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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 16 Nov 2011 (Wednesday) 18:05
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Filters degrading IQ

 
nightcat
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Nov 17, 2011 05:45 |  #16

ed rader wrote in post #13411204 (external link)
i'd have to see proof of that. i've used my 100-400L with and without UV filter weeks at a time each way and i couldn't see any difference.

ed rader

Ed was commenting to another post where someone said the 100-400mm zoom hates filters. I think I have the answer here. Ed got a good copy of this lens and the other person didn't. From everything I've read, getting a good copy of this lens is a crapshoot. It seems to be a great lens if you get the right copy.

And my take on the filter issue is that protective filters are a joke. They will degrade your image.




  
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dennykyser
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Nov 17, 2011 07:42 as a reply to  @ nightcat's post |  #17

Here is my take on filters, take it for what its worth.

I do not use them on lenses that can be taken off the camera. So DSLR, I do not use them, video cameras that do not have removable lenses I do.

Here is why I feel that way.

Obviously a video camera lens issue results in a non working camera.

For dslr users if its your only lens, maybe you should use them but if you have other lenses why put another piece of glass between you and the subject.

If your afraid of a scratch, it would take a pretty serious scratch to degrade the image, and it s not like it would ruin your lens, they can be sent to Canon to be removed.

Lenses like the 400 2.8L IS have a built in filter, in other words the outer glass is for protection and from what I am told the lens works perfect with out it. (someone on sportsshooters had it fall out) This makes me wonder if other lenses have the same thing, an outer protective glass.

I just always use the lens shades, keeps fingers away, offers some protection and no effect on the image.

Back when I did use filters I uses Hoya and not sure how, but still had dust get in between the filter and the lens, so I would have dust on the outside, and inside and felt that could not help image quality.


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amfoto1
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Nov 17, 2011 11:31 |  #18

dennykyser wrote in post #13412348 (external link)
Here is my take on filters, take it for what its worth.

I do not use them on lenses that can be taken off the camera. So DSLR, I do not use them, video cameras that do not have removable lenses I do.

Here is why I feel that way.

Obviously a video camera lens issue results in a non working camera.

For dslr users if its your only lens, maybe you should use them but if you have other lenses why put another piece of glass between you and the subject.

If your afraid of a scratch, it would take a pretty serious scratch to degrade the image, and it s not like it would ruin your lens, they can be sent to Canon to be removed.

Lenses like the 400 2.8L IS have a built in filter, in other words the outer glass is for protection and from what I am told the lens works perfect with out it. (someone on sportsshooters had it fall out) This makes me wonder if other lenses have the same thing, an outer protective glass.

I just always use the lens shades, keeps fingers away, offers some protection and no effect on the image.

Back when I did use filters I uses Hoya and not sure how, but still had dust get in between the filter and the lens, so I would have dust on the outside, and inside and felt that could not help image quality.

Yes, the other "super telephoto" of the same generation - 300/2.8 IS, 400/2.8 IS, 500/4 IS, and 600/4 IS - all have a "plain" element in front. However, I've heard it explained both ways... that it's just there for protection and that it's actually part of the optical formula to help align rays of light passing through the lens. Who knows which is correct.

At any rate, I imagine it's still pretty expensive to replace (replacement lens hoods cost aroudn $500 US for these lenses). It's obviously multi-coated and very high grade optical glass. There are no filter threads on the front of these lenses... the 300mm has approx 130mm diameter front element and the 500mm approx. 150mm diameter, so who knows what a filter would cost, if you could even find one.

All these lenses use drop-in filters at the rear. It's a part of the optical formula and some sort of filter should always be in there. The lenses come with a plain filter in a "gel" type holder. There are also available holders for standard 52mm screw-in filters and a special drop-in circular polarizer available. (Earlier versions of these lenses... the non-IS... use 48mm filters.)

The more recent lenses 200/2 IS, 800/5.6 IS and the new Mark II don't have the "plain" front element... whatever it's purpose might be.


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hollis_f
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Nov 17, 2011 11:42 |  #19

dennykyser wrote in post #13412348 (external link)
Lenses like the 400 2.8L IS have a built in filter, in other words the outer glass is for protection

Yes, my 300 f2.8 has a front element that is relatively cheap to replace. So it is a protective filter. However, it is different to screw-in 'protective' filters in several ways...

  • The front element is several mm thick and doesn't shatter as easily as the thin glass of a screw-in.
  • The front element is made from high-quality glass.
  • The front element is curved. This eliminates the internal reflections which a flat filter will produce. And it's these reflections that contribute to flare.

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h14nha
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Nov 17, 2011 12:52 |  #20

nightcat wrote in post #13412149 (external link)
Ed was commenting to another post where someone said the 100-400mm zoom hates filters. I think I have the answer here. Ed got a good copy of this lens and the other person didn't. From everything I've read, getting a good copy of this lens is a crapshoot. It seems to be a great lens if you get the right copy.

And my take on the filter issue is that protective filters are a joke. They will degrade your image.

That was my post Ed commented on. I have stood side by side in a birdhide with a woman who had identical kit to me. Identical apart from the filter she had on her 100-400. She complained her lens was very soft. After a bit of swapping around she realised her filter was the issue, BUT, she wouldn't remove it as she was afraid to scratch the front element.

My 100-400 has been callibrated and its SHARP :D

Thanks to Frank for beating me to it, and showing physical evidence as to how this lens hates filters.


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ed ­ rader
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Nov 17, 2011 13:12 |  #21

FlyingPhotog wrote in post #13411332 (external link)
I'll vouch for this claim Ed.

There have been several threads that ended with "Ah Ha!" moments when the UV filter was removed from a 100-400.

if i hadn't seen the proof with my own eyes i might be more susceptible to believing internet pixel peeping claims. there are just so many variables to consider and the big one with this lens is: newbs + 1.6 crop + 400mm = fail ;).

ed rader


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Primative
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Nov 17, 2011 19:26 |  #22

O.K. I am now going naked for a few shoots and see if I can see a difference. I have handled many, many Leica/Leitz lenses that did not have filters. My dad did not use filters on his old Leica rangefinders, but did on some older "M" bodies. The Leica R stuff I used to use was sans filters. When I swaped over to digi, I was told to use screw-ins for protection. Little did I know that there would be a visual degradition in IQ. I enjoyed all the comments, and thanks for all who chimed in.


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dennykyser
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Nov 17, 2011 21:18 |  #23

I can not say for sure, but have heard that its not that expensive to have a lens re worked if it gets scratched.

If I had a good quality filter on all my lenses that may be more expensive than having to have a lens reworked once in a while. I have been shooting with out them for years and have yet to have a mark on the lens that would have any effect on the image.


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Simpleboy
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Nov 17, 2011 21:31 as a reply to  @ dennykyser's post |  #24

I have a clear or UV filter for every size to go on all my lenses. I do this so in situations like

  • Windy day + Sand
  • Windy day + Rain
  • Shooting off the back of a motorbike
I can use the filter. Why?
I do not want sand or such to potentially 'sandblast' the coatings off the front element.
I find cleaning water off a filter far more 'reassuring' than doing it off the lens itself.
I would not want to clean off squished bugs off the front element, or even have them impacting the front element.

I do not use my filters to protect the front element from things like dropping it or such.



  
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dennykyser
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Nov 17, 2011 21:50 |  #25

Simpleboy wrote in post #13415666 (external link)
I have a clear or UV filter for every size to go on all my lenses. I do this so in situations like
  • Windy day + Sand
  • Windy day + Rain
  • Shooting off the back of a motorbike
I can use the filter. Why?
I do not want sand or such to potentially 'sandblast' the coatings off the front element.
I find cleaning water off a filter far more 'reassuring' than doing it off the lens itself.
I would not want to clean off squished bugs off the front element, or even have them impacting the front element.

I do not use my filters to protect the front element from things like dropping it or such.

I agree with you here, and should have said that. Many lenses use the same filter size, so having a few UV filters is a good idea and in situations like mentioned above happen, put one on.


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DennisW1
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Nov 17, 2011 21:53 |  #26

hollis_f wrote in post #13412096 (external link)
Evidence -

No filter - Hoya HD - Noname Cheapo - 100% crops from 100-400 at 400mm

QUOTED IMAGE


Explanation:Link (external link).


The first one is NO filter? Cuz even it looks like poopoo.

Trust me, these images don't help your side of the "discussion" :shock:




  
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Skul
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Nov 17, 2011 21:58 |  #27

Tonyz wrote in post #13412103 (external link)
omg @ 2nd and 3rd pic. Especially the 3rd pic, it looks like horsepoo.

I'm gonna have to check this with my lenses.

You and me both, and I'm not running a noname.




  
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hollis_f
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Nov 18, 2011 01:42 |  #28

DennisW1 wrote in post #13415748 (external link)
The first one is NO filter? Cuz even it looks like poopoo.

Trust me, these images don't help your side of the "discussion" :shock:

It's a 100% crop of a tree that is 300m away, with electricity cables almost 1km away in the background. The three images are also taken from the embedded jpeg of the raw file - so they are lower quality than the processed raw file.

But none of that matters. It's a comparative test. No matter how poopoo the filterless image (and I'd love to see you do better) there's no getting away from the fact that both filtered images are worse.

Of course, if I had used crops from the processed raw files then I'd be accused of biasing the processing to the advantage of the unfiltered image. But some people will always find a reason to ignore any real evidence that goes against their religious beliefs.


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bespoke
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Nov 18, 2011 01:56 |  #29

the people who use protective UVs remind me of the same people who wrap their remotes and sofas in plastic


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themomopan
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Nov 18, 2011 02:51 as a reply to  @ post 13412103 |  #30

a B+W filter on my 35L makes it flare like a mofo... llolol


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Filters degrading IQ
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