Thursday, December 21, 2006

12/21/06: To Filter or Not?

A lens is the most senstive (external) part of a camera and many photographers debate whether or not you should protect your lens with a filter. On the "use one" side of the argument, the theory is that a $20 UV filter is much easier to replace than a $600 lens. On the "don't use one" side, many photographers feel that images look better with fewer pieces of glass to travel through.

In most cases I prefer to NOT use filters. In 20 years of shooting professionally I've never broken a filter or a lens (including putting a filter in a filter case, putting it in my back pocket -- forgetting about -- and then sitting down!). Quite often I let a lens hood protect the front of the lens for me. But the real decision should come down to how accident-prone you are! If you tend to break a lot of things...slap a filter on that expensive lens. If you walk under ladders and in the path of a black cat on Friday the 13th and still have never had to replace any broken piece of camera gear (some might argue that you are "due"...he-he-he) then don't worry about a filter until you need one for creative effect. (And, of course, the PS gurus will argue that almost any filter effect can be accomplished in post-processing!)

Hmmm...have I settled anything today? ;)


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