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UV filter for 50mm/f1.4, Canon or Hoya HMC?

Teck Boon Goh , Aug 27, 2005; 02:30 p.m.

I've recently bought this lens and it came with the UV filter from canon, my question is if i should stick to this filter or invest in hoya's super HMC UV filter, which seems the best i can find from someone other than canon. would it make a difference in the quality of the pictures? afterall, every piece of glass in front of the lens will affect the quality in one way or the other... thanks in advance.


Pierre Bellavance , Aug 27, 2005; 02:46 p.m.

You want image quality? Replace the UV filter with a lens hood.

Filters degrade image quality, while lens hood enhance image quality and protect as much.


Sheldon Nalos , Aug 27, 2005; 03:01 p.m.

If you are going to use a UV filter, there are a couple that are considered "good" quality (although additional glass surfaces are never going to improve a lens). The best is usually agreed to be the B+W UV MRC (multicoated) filter. The high end Hoya filters and Heliopan filters are also considered good. Canon is generally not considered that good for UV filters.

I use a B+W UV 010 MRC F-Pro filter on my 50mm f/1.4 whenever I feel the need for a UV filter.

Hope this helps!


Eric D , Aug 27, 2005; 03:14 p.m.

Why use a UV filter at all? A lens hood will protect as well without degrading the quality of your pictures.

Steve Dunn , Aug 27, 2005; 05:04 p.m.

I don't have a general hatred for UV filters as some people here do, and Canon doesn't, either, since they specifically recommend their use on certain pro lenses. But I don't use a UV filter on this lens. It's a lens I use mostly for special purposes, so it doesn't get a heck of a lot of use, and when it's in the camera bag with the lens cap on it, there's no need for a protective filter. The front element is fairly deeply recessed, which provides a measure of protection against flare and physical intrusion; adding a UV filter negates the flare protection and doesn't greatly improve the physical protection. And since one of the two reasons I'd use this lens rather than either of the zooms I have which cover approximately this focal length is for its optics (the other reason being speed), I'm disinclined to put a filter on it unless I need the filter.

Oh, and like all my other lenses, I have and use the lens hood. Always, unless there's a darn good reason not to. I do agree with those who suggest that the money would better be spent on adding the hood, if you don't already have it, than on buying a more expensive UV filter.

Yakim Peled , Aug 28, 2005; 04:06 a.m.

My camera salesperson tried to sell my a protective filter. Should I get one?

As I see it - No. I am doing fine (for 15 years) without any. I think that the use of a protective filter is justified only in hostile environments (e.g. in the middle of a sand storm) where there is a real risk that something will actually touch the lens (water and fingerprints are easily wiped off). And as I'm never in such places I simply use the lens caps when the lens is in the bag and the lens hood at all other times (i.e. when it's on the camera). This way...

1. I have the best flare protection. Some mediocre filters actually increase the chance of getting flare. Good ones are pricey.
2. I have better physical protection.
3. I save money of "protective" filters. A dedicated lens hood is cheaper than a good filter.
4. I have best optical results.

The only filter I own is a CPL. As I have good lenses (Canon primes), I chose an equally good filter: B+W MRC. If I'd buy a UV filter at some point in the future it will also be B+W MRC. From what I hear B+W are the best. My experience with my CPL confirms this.

Also, have a look here and here.

Happy shooting ,

gareth harper , Aug 28, 2005; 01:54 p.m.

Pretty much a filter is a filter is a filter. I've got various brands of filter, Hoya, Kood, Jessops, B+W, Hamma and Mamiya. Can't tell one from the other in terms of quality.

Lens hoods offer some limited protection. I always shoot with a filter on the end of the lens. I'm always cleaning my filters but I rarely ever have to clean my lenses.

Also filters do not degrade image quality, in fact many filters can and do improve it.

Geoff Francis , Aug 29, 2005; 02:13 p.m.

What Gareth said. I've used a variety of filters, B&W, Hoya, Tiffen, Quantaray and can't tell any difference between any of them with anything I have shot. Inlcuding UVs, polarisers, 81 series, and NDs. If you are going to get nuerotic, get a B&W or Heliopan. If not any brand will do, but do get a multicoated one as they are less likely to flare and improve light transmissibility.

I prefer having a UV filter on my lenses mainly becuase I would rather be cleaning dust, water drops, salt spray, finger marks, etc of this than of my lenses.

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