19 January 2017

Why you should not use UV filters as protection on telephoto lenses

Just over a year ago, I bought the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM II for my Canon 5D III and fitted it with a UV filter from the first day.

I've always been in the habit of putting UV filters on my wide lenses just for protection. When you go to a camera store to buy a new lens, the salesman tries to convince you to buy a UV filter because "UV filter protects the lens from scratches".

For telephoto lenses such as Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM II, it seems to be a different story and I've learned it from my first wildlife tours. UV filter cuts down the sharpness and contrast of the image.

left: with UV filter // right: without filter



Also, it delivers an unpleasant bokeh like in the picture below:

.jpf from the camera (Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM II + Kenko UV filter)
The difference in image quality between images taken without a UV filter and images taken with a UV filter can sometimes be drastic.



Below images taken with Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM II without an UV filter:






So next time a salesman tries to sell you a UV filter, save your money and just use your lens hood to protect the front element of your lens.

Location: Bucharest, Romania

1 comment ~ Why you should not use UV filters as protection on telephoto lenses

  1. My advice is to use multicoated clear glass filters as opposed to UV filters. Prefferably by Hoya or B&W. UV filtration isn't really needed for telephoto lenses.

    ReplyDelete

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