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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> UV vs. NO Filter Comparison Shots
Showing posts 1 - 17 of 17, (reverse)
10/14/2005 12:11:21 PM · #1
Hey All,
So much talk about UV filters, especially cheap ones, degrading images that I decided to pixel peep and see for myself.

I shot identical images with my Bigma near sunset with and without a cheapo S&W multi coated UV filter I bought for about $20 on eBay.

All shots were with 2 second delay on a tripod with Av f8 and AF.
I've included 3 images, Images 1-3 with A and B version. One of the versions is with a UV filter, one is without. The images are crops from 100% from the center and corner. It was shot in RAW without any sharpening or processing. I must note that Image 2B has a bit of shake b/c I didn't let the camera/tripod settle after making adjustments, so please disregard the slight softness. You can also click on the images to get original sized versions to view.

Let's see who can guess which was shot with a UV filter.

Please feel free to post your guesses and the reason why. I'll post which shot was with UV filter in a day or so.


Message edited by author 2005-10-14 12:16:00.
10/14/2005 09:58:24 PM · #2
56 views and no try/guess so far?
10/15/2005 03:43:11 AM · #3
I'm going to have to get some cheapies for my lenses :)
10/15/2005 03:49:32 AM · #4
Not the best shots to try and judge with but it looks to me as if the B shots have a little less resolution.
10/15/2005 07:35:08 AM · #5
I have found that using a UV filter does not hinder my shots except in one situation... when I am shooting into the sun, the extra glass can cause lens flare. This can be avoided by taking off the UV filter in such situations or by using a lens hood
10/15/2005 08:40:57 AM · #6
I can't tell..but I got so little sleep that I can barely see too...time to go vote..
can you tell, especially with full size files?
10/15/2005 09:16:02 AM · #7
Originally posted by bucket:

I can't tell..but I got so little sleep that I can barely see too...time to go vote..
can you tell, especially with full size files?

The center and the corners are crops I took from 100% crops.
You can also click on the images to get a full sized versions.
10/15/2005 12:50:23 PM · #8
Here are the images with the UV filter
Image 1A
Image 2B
Image 3A

I couldn't see any difference.
10/15/2005 08:13:12 PM · #9
1B has a starburst effect around the sun, 1A does not. Do you think it the angle of the sun or the way you held the camera (so the sun was behind more branches) or is it due to the UV filter?
10/17/2005 12:53:19 AM · #10
Originally posted by hankk:

1B has a starburst effect around the sun, 1A does not. Do you think it the angle of the sun or the way you held the camera (so the sun was behind more branches) or is it due to the UV filter?

No, by the time I placed the filter on, the sun was down. I didn't shoot everyting in order.

Message edited by author 2005-10-17 00:54:01.
10/17/2005 01:23:05 PM · #11
I shoot horse competitions - One stone from a flying hoof and there goes $1,650.00 down the tube (literaly).

Good quality, multi-coated Tiffen UV. Cheap insurance
10/17/2005 06:30:03 PM · #12
I'm not asking if we should or shouldn't use UV filter. I'm trying to see if I used a UV filter on my Bigma for an airshow, whether the UV filter would degrade the image.

I couldn't see any difference, so I used the filter with no problems.
see here.
10/17/2005 06:41:40 PM · #13
ahhhh, finaly cheap people like me. I only have 1 Hoya filter and 1 tiffen, only because I could not find a cheap one in the size i needed. all others are cheap and they work great for me

10/17/2005 07:22:32 PM · #14
I saw another comparison like this some time ago, although having spent the last 15 minutes looking i can't find it again. It was more scientific, with side-by-side images with no filter, a cheap filter and an expensive filter, and invited you to try to guess which was which. If i remember rightly the expensive vs cheap filter caused some confusion, the cheap one giving seemingly better image quality most of the time - however, the article tried to play down the differences between filter and no filter, which it claimed were not noticeable. If i also recall correctly, the differences were quite noticeable, with both filters losing some contrast and edge clarity (although not much).
10/17/2005 07:42:05 PM · #15
The bottom line is that ANY filter in front of your lens will degrade the image to some extent, as they will ALL reduce the amount of light getting to your lens. Now, the real issue is whether or not you will notice that your image has been degraded... in most cases, probably not. Most folks just don't get that picky about their images.

The exception to this would be if you used a really bad filter on a really long lens. This could potentially give you some very poor results with a lousy filter in place. But, most modern filters are of a pretty high quality, and should not be much of a problem.
10/17/2005 07:45:37 PM · #16
The effects of the filter on resolution also will be minimized with a long telephoto. The light rays are all passing nearly perpendicular to the filter surface, thus the optical effect is minimized. The filter may still cause linear distortion if its thickness varies, but that's a lot harder to evaluate.
This filter was multicoated, an dthat coating was obviously fairly effective, since there is little or not additional flare, even shooting almost directly into the sun.
Try the same test with a WA lens, I believe the results will be more telling...
10/18/2005 12:21:56 AM · #17
I agree, I think wide angles shooting in dark ambient light while the lens is aimed at a bright light source, e.g. a headlight, tends to cause the most flare. Actually, that is the only time I see flare caused by the filter. Hence, I take off my filters when shooting in dark environments/nights.

This is a really cheap filter on eBay, it's a S&W Multicoated filter from Idaho. If supposedly this lens really has multi coating and does this type of a job, then I wonder what more we're getting with over $100 filters by B+W and such.

Once again, I didn't start this thread to start a dispute over to use a UV filter or not, but just to see if everyone could tell the difference for me at the airshow.

Oh BTW, here are the airshow pics. All shot with a Bigma in DG, except a few F16 shots from a fellow photogs 200mm f1.8L with a Canon 1.4TC.

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