar MM and am looking for a UV filter mainly for protection, although as I will be taking a lot of landscape pictures something that helps remove haze could be useful.

Which filter should I get?? There seem to be a load of Contax filters:
- 1A
- Sky UV
- L39 UV Multi Coated
- Protection
- 1A Multi Coated

Then there is Hoya:
- Skylight 1B
- HMC Skylight

And of course good old Jessops:
- Skylight
- UV

I can't find any useful info on the differences between these filters, and the prices vary from £9 to £48!!

If I opt for a non-Contax filter, is it likely that the lens cap will no longer fit??

Many thanks,



For my 1.4/50 T* I use a B+W UV 010 haze 55E filter. I purchased the filter new in the early 1980s for $14.95CND. I have been quite pleased with this filter and the original 1.4/50 lens cap fits perfectly.



I have Contax 1a and 81a and Orange (for B&W) filters , all 55mm , that I got in very good condition from ffordes (Scotland) for a reasonable price.

They feel good to fit and remove because they are made from Brass. (same as lens barrels)

They never stick or bind like aluminium ones. (I also have a Heliopan Zeiss softar 1 55mm and Hoya R72 I/R and a circ polariser and will replace wherever possible with Contax when I get the opportunity.)

For colour landscapes I find the circular pol is the most used.

No problems with lenscaps with any make of filter that I have.


Thanks for the replies..

I've gone for a 55mm B+W UV 010 haze filter with the multicoating and a Contax G11 rubber lens hood.

I've got a Cokin circular polariser (and a few other Cokin filters) which was up to the job on my Sigma, but I guess will probably let down the Zeiss optics. I refuse to pay £70+ for the Contax polariser, but I'll keep my eyes open for a secondhand bargain!!

Thanks for your help,


With today's films, UV filters are not necessary, but do provide protection for the front lens element. I don't like anything in front of my Zeiss lenses unless necessary; I'm just very careful and always use a lens hood. When I do put on a filter, it is usually either a B&W or Hoya. The only ones I use regularly are a polarizer, a B1B or so warming filter (with Fuji chrome film) and a square grey graduate (rarely) by Cokin. In 50 years of photography, I have needed front-element protection exactly zero times.


Just a little query on filters,

What is the diference between a Contax protection filter, a Contax UV filter and a Contax L39 filter? Can the UV and L39 both be used for Colour and B&W? Does the protection filter do the same job as a UV filter, or is it 'plain' glass?
Other observations welcome.

Also what is the difference between Circular and normal polarising filters, I have both, and the mounts both turn to adjust for reflection/colour saturation. I thought that circulars were for rotating front elements? Will someone put me straight!


Hello Paul,

Protection filter should be a piece of multicoated, plain optical glass. It's only thought for protection of the front lens. By the way, I don't use any filter if it's not nessecary for any "effects". A filter gives two more glass-air surfaces and even it is a multicoated one, it'll (very little) reduce image quality due to refelctions. I never managed do damage a filter or even a front lens in all the years im taking photos!
L39 and UV are two names for the same thing. Such highly corrected lenses like the ones from Zeiss can't submit a lot of UV at all. The surfaces are all T* multicoated. I don't think a single filter will block more UV than one of the finest lenses! Maybe I can try to check the UV transmission of my little Tessar 2.8/45 in the next days.
There are several types of polarized light, e.g. circular, elliptical or linear. Normal polarizing filters transform unpolarized light to linear polarized light. In a circular polarizing filter an additional "lambda/4"-element transforms the light to circular polarized light.
A circular polarizing filter is nessecary for cameras with semitranssmitting elements in the optical path of the light meter or the autofocus system. Linear polarized light can give false readings or focus settings. Circular won't. Both filters are similar in usage and look.You can't make anything wrong when using a circular polarizing filter on a camera where it isn't nessecary.



Thanks Matthias for the information. I leave a UV or L39 on my lenses as I would rather be safe than sorry, and it keeps little fingers and pets noses of the front element! By the way here in England Conatx UV filters are about half the price of an L39.

Many Thanks