Hoya (or any type) filters

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Shaka04, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Shaka04

    Shaka04 New Member

    Jul 13, 2014
    Morning all,

    I have just obtained a Nikon J1 which is my first half decent camera and I am really enjoying it so far (only had it a couple of days).

    It has come with a Hoya 40.5mm UV filter which I have yet to try out.

    I am quite interested in also getting a 'Polarizing filter' as I like the look of the before/after pictures. I will mostly be taking pictures of landscapes, outdoors in general, Snowdonia pictures.

    So, will this filter be a worthwhile purchase? Which one shall I go for - any recommendations?

    I am very new to photography and all advice and feedback is very welcome!!

  2. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Hi Shaka!
    Congrats on the Nikon, looking forward to seeing some pictures with it!

    UV filters don't do much for your image quality unless you're high up in the mountains, in which case they remove the blue cast that's caused by the abundance UV light that hasn't been filtered out yet at that altitude. They are commonly used to protect the lens against dust and moisture, but if the filter is not of adequate quality, you risk reduced resolution, contrast, flare and double images.

    Whether that's worth the risk or not is subject to a lot of debate. In everyday situations I think the risk of dust or moisture isn't worth the potential reduction in image quality, but when I went on a backpacking trip to Africa (including the Sahara) I made sure to have a filter on my expensive camera at all times. My UV filter is a Rodenstock, which is just about the most expensive brand out there for consumer / enthusiast level, and has a very good reputation. It doesn't reduce contrast or resolution or induce flare, but it does produce a green double image if there's a bright light source in a dark frame. So even the best brand can have very noticeable "side effects" if the circumstances conspire against it. Therefore I only use it when I think there's a real need for protection.

    Polarizing filters are different - they have a noticeable effect on your photos in many circumstances, and what's more, the effect can't be replicated in post-production. I have greatly enjoyed using one, although I sometimes forgot to turn it to the right position - the effect of the polarizing filter depends on where you are relative to the sun / light source, and also on how you rotate the filter, so that's something to be aware of. Because the effect changes with the angle of the light, a polarizer on a wide angle lens can give inconsistent results across the frame, as one side of the photo might be aimed towards the sun much more than the other side.

    As to which brand to get, Lenstip has some great reviews of both UV and polarizing filters. You'll note that it's not always the most expensive ones that have the best results. If you plan to use a UV filter for protective purposes, it's good to know that the more espensive filters do often have better scratch resistance and more durable coatings, and can be cleaned more easily. My own polarizing filter is a Hoya and I'm satisfied with it.
  3. Shaka04

    Shaka04 New Member

    Jul 13, 2014
    Thanks for the fantastic reply!

    I have a Hoya UV filter - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hoya-40-5mm-Digital-Screw--Filter/dp/B0045J2LVS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405513814&sr=8-1&keywords=hoya+40.5+uv

    And I am thinking of getting their polarizing one (just to try out).

    I will be going into the mountains on a short holiday at the end of August so it sounds like it may be of some use to me.

    I guess it's all about experimenting. I am very new to all this but have always enjoyed the outdoors and other people's photos - it is something I would now like to get into.

    I guess it's just about taking pictures, pictures and more pictures. :smile:

    I'm still getting my head around everything on the camera - it's turning out more like button bashing to see what things do!
  4. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Hall of Famer

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    B&W brand filters, by Schneider optical (all my favorite enlarging and large format lenses are Schneiders) are made with very good quality optical glass, are highly thought of, and are affordable. I don't mean really cheap, but priced well for what you get.
  5. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    ^ be aware that there're large differences in quality between B+W's budget lines and their higher lines - the budget lines have the reputation of not being any better than similarly priced competitors, sometimes worse.