Several months after buying Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and Tokina 11-16 f2.8 II lenses, I finally bought Hoya UV filters for them. I had been avoiding buying UV filters for these lenses and had in fact stopped using filters on rest of my lenses (I had initially bought filters for all my lenses); because I felt these filters were detrimental to image quality.
So what made me spend money on something I believe will be detrimental to image quality?
Frankly speaking, I wasn’t being careful enough with my lenses and twice this month, my Tokina ended up with finger prints on its front element (despite using lens hood all the time). While I have Lenspen and lens cleaning tissue to clean the lenses and they do a wonderful job, I really do not want to clean front element of my expensive lenses frequently.
Add to that, I will be visiting Pushkar Camel Fair next month and while dust of Pushkar can easily be cleaned with a blower, jostling through the crowded streets of Pushkar and photographing parade and fire breathers often leads to much more than dust getting plastered on the front element of your lens and that is something I really want to avoid.
So even though I believe UV filters reduce amount of light hitting the lens, reduce sharpness and induce flares, I feel they are a necessary evil to have in your kit, which might not be used all the time, but only occasionally to protect the lens. After all, losing a Rs. 1500 filter is way more desirable than losing a Rs. 38,000 lens!
Nice link Dada. Having said that, I have noticed a slight difference between images shot with and without filters, hence I started shooting without them. While this might not be the case with ultra-expensive Hoya HD and similar filters, but at least in case of HMC, it does happen.
I used to be paranoid about using UV filters. I have some Hoyas, but think they mess with the auto-focus enough so that I’ve stopped using them altogether. If I’m shooting very close to running water, or in a very dusty place, then maybe, otherwise I’d prefer not to use a UV filter. Lens elements are pretty tough, was shooting a wedding once and go too close to someone who was lighting crackers. One bijli jumped out of the 1000-wala and hit my 50mm prime smack on the edge! I was very worried that it would start affecting image quality, but not a scratch.
Amit, that’s quite strange, I never faced this issue, even when using Canon 1000D and 55-250IS combo.
Used to happen in low light situations. But perhaps it could also be that I was blaming the filter too much for what might have been my own limitations as a photographer. Anyway, I hardly use UV filters these days and so far so good.
Hmmm… it could be due to flaring as well, though Hoya generally has that well in control.
Have you tried B+W schneider filters?
Digjoy, I haven’t tried them, because they are quite expensive and I am not comfortable with the idea of spending 8-9k on a UV filter.