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First Filter for first SLR
I just ordered a Nikon D40x with the 18-55 lens and the 55-200 VR lens after much lurking around on this site. But now I need a filter. I have absolutely no idea what size or what kind I need. I hear the multi-coated are best. Can anyone steer me in the right direction for filters? I am mostly concerned with protecting the lens while maintaining a good picture...

Comments (9)

There are many, including me, who will wonder why you would buy perfectly good lenses and then put another piece of glass between them and the world..

I don't use filters, except for specific reasons, and protection is never one of them..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #1

I have used a UV filter as a protection filter, and under some circumstances it does make sense. When I was using mine I was in a sandy dusty enviroment and wanted to keep my front element from being scratched. Also if your lens takes a light hit the filter will protect it, as will a lens hood..

To figure out what filter size you need either look at your lens or go online. On your lens it is usually represented by a crossed 0 and a number. That will be your filter size. The maker of your lens will also post it on thier offical webpage..

Coating help reduce the amount of light that reflects off the glass of your filter. The more coatings the less light reflected, but in my opinion there are deminishing returns to the different levels. A basic multi-coated filter should be good enough..

Now I am no filter expert, but I'll give you a run down of the more common filters available....

UV filter: This is what I used for a protection filter. They are actually supposed to remove UV light from pictures, which will remove a blue cast in your pictures caused by them. This is more common at high altitudes than moderate and sea level..

Protection filter: Just clear glass. If you are worried about scratches to your front element than it makes sense to invest in one. Plus if you are worried about resale value this helps keep it high..

Circular polarizer: In my opinion this is the most useful filter for digital photography. These filters can remove reflected light and glare of objects like the surface of water. They are also great for giving the sky a deep blue color. There are a few tricks to get the msot out of them, but they are all over the web so I'll let you look it up if you are interested. They can also act as a Neutral Density filter which I'll explain below..

Neutral Density: These filters lower the amount of light entering your camera. This comes in handy when you want a longer shutter speed or larger aperture in bright light. They are usually sold in 2, 4 and 8 stop increments. Lets say you have a shutter speed of 1/100 and you throw on a 4x ND filter, your shutter speed becomes 1/6th of a second..

Gradient filters: These filters start with one color at the top and gradually phase it out by the bottom. They are commonly used when shooting a bright sky and a dark ground. You can replicate this effect in photoshop, so most people don't use these anymore..

Color correction filter: These were much more common in the film days where you couldn't adjust white balance at the touch of a button. Alot of these have names like 80A or 80B. They aren't really needed for digital photography..

Color filters: These will introduce a color into your pictures, but the same can be done in layers in photoshop so these are not used very much anymore either..

This is a bit more than you asked for, but it should be helpful in understanding filters. The only two I use at the moment or Circular polarizers and ND filters. Here are a couple decent resources of filters....

Http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=academy_new&article=011906_1http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=academy_new&article=081006.

Hope it helps, if you have anymore questions I'll do my best to answer them...

Comment #2

This gets asked and answered regularly on the beginners forum... although since the 'search' function is often down you may not be aware of it .

The easiest way to protect the front element of a lens is to use the lens hood, which will protect it from knocks. They are cheap and it doesn;t matter if they get banged or scratched a bit. A good multicoated filter (and there is no point using any other kind as you run the risk of degrading your picture) will cost a lot more - a significant proportion of the value of your 18-55 lens, for example - and if it gets scratched you will have to replace it..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #3

Aletheia wrote:.

There are many, including me, who will wonder why you would buyperfectly good lenses and then put another piece of glass betweenthem and the world..

Indeed. I don't get the "I need" in OP's message coupled with "I don't know about size or kind"..

I don't use filters, except for specific reasons, and protection isnever one of them..

I'll add about reasons:.

UV filter: only when you know you'll get splash or snow or ice on the lens. Because it's easier to clean than a curved front element... and it can be removed if impossible to clean..

Polarizer. Strenghtens colors, removes reflections..

ND - for slower shutter speed than normally possible in that light - i.e. waterfalls.

Gradual ND - to reduce (or increase!) contrast..

/d/n..

Comment #4

The lenses you mention both have a filter size of 52mm so you can buy one filter which will fit both and swap as required..

If, as you mention, it's simply protection you want a good choice would be a "Hoya 52mm DMC PRO1 Clear Protector Digital Filter" which should be approx $33. "DMC" stands for Digital Multi Coated..

I use the 72mm UV version + nice to have that feeling of protection..

Regards......Caster.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #5

I did use the search but could not find exactly what I wanted so I figured I'd post..

I probably will use other filters eventually but initially while I have no clue what I am doing I just want protection for the lens. I will have to look into a hood as an option as well. Thank you for all your helpful posts!..

Comment #6

Gradient filters are still used by pros. If the sun is in the shot - flare degrades the image a great deal and a gradient neutral density will reduce the flare. If the sun is high in the sky and in the shot- the amount of flare ruins the shot with out a gradient neutral density filter. This cannot be corrected in photoshop.Buzz..

Comment #7

Hi there,.

A 'UV' or 'Sky Light' Filter is perfect for leaving on your lens all the time. It doesn't make a massive amount of difference to your shots, but it certainly protects the lens..

For a bit of fun you could try a 'Polariser'. This one you can twist around and you'll see the colours and contrast changing nicely. It's good for reducing reflections on glass or water too..

I use 'HOYA' filters, but I don't think they're the best by a long shot.......

Hope that helps,.

Nick Kindhttp://www.nickkind.com..

Comment #8

Mike703 wrote:.

This gets asked and answered regularly on the beginners forum...although since the 'search' function is often down you may not beaware of it .

The easiest way to protect the front element of a lens is to use thelens hood, which will protect it from knocks. They are cheap and itdoesn;t matter if they get banged or scratched a bit. A goodmulticoated filter (and there is no point using any other kind as yourun the risk of degrading your picture) will cost a lot more - asignificant proportion of the value of your 18-55 lens, for example -and if it gets scratched you will have to replace it..

Hey, 23, I think mike has it summed up well. If you value image quality (IQ), you will need a multicoated UV filter as protection. It costs about 1/2 of what your "kit" lens does. Some photographers have lenses that are 30-50 years old and the front elements of these lenses are not scratched. I don't think it makes sense to put a $50 filter on a $100 lens, but some people do it in spite of what I think. .

Even with my very expensive lenses, I don't use protective filters. But I DO use a lens hood 100% of the time!.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #9

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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