next up: lens filters? who uses?


Jan 28th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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next up: lens filters? who uses?

As you can see I'm on a bit of a photo jag. Phil, Kavey, Rocco, Thit Cho ... I know there are more of you and I'm sorry I can't recall all of your names! Do you put filters on your lenses? If so, which kind? UV, polarizer, etc?

thanks once again!
cooncat2 is offline  
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Jan 28th, 2006, 05:11 PM
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Yes, I use a polarizing filter, not only to enhance photos but also to protect the lens. If I was to bang the lens, I would only crack the inexpensive filer, not the lens. Fortunately, I haven't done so, but its affordable protection. Even if you get a clear filter, its well worth it to protect your more expensive lens.
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Jan 28th, 2006, 05:34 PM
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Thanks thit cho - I just bought a Hoya circular polarizer for my 17-85 and 70-200 f4L lenses. Will get one for the 100-400 as well. Is a polarizer more desirable/usable than a UV?

Thanks again!
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Jan 28th, 2006, 07:38 PM
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Hi Cooncat,

Use a CP with caution - you will lose a stop or more depending on settings. I use mine quite sparingly and usually when I'm shooting 90-degrees to the sun - especially when it's a bit high in the sky (to reduce glare).

I don't particularly like the enhanced colors that result with using a CP, tho it will make a blue sky look amazing with the right subject matter (usually a landscape).

I used to leave a warming filter (A2) on all my lenses when I shot film; however, now that I shoot only Raw, it doesn't make much sense any more.

I would recommed you just leave a UV/daylight filter on all lenses for protection.

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Jan 28th, 2006, 08:18 PM
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Thanks James - Duly noted!

I'll practice a lot before I go - but I think for the 100-400 I'll just get a UV filter.

Cheers~ Sharon
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Jan 28th, 2006, 09:17 PM
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For those using digital cameras, there really is no practical need for filtration. As someone mentioned, filters often reduce the light entering your camera and often lead to soft images due to camera shake.

Instead, use your white balance settings as a "filter pack" to tweak coloration as desired. I use the "cloudy" setting for all of my images, even in the sun. It acts as a warming filter. How do you know which setting to use? Simply try different settings and see which one provides the mood and meaning you seek.There are many other filters that can be applied to an image later in Photoshop as well.

As for using a filter for lens protection, if you are using a camera with a deep lens shade, it really is not necessary. It would take a direct frontal blow to scratch a lens, and most abrasions are caused by glancing blows. I used to use skylight filters on all my lenses back in my film years. I have not used a filter since moving to digital imaging in 2001.

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Jan 29th, 2006, 01:23 AM
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I use a UV/ skylight filter to protect the lens more than anything else. This stays on the lens pretty much permanently.

I use a circular polariser only when I need it - on a bright day when I want bring out a contrast between sky and cloud (and darken the sky), when I'm shooting water or other reflective surfaces and want to cut out some of the reflection.

Whilst you can do a HUGE amount in Photoshop this is the one filter that makes sense (to me) to use when actually taking the shot.

Everthing else, warm up filters, graduated ones and effect filters I don't use and would simply add the effect in Photoshop.

One other I might use on a city break but not a safari is a neutral density filter which cuts out some of the light but doesn't change the colour tint of anything. Why use it? On a bright, sunny day, if I want to get a crisp image of a particular view but to blur the people walking across it by using a long exposure, I'd be unable to do this without the ND filter. This is not a filter I'd take on safari. I only got it recently so I'm still playing/ learning.
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Jan 29th, 2006, 01:25 AM
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PS I agree 100% with Jweis - I would NOT advise leaving the CP on your camera all or even most of the time. It will lose you a stop plus you don't really want it in most situations.

BUT I don't think you should be without it in your kit - it's not so easy to add the affect of a CP in Photoshop, even for an advanced user.
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Jan 29th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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On my safaris, I've found that a circular polariser is the only filter I use (other than a UV filter to protect the lens). The warming filter, ND filter, etc just stay in their cases and take up space -- I'm ditching them for my next trip, though they can be fun to use at home.

On problem with switching to DSLR is needing different filter sizes for all the new lenses I bought...

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Jan 29th, 2006, 11:57 AM
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Thanks again everyone. I wouldn't leave the filter on all the time. I bought the c polarizer for my 17-85 which I'll use mostly for landscapes and I figure this might be more in mid-day when the sun is harsh. For my 100-400 I think I'll just get a UV for protection from dust, etc., to help keep its value. Getting excited now......
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Jan 29th, 2006, 01:06 PM
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It sounds like you are taking the same 2 lenses I'm planning to take (2 bodies):
A 300D with a 100-400 and
a 300D with a 17-85 lens.

How are you carrying your equipment - backpack, shoulder case, or ???

Looking for recommendations - which also work on a plane! Ideas?

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Jan 29th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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Hi Boomer! I bought a Lowepro Minitrekker. I hope it will be big enough for everything. It's not all that big! I also will bring a 200F 2.8L with me, and I think I'm taking my flash. We'll see. Good luck!
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Jan 29th, 2006, 05:24 PM
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We had 2 lens mishaps on my photo safari. One guy dropped his 70-200 f/2.8 and the UV filter broke but not the lens. The filter ring must have been bent a little also because he couldn't unscrew it and he ended up using a pair of tweezers to pick out the glass. He left the metal ring on it until he got home.

The other "little" mishap was one of the guys had his tripod strapped to the side of the vehicle with his camera and a 600mm f/4.0 attached. We were driving down the road and the whole camera slid off the tripod and hit the ground. Thankfully the road was sandy because there was no damage to the camera or lens. How amazing is that. That lens (not including camera) weighs 11.5 lbs.

I agree with the others, UV filter.
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Jan 29th, 2006, 10:23 PM
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Hi All,
I do not like to use a filter simply because it is more glass and can cause optical problems of many kinds. I am a big fan of lense shades to keep extraneous light away from the glass. It also adds some lens protection from bumping and dust. Notice the pro photographers at sporting events, they all use lense shades. I have dropped lenses and a filter would have made no difference to the damage. If the lense gets dirty, I carefully clean it. Having said all this, it is all rather academic for 99.9999% of the snapshot pictures I've seen. Do whatever makes you feel good.
regards - tom
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