Who uses filters?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by RalllyFan, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. RalllyFan

    RalllyFan TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 2, 2012
    And which ones? Any negative effects?

    The other day I shot a few test pics with an old polarizer from my film days. I guess there is some merit to when a filter says 'for digital' as the pics looked a bit crummy. I should have saved them for show and tell but I was a bit frustrated and formatted the memory card right away.

    Anyway, I've been wanting a circular polarizer and a few ND filters. Anything anyone recommends that's not quite in the B&W price range? It's been forever since I bought a filter (besides UV), so I'm not sure who the major players/best brands are these days.
  2. snkenai

    snkenai TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 22, 2012
    Campbellsville, Ky
    Stephen Noel
    Been at this about 50 years and have tried many different filters. I just don't use them. I'm not pro., just a hobbyist. But it was just too much trouble, for the limited results I got, and I always seem to get a bit less image quality. Just me.
  3. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    I consider ND filters and polarizers as absolutely essential for landscape photography. As far as I tried ND fikters are pretty good even the cheaper ones. Well, cheap ones ruin your white balance, but you shoot raw after all, right?

    Spend more money on the polarizer though - I had bad experiences with some of them.

    UV and Skylight filters are also less critical - except for some flare in cheaper filters they don't make any problems.
  4. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    A UV filter for those times when the front of the lens will get mucked up. Note to self: Get a 39mm UV filter for the CVs.

    A CP for those times you want to see through water, not record the reflection. Also useful for taking the shine of foliage.

    A ND to slow things down (like a waterfall), or making people disappear from a scene (or turn them into ghosts).

    Maybe some ND grads, because it's different than a HDR for a sunset/sunrise.

    That'd be it. Probably used less than 5% of the time.

  5. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    30 years ago, my photography teacher instilled in us, "Put less between the image and the film." and " 1 good shot in a roll of 36 is a very high average." No filters here in general use,


    Some lenses look more open in the front than others. The Oly 14-150 looked prone to dust, so does the Sony 16-50. THEN I'll put a very high quality filter on the front as a dust barrier, especially on day trips and trail rides. Nikon on my Nikons, or Heliopan/B+W, usually. Looking at Sony's now quality-wise.
  6. Joshua Cairns

    Joshua Cairns TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 12, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    I use ND filters for video, but for photography, just a polarizer. A polarizer is most definitely a must for landscape photography, and - in general - I've found it to be great for all around outdoor photography when the sun is high. Clouds are preserved.
  7. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    I used to put a UV filter in every lens I've even owned, but I don't do it now as a general rule. I shoot with bare front glass these days, because I often either shoot into the light or do night/dark photography without flash.

    In saying that, I will use a Polarizer or a UV filter when necessary.

    Something worth considering (with smaller diameter filter rings, like the 49mm on the native SELs), is to buy 'ultra-slim rimmed' filters because it doesn't take much filter rim thickness to encroach into the field of view and vignette - especially the SEL16.
  8. christilou

    christilou TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Nov 26, 2012
    Surrey, UK
    Once upon a time when I had an Olympus OM10, I used a UV filter. Latterly, I've read so much about them degrading the image unless you spend lots of money on a good make that I've neglected to use any at all.
  9. applemint

    applemint TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 20, 2012
    One of the legacy lenses I bought had a uv filter on it (actually quite a few have had one) but this particular one was filthy with all sorts of dirt encrusted on it - however when I screwed it off the glass underneath was pristine - so I guess they can serve a useful purpose. :) 

    For polarisers and ND I got Kood and Hoya as the 'not too expensive but not cheap and horrible either' option.
  10. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    I've been rather filter lazy and I tend to just use UV filters as screw-on lens caps.

    For certain effects, we now have some very compelling software-based alternatives. For instance, yellow, orange & red filters to darken the sky for B&W landscapes. Also, Lightroom has a graduated filter tool that has become indispensable to me and has effectively erased any desire to mess around with that at the capture stage.
  11. RalllyFan

    RalllyFan TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 2, 2012
    I agree, but there's still no good replacement for an ND or polarizer. And I try to do as little PP as possible. The grad filter and the little magic masking brush thingy in LR4 are amazing tools, though.

    It seems like everyone has the same mixed feelings that I do. I guess there's no other way to smooth waves in the ocean, so I'll have to pick up a few ND filters. Never heard of Kood before, I'll have to check them out. It looks like Tiffen and Hoya are still pretty good makes as well if you stay away from their cheaper offerings.
  12. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    Hi I have a UV filter for dust protection when I'm using my all lenses in 49mm, also I have a Hoya ND4, but hardly use it, I bought some welding glasses, to save money, because they are very expensive, to use long exposures in the day.

    A friend of Spain, Gabino Cisneros had made some incredible photographs, using these glasses (only in B / W) and let me tell you that are incredible long exposures.
    I think sometimes as amateur photographers we can make a excellente work with simpler tools, just need more creativity, a bit of courage to try it and enjoy it, also practice more practice, that is what we like, that is photography.
    some examples.
    This is his blog, take a minute and watch, more inspiration.
    Gabino Cisneros. Imagine-ando...: Calas de Roche.

    Solo... | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
  13. Grisu_HDH

    Grisu_HDH TalkEmount Veteran

    Dec 16, 2012
    Southern Germany
    I use a circular pol filter from Doerr and ND8 gray filter from Serk.
    Didn't spent too much for them cause I don't need them very often.
    But B+W still is agood choice and worth the money.
    Just make sure that the filters are made for digital use and try to get slim versions when using wide angle lenses...
  14. Orange

    Orange TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 4, 2013
    It's not Orange!
    As mentioned by some already, I too always had a UV filter permanently attached to all of my lenses as a matter of course, cheaper to replace a filter than a front element! However I'm not such a fan anymore. Though I would still consider it if I had any fast, expensive lenses with a large front element.

    A polarizer is always an excellent filter to keep in the bag, not just for landscapes either. Wonderful rich, contrasty colours in the sun. I too am not a big fan of post production, prefer to do as much in-camera as possible, though that's purely a personal choice of course.
    You will need a CIRCULAR polarizer (as opposed to LINEAR) however, I think this is for the autofocus and metering systems to function correctly.

    I've always used HOYA (pro series are considerably better) filters in the past, though the high end models can be expensive in the larger sizes, though you can normally get a bargain on eBay, I always do.

    I've no experience of other brands but am confident (after many years as a hobbyist photographer) that the likes of KOOD, B+W, HOYA etc are all good. If you've an interest in landscapes then Cokin kit system is also very handy! Cokin - holder mounts to the front of your lens, then a square filter slots in, ideal for graduated filters, plus you can insert more than one!!!

    Well hope all that helps!
  15. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2012
    UV filters on all my lenses for protection purposes
  16. Grisu_HDH

    Grisu_HDH TalkEmount Veteran

    Dec 16, 2012
    Southern Germany
    Hoya is also a brand worth the money when you want to spent some more bucks on a filter...
  17. watchman64

    watchman64 New to TalkEmount

    Jan 7, 2013
    Kuching, Sarawak, MY
    I have a B+W UV filter on my SEL16-50 lens for protection too. For slow shutter shoots I use a Hoya ND filter.
  18. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Bringing this back to the top, 'cause I don't know anything about filters in general and the MD 35-70 f/3.5 I received today came with a Hoya HMC 55mm Skylight (1B) filter...

    Besides the obvious benefit on protecting the lens glass, is there any other advantages in using this particular filter? Do I need it or to word it better when would I need it?

  19. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    I use a Hoya Skylight (1B) filter on my 24mm CZ lens for a year now. It certainly doesn't have a positive effect (it may make some shots look warmer, but your white balance will negate this) more than protecting the lens. It does, however, reduce your resolution. By measurements I found it only is able to resolve about 85% as good as a near-perfect lens (which is quite good for a filter, btw) on the 16 MP sensor Sony uses in many cameras, and this seems to be about in line with what I've seen, so I started taking it off when shooting important landscapes, but it's nice to have in most other occasions.
  20. Grisu_HDH

    Grisu_HDH TalkEmount Veteran

    Dec 16, 2012
    Southern Germany
    Just a nice thing to protect the lens.
    Technically you won't have any advantages from a UV or Skylight filter an a digital camera...
    That's what I know, but I thing many experts out there ar arguing for years about this issue...
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