Author Topic: Filter on digital: Clear / UV  (Read 1339 times)

MEPER

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Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« on: May 02, 2020, 09:59:03 »
I nearly always put a filter on my lenses to keep the front lens "virgin". I have always used UV-filters. Reason is that it may remove some "haze" knowing that an UV filter may take a very small amount of information. So it has been a psychological "thing" that is difficult for me to just put a expensive clear glass in front without any "real" effect.

I was looking at B+W homepage to see what they say about the topic.
There is an example a bit down the page that shows effect of no-filter vs uv-filter. I assume that it is on digital camera otherwise it will be strange to show film examples in 2020.
https://schneiderkreuznach.com/en/vorlage/uv-clear

Don't think they sell their clear filters very well?
It of course depends of which image you like best but I am on the "uv-side". I did not expect this quite large effect on digital. But it will keep me using uv instead of clear. 

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2020, 11:03:34 »
In general, try to avoid putting filters on your lens. They will degrade the image no matter what the maker claims. Plus, if you accidentally drop your lens to the ground, a worst-case scenario is your filter breaks and peppers the front element with glass shards making it look like a porcupine. Actually,  this has happened to me (ruining a brand new 35/1.4) thus was the last time I used filter for "protection".  A lens hood is far superior.

However, there are a few specific situations in which using clear-glass filters is advisable. For example when you can get sea spray or rain on the front element, as wiping off a flat surface is much easier than with a curved front element. ND filters or polarisers have their legitimate fields of application as well.

As to "protecting" the lens/camera from UV, this is a pipe dream as modern camera systems are for all practical purposes blind to UV on their own.  Maybe if you are scaling Mount Everest the UV levels are high enough to get through, but then UV would be your least concern any way.

Akira

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2020, 12:17:07 »
I haven't noticed any image degradation caused by a protection filter, so long as I shot closer (not closeups) and mid-range distances.

On the other hand, even a quality filter will cause surprisingly noticeable image degradation when shooting at distant scenes.  Until I noticed it, I had thought my lens or the AF of my camera had been in trouble.

I haven't used clear filters of any quality grade since I noticed that, except for the cases Birna mentions.
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MEPER

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2020, 12:45:05 »
So you think the image comparation on B+W homepage where there is a clear difference is more a marketing "thing"?
The best would be to try it out to see by "own eye" if there is a difference. I have seen examples of cheap filter what they do of "damage" to the image. Until now I have filters on most lenses I bring out for shooting.
 
It is just when I get a new lens and take the cap of first time the front lens looks so "virgin" that my mind says…..it needs to be protected and never be wiped. To clean a front lens is also something that has to be learned to do it right. The good thing is that Nikon coatings seems to be very hard. My old AF 300/2.8D has a "built-in" protection front glass…...as far as I remember.

When I look at a 2nd hand lens I like when I can see that the seller has a filter on.....but that is another story.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2020, 13:13:32 »
If the lens is bought second-hand with filter, then just unscrew that filter ...

If one intends to shoot UV, there is a steep learning curve as to how comprehensive modification of the camera is required. Plus finding a lens that transmits enough UV -- not easy. On our 'sister site' https://ultravioletphotography.com, voluminous posts and discussions pertain to these topics.

The reason long lenses often have a protective glass element first is they tend to use ED glass up front and it is softer thus more prone of scratching. A flat, or in some cases meniscus, glass is a cheap insurance against front element damage. In particular for hard use by 'pros' who often stand the lens on its front.

Akira

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2020, 13:40:16 »
The comparison images posted on the B+W website shows the effect of the UV-cut filter.  The distant scene will look crisper when the haze is removed.  I would guess that the positive effect of the haze removal happened to be more prominent than the negative optical effect of the filter.  I would even suspect that the sample images were shot on films.

Also, I would doubt if the haze is as influential on the sensors as on the films, because the UV portion is efficiently filtered by the UV/IR-cut filter in front of the sensor.
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MEPER

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2020, 14:02:34 »
I have asked if it is a true example and if it is digital or film.
And yes, with uv-filter I mean "uv-cut" …..like a Nikon L37c filter.
Nikon has always been very "technical". They write the cut wavelength on the filters like L37 (370 nm), L39, R60 etc......I like that.

Akira

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2020, 14:11:06 »
So far as I'm aware, neither Nikon, Kenko/Hoya or Marumi offers UV-cut or skylight filters in their highest-end lineups (like ARCREST, Zeta or EXUS series).  No UV-cut or skylight filters have been newly released from these manufacturers in the digital era.

I think that indicates cutting UV for the digital camera is redundant.
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MEPER

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2020, 14:27:06 »
It is difficult with Hoya as they makes really many series of filters. The last one I got was an UV-filter from the HD-serie. Branded as a Digital filter. My impression was that it was a "top serie" filter but everybody seems to write "nano" on their top filters.....so maybe it is not :-)

Mike G

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2020, 16:20:04 »
I use protection filters on my lenses, mostly Hoya! But Nikon market their own Protection Filters and or UV filters!
Nikon Z7, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2020, 18:01:10 »
A "protection" filter on a lens can be your worst enemy ....

For true protection, use lens hoods.

MEPER

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2020, 18:27:14 »
There is a bit about it in this video. Filters seems to break more easily than the front element. What I don't understand in the test is that there is no marks on the front element of lens after the violent treatment in first part of test.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0CLPTd6Bds

pluton

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2020, 19:04:35 »
The image on the B+W website looks like they took the same original shot, made 2 copies, and just upped the contrast in post on one of them. 
I've personally never seen any clarifying effect from the so-called UV filters,either in the film or digital eras. 
I have sometimes seen the dingy, pale yellowish color from UV filters contaminating my photos.
I have the B+W 007 or Nikon NC filters available for all lenses for use when needed.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Ann

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2020, 19:10:57 »
I am in total agreement with Birna: Get rid of those "protective" filters and buy (and use!) a lens hood at all times instead.

The two exceptions: when you need a polarizer to control reflections; and using a clear protective filter might be a sensible precaution if you are photographing in a sandstorm.

Bill De Jager

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Re: Filter on digital: Clear / UV
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2020, 19:50:55 »
Plus, if you accidentally drop your lens to the ground, a worst-case scenario is your filter breaks and peppers the front element with glass shards making it look like a porcupine. Actually,  this has happened to me (ruining a brand new 35/1.4) thus was the last time I used filter for "protection".  A lens hood is far superior.

The one time I dropped a camera a significant distance the shards from the broken filter were a problem.  The camera was an F100 (if I recall correctly) with the 28-105 Nikkor zoom. I dropped the camera about 1 meter onto a somewhat bare spot in a lawn, so the surface was softer than pavement but still not very yielding.  The camera fell lens-first so the front of the lens hit first.  Initially I thought it was good that the filter took the took the brunt of the impact, leaving the lens seemingly undamaged.  However, small particles of glass from the destroyed filter got into the lens at the time of the impact, resulting in a grinding sound and feeling when the focus ring was turned.  I had to send the lens in for repairs.