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Clear UV Filters - yay or nay?

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#1 Lizard Leg

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 11:20 AM

I have always put a clear UV filter on my lenses in an effort to keep the front element as clean and damage free as possible, but recently read a report / watched a video where this person says this is not required and can also be slightly detrimental to your photos, with proof.




Video link here - skip to 7:47 to see the section on clear filters as lens protectors.


#2 Kraken de Mabini

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:01 PM

Interesting.  When underwater, I take off the lens filter as the lens is protected by the housing, and cap thelens when outside the housing.  When travelling, I carry my lenses in a shoulder bag, each enclosed in its bag, with a filter and cap screwed on. The YouTube narrator has a good point, and I will take off the filter when shooting.  When not shooting, the filter does protect the lens from finger prints and dust, should the lens cap have been left off.   Thank you for bringing this to the attention of us Wetpixelers.

#3 Cerianthus


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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:03 PM

No use underwater. There is a port as well.

Above water, use a hood



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#4 Undertow


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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:36 PM

A big 'nay' to that one, both topside and UW. Not watched the linked video but I stopped using UV filters years ago. Even good quality filters can be detrimental to the image, seen it myself. Also, in many years of topside shooting, haven't yet felt the front of a lens threatened as to require protection.


Lens hoods however are a different story. When you drop your camera, as I've done multiple times, it will impact on one corner of the body and on the front of the lens. A hood will save the lens. An L-plate likely helps absorb the camera-end of the impact too. 

Edited by Undertow, 02 January 2018 - 12:37 PM.

#5 divengolf


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Posted 02 January 2018 - 01:04 PM

Virtually all of the pros that I've shoot with on land recommend that UV or other clear filters not be used. I think that the same thinking would apply UW. I only use a UV filter when shooting is a dusty or sandy environment. Plus I carry a small (1") paint brush in my pocket to clean the lens frequently.


I also agree with undertow on using lens hoods. good protection with no negative impact on the image.

#6 bvanant


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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:21 PM

Go over to the lens rentals blog and look for the articles on filters. I  think the takeaway is that cheap filters can mess up your images but most good filters are no worse than your best port. In any case, there are times to use them and times to not.




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#7 brianbirdimaging


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Posted 24 January 2018 - 08:25 AM


#8 ChrigelKarrer


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Posted 14 March 2018 - 09:52 AM

i never use any filters on my cameras.
They had a reason to be used once a time where cameras had films, today the same effect can be archieved in post processing.
Yes, they can protect the front lens and better scratching a 50$ uv filter than a 1500$ lens, but the best is to not scartch anything... an this worked for me the last 45 years
The only useful use would be ND filters, but not under water.

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