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Topic # 185798 6-Dec-2015 09:52
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I've just purchased a Sony A6000 at Dick Smiths (at the bargain price of $600), which is my first semi-serious camera since I last used a film SLR at least 10 years ago.

I'd like to protect the front element of the lens, having previously been saved by having a filter on when it suffered a significant scratch. So I'm looking for the best-value UV filter (40.5mm) to do the job. 

I've seen cheap-as ones on eBay such as an $11 Kenko, and still-cheap ($18) ones off the same site that claim to be Hoya; would one like that Hoya be ok for these purposes? If not, what would be the most affordable one that would do the job? I don't want to spend lots of money at this point, and would appreciate some pointers to get a good but reasonably priced one.

Many thanks.

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  Reply # 1441272 6-Dec-2015 10:10
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After photographing weddings for more than ten years, and not being gentle with my gear, I've never hurt the front element of a lens. This includes dropping multiple cameras (once off a stationary car onto concrete), rolling a camera down a hill with a lens attached, and various other accidents. If you do it won't matter unless you're shooting F12 - F32, as light comes from all around - a crack in a lens isn't really visible in a photo at F2.8, depending on the crack. I have broken lenses, but it's the internals that break, not a scratched front element. A cheap UV filter will degrade all your images, creating flare, reducing sharpness. If you must have a UV filter get a B+W one, US$50 or more. Or tell me what size, I may have one lying around for back when I was new and clueless and did what some idiot on the Internet recommended.

Forget the filter, use a lens hood, you'll be fine.




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  Reply # 1441278 6-Dec-2015 10:25
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A (very) quick look on B&H's site has a 49mm filter at $18, which isn't bad, to me at least, so might be $50 NZ not US.




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  Reply # 1441281 6-Dec-2015 10:36
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Read everything I wrote, not just the price. Example filter for people who really need them - which is pretty much just people who need their lenses weather sealed. Buying cheap is not recommended.




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  Reply # 1441286 6-Dec-2015 10:59
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Sorry wrong size thread, cheapest B+W 40.5mm UV filter at B&H is US$26.99.

Timmay being a professional obviously knows vastly more about this than I do though.




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  Reply # 1441330 6-Dec-2015 12:09
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At wide / ultra wide focal length, and particularly at small apertures used to provide deep depth of field, marks on the front element, dust, small water droplets etc can be easily visible.
It's a problem IMO, as for composition  you might be very close to hard/sharp subjects, the lens hood offers very little or no protection as it's shallow/wide, and you're often low / near the ground with dust/sand and or water etc.  To make matters worse, at those wide angles then flare can often be an issue, so an expensive multi-coated filter may be desirable from that point of view, but if because of where you're shooting you may need to clean it (frequently IMO) it's very easy to damage the coating on the filter - which again is quite likely to be visible in shots.  After destroying a couple of expensive multicoated filters by being not quite careful enough when cleaning them was absolutely needed in the field, I've compromised to use uncoated filters which require far less care in cleaning, and remove the filter when it's not needed and there's risk of flare/ghosting.
For normal focal lengths, with 36mp FX and a very sharp lens, I can't see any difference in resolution/image quality with a filter removed or fitted with Hoya HMC filter.  I tend to just leave it on normal zoom and 105mm macro lenses.  If someone can show me in a test conducted in at least a semi-scientific manner that it makes a measurable significant difference, I'll be very surprised. 
At ~200mm and over, I haven't yet found a filter that doesn't have a visible impact on image quality.  I'm told that if I spend enough, results will be better, Heliopan or B&W multi-coated, but at the filter sizes required and price they want - they can keep them - I'm not spending $500 or more to try out snake oil.  You've got to handle lenses that size with extreme care anyway, lens hoods tend to be deep, so far (touch wood) I've never damaged a front element. 

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  Reply # 1441340 6-Dec-2015 12:46
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I never bother with these.



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  Reply # 1441821 7-Dec-2015 09:49
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Thanks for the replies.

I sensed this would bring out the standard debate as to whether to use filters or not!  As I mentioned in my original post, I have had the experience of having a front element saved by having a filter on, which got so scratched in an accident it was visible in some photos (the lens itself was fine). I don't want to risk this happening to my lens (entry level though it may be) as I really don't want to have to replace it should it happen again.

A lens hood sounds fine in practice, but also adds significantly to the bulk of the camera (unless all can be attached in reverse when not in use? I recall that's how the one on my old SLR lens worked), and one of the reasons I selected this camera over my current megazoom point-and-shoot and over a D-SLR was to have something more compact. I also see some hoods have slits/holes on the sides but also have a lens cap that can be fitted - if it's left in place when not in use, wouldn't this risk crud getting in through these gaps? Or does one have to take it off when not using the camera?

As for UV filters, I'm quite happy to take it off in the circumstances where it does negatively impact enough to warrant it, but at least I'll have some assurance the same damage won't happen. So if anyone does have such a filter hanging round they'd be willing to sell (it's a 40.5mm thread on this lens) please let me know. Thanks!

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  Reply # 1441854 7-Dec-2015 10:31
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Check out this Tony Northrup clip...

https://youtu.be/YcZkCnPs45s?t=7m44s




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  Reply # 1461230 4-Jan-2016 22:12
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If your going to get a filter, don't bother with "UV Filters", just get an "Protect Filter". I'd advice against using them in less you are doing something that you are guaranteed to get stuff on the lens (photographing paintball or something like that). I've got lenses costing multiple thousands of dollars and don't use them at all, best protection for your lens IMO is a lens hood.





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