I just pulled the trigger and purchased the Nikon 24-120 f/4 before the rebates ran out.
I'm contemplating whether or not to buy a clear filter as protection for the lens and which one to buy OR just use the lens hood exclusively.
I know people feel strongly one way or the other, just looking for opinions.
Also looking for suggestions on a circular polarizer. Thanks.
#1. "RE: To Buy or not to Buy" | In response to Reply # 0newbird Nikonian since 25th Apr 2006Sun 03-Mar-13 12:39 PM | edited Sun 03-Mar-13 12:41 PM by newbird
Congrats for your new lens, you'll love it. I have several lenses and this one is my most used one. Since I mostly do landscape, I usually use it at f/8 and I get excellent results.
I've used protective filters in my first years as an owner of "expensive lenses" who wanted to protect carefully this equipment. That was 10 years ago. I now know that the sun hood offers a different but more efficient protection and I've stopped using protective filters about 5 years ago. The hood is more efficient when I bump my lens (which is more frequent as I use a Black Rapid strap in the field, in cities, etc.). In fact, I always put the hood on my lenses to minimize the risk of flare and for protection. I'm also a big fan of polarizing filters (I have one for each lens so I don't have to take it on and off when I change lenses), consequently I then have no need for an additional protective filter when I use polarizers.
Nevertheless, I regularly carry a protective filter for those occasions where I don't want to use a polarizing filter and when a hood isn't a sufficient protection. This is the case when there are splashes nearby (ex. Water, mud, snow) and when there are young kids (fingers in lenses) or similar occasions.
Regarding polarizers, I have Nikon, B+W and SinghRay. My fav is Nikon because it is thin AND has filter threads to add another filter (ex. Filter holder for 4x6 ND grad filters). The polarizing effect seem the same for all. The three brands are excellent quality.
Quebec Fine-Art Landscape Photographer
#2. "RE: To Buy or not to Buy" | In response to Reply # 1Sun 03-Mar-13 01:06 PM
Thanks for the reply Yvan.
I have clear filter and CP for my Nikon 18-200mm which will soon go to Craigslist/Nikonians for sale forums. I agree with using the clear filter in dusty/wet conditions.
I guess the best option is to have all three (clear, CP and hood) options depending on the conditions.
#3. "RE: To Buy or not to Buy" | In response to Reply # 0
The value in using a clear protective filter is based on a number of subjective factors such as comfort, risk, and shooting preferences. I suggest you read some of the other posts here; I'm not sure there's very much new to say on the subject.
I use lens hoods for most of my outdoor shots. The exceptions are when I'm using a polarizer or filter system, or I get in a hurry to change lenses. I only protective filters in adverse environmental conditions, but I've paided the price for that. Over time, two of my lenses picked up small marks on the front element. Neither was detectable in the resulting shots, but each cut the resale price of the lens drastically.
The current Nikon polarizers are excellent. From personal experience, I can also recommend B+W, Hoya HD, Hoya Pro 1 Digital, and Marumi Super DHG polarizers. I feel each has some advantages:
-- The Marumi Super DHG is often the least expensive, but I find them to be a bit harder to clean that the Nikon or Hoya Pro 1.
-- The Hoya HD uses a different polarizing film which allows about 1/4 of a stop of additional light to pass with a very slight warming effect.
-- The B+W filters use brass rings instead of aluminum alloy. B+W also offers Kaesemann style filters, which offer superior moisture resistance. They also still offer a "thick" polarizer, which can be a little easier to turn and remove than the others, but can cause vignetting with some lenses. I'm not sure about the 24-120mm f/4; I haven't tried a thick polarizer on mine.
This is not a comprehensive list. There are other excellent filters out there. There is also a slew of less expensive polarizers labelled as "multi-coated" which have at most a single layer of coating on each side. About once a year I use one of those lesser grade polarizers for my 300mm f/4, but for more frequent use I suggest getting one of the better filters.
"There is no real magic in photography, just the sloppy intersection of physics and art." — Kirk Tuck
#4. "RE: To Buy or not to Buy" | In response to Reply # 3Sun 03-Mar-13 02:43 PM
I'm a firm believer of "you get what you pay for" so I'm inclined to spend a little extra than the cheapest available.
I currently have Nikon and Hoya filters and have been happy with them. Thanks.
#5. "RE: To Buy or not to Buy" | In response to Reply # 0
I am one from the other side of the fence.
I have Nikon NC filters on most of my lenses that I only take off when I know flare will be a problem. I have a very large extended family with many curious little hands that get into places they shouldn't. The filters have saved more than a few lenses over the years.
I use Nikon Circular Polarizer II and B+W Circular Polarizers.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#6. "RE: To Buy or not to Buy" | In response to Reply # 5Mon 04-Mar-13 02:59 PM
Thanks for the input. My current Nikon CP will not fit the new lens so that is a no-brainer. Whether I go with a Nikon or B+W, price will determine which one.
I'm leaning towards the Nikon NC also mainly because I don't know which B+W to purchase.
I'll still make use of the lens hood, but it's nice to have the option in dusty/wet enviroments (or curious fingers) as an added layer of protection. Thanks.
#7. "RE: To Buy or not to Buy" | In response to Reply # 6MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Mon 04-Mar-13 07:55 PM
The B+W F-Pro 007 Clear MRC and the XS-Pro Clear 007 MRC Nano filters are excellent but they are also more expensive than the Nikon NC's.
The F-Pro MRC CPL are about the same price as the Nikon CPL II.
The Kaesemann MRC and Nano are more expensive than the Nikon CPL II.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#9. "RE: To Buy or not to Buy" | In response to Reply # 8mkbee1 Registered since 26th Nov 2012Mon 18-Mar-13 02:08 AM
Use one or not, whichever you feel best with. It will not make a noticable difference in your photos...except for possibly increased flare in a very smalll percentage of circumstances. Then, take it off!
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