Jump to content

To use a filter or not to use a filter on a lens?

Recommended Posts

I'm using filters on my lenses for the following reasons:

 - If you buy good quality filters, the impact on the optical quality of the lens in my opinion is negligible (like 0.3% light loss and almost zero additional ghosting/flare).

 - I clean my lenses quite often. Even when first blowing/brushing off dust before a wet wipe, you'll inadvertedly cause abrasion on the front element. In time, the degradation of the coating on this element will have adverse effects on image quality as well. Replacing a front filter is cheap, replacing a front lens element not so much.

 - Don't expect the filter glass to protect your front element from a direct impact with a solid object, but having some metal ring protruding beyond the front element certainly helps in keeping it from harm. A lot of impact energy can be dissipated by the deformation of the filter ring before wrecking the front of your lens. Always keeping the lens hood on also helps here.

- Resale value: a minor scratch on the front element (e.g. by accidentally rubbing a grain of sand over the lens while cleaning it) won't affect image quality much, but it severely affects resale value.

Have a read here, you might find it interesting:


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Have a read at that link I posted, some good ones there. Filters always affect image quality, but good quality filters have such incredibly small influence that - in my opinion - the influence is negligible.

Some people however just don't accept anything that might affect image quality. Filters are not for them.

Edited by Pieter
Link to post
Share on other sites

I only use a filter when it produces an effect I want or to experiment on what results a new filter type gives.

There is no evidence that significant protection is gained from normal UV type filters so I rarely use them on digital (film is highly UV sensitive so I do  use them for film). Many experiments show that impact damage can be increased by such a filter, but with salt spray etc their protection is meaningful.

I regularly use infra red filters, polarisers, & (at least fairly often) one of a host of more exotic filters. I typically get huge differences from using filters :)

With most lenses I find the IQ effect from using cheap old filters to be perfectly acceptable, but on my 150-500 and other very long focal length lenses regular filters can give visual problems.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Posts

    • Hi there. I have a similar issue with my ZV1, I think? It's annoying - to the point where I'm wondering if I a have a fault with my device and am considering returning it under warrantee. I use it to film yoga instructional videos. They are sometimes 90 minutes long. I know that inorder to run for this length of time, the camera needs to be plugged into the mains. So I plug the camera into the mains and double check that the mains charge is showing - the battery icon confirms this : it has a little plug symbol beside it. So - I should be good to go. However.  The camera still turns off after an hour or so, saying the battery is flat. Interrupting the filming. Which ruins the whole video. At that point, if I go back to the camera now its battery is flat and pull out the charging cable from the mains and put it back in again, I can continue recording for 90 minutes plus as required. My issue is: the Sony ZV1 is not using the mains while the battery is charged. It continues to run on battery power. Then switches itself off (infuriatingly). And then - only at that point when I plug it in again and turn it on again does it start using the mains as it's power source. I'm 99% sure this is what is taking place but still on a learning curve are trying many workarounds this problem... not of which have been successful yet. I'd really appreciate some help with this. The next thing I'm going to check is deliberately flattening the battery before I start filming. But this seems a clumsy workaround. Otherwise - absolutely loving this camera! A huge improvement on my old camera. But only if I can RELY on it! Best wishes Frances  
    • From direct comparison on an American site and from what I can tell from reviews, it looks like the Tamron F2.8 SP Di USD will be my choice over the Sony. The optics appear to be very similar, but the Tamron's USD focussing appears to be quieter and as quick (although not as accurate in low light). So the main factors for me are: Apparently the Sony was optimised for cropped sensor, although advertised for use with full frame as well.  Weather sealing (Yes on the Tamron, no on the Sony) and the colour of the body is more discreet - and, of course, it's £100 cheaper. If the Sony SSM II was in my budget, that would be a different story. Anyway, when I've taken the plunge I'll let you know if I'm happy with the choice!
    • Just an update to this, I have updated to firmware 1.02, but I get still get the 2nd base ISO at 10000. It seems that I have the only A7Siii in the world that does this😬😬
    • I got a new Sony RX 100VII but I will keep the 100II. I have been looking into the specifications of both chargers but didn't come to a conclusion. Since teh batteries and the same, can I use the charger of the most recent camera to charge the old one ? Thank you !  
    • I have this problem as well. Glad to see I'm not the only one but it appears like this is a common issue. Sorry to respond 4 years later but I'm hoping to resurrect this now to see if there's been a solution since 4 years ago!
  • Topics

  • Create New...