I cannot speak about the 28-300mm, but with my 70-200mm II I can see the difference with and without the UV filter I have. Granted the filter is mid-quality at best. Any extra glass added to the front of a lens will degrade the image, some more than others. If the filter is not providing a photographic purpose, you probably should be questioning its use.
If you are not in a harsh environment (and most people are not) then the lens hood will give you all the protection most people need.
Way before, some 15-20 years ago, there was noticable difference with or without filters. With beginning of digital era quality of top pro filters dramatically improved, so I am not able to see any negatives with using top protective filters. All of my Nikkors are covered with them, if I am out. Something is wrong with your copy, I believe. Are you absolutely sure your filter is one from Germany? Just try the another one, if you really need it. Dimitri.
Something similar happened to me, too, a few years ago. I compared shots with and without filter, and since then I have not used a protective filter again. The filter quality matters as well - with a high quality filter, the difference is quite small but still visible. And the light matters - any kind of light source hitting the filter can quite degrade the image, especially when using cheap uncoated filters. Finally there is the economic factor. When one owns a number of lenses with different filter threads, buying a set of high quality UV or clear filters can get very expensive. I figure that having a scatched front element replaced, in the unlikely event that this should ever occur, will actually cost less than all those filters.
Thanks, Tom. Of course, the B+W is not a cheap filter (unless you consider $70 cheap) but I too have been shooting for over 50 years, and so have memories of earlier glass guiding my expectations.
In short: I kept protective filters on all my lenses, and of course most of those 50 were shooting on film.
As this discussion goes on, I think I'm coming to realize a couple of things:
1) that the lenses of the time were more scratch-prone, and 2) were used with film, and 3) probably were not quite up to the same capabilities as today's glass (please, no flames: I loved my 105! ) and 4) my color images were printed by a lab and 5) I never looked at a negative as closely as I'm looking at NEFs, and 6) as noted above, I never tried the experiment until today.
so it's entirely likely that I simply could not see the difference with or without (other than the effect of UV, of course)... and so today's experiment came as a surprise.
Certainly there's almost no point in "dumbing down" the resolution possible with a 24 meg sensor, so I'll just have to adjust to a bare front element. (Naturally, I'll keep the filter for adverse conditions...)
Thanks to one and all for the comments so far. (More are welcome!)
It's odd that this should come up .... I mean 'now' that I have taken off all of my filters.
About 2 or 3 months ago I did a very simple an unscientific test with my 28-300 VR which I have been complaining about as being too soft at the long end especially (mostly my fault I think). My thought was that if I am being particular with the sharpness of my images and using a D800 and $1,000 to $2,500 lenses with great glass....why am I putting 'anything' over the lens? It seems to me that anything other than naked glass could only detract from image sharpness. To my eyes, the tests were clearer and sharper w/o filters.
Yes, polarizers etc. I understand. But it just doesn't make sense to me that Nikon would make a lens that needed another piece of glass on the front for $100 or they would have put it there. It should perfrom best naked...and I think DXO tests them that way. As far as protecting the lens from scratches and bumps, well I am not a paparazzi or journalist, only an amateur, and I try to be carefull. If I am taking my D800 out in a croud or dense shrubs I put on a filter just in case. And If I come upon the picture opportunity of a lifetime...I take it off before I shoot. Otherwise I leave the filters off all the time now. (I know many will disagree).
Dan (Nikon D800,V2,Sony HX400V,Lumix ZS40) "I don't read, I just look at pictures" - Andy Warhol
I've largely stopped using any protective filters unless there is a need.
Were you using the hood for your test images? I've noticed that a lot of lenses have a big difference in performance if any light is hitting the filter. While its worse for direct sun, even strong reflections can cause significant deterioration.
You're correct with your observations. Front elements and coatings are quite durable (in spite of the cautions about breathing on your lens ).
20121123-001-3 by longzoom, on Flickr. Direct morning sun inside the frame. Any flare, imperfections, unsharpness, coused by the filter? And I mean BY THE FILTER, not the usual things by low sun, very usual for any lens. D800, 28-300 at 28mm, BW filter. Any flare or imperfections on any of my already posted, hundreds of them, images taken with 28-300 lens with filter (never ever without) set? Just one small drop of rusted water from the roof, bad rain, sandy wind, you name it - and your lens is finished. Arguments about strong front elements are naive, sorry. Dimitri.
I certainly don't think that protective filters do much for protecting most of the time, and I don't use them except in specific unusual (for me) circumstances. And I am sure that the modern coatings are pretty tough, from experience. Thom Hogan's pushed it further than I have, but I've had stuff hit lenses too.
On the other hand, I do NOT think that any quality filter should make an image "soft" - they are supposed to be optically flat, and in my experience, it's a pretty poor one (and probably a really cheap one) that is not optically flat.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Specific circumstances are out of questions. If you remember, about 5 years ago I lost my 17-35 to flash of sea water, there was yacht's competition. I've posted images of that. I've lost my first 16-35 to drunk idiot in Germany, who without any provocations from my side, my D3 was on my shoulder, splashed a shot of strong alcohol on the lens. So on and on, say me that. On the other hand, under some light, I've admitted some a hair, maybe two,improving of sharpness due to cutting UV by filter. In most usual cases good, pro quality filter behaving neutral. It is absolutely true, by member's post in another topic, I am doing my living by images. I have no rights to make mistakes, very costly otherwise, believe me. Dimitri.
Dmitri - a little rusty water on a lens is not going to "finish it". It won't do anything to a lens or a filter if you wipe it off. But it is a nuisance.
Blowing sand is a situation where you might use a filter. But a little dust won't make any difference. One of the keys is to not damage your glass when cleaning it.
Filters can increase flare. Scratches on filters can make flare worse. And the major symptom of light hitting the front of a filter or lens is low contrast. I can't tell whether that is the reason the image you posted has low contrast or not. It may just be a problem with post processing that caused the blacks to be too light.
>Dmitri - a little rusty water on a lens is not going to >"finish it". It won't do anything to a lens or a >filter if you wipe it off. But it is a nuisance. > >Blowing sand is a situation where you might use a filter. But >a little dust won't make any difference. One of the keys is >to not damage your glass when cleaning it. > >Filters can increase flare. Scratches on filters can make >flare worse. And the major symptom of light hitting the front >of a filter or lens is low contrast. I can't tell whether >that is the reason the image you posted has low contrast or >not. It may just be a problem with post processing that >caused the blacks to be too light. > > >Eric Bowles >Nikonians Team >My Gallery >Workshops > >Nikonians membership — my most important photographic >investment, after the camera If you didn't see that, what happened, I mean, a rusty or sea water will finish a front element in 10 min. Scratches - of course, but what is the filter for, then? The image is not finished yet, but, as I've already said, have you seen any filter coused imperfections on my images already posted? Dimitri
>...have you seen any filter caused imperfections on my >images already posted?
It's impossible to know, Dimitri, if none of your posted 28-300mm images were taken without a filter. Without something to compare against - as Eric and Brian have already mentioned - we can't say whether the generally low contrast is due to a filter or some other cause.
>>...have you seen any filter caused imperfections on my >>images already posted? > >It's impossible to know, Dimitri, if none of your posted >28-300mm images were taken without a filter. Without >something to compare against - as Eric and Brian have already >mentioned - we can't say whether the generally low contrast is >due to a filter or some other cause. > Generally true, but, as I said, I am testing every filter, very long, under any light. In case I see ANY imperfection caused by filter, back it goes. Most of my images posted before are off-camera JPEG, without any PP. Not now, D800 files are so easy and great to PP, so everything now from me is JPEG converted from RAW in PP. Any filter im my use is not causing any low contrast or any other problem. Dimitri.
Here's an example of a shot that I know was shot with a protective filter. I had filters on both lenses for this shoot because it was raining intermittently all evening. (And I can also see the additional flare in some of the other files.)
It is probably not as sharp as it could be, but that is nearly always the case, not just because of filters, but more due to capture skill. Still, I don't think most people would call this one soft. I do not remember for sure which filter this one was, but I think it was a Hoya. Attachment#1 (jpg file)
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Why not? My 16-35 is not very rosy with SOME filters, a bit more prone to flare. My 14=24, while, due to very curved front element, somewhat flares, not much, BTW, with Lee system over it, was not usable in even smallest amount of backlight. That is why any new filter of mine is tested to death, big torture for me. My former Nik 18, which is not best Nikkor, was not accepting ANY filter. But OP say his 28-300 is not good with filter, what I desagree about, already having dozens of thousands images with some kind of filters over it. Dimitri.
B+W XS-Pro Clear MRC-Nano 007 Lens Filter on a Nikon 16-85mm. It was the only photo to show the sun-spots out of many that were shot towards the harsh, cold, overcast morning sun. Yes, I know it's slightly out of focus and not the best exposure, but were talking sun-spots.
Would it have the sun-spots if the lens filter was not used? ... we'll never know.
Edited to add: I also own the 28-300. Informal testing with and without the same model filter as above did not show any visual difference such as sharpness, color, or contrast.
20121123-20121123-001-2 by longzoom, on Flickr. With your permission, gentlemen, I am re-posting my image from above. Have to admit, I am shooter only, some software problem I know less than nothing about. It isn't my strong point, but optics! Dimitri.
Oh, BTW, its kind of special. Melting structure, thru very thick covering glass, extremally hot. I removed the hood, but filter stays, of course. D800, 28-300 at 300mm, minimal distance, ISO 6400, F8.0, 1/6 sec handheld. Crop. Dimitri.
A few general comments after seeing thread cranking up:
I recommend that everybody tests the filter impact for himself, like the OP has done and I and others have done. Don't just blindly follow any advice. Testing the filter under a few different lighting scenarios takes only a few minutes.
The filter impact on the image depends on many factors. Even side by side comparisons that somebody else has shot (which have not even appeared in this thread) may not mean that the impact of your filters onto your lenses under your use will be the same. And even if they were, everybody has a different tolerance for image imperfections. Some may find small issues unacceptable that others don't even notice. So just try this out once and make a decision.
Final recommendation: Filter vs. no filter has been an age old discussion that will never be settled. Feel free to post your findings and images, but don't expect you will convince anybody from the other "camp" to agree with you. Coming with that expectations just sets you up for a sore disappointment.
By different focusing points, if not an operator's mistake, looks like wrong filter quality. Really flat piece of optical glass can't move the focusing point front or back. Is everything OK with threads? Dimitri.
Yes, the lens may have moved a bit as I removed the filter, but that's not the point. Look at where the image is most sharp in both cases: still the one without the filter is sharper. Back up a bit and look at the brown area as a whole. Which image do you prefer?
I may run some more tests (I have others already)... and looking at all of them (needless to post here) I see a difference.
Yes, in this case without the filter looks a hair sharper, with a bit higher contrast. That is what (or such) I am doing to test the filters, but under dozens more conditions. In case I see more negatives, that filter is not for me. THX. Dimitri.
Sun 16-Dec-12 01:41 AM | edited Sun 16-Dec-12 01:41 AM by Matthew Gregory
Looks sharper and more contrasty without the filter.
Saltwater will not permanently damage a quality lens. I've gotten saltspray from the Atlantic on at least two different Nikon lenses (not to mention other types of optics such as binoculars and even sunglasses, for that matter) that was left on them for days with NO ill effect. There's a greater chance of damage occurring to metal parts of the lens (such as the bayonet mount) with saltwater than there is with the glass.
Sun 16-Dec-12 06:21 AM | edited Sun 16-Dec-12 06:36 AM by moizes
>Looks sharper and more contrasty without the filter. > >Saltwater will not permanently damage a quality lens. I've >gotten saltspray from the Atlantic on at least two different >Nikon lenses (not to mention other types of optics such as >binoculars and even sunglasses, for that matter) that was left >on them for days with NO ill effect. There's a greater chance >of damage occurring to metal parts of the lens (such as the >bayonet mount) with saltwater than there is with the glass. So you have gotten ocean's saltspray on a TWO different quality lenses, and left it on them for DAYS without ANY damage just to post that very optimistic and absolutely true story? I am so naive and always try to splash out salt water from any optical instrument ASAP, coze I have only 10 min, max, to safe the lens or filter. But it is just me, you may continiue to keep it for days, for unknown reason, but why not, really!! Thanks for fun, truly yours, Dimitri. >
>Your sarcasm is unwelcome, Dimitri. Please respect other >members' opinions, which they have every right to post - even >if they differ from yours. > >Thank you. It is not an opinion. It is misleading statement, very categorical. Salt ocean water will not permanently damage quality lens. Period. What is it, then? How to call it, "incompetency", or what? Dimitri
I really haven't any idea how I should respond to you, Dimitri - or if I even should bother. Nonetheless, let's play along...
On July 23rd, 2010 I took my Nikon D60 and Nikon 18-200 VR2 lens with me on a fishing trip with my friend RJ. We took his 17' boat out off the coast of Cape Cod. Conditions were ideal, with just barely a touch of wind and a gentle roll to the water.
By the time we were headed back, however, we were racing against the wind and a bitter ocean with 20-25mph gusts. After three hours of fighting stripers and blues in the rip, I was tired and forgot where I had set the lens cap, which we didn't find until we cleaned out the boat. The lens and the camera both got a pretty good dose of spray from not only the chop of the water but also the pounding we were taking trying to race back to the docks. I was holding the camera while he was driving, and was in front of the control pod. I didn't bother to clean the camera or lens when we got back because the fishing trip was NOT the goal of my visit, rather an added bonus to the knifemaking lessons I had with him. RJ's a professional knifemaker, and I'm an amateur that he was kind enough to share his expertise with. I didn't get around to cleaning the camera until I was home, three days later. The ONLY damage that was evident was at the bayonet mount, where the salt spray had started to corrode it. A delicate wiping with Flitz metal polish removed most of the corrosion, but there are spots of pitting still visible.
There is NO damage to the glass of the lens. The only thing I used to clean the salt spots from it was a microfiber cleaning cloth damped with distilled water.
This is so far off the original topic I'm almost embarrassed to have responded to it, and wouldn't normally bother trying to counter someone in such desperate need of attention, but Dimitri's posts accused me of lying, and that isn't something I'm willing to accept, even from an internet troll.
Your photos add nothing to defend or retort the original post, for the record, Dimitri. In order to prove that there is no loss through a filter, you first need to have a control image of the same subject without a filter. Asking others to point out changes in the image without seeing what it looks like without does NOTHING to prove that there aren't any. Remedial scientific principle. But what do I know, right? How to call it, "incompetency"?
Tue 18-Dec-12 03:01 AM | edited Tue 18-Dec-12 03:16 AM by moizes
I've read your post. I am not sure you did the same. I have nothing to compare, coze all of my filters under extremally tight test before use. As I already said, if I see smallest drop in quality, this filter is not for me. About your event - things happen, but never ever lens may survive in salt water, more than 10 min, in my more than half-century pro experience. Lucky you. Just do not post cathegorical pathetic things, as you did in your first post. I could say the same - you wanna blame me lying - couldn't it? About the "Troll" - it is moderator business now. As I already said - some of you, guys, can't handle the truth.
I don't want to further the dispute between you and Dimitri, but I would like to say one thing; Dimitri is certainly not a "Internet troll". He has been a long-time Nikonian member and contributes frequently.
It is known by many members how passionate Dimitri can be. Myself and Mick (mklass) have debated Dimitri many times, especially anything that has to do with his beloved Nikon 28-300.
This is the season of peace and good will, so it is my hope you two can come to an amicable agreement soon.
>Hi Matthew, > >I don't want to further the dispute between you and Dimitri, >but I would like to say one thing; Dimitri is certainly not a >"Internet troll". He has been a long-time Nikonian >member and contributes frequently. > >It is known by many members how passionate Dimitri can >be. Myself and Mick (mklass) have debated Dimitri many times, >especially anything that has to do with his beloved Nikon >28-300. > >This is the season of peace and good will, so it is my hope >you two can come to an amicable agreement soon. > >Jerry > Thank you, Jerry! You have done what moderator must, but, you see... Dimitri
Ok I was going to stay out of this but I can see it needs attention. One I am one of the Mods and when you call someone a liar or make the suggestion without knowing that person or what they have gone thru a personal response will almost always follow. Dimitri your passion is noted but since you were not there then you can not know what Mathew's gear has survived. I am a retired US Navy Corpsman and I had many a lens sit with salt water spray on it because I didn't have time to clean it off right then due to Military requirements and never once did it cause any permanent damage. Yes I agree with you this is not ideal nor do I recommended it but life happens. Now I would say to Mathew it would have been best to walk away and that is always the best coarse of action. But Dimitri you do continue to challenge the membership with they can't handle the truth in more than one thread and this provokes a personal response in many of the threads you post in and I will not say you are always wrong because you are not but you are not always right either. Please drop this NOW and yes the Mods where looking into this thread we do not just jump in we are all volunteers and it may take some time for a Mod to read all the new posts, but it has now gotten out of hand so all parties need to drop the subject.
Well..... some very experienced photographers I have read and whom I respect...including Ansel Adams, say not to use filters except for effect. The only tests that matter to me are the ones that I do on my gear to my eyes. I am generally happier with my shots when my filters are off. If others are happier with their filters on, I think they should use them. Thet's the nice thing about this hobby/career it can be very personal and help us to actually enjoy our leisure/work. Advice and opinions are a good source of information to make us think... what works for us after considering that information is up to us.
Dan (Nikon D800,V2,Sony HX400V,Lumix ZS40) "I don't read, I just look at pictures" - Andy Warhol
I'm in the use a filter camp always using high quality filters. Once you've had an expensive lens ruined (as far as resale value goes) because it didn't have a filter on it, it'll make you wish you had. But, I have started taking off for sunsets and bright light sources but other than less flare I still can't see a visible difference.
>I'm in the use a filter camp always using high quality >filters. Once you've had an expensive lens ruined (as far as >resale value goes) because it didn't have a filter on it, >it'll make you wish you had. But, I have started taking off >for sunsets and bright light sources but other than less flare >I still can't see a visible difference.
20121123-20121123-20121123-001-3 by longzoom, on Flickrckr.com/people/longzoom/]longzoom, on Flickr. That is what(almost)I am talking about. In reality, this resoluton and detailing is enough for any size to print? Even second crop from OOF area is detailed more than enough. Both crops from the image above. D800/28-300 at 28mm. BW filter. Dimitri.
I'm in the use the filter sometimes camp. When I know I am going to be in an harsh enviorment like being at sea(US Navy) I use a high quality Nikon NC filter. When I go to summer camp with my boyscouts I also use a filter becasue of the large amount of dust that I would rather clean off a $100 filter than my $900 dollar lens. I have never really noticed a drop in IQ when using my Nikon NC filters but then again I don't pixel peep either for me if the picture looks good at 8x10, 11x14 maybe even 16x20 I'm good.
I feel there is a time and place for filters and there is no wrong or right answer we all have different needs. I can tell you this salt water is not fun and is abrasive but our Big Eyes on the ship have huge front elements and they are always exposed to salt water with little ill effect you just have to use a lens cleaning solution to clean them as not to scratch the lens with the abrasive salt that has dried on the lens.
Tue 18-Dec-12 10:31 AM | edited Tue 18-Dec-12 10:33 AM by moizes
Jim, that's correct. Salt water is not fun, so NAVY optics is made of very special materials, with insulation and coating of its own kind, as well as submarine's optics, so can't be an argument. Your own camera/lens - yes, sure, must be covered. Can't be an argument(some post from member, above) today words of Great Photographer Mr. A. Adams, which used to work in film era with poorly coated lenses and uncoated filters. Dimitri.