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Thread: Filter for 24-70mm nikon

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    Account Closed AutumnCurl's Avatar
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    Filter for 24-70mm nikon

    Hi,
    My hubby brought me home a present of a 24-70mm nikon lens - but didn't get me a filter ( no drama), so what filter do people recommend? I was going to just get a clear protection one, but now I'm not so sure...

    So what do you use ?

    * my main concern is sand when i go to beach and the wind blows..
    Last edited by AutumnCurl; 01-06-2012 at 6:31pm.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    If you intend to utilise a neutral density or polarising filter on the lens to correct exposure under differing natural light conditions buy the best quality filters on the market.
    If you want a filter to protect the lens, even if you buy the best on the market you will only degrade the performance of a superb lens.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    i was looking at a "Hoya UV HD Filter" for outside use.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutumnCurl View Post
    i was looking at a "Hoya UV HD Filter" for outside use.
    Please tell me what function that filter will serve on that lens.

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    hopeful eliminate some light haze and protect from dust/dirt and other outside problems, however as i haven't used filters before i am not 100% sure.
    a couple of hundred dollars on a filter is nothing in comparison to the lens price.

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    cpl only
    Darren
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    Actually I found that when photographing the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night from Circular Quay, the lights on it were bluish without an UV filter, and white with it. (very surprising eh?)
    Before observing this, I thought UV filters were optically completely useless on digital cameras. Now I have found a small use other that front element protection.
    This happened with different lenses and camera bodies, mostly Canon.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    UV filters = waste of money.

    UV filters, filter out UV light, which was an issue for film photography. Thanks to the filter on all digital camera sensors (except the new D800e), UV light is a non-issue for DIGITAL cameras. So your deigned use of 'hopefully eliminate some haze' is not going to work.

    Buy a polariser instead.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    my photo's normally have people in them so a cpl isn't a good idea unless i want blue tinted people :P

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutumnCurl View Post
    hopeful eliminate some light haze and protect from dust/dirt and other outside problems, however as i haven't used filters before i am not 100% sure.
    a couple of hundred dollars on a filter is nothing in comparison to the lens price.
    It will (allegedly) protect against dust, it will most likely do none of the other functions that you desire. It will most assuredly degrade image quality.


    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    cpl only
    Amen with the inclusion of high quality ND filters.


    Quote Originally Posted by patrickv View Post
    Actually I found that when photographing the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night from Circular Quay, the lights on it were bluish without an UV filter, and white with it. (very surprising eh?)
    Before observing this, I thought UV filters were optically completely useless on digital cameras. Now I have found a small use other that front element protection.
    This happened with different lenses and camera bodies, mostly Canon.
    Not surprising at all actually, you stuck a filter on the front of your lens, failed to think about the inferior optics altering your white balance and then assumed that what the filter showed was correct.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutumnCurl View Post
    my photo's normally have people in them so a cpl isn't a good idea unless i want blue tinted people :P
    Seriously??

    OK. I suggest you start researching filters..in depth..a Polariser does not make people blue! A Polariser does just that, it polarises light. It reduces/eliminates reflection and increases contrast (which is how it makes some skies appear bluer), but it does not make people blue. I think you should refrain from buying ANY filters and do a heap of reading on how they work and what they do.
    Last edited by ricktas; 01-06-2012 at 7:15pm.

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    That's correct, Rick. A polariser should not make people look blue at all! The only way this can occur is if the camera's auto WB is failing miserably as it should compensate for just about any filter put in front of the lens.

    A UV filter may only help to protect the front element, but I have never used a filter for that purpose and never will. There are a number of articles that show that a UV filter can introduce unwanted flare, mostly in night scenes.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I use a neutral colour (Nikon) filter on my 24-70 & 70-200 and I have a CPL filter.

    The NC filters are used primarily on the beach (sea spray) and the CPL is used for the same in bright light when I do kiteboarding photography.

    If it wasn't for those uses, I probably wouldn't bother.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Wow! You are certainly copping some flack in this thread, AutumnCurl. What did you do, reverse over someone's cat?

    But don't worry about that. The rather short-tempered advice you are getting is actually pretty good. There are lots of good reasons not to have a clear or UV or skylight filter (I'll just say "clear" from now on) and only a couple of reasons why you should have one. We can start by taking it as read that most or all of what the anti-filter crowd have posted in this thread is on the money - it is very difficult to find examples where clear filters do anything good for digital images. In fact, I can't think of any examples, but maybe there are one or two I haven't thought of.

    As the anti-filter crowd point out, a clear filter always introduces some image degradation. It can only reduce image quality, never increase it. BUT that image quality loss, under most circumstances and if your filter is a good one, is infinitesimally small. In 99% of your shots, you just won't be able to see the difference. Probably more like 99.9% of cases.

    There is an excellent article you should read here: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011...th-bad-filters That should put things into better perspective.

    If you want to protect your lens front element, I say go right ahead. No-one will ever be able to tell the difference in your pictures so long as you don't buy a cheap rubbish one! Cheap filters are a disaster! One thing a filter might do to improve your photography is give you the confidence to shoot in bad conditions - and harsh conditions can produce some wonderful shots!

    Finally, I might mention that I am a card-carrying member of the No Filter Party. I hardly ever use them. In fact, I have just one lens which I mount a clear filter on as routine, that's my expensive 24mm tilt-shift, and even with that one I usually unscrew the filter just before I press the shutter. Not necessary, sure, but it is the sort of lens that you can't use sensibly without spending 5-10 minutes messing about with it on a tripod focusing and adjusting the tilt and so on, so adding and removing a filter is no trouble. Yes, I have a lens cap but they fall off and the filter keeps my 24mm tilt-shift safe. So why not? (But I'll get expelled from the Party if Andrew finds out, so please keep this to yourself!)

    Summary: don't be bullied into something you are not comfortable with. If you want a filter, get one!
    Tony

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    With some more time to put things in perspective ---

    My replies are directed primarily at the 24-70 Nikkor and that particular lens is a superb piece of gear that has been manufactured to give professional results.
    Going by anything and everything that I have seen written about that lens ( don't own one so I can't be 100% authoritative about it ) the addition of clear filters are one way of introducing or exaggerating flair and haziness to images under harsh conditions. You have said in another post that you are considering a D800 as a camera and the combination of that lens and body will (should) result in outstanding images. If your desire is to create outstanding images with that level of gear then you need to be a little wary of introducing glass elements that will increase flair and reduce the micro contrast levels available.
    If you are not so concerned about the level of quality of the images produced, go ahead and fit a filter for protection but then I wonder why you need that lens above many very capable and cheaper alternatives.

    On to the subject of protection of the lens by using a clear filter. By your scenario of being at the beach and worrying about the lens being affected by wind blown sand you possibly should think a few things through.

    From the moment you take your camera from the bag and then remove your lens cap your gear is at the mercy of the elements. How many photographs will you be able to take before the sand / salt spray has built up enough to degrade the image quality either with a filter on or off?
    I will hazard a guess that it will be the same number with or without a filter.
    OK, that means that either the filter or lens needs cleaning in order to resume photographing to get the best possible images. If you are attempting to clean either the front lens element or the filter "in the field" in order to continue photographing we have two ways of doing it. We can grab the loose corner of our T-shirt and give the filter or lens the once over. Just as soon as you have done that you will probably realise that your T-shirt that you put on clean that morning also has a high level of sand and salt spray attached to it and has done nothing for either the cleanliness or longevity of either the lens or the filter.
    We now have the situation where photography cannot recommence due to degrade optical performance due to smeared salt and sand on the lens or filter. At the same time we have probably damaged the surface of either the lens or the filter and while it is easier to write off a $150.00 filter than the front lens element I really have to ask why you would want to do either. Much the same applies if you are trying to clean either the lens or the filter with all the proper gear rather than your T-shirt "in the field" because if the conditions are that bad you are only subjecting that cleaning gear to the same bad things that stopped you photographing in the first place.
    So, cleaning either the filter or lens should be done in a professional manner that befits either piece of gear. That rules out the "beach side wipe" and puts us back in the realms of a nice clean room at home to do the job or booking the gear into the local camera repair facility for a service. Either way, if done properly the cleaning should not harm the lens or filter and should result in image quality being restored to the levels that the camera and lens are capable of --- except --- we still have that other bit of glass on the front of the lens that will reduce image quality.
    If you are worried about impact damage from flying sand on the front element of the lens then I suggest that you need to consider a couple of things, firstly if there is the likelihood of damage to the gear, do you really need to be trying to take professional quality photos under those conditions. After all, that is why you bought the professional quality gear isn't it.
    Secondly, if you are unlucky enough to have sand blast the lens or filter to such a degree that either is damaged then unless you really want to keep photographing and have multiple filters in your kit to replace the damaged item then photography that will get you professional quality photos is over for the day.
    OK, if you want to use a filter as a form of insurance for the front element of that lens go for it but I would rather think about getting professional level images that the gear is capable of at another time ( no sand or spray ) and not using a filter along with adequate insurance on the equipment in case of "disasters". You do have your gear insured don't you? After all, the premium is not really much in the scheme of things when compared to the price of your lens/es and body/ies.
    Last edited by I @ M; 02-06-2012 at 6:58am.

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    @ I @ M... I think Arthurking is starting to rubb off on you.

    Seriously AutumnCurl.
    A screw on CPL filter is a must. Followed by a set of Cokin P series ND and gradual filters. All cheap as chips on fleabay.
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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Whooah there Andrew!

    First, the image degradation introduced by a good quality clear filter is very, very small. You've completely ignored the size of the IQ reduction, and that's a very relevant factor here. What you are saying is like saying that a second wing mirror will degrade your fuel economy - yes, it's absolutely true, technically, but most people would never be able to tell the difference. Under nearly all circumstances, the difference is too small to worry about - and where we are looking straight into the sun for some reason, one can always take the filter off for that shot.

    Secondly, what photographer would be so ultra-careful about their gear as to put a clear filter on, despite knowing that it costs a fair bit and will (however insignificantly) lower their picture quality but so sloppy about their gear as to clean a sand-blown lens/filter with a tee-shirt? That's just not a realistic scenario.

    And third, it really doesn't make any sense to list three (and only three) lens cleaning solutions, two of which (the dirty tee-shirt and hiring a professional for a lens clean!) are not on the sensible photographer's menu anyway. You need to get out of the studio a bit! People who work outdoors in all sorts of conditions soon learn a range of cleaning techniques:

    • Indoors at home or in the studio with puffer, cleaning tissues and (if desired) cleaning fluid or spray
    • Improvised clean(ish) place (in the car, in the shelter of a building, etc.), typically with lens pen or puffer and tissue or cloth
    • Outdoors as necessary. Turn your back to the wind and clean with your breath, soft brush on the lens pen, and cloth. (Substitute lens tissue if desired, but cloths work better and are more practical, just so long as you keep them clean and have spares to hand if needed.) This last method is the one which gets used most often if you work outdoors in the bush for any length of time, and with care it is perfectly safe. I make a point of always wearing shirts with two top pockets when I'm working. In the right-hand pocket I put a 77mm CPL, in the left-hand one (where it is easy to reach with my right hand) a lens pen and a lens cleaning cloth. (Or sometimes tissues.)


    Perhaps I could add a fourth method, only suitable in desperate circumstances like these.



    That shot was taken about this time last year, literally a handful of seconds after cleaning the lens. It's not worth having, obviously, other than as an indication of the conditions. In fact conditions were so bad that you simply couldn't face into the wind or anywhere near that direction without picking up flying salt spray. And I spent two full days in those conditions looking for my spot and waiting for my moment.

    The gear took a hammering. (As did I!) It soon became obvious that there was no possible way to keep my front elements clean using the normal methods. A lens cloth would be soaked within a few minutes. So I improvised: Into each large pocket of my raincoat, I put a clean tea-towel. Not the idea thing, but by swapping the towels over for fresh ones every now and again (I always keep half a dozen in the car, though not for this purpose) I was able to take pictures.

    Yes, I was a bit worried about what was happening to my expensive lenses, but I had come down with a dose of Get The Shot fever (as any good photographer should from time to time) and it turned out that they took no harm - the worst effect wasn't the lens front element, it was the build-up of salt all over the lens barrels and camera bodies. Not knowing what else to do, I dealt with that when I got home using warm, damp tea-towels to lift the salt with a dry one and a brushing to finish. All the cameras and lenses still work perfectly.

    As for the purpose of exposing my gear (and myself!) to that terrible weather, it was this:



    I sold that picture the other day, and for a tidy price, but mostly I just like looking at it and remembering the wild, wild weekend of weather on the western Victorian coast that led to those incredible waves.

    PS: I didn't use a clear filter!

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Oh, and I should mention that the effect of a good quality clear filter is so small that some of the very, very best lenses money can buy come with what amounts to a clear filter permanently mounted as the first element. Yes, the big white $10,000 and $12,000 L Series primes - lenses like the 400/2.8 and the 600/4 - have a plain glass front element with no optical purpose: it is purely there to protect the (very expensive!) first optical element. If you should be so unfortunate as to damage your front element, the replacement part is worth only a little, where the real front element might cost five or six thousand to replace.

    Having argued the case for filters at some length now, honestly compels me to say that, when you get right down to taking pictures, I can't quite bring myself to do something (put a filter on) that I know will reduce my image quality. (Even though I'll never be able to see that difference 'cause it is so small.) This is not logical. So shoot me!

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    ^^^ absolutely

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    On the whole I have to say I agree with Tony here .. in that if the OP seems to think that a filter is going to 'protect' the multi thousand dollar lens in difficult conditions, then by all means get one.

    But it's important to understand fully how or why a filter can cause detrimental effects to any images.

    Also, a CPL won't produce a blue cast to skin tones, unless there is an anomaly with the Auto WB from the camera.. it does happen(happens to me regularly!)

    If you shoot two scenes with and without any filters and then set WB (as should really be done) in post, the images will have (close enough too) equal colour balance.

    UV filters do nothing in terms of cutting UV transmission to the sensor. This is already done at the sensor.
    They do cut UV transmission through the lens of course, but this is of no consequence to the image.

    If images turned from blue to white via the use a a UV filter, then it may have most likely been a warming filter too(Skylight) as well as UV.
    Irrespective of whether you fit a UV cut filter to your lens, the UV wavelength is 99.9999% cut due to the filter pack fitted in front of the sensor.

    To the OP.. protection filters are generally a waste of time, and don't really protect the lens in the way you may think they do.
    Many lenses have withstood the test of time year in year out and have zero detrimental effects upon them caused by environmental harshness.

    There could be an argument made where the conditions are so harsh/hard/despicable .. say in a sandstorm situation(eg. rally car driving) or any other situation where sand may affect your lens, but the reality is that unless it's extremely harsh, the lens will survive intact quite well.

    Testament to this is my trusty 'ol Sigma 10-20mm lens. While it's cost is nowhere near anything like the Nikon 24-70mm, I have to say I've never been precious about keeping it safe.
    Only filters it's ever seen are polarisers and graduated ND's ... ie,. for effects!
    It's been to many seaside shoots and almost as many desert locations in the few years I've had it .. and it still shoots fine, images still look as they did when I first got the lens years ago.
    Lens looks fine. It's been drenched a few times(drizzle turned to rain), and dropped in grassy paddocks(not yet onto rocks or sand), on a couple of occasions.... You wouldn't really know it from the images it still captures.

    BUT!! .. it has been knocked about for many years both in the bag and whilst on the camera, or sitting on the front seat of the car .. or whatever.
    The lens does now need a service. I think the lens elements may be slightly out of alignment, as in some situations I get slight blurring on the RHS of the image relative to the LHS.

    ie. the need to protect the lens from one set of environmental parameters doesn't necessarily mean that the lens is 'protected'.

    My advice would be to use a lens hood to minimise flare situations, and also for bump protection and enjoy the lens for what it's capable of.

    (I would have preferred to keep this reply short) but to answer Tony's(Tannin) last comment about this point that some lenses having a clear protective filter(meniscus) at the very front of the lens .. this is true, and some lenses HAVE to have a filter in place or they simply can't focus properly too!

    The difference between these specific lenses and most normal lenses(such as your 24-70) .. is that the lenses that have these filters fitted have been designed to operate correctly(focus the light rays correctly) with these filters fitted. If you remove these dedicated filters, the lens will lose some quality in the final image.

    ie. this is the opposite of the situation described by others when using filters over your lens.
    Any introduced/or omitted optical element will have an effect on the image(in general meaning sharpness) at the sensor.

    My belief is that these filters have a lower resistance to wear and tear .. so by the time you've purchased the best quality filter that produces the least image degrading effect, the amount of money that you may end up spending on replacing the damaged filter could end up costing as much as the lens over the course of time that you own the lens.

    So, as a result, you either purchase lower quality filters so that it doesn't cost you too much as you replace the filters, but you risk losing more image quality as a result.
    Or you purchase more expensive filters find that as they wear you may replace it say every two years.... and in the 10 years that you've owned the lens, will have spent close to the same amount of money on the filters as you would have on a second hand replacement lens.... or even more than it may cost to replace the front lens element on the lens.
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