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    Filter Questions

    Hi let me start by saying i am a complete novice I didn't even know what the glass in my camera kit was for or did. I have a D5000 twin lens kit that I got for mothers day....I have used it twice because i am so scared of it
    A friend suggested I get some filters for it because it got so dusty and dirty the first time I used it. I have looked at some filters on ebay and online shops but don't know what I'm looking at.
    I only want them to protect the glass on my lens from getting dirty and scratched please please help I really don't know what I'm doing I want to try and do the lessons to learn but am too afraid of damaging the camera.
    I live in a rural area with horses and dogs and goats n stuff so dirt and dust is a way of life.
    I was also thinking that I should maybe look at getting a 50mm to use all the time as a way to get used to the camera and not get discouraged cause I don't know what I'm doing with the bigger lenses.
    Any help would be very much appreciated

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    Welcome...and don't worry.....enjoy your new camera.

    What kit lenses did you recieve. I wouldn't worry about buying anything at this moment in time.

    Filters can be applied to your lens for a number of reasons, but a UV filter can be applied to protect the end glass. There is a big debate about how useful they really are, but I would say, at this moment in time don't worry about it. If it is dusty around you, just be careful changing lenses, but don't worry too much. Sensors can be cleaned as can the lenses. With a zoom just be careful zooming in and out with dust on the lens body as this is how it can get inside the lens itself.

    These cameras are pretty robust, try not to drop it, but don't be afraid to use it.....


    Roo
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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    I on the other hand use UV filters as lens protectors, because constantly cleaning the lens can lead to scratches in both the glass and the coatings on the front glass element. I live in a very remote area and the amount of dust that can end up on the lens is a lot less worrying when it only ends up on the filter.

    cleaning the filter and scratching it or it's coatings is far more acceptable to me than scratching the element on a $2000+ lens.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hi yuki. As Roo said, maybe a UV filter for each of your lenses just to protect the outer surface. When you take lenses off, just put the end-cap back on.

    Go to a camera store to buy your filters, not on-line, until you know more about them. Hoya is the brand I use (-d, since I bought them ages ago).

    Just one more thing. Do consider getting a lens hood if the kit lenses don't come with one. Place it in front of the filter. This will help stop lens flare that the extra filter will tend to enhance.
    Am.
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    Thank you for your replies and help my kit included an 18 - 55 & 55 - 200 I was lookin at getting uv filters for these so do I need 2 filters per lens? and if so what size filters would I need.
    Unfortunately my shopping will have to be done mostly on line as I have no camera stores within cooee of here lol.

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    All I will say is a UV filter will cost you <$60....the kit lens can be had for $150 new or less if you get one second hand. The 50-200mm not much more.....so it is up to you, but personally I wouldn't see the point. I have a UV filter on my 18-200mm that is all....and that is only because I have that lens on all the time. And to be honest the only thing that it has helped with is that it got chipped when I dropped rather than the lens.....but then again that is a $1000 lens.

    On the other note....whilst the 50mm prime is a great lens it is no lighter than the kit lens and is less flexable for a beginner.

    If you wish to get UV filters the 18-55mm is a 52mm size, the 50-200mm is a 52mm also. You only need one filter as they are the same diameter, unless you want one each....but one filter per lens if it is purely for protection.

    Other filters are for other things....CPL's are for removing reflections on glass and water...you wouldn't keep it on the lens all the time and ND's are for reducing light and again used for special applications.

    Roo

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    yuki. It's one filter per lens, even if they are the same size. The filter size is usually on the front bezel of the lens, or even inside the "clip-on" lens caps. It is designated eg 52, or 77 (either preceded or followed by the Greek letter "phi" symbol). Vide below...
    Am.
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    Yep I use my UV filters as protection of the lens ....
    Regards,
    Phil

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    for ND filters, which densities are present in your kit? 1 stop? 2 stop? 3 stop? 4 stop? or even those quite dense ones?

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    save your money! don't waste it on UV/protective filters.. get a blower bulb with a brush on the end of it.
    They cost about $5-10 and if anyone can show me damage done to the front of a lens using that kind of device.. I tell them to give up photography and take up metal polishing!(there's more money in metal polishing, as I understand the business )

    So, if you still decide on going the protective filter route, there are a few things to think about.
    1. if the front of the lens is easily made dirty by dust, what stops the filter from getting dirty too?
    1a having a dirty filter no matter the quality is far worse than having a dirty front lens element!.. in terms of image degradation.
    2. if you stop to take the time to clean the filter, you get a few different scenarios:
    2a. missed photo opportunities
    2b. whilst the filter is off getting cleaned the front lens element is now exposed thus making it dirty too.
    2c. upon replacing the now clean filter, you get a few more scenarios to ponder:
    2c.(i) you now need to clean the front element of the small traces of dust accumulated whilst the filter was off geting cleaned.
    2c.(ii) you don't clean the front element, and replace the filter immediately which results in a clean filter and a dirty front lens element.. that's also not good for image quality!
    2c.(iii) you leave the filter on, and don't clean it, because usually they are much less hardy than the front of the lens itself, and they scratch far more easily than the lens does, so you end up with horrid IQ due to the fitment of the fitler in the first place.
    2c.(iv) you have another filter at the ready so that you can save yourself the trouble of having to stop and take the time to clean the now dirty filter you're replacing. if on average your filters get too dirty for acceptable use at the rate of 1 every hour, and you're out shooting for 5 hours, you may need to purchase 5 filters of a decent quality so that you can ensure yourself against anyof the aforementioned articles inthis reply. total cost could be in the order of a few hundred dollars for the right quality filters. The replacement of th efront lens element for most consumer kit lenses couldn't be more than $200.(if so shop around). This then becomes a self deprecating and redundant endeavour whereby you've spent money to ensure the protection of the lens, but the money spent may be greater than the actual value of the lens in the first place.

    Filters are a good idea if used for an actual effect, that can't be replicated in software or technique.

    Contray to many people's advice.. you can't replicate the correct usage of a these kinds of filters:

    Graduated Neutral Density(GND's) filters. HDR technique comes close, but it's not exactly the same thing. In some scenes a grad can be useless and HDR(software technique) is the only way to get an image, but from my experience HDR is not an alternative to using a GND and vice versa. They can be complementary tho.

    Neutral Density filters they basically allow you to use a longer exposure where you otherwise can't(for whatever reason) in some cases a timed series of exposures can produce a similar effect.. but once again it's not exactly the same thing.

    Polariser filter(usually a Circular Polariser, or CPL) can be 'replicated' in software, but once again, not the same effect! The use of a polariser filter in software simply saturates the red blue and green channels in software form, but never removes glare(which is usually seen as reflections).

    Other filters that are available for general use are UV filters.. which I'm sure most people will not truly understand correctly and at the opposite end of the spectrum is the IR filters.

    UV filters were a ahndy filter type to have when we used to use film, as fill was sensitive to UV exposure/contamination in everyday light. UV = Ultra Violet light)
    UV filters actually cut the transmission of UV light and are correctly called UV cut filters.
    They are common as muck and are now used for in a futile effort as protective filters.
    Not one person has ever posted any evidence that can truly prove that a protective filter actualy protects the lens any any manner(that the lens itself can not defend itself against).
    Whereas!! I've seen evidence where:
    a. a UV lens has actually damaged the front of a lens where the operator embarrasingly admitted that he didn't use a lens hood and dropped the camera which landed front on and fair and square on the filter. The filter cased small scratches on the front lens element, and the damage to the filter threads required the use of a hacksaw to remove.. thus damaging the lens'es filter thrads too! The use of a lens hood is far more secure agaisnt bangs and knocks!
    b. I had a lens at my disposal which was an old lens, that I no longer needed, or wanted. I once used a scourer on the front lens element to see how much damage I coudl do to it. I can safely explain that no lens was harmed in the course of my using the standard kitchen scourer on it.
    if anyone tells me that a front lens element is susceptible to scratching from th euse of the correct tools that are nrmally used for cleaning lenses.. I expect that they need to stop using steell wool to clean their lenses!

    This is probably the only topic for discussion that actually irks me to any degree! because try aas hard as I might(to an accpetable level of course!) I could not induce any marks on the front lens element.
    So ... unless you've actually tried to or actually marked a lens with a standard cleaning procedure, I dare suggest that these scare tactic comments of damaging lenses should cease immediately! basially it's BS! and you need to scrub deeply and vigorously to make any impression on the lens.

    as for protective filters against flying debris!! ...

    yeah! dream on!

    protective filters are rubbish. I've seen enough to know that with 99.9% surety.(always leaving the 0.01% for the idiotproof idiot).

    seriosuly! With a common sense approach to cleaning, your lenses will outlast you.

    First off you blow... or brush with a soft bristle brush, off the excessive dust. You should have a microfibre cloth handy too. they are relatively cheap, but the better quality versions do cost a little more. You shouldn;t use a microfibre cloth directly over excessive dust(as in a rodeo or motocross environment) not because it can damage the lens, but because the micro fibre cloth will absorb the dust into it's fibres and gets drity very quickly! no point in cleaning a lens with a dirty cloth!
    micro fibre cloths are great for clenaing off any haze build up(over time).

    all photography specialist shops sell these items kind of cheaply, well cheaply enough so that you can avoid ebay and suchlike and support the local comminuty shopping precinct instead.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I have to say I'm firmly in the same camp as AK83.
    I don't use filters except for the effect they produce, not for protection.
    That said, I can see a few situations where they might be warranted. These would only include potential dangerous aerosols that might damage the front element but then if that was the case its probably not worth taking the photo in the first place. In all other situations, if you can clean a filter, you can clean the front element.
    Don't be too afraid about handling a DSLR. It stops you from learning. I rather have a beaten up, well used D5000 5 years later than a pristine one that's sat on the shelf as decoration. Of course thats not to say don't look after your equipment of course. Use it in the field but always clean it when you get home.
    Nikon FX

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    Quote Originally Posted by yuki View Post
    Hi let me start by saying i am a complete novice I didn't even know what the glass in my camera kit was for or did. I have a D5000 twin lens kit that I got for mothers day....I have used it twice because i am so scared of it
    A friend suggested I get some filters for it because it got so dusty and dirty the first time I used it. I have looked at some filters on ebay and online shops but don't know what I'm looking at.
    I only want them to protect the glass on my lens from getting dirty and scratched please please help I really don't know what I'm doing I want to try and do the lessons to learn but am too afraid of damaging the camera.
    I live in a rural area with horses and dogs and goats n stuff so dirt and dust is a way of life.
    I was also thinking that I should maybe look at getting a 50mm to use all the time as a way to get used to the camera and not get discouraged cause I don't know what I'm doing with the bigger lenses.
    Any help would be very much appreciated
    Hi , have a look at my blog on the effect of cheap filters - it also has reference to a site that tests various brands .

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    Also note tho!!(and I apologise in that I totally forgot about this particular phenomenon.
    Some lenses seem to have a design that doesn't environmentally seal the front of the lens and external elements can enter into the lens and affect the internals of the lens.
    I think I'm correct in that there is at least one Canon lens designed like this(but I can't remember which one) and I know that the Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D is also designed in this manner too.
    SO!! in some rare cases a protective filter is advisable if only to seal the front of the lens to stop the ingress of dust into the lens and settling on the internal lens elements. Note that these types of lens designs are rare, and in general most lenses are pretty well protected from the outside world.... which is not the same thing as environmental sealing tho.

    swifty just hit on a good point!

    I mean there are limits to molly coddling your gear and being afraid to use it effectively.

    LOL! today I got my d300 totally covered in sawdust chain bar lube oil, some horrid red coloured tree gum tree or sap or whatever it was?? All I did was to continually brush off the excessive saw dust off the front element, I occasionally used CPL for effect, and cleaning it properly was an monumentally futile effort! the dust was getting in between the lens and the filter, so taking the filter off to clean the lens and the inside of the filter resulted in a lot more dust getting onto the surfaces as they were being cleaned, so I cleaned one surface and the other just got a film of dust on it, and vice versa.
    in the end i just put the CPL back on.. dust and all... and stopped worrying about it, and kept on shooting.

    have yet to see the resultant images yet(on my PC) but I'm not holding my breath!

    Apparently some bugs are known to spray some acidic substances at any perceived threat, and I know of an old Nikon macro lens.. maybe a medical micro or something, that has a very hardy front lens element in it's design. So there are some situations as swifty explained that may cause undue wear to the front of lens and protection is therefore a must.

    Lenses are very hardy little tackers! They have to be, because the reputation of a lens manufacturer is solely based on it's previous products.

    I know of three manufacturers that produce very hardy front lens elements that don't wear out with regular cleaning. They'd be Nikon, Sigma and Tamron. I regularly clean all my lenses and I can see no ill effects in doing so over the years.

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    Wow I am amazed at all the responses and very grateful. I did not know this was such a debateable subject.
    Arthurking your response was absolutely wonderful and though I did have to google some of your phrases to understand what you were trying to tell me you have taught me quite a lot.
    I am going to take my camera out tonight and try and get some practice with it .... and not be so petrified of it lol.
    I do have another question but not sure whether I should start another thread, so I will ask here and if it should be moved then I will gladly do so.
    It has been suggested to me that I should get a 50mm lens to leave on the camera until I get used to handling it and all the different settings, I have the chance to borrow a friends no longer used one so there will be no monetary outlay but I am wondering will this help or hinder my learning curve with this camera?
    Thank you all again for your help and I hope you don't get tired of answering my questions cause there is sure to be a lot of them lol

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    LOL! google is your friend.. and don't forget so are we!

    ask here too.

    As for the 50?.. on an APS-C(like a D90) camera, I find it too limiting too often.

    20-35mm is ideal for most uses and 50-70mm(and beyond, depending on your requirements) can be good for portraits. Generally speaking I find being stuck at 50mm is kind of a no mans land in that you are too close to capture more candid images as the subject is fully aware of your close proximity.

    I tend to shoot my 28-75 more so at the 75mm end as it seems almost ideal puching you slightly further back.

    having said that tho, the 50mm is a good lens, and if it's the f/1.8 version set it to f/2(via the camer obviously not the lens itself!!) and keep the persons eye within the central to about the first 1/3rd of the frame(ie. not too far to the edge of the frame) and you should get excellent portraits with it.

    In your case it's free for as long as you have it, and if you like that focal length the 50mm f/1.4 is a slightly nicer lens yet again.

    But I'm sure you'll be back again, asking which lens to get in the very near future.

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    All the above is good advice, and my 2 cents worth is at this stage grab the filters and put them on until you feel a bit more comfortable with using your camera.
    It will give you the peace of mind you need whilst you spend the time learing about the do's and don'ts of camera care. After that you can get into the filter vs no filter debate.

    For what it's worth the new to photography section here is the best place to start, and the tutorials cover everything you need to know as a beginner.

    And enjoy it! That's what a hobby is all about!
    Just clowning around

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    my mind feel more against peace with UV filter on lens... even on my Nifty 50.

    I think it still has value for keeping eg seaspray, oilspray, and dust away from Lens front element.

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    Filter Questions

    Nope

    Imagine if all the money you spend on good uv filters (after all you wouldn't buy cheap ones right) was spent instead on a slightly better tripod, a workshop, prints, business cards etc that ciuld actually improve your output ? Just imagine


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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    The past weekend I was shooting my BIL cutting down a tree, some times at close quarters sometimes further away, but the problem of swirling sawdust storms was omnipresent no matter where I stood.
    Sometimes I copped a small spray of used car engine oil, as the chain immediately spun up and released the first few excessive drops.

    lens(28-75) came out fighting fit and looking as good as new with a quick clean. The poor Siggy 10-20 was almost brown with the covering of sawdust it copped.. just sitting alone on the tripod for minutes at a time. D300 looked hilarious with the top LCD cover totally covered at one point.

    Gear isn't as fragile as some folks would lead you to believe. Wiping old engine oil off a lens is no mean feat in dusty conditions, but it came up perfectly clean and well lubricated for the next session.

    'Seaspray' is chickenfeed by comparison!

    The main point is that we each have our own ways of doing things, and as long as the person asking the question is receiving balanced feedback.. that can only be a good thing.

    The choice is then theirs to make.


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    I have one UV filter per lens just for protection, and i leave them one all the time

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