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Thread: Which Filter To Buy

  1. #1

    Default Which Filter To Buy

    In the days of film I would plop a UV or skylight filter to protect my lens and enhance sky views.
    I was planning on getting a new lens for my Canon DSLR and the shop offered a Hoya filter FOC. I became confused when he showed me the various types.
    I would like to ask the experts here which filter is best for general DIGITAL photography.
    UV, Skylight, Neutral or there was evev one polarizing plus UV combined I think.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Filter To Buy

    If you've used filters before, you of all people should know that different filters are used for different purposes.
    A circular polarizer is brilliant for bringing out deep blue skies when the sun is 90degrees to you.
    But you'd be quite daft to use it for portrait photography, for example [maybe someone will prove me wrong on this point...]

    So there really is no BEST filter for general photography. The best filter is no filter in that case.
    Exploring! :)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Which Filter To Buy

    UV filters are not really necessary for dSLRs, more pertinent to film cameras, reason being that current sensors are not as sensitive to UV as most film was. Also, most dSLRs already have an in-built UV filter over the sensor. CPLs are a kind of special purpose filter as you already know, with a wide variety of usage from cutting down reflection to increasing contrast in skies.

    Try B+W, Hoya HD, Nikon NC - won't go wrong with these, except they tend to be slightly more pricey, but with many layers of multi-coating they are extremely easy to clean. The free Hoya they proffered to you is probably uncoated and not going to be very easy to clean, and probably slightly more prone to ghosting and flares. Weigh your image quality needs/ dust abhorence level to determine if you need better quality filters.

    Maybe if my lens is a walkabout lens that is relatively cheaper (e.g. 50mm f/1.8), I would use a cheaper filter, as opposed to a lens that offers greater image quality (e.g. 24-70mm f/2.8), I would probably shell out more money for a better built B+W?

    As mentioned, arguably the best filter for optimum image quality is no filter, depends on how pristine you want your equipment to remain...
    Nikonian since 2003
    F55 | D700

  4. #4

    Default Re: Which Filter To Buy

    Buy ND4 Filter and CPL and your good to go..

  5. #5

    Default Re: Which Filter To Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    If you've used filters before, you of all people should know that different filters are used for different purposes.
    So there really is no BEST filter for general photography. The best filter is no filter in that case.
    I am well aware of effect of filters on film.
    But I am not quite clear on the effect on digital cameras that is why I use cap lock on the word digital.

    What I really want is a filter that will protect my expensive piece of glass without affecting the final picture and I was wondering about the effect of the various filters on the digital picture

  6. #6

    Default Re: Which Filter To Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by pangolin88 View Post
    I am well aware of effect of filters on film.
    But I am not quite clear on the effect on digital cameras that is why I use cap lock on the word digital.

    What I really want is a filter that will protect my expensive piece of glass without affecting the final picture and I was wondering about the effect of the various filters on the digital picture
    Get a UV/Haze/Skylight/Clear Protector filter. They don't affect the final picture too much

    I always have one on. physical protection as well as reducing of UV rays, this is especially so if you are shooting at high altitude (e.g. mountainous landscape)
    Playing with M43.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Filter To Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by pangolin88 View Post
    I am well aware of effect of filters on film.
    But I am not quite clear on the effect on digital cameras that is why I use cap lock on the word digital.

    What I really want is a filter that will protect my expensive piece of glass without affecting the final picture and I was wondering about the effect of the various filters on the digital picture
    well your first sentence was to "enhance sky views", which is a term i'm unfamiliar with.
    If you want something that protects your front element but simply "gets out of the way of taking photos", then I suppose Akatsuki's suggestion is right on the money.
    Exploring! :)

  8. #8
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Filter To Buy

    In digital the main difference is that you can change a lot of things during post processing. SO the questions is: what effects or details can be changed later? - For those things you don't need a filter. Which things cannot be achieved later? - Here you need a filter.
    Most commonly used filters are CPL (one simply needs to cut the polarization layers that are unwanted) and ND / GND. Skylight filters are warming filters - warming in digital terms is "White Balance". So by adjusting your cameras White Balance to "Sunny" you will get already a warming effect (further details are in your manual).
    UV filters don't have any real function anymore as mentioned before. Keep in mind that marketing and convenience is a driving factor for the production of filters. Not all what's offered is really needed but the phrase "It's more convenient" seems to reach consumer's brain faster than the logic whether they really need a function.
    EOS

  9. #9

    Default Re: Which Filter To Buy

    so is it good to say tat a 50mm f1.8mm used to take potraits is better off with a cpl filter rather than jus a uv filter?

  10. #10
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Filter To Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by xrawrxx View Post
    so is it good to say tat a 50mm f1.8mm used to take potraits is better off with a cpl filter rather than jus a uv filter?
    Which posting in this thread makes you come to that conclusion?
    Secondly, the 50mm f/1.8 has a recessed front element, the lens itself has a small 'hood'. The distance between front element and filter invites flare. If you need this in your composition then it's fine.
    EOS

  11. #11
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Filter To Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by xrawrxx View Post
    so is it good to say tat a 50mm f1.8mm used to take potraits is better off with a cpl filter rather than jus a uv filter?
    NO.

    You normally DO NOT need to add a CP-L filter unless you need specific polarisation of the scene.

    And anyway as pointed out, you normally would not need a filter for a 50mm f1.8
    Michael Lim
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