Another Fortographers segment:: Okay a debate came up in our Facebook group (JPG – Joining Photographers in GA) about should you put a clear UV Filter on your expensive glass. Some said no because you are down grading the quality of the image, some said yeah because it acts more like protection than anything. Well in a nutshell, about half of photographers including myself add UV Filters to all of their lenses just as protection… that’s why I do and that’s why I was told to do it and it sounded like a good idea… so i thought, BUT after talking to a few in the group I became curious and I am always looking for ways to improve my images. So I set out to put this to the test…..
Nikon D3s : 70-200 f2.8 VRII : $70 Nikon brand UV Filter : $30 Rocketfish UV Filter : $129 Mongoose Bike (which is for sale and like new =)
The images are SOOC (straight out of camera) meaning no edits have been applied. all pictures were taken under natural light all with in a 2minute window to help in decreasing light quality from the setting sun
this image shows all of the shots taken… i took each shot at the same f/stop, ISO, shutter speed, white balance and focal length.
Right off the bat I noticed a shift in what looks like the amount of light between filters them selves… The $70 Nikon brand (higher priced) filter seemed to come very close to the shot with no filter at all… The Rocketfish seemed to be a little darker… not good, not bad… its just what you prefer i guess…
The Zoom Test:
These are all the same settings just with the different Filters on and off
You make can click on the image and make it a little bigger, but again the Nikon brand filter (higher priced) seems to be more inline with true light coming in the lens. from this zoom test i could not tell a substantial difference in image quality between any of the shots….
My Conclusion (IMO only)
I don’t think there is enough evidence in image quality one way or the other that I found to make me want to remove my UV Filters from my very expensive lenses and take a chance on busting or cracking the end. I will deff keep all my UV filters on, BUT i may look into getting all the same brand as i did learn that different UV seem to let in different amounts of light and or color of the light… so i hoped this help to answer any questions you may have had… I would love to see your test…
So I’m not sure why a lot of people ask me what gear I use… though good gear is a big part of a photographers repertoire but it doesn’t completely make the photographer a photographer. With that being said if you are spending good money on good photography, then maybe knowing the gear that a photographer uses will reinforce the idea that this photographer is serious about his work and it’s just not a hobby… that’s maybe the only reason I can come to that clients ask me what gear I use…. and by all means not every client ask… only a small percentage do. Anybody that knows me knows that I LOVE to talk gear and techniques, so this is for that small percentage and anybody else that would like to know what goes on behind the scenes =)
Camera & Lenses
Nikon D3 (discontinued, Replaced by the D3s)
Nikon SB-800 (discontinued, replaced by the SB-900)
Compact Flash Cards – 20GBs
Computers & Software
MAC Book 15″ (2009 model)
Adobe Camera RAW 6.3