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BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: All About Photography

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Photography Question 
Hans Abplanalp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2005
 

Lens protection


Hi

Does using a neutral, clear filter to protect a lens impair image quality?

Thanks
Hans

10/30/2012 7:35:00 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  If it's high quality, not a noticeable difference. But another choice is to use a hard plastic lens hood.
Most cases, people drop their camera, and a lens hood will often hit and keep the front element from making contact with anything. But, projectiles and pointed objects would easily get past just a hood.

10/30/2012 7:45:18 AM

 
Hans Abplanalp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2005
  Hi Gregory

Many thanks for your reply.

Hans

10/30/2012 7:51:09 AM

 
Lynn R. Powers
Contact Lynn
Lynn's Gallery

member since: 9/12/2006
  I use both a protective filter and a lens hood. The protective filter comes off when using OTHER filters. When using a CPL attach a rubber lens hood so you can adjust the filter to where it needs to be. With the hard lens hood it is too difficult to impossible to adjust the polarizer. The original use for a lens hood was to keep out unwanted flare from the sun or anything out of the frame that may shine unwanted light onto the lens. It also reduces glare which can give you false meter readings and it will also give you better contrast. There are very few occasions when it is not practical to use a lens hood. Examples: Flare is wanted and when it may scare an insect or get in the way while shooting Macro. Lens hoods are on my lenses 99% of the time including night shots and in the studio.

11/4/2012 11:04:36 AM

 
Hans Abplanalp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2005
  Hi Lynn

Thank you very much for your answer.

Hans

11/4/2012 11:49:34 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  The only two times I've attached a filter to protect the front of my lens was during a windy day along the beach at Nag's Head, and while wandering through the Geiser Basin at Yellowstone.
During those shoots, salt, sand and sulphur spray were flying around so much that I was worried about permanent staining and corrosion.

Filters DO degrade image quality, albeit slightly...which is why I prefer shooting filter free.
As for protection...
Keeping the lens cap on (except for when taking a shot) is your best option in my opinion.

11/6/2012 7:30:21 PM

 
Hans Abplanalp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2005
  Hi Bob

Many thanks for your reply.

Hans

11/6/2012 9:45:32 PM

 
Kay Beausoleil
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Kay
Kay's Gallery
KayBeausoleilPhotography.com

member since: 5/31/2004
  Hans, I do as Lynn does. A while ago someone convinced me it was nuts to put a filter on good glass. One week out, I tripped on a rocky beach and put a huge scratch on my naked lens. Now I never have unprotected photography, but I do use the best filters available.

11/7/2012 6:01:37 AM

 
Hans Abplanalp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2005
  Hi Kay

Thanks for your input!

Hans

11/7/2012 6:55:48 AM

 

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