Degradation of Photo Quality - Using UV(0) Filter


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Dec 6, 2004
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#1
I just did a comparison by shooting with and without my Coikin UV(O) filter. The difference is quite significant. The filter washes out the colour of my photo (indoor shot of stained window at St Andrew's Cathedral) quite siginificantly!

Is Cokin a "bad" filter, or does this happen to all UV(0) filters? Are there "good" UV(0) filters which do not cause significant degradation of photo quality?

Thanks for reading....
 

ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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#2
but any filter will protect your precious lens front element
if you think it is not important
next time try selling off an expensive lens that has front element scratched
suddenly your expensive lens is like worthless

buy a B+W filter and shoot again

your test may not be 100% fool proof
you may be taking at a slightly different angle when taking 2nd shot
 

#4
simonquek said:
I just did a comparison by shooting with and without my Coikin UV(O) filter. The difference is quite significant. The filter washes out the colour of my photo (indoor shot of stained window at St Andrew's Cathedral) quite siginificantly!

Is Cokin a "bad" filter, or does this happen to all UV(0) filters? Are there "good" UV(0) filters which do not cause significant degradation of photo quality?

Thanks for reading....
I don't know about colkin, but I use Tokina UV(0) filter on my D50 & Konix UV filter on my F65. Don't seem to have any effect on my photos. As far as I know, UV filters will only have some effects at high altitude. In usual circumstances, it should not have any effect on the photos. Perhaps the angle is out or some other reasons?
 

slaam

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#5
hmm IMHO since its indoor i have to venture a guess that its cos of different exposure
mind posting the two pics with aperture and shutter info?

any pic that's overexposed will look washed out. conversely underexposing will make the pic more saturated in colors.

changes in lighting conditions and shifting of the composition all affect the metering.
unless your camera uses the UV lighting or there's strong UV lighting there.. I dun think there will be a difference ... see here http://www.thkphoto.com/products/hoya/gf-01.html
anyway cokin is a reputable brand dun think their stuff will be shoddy
 

Dec 21, 2005
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#6
I did a few experiments to guage the quality of image with / without UV filters. During night time there was no substantial difference except for the fact that pictures with the UV filter ON appeared to be comparitively darker. However, this morning I took two photos, one with UV filter and the other one without it within 1 minute of each other. The camera position and exposure was identical (however the position may appear slightly different due to cropping). The configuration as follows:

Lens: EF 50mm / 1.8
Camera: EOS 350D
Aperture: 8
Shutter: 1/100

The sun was almost 20-30 degrees on the left and well blocked by a huge wall on my side.

The left picture below is the WITHOUT the filter, and the right one is taken with Konix 52mm UV filter:



It is quite apparent that with the filter, the image looks quite washed out when compared to the image without the filter. The image is much more brighter and has significantly lower contrast than the original one. This comparison might not be 100% accurate as there is a chance that sunlight might have changed its intensity coz of clouds during that short 1 minute span.

I know this KONIX filter is a cheapy one which I purchased after being fooled by a salesman coz at that time I didn't even know what these UV filters are good for.:embrass:

Now since I am planning to buy the 17-40L lens to replace my kit lens, I am confused as to whether should I buy a good quality filter (e.g. B+W) or not at all ? I need it only for protection purpose against dust, fingerprints and scratches. I am skeptical that the good quality filters would be able to improve the image quality by a substantial margin. I have read a lot of reviews, some ppl encourage their use while others are quite critical of the image degradation, however there exists no substantial evidence to make a reasonable conclusion myself. And I don't particularly like to spend 100$ on a good filter only to find out in the end that I won't be using coz of image degradation problems. The sole reason for buying the L lens is to get better quality images. I would appreciate if you can refer me to sites which have comparisons of identical pics taken with or without UV filter in various situations so that I can judge on my own that whether it is worth investing or not.
 

waileong

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#7
Filters don't improve image quality. Filters can of course be used to alter image quality-- eg. warming, cooling, polarizing. But they cannot improve image quality. The best they can do is avoid degrading it.

UV/Skylight filters are supposed to filter UV light, but modern lens coatings already do that, so you don't need that function.

You've already done your own test. If you want, I can lend you a B+W 52 mm UV filter for your 50/1.8 to do another test, see for yourself.

Wai Leong
===
megamonster said:
Now since I am planning to buy the 17-40L lens to replace my kit lens, I am confused as to whether should I buy a good quality filter (e.g. B+W) or not at all ? I need it only for protection purpose against dust, fingerprints and scratches. I am skeptical that the good quality filters would be able to improve the image quality by a substantial margin. I have read a lot of reviews, some ppl encourage their use while others are quite critical of the image degradation, however there exists no substantial evidence to make a reasonable conclusion myself. And I don't particularly like to spend 100$ on a good filter only to find out in the end that I won't be using coz of image degradation problems. The sole reason for buying the L lens is to get better quality images. I would appreciate if you can refer me to sites which have comparisons of identical pics taken with or without UV filter in various situations so that I can judge on my own that whether it is worth investing or not.
 

Dec 21, 2005
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#8
waileong said:
Filters don't improve image quality. Filters can of course be used to alter image quality-- eg. warming, cooling, polarizing. But they cannot improve image quality. The best they can do is avoid degrading it.

UV/Skylight filters are supposed to filter UV light, but modern lens coatings already do that, so you don't need that function.

You've already done your own test. If you want, I can lend you a B+W 52 mm UV filter for your 50/1.8 to do another test, see for yourself.

Wai Leong
===
Of course I know they don't improve, what I was concerned about was the degradation factor and according to my tests the difference is very much unacceptable. However, I expect that good filters would help alleviate this difference in quality. I have now finally made up my mind to buy the B+W MRC one so that I have the best (arguably) whenever I need to use it such as on sea shores, beaches or other places where u need some kind of protection for ur lens.

Thanks Leong for the offer.

Btw I just called CP and they quoted S$95+ for the B+W MRC one (77mm).

I will repost the pics with / without the filter once I have all the equipment.
 

zcf

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Apr 10, 2005
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#9
heard Nikon users comment that Nikon LC37c & NC filters are better than B+W though, in term of degradation of photo quality, but in term of ease to clean B+W is best.
Hoya filters tend to have yellow tint and warmer.
 

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