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Skylight 1a filter

Discussion in 'Pentax Chat' started by skronk, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. skronk

    skronk Well-Known Member

    Found 2 of these that fits my 2 new lenses on K10d.

    Should they be left in place permanently on new lenses or discarded? Any advice appreciated. Both are Vivitar make.
  2. Tacitus

    Tacitus Well-Known Member

    It's completely up to you. The 1a has a slight effect in reducing haze; a tad more so than a UV filter. The effects of both types (and the stronger 1b) is more noticeable at very high altitudes (say 4000ft upwards). The 1a also gives an almost imperceptible warm tone - more so with the 1b.

    Older Vivitar filters may be uncoated however, and there is a slight possibility that this may result in flare not otherwise seen in a naked lens that is set deeper in the lens barrel, especially if there's a strong light source at an angle to the lens axis. Such issues vary from lens to lens - but they may be much more critical with digital cameras/lenses for which special types of multicoated filters are strongly recommended by manufacturers. This is possibly most true for zoom lenses where the front elements are often both large and very curved. I haven't yet seen problems with using single coated filters on my digital cameras.

    However, for most purposes I find these issues are fairly minor in normal useage, though it's probably best to remove such filters for more critical work - eg for macro or when there are specular lights (eg at night-time) in the scene since additional unnoticed reflections and ghosting can adversely affect final images.

    The main practical benefit of using UV/1a filters is in protecting the front lens element from unwanted fingerprints and other crud: they are easier to clean (especially uncoated/single coated ones) than a lens element.

    On balance, if you've spent a ton on new digital lenses you may wish to opt for a more modern filter, though these can be very expensive. It's largely a suck it and see situation regarding older filters.
  3. Gordon_McGeachie

    Gordon_McGeachie In the Stop Bath

    As Tacitus says. Its up to you.

    I have one on all my lenses as a means of protecting the front element. One lens has had the filter on since new 17 years ago and never needed to be taken off.
  4. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    And when shooting into the light, when light scattered by an uncoated (or dirty) filter will wash out detail in the darker areas of the scene.

    Multicoated UV/skylight filters can be left on all the time, provided you take the trouble to keep the front surface reasonably clean.

    Also if (when) you do have an accident and scratch or chip the filter, replacing it is a lot cheaper than replacing the lens. This is particularly important with wide angle and short zoom lenses, where the front element is usually made of a relatively soft flint glass which is very easy to scratch. The filter ring will also protect the lens to some extent if you carelessly let it bang into something hard.

    The other point here is that the more expensive filters often have a thinner mount, e.g. 3mm for Hoya Super HMC. This can be important in avoiding vignetting with wide angle lenses, especially if you sometimes mount two filters, or use a screw-in lens hood.
  5. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    The other thing to watch for with filters as protection on digital cameras is to use the clear (colourless) versions such as the Hoya UV(0), as those with a slight pinkish colour will marginally affect the white balance setting.
  6. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Meaning Skylight 1A or 1B filters which have a very pale salmon tint; the 1B is slightly stronger than the 1A.

    Sure, but I defy your eye to tell the difference between a scene exposed with no filter and one exposed using the same lens, film/sensor and light conditions through a clean multicoated 1B filter. Unless you're working at high altitude under a very clear sky, in which case the UV contribution which the 1B blocks even better than a UV(N) filter will cause a significant colour cast in the opposite direction. You might need an 81A or even an 81B (over 15000 feet) to control it.

    The other way of looking at this is that the "red shift" inflicted by a 1B filter is only a small fraction of the extra warmness given by one of the world's favourite colour transparency films - Fuji Velvia.

    Also not all lenses have exactly the same colour balance when used unfiltered; different lens models from the same manufacturer may shift colour balance by more than the difference between a 1B and a UV filter.

    My personal preference for colour work for a protection filter is 1B for landscapes and UV(N) for everything else, but I'd rather have the "wrong" one on than leave the lens unprotected. I use a light yellow filter as standard when shooting B+W unless the light is bad enough to make it a real handicap. Which brings me to the point that some old "UV haze" filters may in fact be pale yellow and should definitely be avoided for colour work.
  7. Tacitus

    Tacitus Well-Known Member

    Let alone the fact that the colour temperature of daylight varies throughout the day by a larger amount. So yes the effects can be minor and over emphasised.

    I think the real issue with older filters, especially uncoated ones, is whether they increase the likelihood of flare and/or ghosting, especially for digital lenses. Hoya makes a big deal out of having Super Pro Digital Multicoated Thin Mount Costs A Packet But May Not Improve Yout Photography Filters. The cynic in me say "hype", though there are clearly many good reasons for having better filters than cheap ones. So far I haven't seen any adverse effects of using older filters on digital cameras, and life's generally too short to waste on hours searching for such problems, which are often fairly easily fixed in post processing.
  8. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Fortunately, the two zooms that I use most often are both fitted with 58mm Hoya UV(0) filters. One lens which is a 50mm standard, has a Marumi 49mm MC-1A fitted and one other zoom which takes a 58mm filter is 'naked'. I have three Hoya 58mm Skylight 1B filters going spare, so I will now install one of them on the third zoom.

    My new Sigma 17-70 lens takes a 72mm filter, so that will have to be bought afresh. I can choose a UV(0) for that one. Then I will only be using 'salmon pink' on two less often used lenses. It will be interesting to see if I can tell any difference, probably not as you say.

    I can easily correct any problems by adjustments to the RAW files colour temperature if necessary.
  9. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Sure. But a tiny amount of dust on a super-duper-100%-transmission filter, or the front element of an unprotected lens, is likely to be as much of a problem in scattering unwanted light into the image. As is the dust which inevitably works its way into zoom lenses, or prime lenses with modern "floating element" designs, because the optical package can't easily be sealed when elements have to move relative to each other.

    I find it hard to see the difference between Hoya's "regular" HMC and Pro-1 super-multicoated except for the thinner mount. Which may be an issue with wideangle lenses but will have no effect whatsoever when used with telephoto lenses.

    I have not evaluated B+W's latest weapon, the "UV Digital IR blocking" (type 486), which is a totally silly price (over £60 rrp in 55mm size). However it is unabsorbed IR which tends to cause some blue flowers (e.g. bluebells) to appear purple or even pink when photographed with colour reversal film, so I must give it a try.

    I once bought a secondhand telephoto lens on eBay which happened to be fitted with a no-name UV filter. The performance of this lens was just plain crap until I replaced the filter with a decent one (Hoya). The eye couldn't detect anything wrong with the junk filter but the surfaces clearly weren't flat enough.

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