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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    109

    Quality Filters? Help and recommendations

    I don't know if this should be posted here or in the "what camera should I buy?" section. But I would like to know what some recommendations are for good filter brands or makes? I am looking at purchasing the Canon EOS 50D, with 2 L series lenses (EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM). I know these are top notch lenses but if I put a poor quality filter on the end won't that defeat the purpose of buying such good lenses?

    So what do you recommend for good, distortion free, and good image filters? What price range am I looking at and what brand(s) should I stick to? Any other caveats I should be aware of when purchasing filters?

    I was going to get a standard UV Filter just to protect the lenses, and then a few filters that would be used marginally, such as contrast filters, polarized filter, and some color filters. I have not shot on DSLR before but I have shot on SLR Film so if a lot of the benefits of these other filters are not really needed on DSLR let me know. Thanks for the input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, CA
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    3,591
    The only filters that make a lot of sense for digital photography are a circular polarizer, ND filters and GND filters. Protective filters are something that gets debated a lot so search that if you want to know what people think. I'm going to guess that you probably don't need ND or GND based on your lens choices. B+W is expensive but I've never heard anyone complain about their high quality stuff. For a CPL from B+W you'll pay $100-200 depending on the multicoating (something else you may want to research) you choose. I'd guess a UV filter of that size might cost close to $100, but I'm not sure. Hoya is cheaper but not as good. Don't get slim filters.
    Lukas

    Camera: Anonymous
    I could tell you but I wouldn't want you to get all pissy if it's the wrong brand

    Flickr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    109
    Quote Originally Posted by TheWengler View Post
    The only filters that make a lot of sense for digital photography are a circular polarizer, ND filters and GND filters. Protective filters are something that gets debated a lot so search that if you want to know what people think. I'm going to guess that you probably don't need ND or GND based on your lens choices. B+W is expensive but I've never heard anyone complain about their high quality stuff. For a CPL from B+W you'll pay $100-200 depending on the multicoating (something else you may want to research) you choose. I'd guess a UV filter of that size might cost close to $100, but I'm not sure. Hoya is cheaper but not as good. Don't get slim filters.
    Thanks for the recommendations. I'll have a look at B+W see if they offer a quality lens kit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Brisbane, CA
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    I should also mention that the other filters you wanted can be done in Photoshop with more control.
    Lukas

    Camera: Anonymous
    I could tell you but I wouldn't want you to get all pissy if it's the wrong brand

    Flickr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,557
    I've done some recent testing on various filters ... and have found that the Hoya filters are the budget-conscience buy and offer a relatively distortion free image.

    Some of the problems I've had are with SunPak, Sonia and just about anything less than $40. They will actually alter the autofocus properties of the lens, when added. That ... is not cool.

    Remember, buying an expensive filter for a "kit lens" isn't all that great an idea, either. Better lenses demand higher quality filters ... and Hoya, B+W, Heliopan jump to the forefront. Tiffen is a little "iffy" , but still worthy of a look. I use their 86mm on my TAMRON SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD. I don't want to even tell you how much a B+W, that size, costs.

    FWIW: I have replaced all my smaller CP filters (<82mm) with Hoya filters and have not had any issues to complain about.

    BTW: To save a buck or two, you could use step-up rings to mount a 77mm CP on 72mm, 67mm, 62mm lens filter rings. It will require a screw on lens shield (hood) ($10) to work well, but it is an option ... if you aren't packing an extra $400 for all those different sized filters.

    Name:  lens-hood-2.jpg
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    This is what would be required to adapt a 77mm CP to a 49mm lens filter ring.
    It is a bit extreme ... but, you get the idea.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-07-2008 at 03:18 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    109
    Thanks for the suggestions. I will probably buy a B&W UV filter for my lens as I am going to be spending a good amount of money for a quality lens, and it doesn't make much sense to cheap out on the first component that lets light into the camera.

    Could anyone tell me what the difference is between a UV filter and a UV Haze Filter or are they one and the same? Checking out prices on the B&W UV Haze Filter #10.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Georgetown, KY
    Posts
    1,627
    Save your money and skip the UV filters.
    Dennis

    Canon 5D
    Canon 20D


    Georgetown, KY Photographer
    Retouching

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,557
    I have to agree with Dennis on this. UV will provide prophillactic protection of the lens, but I don't shoot through them. If I'm not using a creative filter or a polarizer ... I shoot the glass "naked" and reduce any imperfection. UV does not appear to have any effect on digital imaging other than risking having it affect your autofocus.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    109
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    I have to agree with Dennis on this. UV will provide prophillactic protection of the lens, but I don't shoot through them. If I'm not using a creative filter or a polarizer ... I shoot the glass "naked" and reduce any imperfection. UV does not appear to have any effect on digital imaging other than risking having it affect your autofocus.
    Ok, so if I want to protect my $1700 lens from the elements when I'm taking sports shots (snowboarding or surfing) what would you recommend? Even when you're standing 100 yards from the ocean you still get an sea mist on stuff. And in the mountains, I want to protect my lens from blowing snow.

    I'm not really using the UV filter for anything but protecting my lens or at the very least keep it clean. If there's another type of filter you'd recommend let me know.

    I also use Photoshop for post-production effects and filters so I guess I could skip out on a lot of the creative filters.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,557
    Hoya UV filters will do the job ... B+W is just overkill and I feel a complete waste of useable funds for something more ... useful. I normally remove the UV from my lenses to shoot my shots, but yes, I will agree that toxic environments do suggest a more protective measure be taken. So, choose wisely, but do not go too far.

    If you are making a living from your work, fine ... but, then it is a tax write-off as a business expense. Without that, believe me that adequate is enough.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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