Filters ?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Amamba, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I am sure that everyone here is aware of the "filter vs no filter" debate. I have used filters on my glass for a while, then decided that it's not doing me any favors IQ wise, at best, and at worst, it degrades the image quality; in 6 years and going through perhaps a dozen lenses, I had exactly 1 scratch on front element, and I am not sure filter would've helped there.

    However, somebody somewhere said that the coating quality on older lenses wasn't that good, and that the repeat cleaning would wear it off, which is why you must put filters on them. Is there any truth in it ? Or is it mere BS ? I am using blower / lenspen method, btw, and only clean lenses when they look really smudged with dust and fingerprints - I rarely shoot above f8 anyway.

    Opinions ?
  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    In theory, a UV filter with a good coating (like Zeiss T* or similar high quality) can reduce flare to some degree if (!) the lens it's attached to is uncoated, has a nearly wiped off coating or a very bad coating. At more modern lenses (i.e. not 30 years+ old ones), a filter can at best not touch image quality, but it can't add to it (like usually, polarizers, NDs & co. are a different story).

    The reason simply is that you basically add another glass layer, which introduces additional reflections between the front element and the back surface of the filter. And if you use for example a cheap Hoya filter on a Zeiss T*-coated lens, you'll get more flare for sure than without a filter.

    I, for my part, only use a filter for the lens I shoot most (i.e. my 24mm Sonnar) because this lens gets in too many dangerous situations without the possibility to prepare for it. I won't put any filter on my (future) Touit 12 or Touit 50 lenses.
  3. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I was specifically thinking of old lenses (the MD's from the early 80's).

    I do NOT like filters at all.
  4. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    I use UV(0) filters on all my Rokkors (except macro).

    The reason is that I never have to clean the front element by touch then. This will keep the glass and the coatings pristine. And yes, older coatings do rub off or dissolve in some solvents. I have done it and it makes you feel bad ruining a legacy lens that will never be replaced :( 

    If you get a good grade UV-filter, all it will do is reduce the light reaching the lens by 2-3 percent. There will be no visible effect on IQ from this. A degraded front element would do much worse.

    I use Hoya UV- filters as they always test well. B+W etc is a little better but a lot more expensive.

    I buys them in bulk on eBay.
  5. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    It all comes down to quality.
  6. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Well, you convinced me... I always thought that a good filter still doesn't add anything to the image quality, it merely doesn't subtract as much. But using a modern high quality multicoated filter on an older lens may actually help in some conditions.
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