Filter to protect front lens element, yay or nay?

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by weltweit, Jun 16, 2017.


Do you use a filter as mechanical protection for the front element on your lenses?

  1. Yes, I use a protective filter

    5 vote(s)
  2. No I don't use a filter for protection

    5 vote(s)
  3. Other - mention in thread!!

    1 vote(s)
  1. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    When I started out I had a UV filter in my 28-70mm lens to protect the front element against damage and dirt. It made the hood difficult to get on and off and became quite stuck to the front of the lens and hard to remove when I did want to remove it. Plus it made it impossible to use my rectangular grad filters as their holder screwed into the same thread as the protective filter.

    Then I fitted a protective filter to my longer lens which was already slow focussing and my perception was that the extra glass slowed it even further.

    Eventually I stopped using protective filters totally, I always use the hood which seems adequate protection and normally my lens front elements don't get too dirty, not more than an occasional brush with a lens pen can't cope with.

    So, what do you do? Do you swear by protective filters or just use the hood?
  2. dessiato

    dessiato Maholo e ke akua no kei la

    I don't do much photography these days but always used a UV filter as my everyday filter. And for protection.
    weltweit likes this.
  3. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    It's a thorny issue but I've stopped using them.

    Should You Use a UV Filter on Your Lens?
    weltweit likes this.
  4. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I'm sure there's a long and angry thread on this somewhere :D

    I don't use them any more, except yellow filters when shooting B&W film. I found they just add the potential for flare and other artefacts when shooting near bright lights.
    Mr.Bishie, weltweit and editor like this.
  5. Mr.Bishie

    Mr.Bishie BeRightOn

    I use a lens hood :thumbs:
    neonwilderness and FridgeMagnet like this.
  6. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    neonwilderness likes this.
  7. Mr.Bishie

    Mr.Bishie BeRightOn

    Let's not go there, someone might be watching!

    But no, the correct way round.
  8. dessiato

    dessiato Maholo e ke akua no kei la

    I've never used a filter on a digital camera, only on film. Reading the article, I don't think I'd bother. I suppose the digital camera and photoshop has made the advantages and effects negligible.
  9. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I shoot a lot of film and I've never noticed any positive effect there either tbh, even when printing - apart from when shooting B&W, and the logic of that is based on how B&W film responds to different wavelengths and doesn't apply to digital B&W conversions.

    I guess it is more important when shooting slides for projection as you can't alter WB then. Not a huge use case nowadays though.
  10. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

    I do always keep one on, its much cheap to replace a filter than a lens.

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