When should I use lens filters?

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QOTD from Kim: "Lens filters...should I always use one? Is there one type thats a good all around one to use?"

Yohan: polarized filter is something you can keep on the lens. Also ND filter to be able to shoot wide open in a sunny day

Mollie:  I keep one on for the general safety of my lens. If that gets dirty or scratched, my lens is still safe.

Tim: Depends on what you are shooting. I keep UV filters on my lenses, more for protection than anything else. I do not agree that a polarized filter be used on the lens most of the time. You lose 2 stops with that filter.

Jennifer: Skylight filters are what I use.

Silver: I have the mentality that a filter (especially a uv or polarized) is just one more thing to shoot through. I want the sharpest images possible so I quit using filters and I have seen a great deal of improvement. Just my two cents :) oh and I have yet to scratch my lens but I understand the worry!

Jfs Photography: The problem with filters is that the newer lenses that are out on the market that are in the "digital" age already have a UV coating on the front of the glass. When you add a UV filter to a lens that already has UV coating your adding a second layer of "coating" to shoot through thus degrading the light and the sharpness of the image.

Polarized filters dont interact with the UV coating on the lens as the polarization cuts out a differnt light spectrum then UV...

Most lenses nowadays come with a hood that is on the lens...they serve two purposes...one to cut down on lens flare, and two to protect the front of the lens...if anything and your worried about scratches...then use them as just a protector, but take them off when you shoot

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