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Thread: Which Clear Filter for 16-35mm f/2.8L II to Maintain Weatherproofing?

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    Member markjaffa's Avatar
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    Question Which Clear Filter for 16-35mm f/2.8L II to Maintain Weatherproofing?

    Title pretty much says it all. A Canon 16-35mm II needs a filter screwed in the front to complete the seal of the lens. I dont subscribe to the UV-Filter-as-a-protector approach, so I am after a 82mm Clear filter - unless someone has a better suggestion! Which filter manufacturer has the best Clear filters?
    Canon 5D Mk II - gripped, Samyang 14mm f2.8, Canon 16-35mm f2.8L, 50mm f1.2L, 100mm Macro f2.8L, 70-200mm IS II f2.8L, Gitzo CF tripod and Gitzo CF monopod, Acratech GP Ballhead, Manfrotto Video Fluid Head, Intervalometer, and lots of other stuff!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Canon pretty much say that for most of their lenses, be assured the lens is fairly well protected ascis, and unless you are going to use it in really dusty or wet environments you don't need anything. Every bit of glass or plastic you place in front of your lens(es) degrades the resultanant image quality. There is no such thing as 'flawless' glass, and therefore the less you add, the better
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    not sure about 'clear filters' but im fairly sure you wont be able to tell the difference between a UV and clear filter, and UV filtes are a bit more common.

    Hoya HD filters are quite good, the ring feels good quality and the glass has coatings tat are not too hard to clean.
    I have 3 Hoya HD filters for my lenses if I am in questionable conditions, and they work well. I have not seen IQ degregaton, and I do not feel it has added to any focus inconsistancies.
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    Canon pretty much say that for most of their lenses, be assured the lens is fairly well protected ascis, and unless you are going to use it in really dusty or wet environments you don't need anything
    Unfortunately this lens isnt sealed without a front filter. This is a quote from the Canon Manual for this lens -
    "Since the front element of this lens moves when zooming, you need to attach a Canon PROTECT filter sold seperately for adequate dust-and water-resistant performance. Without a filter, the lens is not dust or water resistant."

    If Canon make PROTECT filters, then I guess anon think they would be the way to go. Makes you wonder why the lens doesnt incorporate this extra glass in its design.
    Thanks fabian628 - HOYA make a HD Protection Filter which I think woud be clear glass. I will check them out.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    If you look at the manual for most lenses, they are not 'sealed'. Just moving the zoom sucks air in or pushes air out, of a lens. You cannot protect a lens 100% from the elements.
    Last edited by ricktas; 05-03-2011 at 12:42pm.

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    This is true, but since the 16-35 does not need to extended outside of what the front filter covers when zooming, if you put a filter on, theoretically you are not changing the volume of the lens when you zoom, so no air would need to be sucked it, it should just move around into different places in the lens. I may be completely wrong, as i dont have the 16-35

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    If you look at the manual for most lenses, they are not 'sealed'
    I am sure you are right Rick, but I am only concerned about the 16-35mm II.

    You cannot protect a lens 100% from the elements
    Again, I reckon you are correct, but when the manufacturers manual for the specific lens says you need a filter to complete the sealing - to the level it is designed for, not IP68 levels - then IMHO it would be silly to disregard their recommendations.

    fabian628 is correct - the front element does not extend past the front filter threads. So having a filter installed prevents the lens from sucking in dusty/wet air when zooming(only in one direction obviously - the other direction would force air out). The air would move from the filter/front element space to somewhere behind the front element.

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    Buy a quality filter and use it when you consider the lens may be at risk. Any other time, take it off when the hood goes on.
    For the record, I belong to the "always have a UV filter on group", but I am now in therapy and follow the above
    though I also use polarisers and ND. regards

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    ricktas i'm not sure why you are being difficult, i guess you just don't like UV filters, which is fair enough.
    If the OP wants to complete the weather seal on his lens, he needs to add a filter. fact.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmack View Post
    ricktas i'm not sure why you are being difficult, i guess you just don't like UV filters, which is fair enough.
    If the OP wants to complete the weather seal on his lens, he needs to add a filter. fact.
    I don't see it as Rick being difficult, more that he is pointing out that which is pretty common sense and widely observed and that is that adding glass/plastic elements in front of the original parts of a lens has been shown in some to many cases to adversely affect image quality.
    As for the question of what to use for the "ultimate" sealing of the lens then if one wants to maintain 100% genuine quality then one should simply bite the bullet wallet credit card and purchase the Canon specified filter.
    The question about why they don't include the filter as standard seems to be pretty much the same as why they don't include lens hoods with some of their lenses when just about all other manufacturers do and that is to make it appear as if their lenses aren't all that expensive compared to the rest of the makers.
    Last edited by I @ M; 05-03-2011 at 4:28pm.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmack View Post
    ricktas i'm not sure why you are being difficult, i guess you just don't like UV filters, which is fair enough.
    If the OP wants to complete the weather seal on his lens, he needs to add a filter. fact.
    I am not being difficult, just pointing out that under most conditions the filter is not necessary. Fact!

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    100% genuine quality then one should simply bite the bullet wallet credit card and purchase the Canon specified filter
    Funnily enough, the Canon PROTECT filter is the cheapest one available. Sub $100 RRP for an 82mm size, and around $80 from Oz retailers. Unusual for original Canon to be cheapest, isnt it?

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markjaffa View Post
    Funnily enough, the Canon PROTECT filter is the cheapest one available. Sub $100 RRP for an 82mm size, and around $80 from Oz retailers. Unusual for original Canon to be cheapest, isnt it?
    Well, if you consider paying another $80.00 or so for a piece of glass that should really have been built in or at least supplied with the lens in the first place as cheap then I guess it is.

    I guees that Canon must just consider it to be a "consumable" and to be replaced when it becomes chipped pitted or scratched through it not being made particularly tough glass.
    The very fact that it is a user removable and replaceable item suggest that Canon consider that it should maybe only be used when you are photographing under adverse weather conditions and at all other times it should be left off.
    Perhaps they also feel that IQ may take a negative hit if the rather expensive bit of plain glass is left on the lens.

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    I dont consider $80 to be all that cheap. But considering that third party 82mm Protector Filters eg Hoya/B+W are up around $180 at a local camera shop - well $80 seems like a bargain in comparison!

    Canon should have supplied the lens with the clear protector because it is required to complete the seal - after all the lens' RRP is around $2000. I think everyone who expressed the opinion that the filter should only be used when its necessary (very humid, raining, dusty, etc.) is correct. But it would be stupid not to have one to use in those conditions. And I like to shoot in the rain, the Tropics, in the salt spray zone on windy days, and dusty locations.

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