Camera Filter(s)


Oct 15th, 2007, 09:17 AM
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Camera Filter(s)

For our Safari to Kenya & Tanzania in mid November what would be the best camera filter to take with us? I have the Sony H9 with a 74mm barrel thread, which only allows UV or circular polarization. But could go to step-down to 72mm and have more options on filters.

Thank you, David
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Oct 15th, 2007, 09:24 AM
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saridder is offline  
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Oct 15th, 2007, 11:28 AM
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David: I think that you need to be concerned about vignetting (i.e. cutting off the corners of your pictures) is you use step-down rings. I think you'll want to check on this before your trip. Bill.
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Oct 15th, 2007, 11:35 AM
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I did some more researching and I think the question is do I need both the UV filter for the night drives and the polarizing for the daytime drives. The Sony 74mm filter seems to be the best answer for functionality. I want filter for the dust concerns, but the polarizing filter may not work at night.

Thanks, David
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Oct 15th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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I don't like lens filters. Why do you want them?

regards - tom
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Oct 15th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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Oh, ok, for dust concerns. But the filter will get dusty just like a lens. Either one you'll have to clean. A filter just adds another problem for the lens doing its job. If it's dust you're worried about (and you should), clean the lens. Ok, now, why do you want a polarizing filter for daytime drives? I don't use one

regards - tom
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Oct 15th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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I agree with Tom that a filter isn't going to help with dust (and I also agree that they are generally more trouble than they are worth for wildlife photography). Some people use them to protect the front element of their lenses, but my own experience is that filters (especially UV filters) impair image quality, so I don't use them as a general matter.

I occasionally use a circular polarizing filter to heighten color saturation in the sky or to remove glare/reflections off water, but you can only use one in very bright light, as it takes about 2 stops of light away from the camera (i.e., it blocks about 75% of the light). This means that using one is very likely not be be helpful in taking wildlife pictures, and may very well cause you to miss shots because of slower shutter speeds. If you take one, plan on attaching it only for bright daylight landscape pictures and then taking it off for taking pictures of anything else.

There are other filters (like warming filters or gradutated neutral density filters) that can help with specific situations, but you can achieve most of the same effects in post-processing, which is where I prefer to do it anyway, rather than fooling with filters in the field while trying to capture an animal or bird doing something photo-worthy.

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Oct 16th, 2007, 07:23 AM
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Filters are not needed at all. Why spoil whatever lens you are using by putting cheap glass in front of it. Photoshop will allow you in most cases to add the equivalent of a filter.
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Oct 16th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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Filters will not help in keeping dust off off anything but obviously there can be dust on a filter. However a filter can protect a lens against scratches. I would rather lose a filter than a lens. Also who said to put a cheap filter on the camera? There are lots of high end filters that you can purchase that should not degrade the picture. However I agree, that if you do use a cheap filter, the picture may take a hit.

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