I just bought my first Nikon (D50). It came with the 18-55 and I am planning on buying the 70-300G as well. I guess I need filters right? I'm not sure how important they are but are there one or two that I should buy in particular? I don't want to spend too much since my lenses aren't the most expensive and I really just can't afford it, but I will be doing a lot of outdoor photography in the next couple of months. Are Hoya filters good. My friend can get me these at a discounted price.
#1. "RE: I have my first Nikon. Do I need filters?" In response to Reply # 0
I can only think of one occaision I would use a filter and that would be for macro work. I fit a skylight filter just to protect the front element when working real close to things. My heart goes out to the Nikon optical engineer who spends many a long day making sure that all the light travelling from the sun, (millions of miles)comes to a point of in sharp focus on your sensor, only to be thwarted in the last 15 millimeters by a piece of cheap glass.
#2. "RE: I have my first Nikon. Do I need filters?" In response to Reply # 0
It's an unresolved debate whether to use a skylight or UV filter on your lens to protect the front element. I have Nikon L37C filters on my lenses and this cuts down on cleaning the lens itself. I have not seen degradation of image quality from using good filters. Have a look at this article.
But aside from just protecting the lens, you might want to buy a polarizing filter. This filter will allow you to control reflections and darken skies. It can be over used, and may look uneven when you shoot at a very wide focal length. But when used judiciously, it can be very helpful.
Below are some links to help you understand the use of a polarizer, and some general info about filters. Warning, good polarizers are not cheap! Ask for a "circular polarizer" when you go shopping.
One trick is to standardize your filter size across lenses, i.e. buy a filter to fit your lens with the largest filter size - or even larger just in case you buy new glass. Then use step-down filter rings to adapt it to lenses with smaller filter sizes. It get very expensive if you buy separate polarizers for each lens size! Many people use 77mm as a standard filter size.
tgreene Jonesboro, US Registered since 02nd Nov 2005
Wed 14-Dec-05 03:15 PM
#3. "RE: I have my first Nikon. Do I need filters?" In response to Reply # 2
I keep my lenses protected with higher end UV filters, simply because the vast majority of my photography lately has been rock climbing, and it's a dusty/dirty/gritty/sandy environment that will eat a lense if left unprotected.
#4. "RE: I have my first Nikon. Do I need filters?" In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians and congratulations on the D50!
There are quite a number of filters available and before you purchase anything, you need to know several things:
1) quality filters cost, get the best filters you can afford, light now travels through the filters before it gets to the lens, so you want to make sure you have a quality filter.
2) get multi-coated filters, given the reflectivity of digital sensors you really need multi-coated filters for improved light transmission and reduced reflections. I use Hoya HMC and Super HMC multi-coated filters (UV, Yellow, Orange, Red, Green - I shoot film, the colored filters are for B&W photography.) Nikon, B+W, Heliopan, Hi-tech, and Singh Ray make great filters, too.
3) use a lens hood if you can, even if it is a rubber hood, this will help cut down on flare and increase contrast. (Use a lens hood even when you don't use a filter).
4) know what a filter does and why you want to use it.
5) try and standardize your filter sizes to your largest lens and use step up rings if possible, that way, you don't have to duplicate lenses. This may or may not be possible, but worth a shot to keep expenses down.
As far as filters go, I usually go without a UV unless it is dusty, dirty or wet. The first filter I bought was a Circular Polarizer (I have a Nikon filer, its great but $$$). Next, I have a Soft 1 Nikon filter for portraits, and the colored filters above for B&W photography, recently, I purchased some grad ND filters for better exposure control.
#6. "RE: I have my first Nikon. Do I need filters?" In response to Reply # 4
If you are going to have different lenses that are different sizes then you can either look into the stepdown rings options for Hoya filters or have a look at the Cokin filter system.
I've just bought into this system for my filters as I think it makes a lot more sense. You can use the same filters and filter holder for any lens and all you need is the correct adapter ring for each lens.
Talk to your local camera club or camera shop and ask them to explain the system.
#5. "RE: I have my first Nikon. Do I need filters?" In response to Reply # 0
Whether you use a filter for protection or not is up to you but the balance of information seems to be they are too thin (especially slimlines) to offer any realistic impact protection.
Digital sensors are a lot more prone to flare (which degrades image quality) than film, and filters are likely to add measurable flare at the wide angle end of your zoom.
Most pros choose not to use filters unless there is obvious special risk because they are paid to get the highest quality - and highest quality is not synonymous with none essential filters on digital.
The only filter which you might find essential is a Pol which improves contrast and saturation with some sunlit scenes when the lens is at 90 degrees to the sun.
Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.
#11. "RE: I have my first Nikon. Do I need filters?" In response to Reply # 9
It's not just the extra glass in front of the front element which gives more protection should the lens fall, but it's also the extra length the filter 'edge' adds to the lens barrel 'edge'. This is very handy with 'up front' front elements. (My English falls a bit short here: I hope it's understandable)
#10. "RE: I have my first Nikon. Do I need filters?" In response to Reply # 7
Have a look at the specifications - specifically filter size - of some lenses you might want in the future, so you don't buy to small a polarizer. I stil suggest a larger one than 62mm as your standard, despite the initial cost. My AF180mm take a 72mm filter. The popular AF-S VR 70-200mm f/2.8 takes a 77mm filter, as do many of the higher end Nikkors. I suggest considering 77mm as your standard.