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Thread: Filters??

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    Account Closed JamesDoylePhoto's Avatar
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    Filters??

    Filters and do we need them with digital photography?

    I don't believe you have to have a filter on your lens all the time, eg; for protection. In fact I only regularly use two or three types of filters. A circular polarizing filter and circular ND filters and sometimes I will use a split graduated ND filter. The only time I put a clear type filter on the lens is if I'm working at the beach with salt spray or sand blowing.

    My recommendations for filters is buy the very best you can afford and in the size of the biggest lens you think you will buy....in most cases this would be 77mm. The reason? Well you only have to buy the one filter to fit all lenses when used with step-up rings (imagine the savings there if you own two or three lenses)...Put the money you save towards the best quality filter you can afford.

    Get rid of the plastic cases that filters are sold in...these cases tend to "out gas" (the foggy film that you see on filters when left in their case for any period of time) and buy yourself some "stack-caps" these are cheap and protect your valuable filters and don't "out gas" PLUS if you follow my recommendation and buy all one size of filters, you screw all your filters together...as one and fit the caps. Overall a far neater and functional solution.

    Just some helpful thoughts!

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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    Now that is very interesting. Outgas, I had not used my CPL For a while and when I used it the other week it had a really bad film on it and I am still trying to get fully clean. He was so hard to rmove I actually thought it was lens coating deterioration and was almost about to bin it for a new one.
    Do you have a recommendation for cleaning as the micro cloth just isn't cutting it and does the same happen with ND Cokin filters considering the nature of the plastic used for the filter.

    Interesting post. Thanks
    Last edited by mikew09; 20-06-2011 at 7:30am.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikew09 View Post
    Now that is very interesting. Outgas, I had not used my CPL For a while and when I used it the other week it had a really bad film on it and I am still trying to get fully clean. He was so hard to rmove I actually thought it was lens coating deterioration and was almost about to bin it for a new one.
    Do you have a recommendation for cleaning as the micro cloth just isn't cutting it and does the same happen with ND Cokin filters considering the nature of the plastic used for the filter.

    Interesting post. Thanks
    Hi Mike?

    Cokin and Singh-Ray filters are actually resin filters and you need to be very careful cleaning them...I would recommend that you use only the cleaning method they recommend, as they can scratch very easy. I don't have any real experience with the Cokin but I think the cases are somewhat safe from out gassing and of course they are rectangular i'm sure you couldn't get stack caps for them.

    With regards to your CPL, depending on the type/brand you have there are a number of factors to consider, if it is a Hoya or a simular "cheaper" brand and it has multi coating then it is usually a "soft coating" and the filter itself could be a resin...if that is the case then it will be a "bin job" because you will more than likely remove the multi coating whilst trying to clean the "scum" off. If it's a high quality glass filter than you maybe able to salvage it as the multi coating is normally a "hard coating" like on your lenses. Try using very carefully, with the finest lens cleaning cloth some lighter fluid or better still some Pec Pad wipes with Pec 12 Photographic Emulsion Cleaner, and if that doesn't clean it then it will be a "bin job".

    Many many years ago I lost serveral filters because of this out gassing but since I started using Glass filters and stackcaps I haven't had any problems...I have a CPL which is now nearly 20 years old and as good as the day I purchased it.

    I go back to my original point of the posting and that is if you buy the very best filter and look after them they will last a lifetime of faithful service.

    Hope this helps.

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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    Just had a look at my filters - two UV's and my CPL - all pretty back film on the surface. Mind the UV's have been in the case for heaven knows how long. Only bought them in case I went to the beach or such so never used but the film is very obvious (pretty bad). Will see how I go cleaning them but they are all Hoya ( cheapies) so may very well take your advise and buy a couple good quality 77mm and a step up ring.
    No evident of of out gasing on my ND Grads at all but they do come out of the case at least once a week if not more. Even so, when I purchase some good quality grads and ND I may buy one of those material style filter cases.

    Any recommendation of brand for filters and ND's - I have heard Lee are suposed to be very good and will still filt my cokin holder (or so they say).

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesDoylePhoto View Post
    Filters and do we need them with digital photography?
    Polarisers, ND filters and neutral grads? Yes; these are all useful, and in many cases essential.

    UV and 'protection' filters? No.

    Colour-balancing filters? No.

    Gimmicky filters (eg, starburst)? No.

    On the issue of UV and 'protection' filters, a while ago I wrote a fairly long article outlining why the use of these is not a good idea.

    If you're interested in my reasoning (and my experience), the thread is here:

    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...-of-UV-filters

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    Hi great topic, could you tell me what brand you call good, or recommend, my local store only sells Hoya and Kenko.
    Thanks
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    Xenedis thanks for the link to your article.

    As to recommendations for filters, Oh boy, now you put me in a position :-) As I adopted the recommendations myself about 10 years ago and still have the same filters, I'm not fully up on the new trends in filters but I could suggest my logic if I need to buy a new filter.

    I personally would only buy Brand Named filters, First I would try to buy a Nikon filter (as that is what I shoot) or if I shot Canon I would try to get their filter and as I said I would buy a 77mm size (all my lenses are already 77mm) but if you have different size filter requirements then buy stepup rings for each lens.

    Yes I realise that they are expensive something like $150 odd dollars for a CPL but they are of the highest quality and if looked after them will last a lifetime. And because you are only buying one filter to fit all your lenses the real cost is reduced.

    You may have to buy Brand named filters online from a reputable store such as B&H in the US. For ND filters Singh-Ray filters are excellent also, if you need a rectangular their filters fit the cokin holders.

    Hope that helps

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    I cannot say I've ever purchased a camera-branded filter.

    Come to think of it, I cannot say I've ever seen one; but I certainly don't need a Canon-branded filter because my camera and lenses are all Canon-branded.

    My creative filters (GNDs and NDs) are Lee, my polariser is a Cokin, and I have a Hoya HMC screw-mount ND8 as well.

    Definitely opt for quality multi-coated filters if you're going for the screw-mount variety. For creative filters, Lee and Singh-Ray produce great filters, but they are considerably expensive.

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    After leaving the UV filter on my lens, and after you pointed out that it really isn't necessary to have it on there for 'protection' (thanks for that, btw! ), I got to thinking, "well, what is it good for??". Obviously, just for protection from the sand and surf!

    I love your idea of only having one lens and the step-up rings. Ingenious! Unfort I just spent money on a Cokin filter kit, two square ND filters and two CPL in two different sizes! Maybe once they have broken, gunked up or whatever, I will change to your suggestion!
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    Don't for gods sake waste your uv filters, they make GREAT coffee cup coasters
    Last edited by kiwi; 20-06-2011 at 9:38pm.
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    All are valid points, as I said I haven't had to buy filters for such a long time, I'm somewhat out of the picture what is available on the market these days.

    Lee and Tiffen filters have been around for donkey years and are standards in the motion picture industry and are of the highest standard.

    When I was mentioning using Nikon or Canon filters, I wasn't suggesting that you were better off using them exclusively (they were just what I purchased at the time I needed them) my point was that they are glass, hard coated and colour neutural...some of the cheap filters have a colour cast as a result to lack of quality control. I was recommending glass filters for your circular filters as they are easier to clean and look after. To the best of my knowledge most of the square or rectangular filters are resin due to the costs and weight (of the larger size) and you pay more for the brand named filters because of the quality control in manufacture.

    Cokin has been known for many years in some of their Grad ND filters to have a slight colour cast, which can be corrected in post production but something to be aware of....Don't get me wrong they are good filters from what I have been told and many photographers were introduced to filters using Cokin.

    Like everything, you have to find what works for you and you can afford, it is rare in photography to have the perfect tool for every situation. I just want to bring to peoples attention the problem of "out gassing" and some solutions to the problem as even "cheap" filters can be expensive for some people and to have it ruin by outgassing could wear thin after a while. Like most things, if you buy quality first and look after your gear you can have it give a life time of service and save you money.

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    All extremely valid points and completely understand. But I still use them for my gear because I have scratched the front element of a lens and while it didn't do anything to the image quality, it p!ssed me off.

    The problem is, much of my photography is climbing related and as a result there are a lot of times when my camera is hanging around my neck or shoulder and comes close to my climbing harness with a bunch of metal equipment swinging around with it. What I believe happened when I scratched a front element was while it was over my shoulder, some metal gear swung up into the lens hood and scratched the front element. It's not always convenient to put the lens cap back on due to having to move quickly so I rely on the filter to provide some protection.

    I've also been know to accidentally scratch my camera around on rocks when trying to move quickly at the top of a cliff line and on something wide like my 16-35 the hood isn't going to offer much protection.

    I can live with the possible IQ loss and lets face it, if I drop a lens while doing climbing shots, it's not going to survive regardless if it has a filter on it or not since it'll probably be falling from some height.

    So just giving a different perspective to this discussion.
    Last edited by mikec; 21-06-2011 at 11:00pm.

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    Some lens REQUIRE a filter to complete their sealing - Canons 16-35 f2.8L MK II and 50mm f1.2L both state this in their manuals. So sometimes you dont have a choice - unless leaving the filter off and perhaps getting dust/moisture/mould growing inside is a "choice"
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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    Again, great topic, interesting and informative. Much with our horses I take advise from everyone and compile what I think is valid. I decided some time ago that uv filters where of no benefit, infact the mid priced uv I did have reduced IQ on my lens. Resently bought a Cokin grad nd filter kit and for the price I think fair gear. Have not noticed colour cast with them yet but sure I will soon enough the at others comments.
    I did resurrect my CPL filter and will purchase the filter stack ends this week. Will also take the advice of using a step up ring and standardizing on 77 mm filters. Probably repeating myself but I found the information very helpful.
    Probably do the same as other now - as I need I will replace with quality filters.

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    It is worth mentioning that Hoya make a huge range of filters, and the top-quality Hoyas are somewhere up near the best you can buy. Mind you, the price is up there too.

    Me, I have a couple of Hoya CPLs (both decent but from before their recent releases of better ones again) and a B&W CPL which is superb. Nothing against the better-model Hoyas, happy to use them, but the B&W is clearly the pick of them. Note that B&W also make a fairly wide range and I have no particular reason to think that their cheapies are any different to the Kenkos and Hoyas in the same price range. The best one though, it really is the best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by markjaffa View Post
    Some lens REQUIRE a filter to complete their sealing - Canons 16-35 f2.8L MK II and 50mm f1.2L both state this in their manuals. So sometimes you dont have a choice - unless leaving the filter off and perhaps getting dust/moisture/mould growing inside is a "choice"
    A lack of weather sealing doesn't mean this is an outcome.

    In Canon's lineup, only L-series lenses have weather sealing, and not all L-series lenses do.

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesDoylePhoto View Post

    Cokin and Singh-Ray filters are actually resin filters and you need to be very careful cleaning them...I would recommend that you use only the cleaning method they recommend, as they can scratch very easy.
    Not wrong there. Though very expensive, Singh-Ray filters should probably be replaced every couple of years. Ideally. Though on the other hand, I dropped one of mine into a creek a couple of years ago and put a great scratch right down the middle of it, which has made no discernible difference to IQ, on any combination of lens and aperture.

    And Cokin filters, though popular, are just horrible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    A lack of weather sealing doesn't mean this is an outcome.

    In Canon's lineup, only L-series lenses have weather sealing, and not all L-series lenses do.
    I understand that a lack of weather sealing doesnt mean that you will definitely get dust/moisture/mould inside your lens without a filter - but when you shoot in dusty conditions and the rain, as I do, its pretty likely!

    I dont know if you are familiar with these particular lenses, but Canon state that these lens are fully weather sealed - BUT only with the addition of a front filter. I am not suggesting this is the case for any other Canon L lenses, because the only other L's I own are weather sealed as is. I have read elsewhere that some other L's do require filters to complete the weather sealing, but I cant confirm that.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markjaffa View Post
    Some lens REQUIRE a filter to complete their sealing
    Just so. These are:
    • 16-35/2.8L
    • 16-35/2.8L II
    • 17-40/4L
    • 50/1.2L


    All the others are either fully sealed as-is, or not sealed. Note that you need a sealed body as well - essentially just the 1 Series pro models. (Not sure about the 7D. Certainly not the 5D or any of the XXD models.)

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    I've only just got filters for the first time ever this year. I've always had that UV one over the lens (because it came with the camera), more as protection rather than anything else. Like another poster said, I get quite adventurous with some of my treks over rocks and through bushes and often on the beach, and for peace of mind I'm much happier just having that UV one on front. Not so much for photo-enhancement reasons, but just basic protection.

    Due to financial limitations I have purchased Hoya exclusively so far. A couple of ND8, a couple of GND ones and also a CPL the other day, just because. Not sure I'll ever use the CPL, though. At the moment I keep them in a special little folder, with sleeves for each lens. It's not ideal, but it's space friendly and allows me to keep them with me when I have the camera and bag. So far I've dropped 3 filters on rocks and in a rockpool, so the concept of spending a lot of money on a filter sadly just wouldn't work with me. I don't trust myself that much!

    As for sizes, I have my 18-200mm Canon Lens and at the moment that's all I need. So each filter so far has been 72mm because that's the only size I need.

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