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UV lens filter - do I need one?

Krank

Distinguished Member
I've just bought a Nikon D40 and it's been suggested I need a UV filter for my lens. I've tried to do some research but there's lots of conflicting advice out there so hoped for some guidance on this forum, the same I recieved when choosing my first DSLR :)

Some say you don't need one on DSLR's, some say get a cheap one and others say you need the best you can afford :confused:

Thanks
 

Garf

Prominent Member
As I understand it, some people keep a UV filter on their lenses as a means of protection, in case they bash the end of their lens/drop it etc etc. The theory being it's better to replace a cheapish filter than a lens.

In terms of filters themselves, as you say, the merits of a UV seem to be a matter of debate and personal preference.

The more useful filters seem to be Circular Polarisers (CPL) and ND Grad's - these are the ones that are worth spending a bit on apparently.

For the lens on my D40, I have a Hoya Pro CPL (about 20-30 quid off Amazon). I haven't bothered with a UV filter, and only use the CPL when I need to. So, personally, I don't always have a filter attached.

Of course, as you buy more lenses, you might find you need additional filters if the new lens had a larger/smaller filter thread size.

Not really answering your question, but might help...
 

Krank

Distinguished Member
Cheers. I guess protection would be my aim at this early stage of my DSLR life. Will a cheaper filter affect the quality of the picture? Wondering which quality to go for.
 

psenior1

Established Member
I have a UV that I use when taking pics where the lens could get wet/dirty (beach etc), most of the time I just keep a lens hood attached for protection....
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Cheers. I guess protection would be my aim at this early stage of my DSLR life. Will a cheaper filter affect the quality of the picture? Wondering which quality to go for.
A half decent filter will be fine. i dont use mine much now but I have saved a lens or 2 in the past when the camera fell down.. Shattered filter : intact lens
Whilst a hood is another idea ( and can also prevent glare) , it makes for less portability
A school of thought says filters can in crease likelihood of glare

What is true of both is that they are easily removable for that critical shot if need be
 
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Ymegod

Standard Member
You don`t mention which lens you have ? Personally I never use filters as they can mess with the images you are taking. I always find it better to use the lens hood, built in or not, to protect the front element.
 

Krank

Distinguished Member
I've got the standard 18-55 lens kit but will be buying a 70-300 VR before the years out
 

Garf

Prominent Member
I think the 70-300 has a 67mm filter thread, whereas the kit lens has a 52mm - so you're going to need two filters, or maybe adapter rings (if that would work ?) - expensive hobby, isn't it ? :D
 

Krank

Distinguished Member
It's looking that way. I haven't even received the camera yet either :rotfl:
 

JDE

Established Member
I've read elsewhere of people using filters on brand new lenses and being on the verge of sending the lens back due to the impact the filter has had on image quality. Personally I just use the lens hood and try to be as careful as possible!!
 

ryart

Established Member
If using your camera indoors you probably don't need a filter for protection. If you're out and about, particularly if in town or by the coast then a filter is advisable to protect the front element of the lens. A lens-hood will not protect the lens from various types of airborne pollution etc.

I've just come back from a two week cycle tour of Sardinia and the filters definitely need cleaning. Even with the best cleaning technique (yet to find anything better than opticlean) it is something you can only do so many times before damage to the lens or filter becomes evident. With a filter, just replace the filter :smashin:; without a filter just replace the lens :thumbsdow.

In certain conditions the filter may slightly degrade the image quality, particularly if Strong light hits the surface of the filter, but this can be obviated by using a lens hood. A dirty lens, or lens cleaned too often, will degrade image quality.

If you're still in doubt try using a filter for a month or so and then take it off and see whether or not it is dirty in the conditions in which you use your camera.

As for quality its probably best to avoid the cheapest whilst middle range Hoya is probably fine for most people, but if you are obsessive or have the finest quality lenses then you won't need much persuading to splash out on the best.
 

dibdab

Established Member
I did test mine indoors when i recieved it and there was very minimal difference with it on and off, although i wouldn't really leave it on for indoor shots, i haven't had the time to take it out to takes some more photos.

Having said that all the photos my wife took while away came out perfectly.
 
R

ryanyboy

Guest
I've got 2 or 3 spare 52mm UV filters knocking around. Let me know if you want one. They are in mint condition and in original boxes. I'm sure for a small token of appreciation I could send you one.

Ryan
 

Krank

Distinguished Member
I've got 2 or 3 spare 52mm UV filters knocking around. Let me know if you want one. They are in mint condition and in original boxes. I'm sure for a small token of appreciation I could send you one.

Ryan


Cheers ryanboy. What make and model do you have?
 

Krank

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all the advice. Everything's starting to make more sense now. Hoya and B+K keep popping up as good makes so I'll check those out.
 
R

ryanyboy

Guest
Cheers ryanboy. What make and model do you have?


I've got a 58mm Jessops and a 58mm Hoya (green label).

Make a donation to BEAT and I'll send you one for nothing. Just PM me your address.

Just make sure the lens size is right as I don't know Nikon stuff.

Ryan
 

Krank

Distinguished Member
I've got a 58mm Jessops and a 58mm Hoya (green label).

Make a donation to BEAT and I'll send you one for nothing. Just PM me your address.

Just make sure the lens size is right as I don't know Nikon stuff.

Ryan


That's a great gesture but unfortunately I'll need 52mm :(
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I just reread your original post
One of the reasons you get conflicting advice is

UV protection is needed more for film, rather less ( if at all) for a digital sensor
but
the Lens protection and relatively neutral effect of a good filter make them still popular
The arguments of degradation are true in part ( with really cheap filters) and purist in part
( a bit like removing the grill from loudspeaker to hear the music)
Filters are removable/ replaceable.. I wouldnt personally sweat about any quality loss
Just take it off if need be and replace it when done
 
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Krank

Distinguished Member
I've just ordered one. I'll see how it works out as to whether I need a better one or not. Like you said senu, I can easily remove it when needed
 

DpM

Prominent Member
I've just ordered one. I'll see how it works out as to whether I need a better one or not. Like you said senu, I can easily remove it when needed

Which one did you order? And where from? I may decide to get one at some point.
 

RobDickinson

Prominent Member
As for cost, i paid £30 to protect my £500 glass. Worthy investment.

You have to wonder why spend £500 on some realy nice glass then slap a cheap piece of £30 filter on the front??

I have and use protection filters on occasion (beach/surf type stuff) but mostly I look after my lenses and/or use lens hoods.
 

Krank

Distinguished Member
I bought this one from an eBay store. Was going to buy from Amazon UK (pic shows silver but code suggests black) but found it a little cheaper while I was waiting for the free super saver shipping for items over £5 to come into play.
 

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