Canon Community Canon Community
 


Reply
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-02-2017

Do I need a lens filter for protection?

I recently bought a Canon T5 bundle without really knowing the first thing about cameras. I'd like to learn, though, which is why I bought it.

My mother tells me I absolutely, definitely, 100% must get a lens filter to protect the lens, but I've read conflicting theories on whether or not it's a good idea, so I've come here to ask. I have heard people say that lens hoods give better protection, but I'm still unsure.

I got the camera on clearance for very cheap, and I'm on an extremely limited budget, so I'm unable to spend a lot on accessories, but I also don't want to fail to protect what I've got.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,184
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Do I need a lens filter for protection?

Forget the filter. Use a lens hood for bump protection and stay out of rain and water spray.

 

A cheap filter will likely degrade image quality.

 

There are times for filiters (polarizer, neutral density filters) but for a beginner on a limited budget be careful and enjoy learning your hobby.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-02-2017

Re: Do I need a lens filter for protection?

Thank you so much. Is there anything in particular I should look for in a lens hood? And will I need a different one for both of my lenses (18-55mm and 75-300mm)?
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,184
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Do I need a lens filter for protection?

Look on Amazon. Search for lens hood for your lens and get the cheapest one. Should be under $10 each. Unlikely that both lenses use the same one. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,931
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Do I need a lens filter for protection?

I wouldn't worry about any filters immediately.  Filters can create reflections and ghosting which would degrade image quality.  Better filters have good anti-reflective coatings and these help ... but it's still possible to get reflections even with these.

 

In some environmentally hostile shooting situations it might be helpful to have a filter on the front of the lens... but that's infrequent and most of the time the filter isn't needed.  

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,792
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Do I need a lens filter for protection?

"...my lenses (18-55mm and 75-300mm)?"

 

This is a hotly contested issue.  To use protecto filters or not.  I am generally on the side of, always use one.  The down side to using protecto filters is so small as to not be a problem at all.  It is always over stated.  Plus, if the situation arises you can always remove the filter.  Lots of folks seem to forget filters screw off just as easily as the screwed on!

 

The real truth is filters are largely obsolete.  Their time has come and gone with the digital age.  The few exceptions are the protecto and perhaps an ND or polarizer.  But even they are mostly obsolete, too.

 

On some Canon lenses a protecto filter is mandatory for full weather sealing.  Canon states this in the manual for the lens.

 

Now to answer your question specifically, the benefit must be considered.  You do need to buy high quality filters.  You need to compare that vs the cost of your lens.  On a $1000 dollar lens a $50 or $60 dollar protecto filter is a small price to pay for the protection.  The same filter on a $100 or even a $200 dollar lens is not such a good value is it?  I would skip the filter in your case as others have suggested.

 

A hood does offer a small amount of prtoection but it is an item that you should use all the time anyway.  So, it has two advantages.

 

Personally, I have protecto filters on almost all of my lenses.  They all have hoods, too.

 

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,749
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Do I need a lens filter for protection?

[ Edited ]

kitkat wrote:
I recently bought a Canon T5 bundle without really knowing the first thing about cameras. I'd like to learn, though, which is why I bought it.

My mother tells me I absolutely, definitely, 100% must get a lens filter to protect the lens, but I've read conflicting theories on whether or not it's a good idea, so I've come here to ask. I have heard people say that lens hoods give better protection, but I'm still unsure.

I got the camera on clearance for very cheap, and I'm on an extremely limited budget, so I'm unable to spend a lot on accessories, but I also don't want to fail to protect what I've got.

For your EF-S 18-55 IS and EF 75-300, no you are not going to want to use a protective filter. If you use protective filters they have to be top quality filters to avoid degrading the image quality. The problem is a top quality filter will cost well over half the replacement cost of your lens. So in cost benefit terms you are much better off taking the small risk of damaging your lens and having to replace it vs spending more than half that cost to try and protect it. If you just buy a cheap filter you are going to hurt the image quality of your photos.

 

Get a bulb blower like the Rocket Blower. Get a brush designed for lenses like the LensPen. And get some Zeiss Lens Wipes. Use the minimum amount of cleaning needed. Always use them in this order, Rocket Blower, Lens Brush, Zeiss Lens, Wipes, cup end of the LensPen. If a Rocket Blower works, stop there. Always use the minimum amount of cleaning needed. More isn't better when it comes to caring for your lenses.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,893
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Do I need a lens filter for protection?

[ Edited ]

kitkat wrote:
I recently bought a Canon T5 bundle without really knowing the first thing about cameras. I'd like to learn, though, which is why I bought it.

My mother tells me I absolutely, definitely, 100% must get a lens filter to protect the lens, but I've read conflicting theories on whether or not it's a good idea, so I've come here to ask. I have heard people say that lens hoods give better protection, but I'm still unsure.

I got the camera on clearance for very cheap, and I'm on an extremely limited budget, so I'm unable to spend a lot on accessories, but I also don't want to fail to protect what I've got.

Others have already pretty much exhausted the pros and cons of protective filters.  If you do buy a filter, I would recommend buying a clear filter.  You do not need a UV filter because there is a UV filter built into your digital camera.

 

If you do buy a clear protective filter, then it will not be as expensive as previously described.  Your lenses will need a 58mm filter, which costs about half of previous estimates.  I would recommend the B+W 58mm XS-Pro Clear MRC-Nano 007 Filter.  The same filter can fit either of your lenses, so you can buy one filter, or two.  

 

The best course of action may be to keep Mom happy.  Buy the clear filter, not a UV filter.  For technical reasons, nearly all digital cameras have a UV filter built into their image sensor assembly.  With the use of a filter, then the use of a hood, to shield the filter from light hitting it from angles outside of the field of view, becomes all the more important.  Look for 3rd party hoods, too..

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,749
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Do I need a lens filter for protection?

[ Edited ]

The B+W 58mm XS-Pro Clear MRC-Nano 007 Filter costs $30. Half the replacement cost* of the EF-S 18-55 IS or the EF-S 75-300.

* EX+ condition at KEH

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,893
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Do I need a lens filter for protection?

[ Edited ]

TTMartin wrote:

The B+W 58mm XS-Pro Clear MRC-Nano 007 Filter costs $30. Half the replacement cost* of the EF-S 18-55 IS or the EF-S 75-300.

* EX+ condition at KEH


The same filter can fit either lens, which is one quarter of YOUR cited replacement cost of both lenses.  

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
powered by Lithium

LIKE US on Facebook FOLLOW US on Twitter WATCH US on YouTube CONNECT WITH US on Linkedin WATCH US on Vimeo FOLLOW US on Instagram SHOP CANON at the Canon Online Store
© Canon U.S.A., Inc.   |    Terms of Use   |    Privacy Statement