Friday, December 31, 2010

To UV or not to UV.... That is the Question.

I received an e-mail asking me about UV filters on lenses.  The question was "Do I need a UV filter on the end of my lens to protect it?".  There are two schools of thought here and it really comes down to personal preference.

School of thought 1:  Put a UV filter on the end of all your lenses and leave them there.  This will protect your investment from being scratched.  -This is a great accessory selling technique for camera shops.

School of thought 2:  You paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars for top quality glass.  Why would you put a cheap $20.00 filter on the end.  It defeats the purpose of buying good glass. 

Personally I go with School of thought 2 and here is why:  I want the clearest glass I can get.  Oh, and due to the wonderful laws of diffraction most scratches cannot even be seen in the final photo.  To protect my lenses I do two things.  I am very careful with them and I always use a lens hood.

The world of professional photography is split about 50/50 on this issue.  This tells me that no matter what you decide to do you can get high quality images.  The choice is simply up to you.


  1. People don't wear sunblock and they are worried about glass? LOL As if the lens did not get a cap when not in use.

    I go with forget the UV filter, too. Put the UV protection on your eyes, skin, and maybe expensive leather goods. LOL

  2. I'm a filter person, but I buy the high-end ones (way more than $20). It just scares the heck out of me having my precious lens glass exposed to the elements and to all the pointy scratchy things it might encounter as I'm scrambling under bare-wire fences or through brush in some horse field in the middle of nowhere.

  3. LOL... I can certainly understand that!. If I were doing some of those things I would go the extra mile for protection as well. The beach is another place to have protective filters (salt spray is very bad).

    If you use high end filters then there is no issue at all. That level of glass is as clear as it can be and does not hinder the image. Thanks for the comment!