Wanna see lots of glass being shattered… expensive glass? Yeah, me too! But for all you gear preservation activists on the other hand, this is not for you. You are going to feel extensive pain throughout the video and maybe irreparable brain damage. Wanna continue? OK, here we go!
You probably know the old debate as to whether or not to use a UV filter to protect your lens. This is one of those topics that have a lot of myths revolving around them and, coming from scientific background, I like it when people actually put such concepts to a real-world (kinda-scientific) test. That’s exactly what Steve Perry does in the video below.
Although Steve is very careful in explaining that his tests are not scientific, I can assure you that they’re pretty close to it actually making different situations comparable and repeatable rather than using anecdotal evidence.
Contains strong violence against camera gear!
What are Steve’s Findings… in Short?
- Contrary to common belief, UV filters have very little effect on the image quality. BUT…
- Most UV filters break very easily. It actually takes less force than you need to break through a piece of paper.
- Expensive filters break just as easily as cheap ones. Hey, they’re just not built for being protective, you know?
- When something hits the front element of your lens, it is more likely that your entire lens will die (due to internal parts falling apart) before your front element is damaged.
If your lens is hit hard enough to break it, a screwed-on UV filter won’t save it. If you drop your lens, the UV filter won’t do much to protect it either. The only thing it may be good for is saving your filter thread from being damaged, but getting that bent UV filter off your camera after a drop may require the lens to be sent in for repair too.
Should you ditch your UV filters entirely? I agree with Steve in that they can add some protection in abrasive environments with sand or salt water in the air. So, you may want to keep them in your bag, maybe just not on your lens all the time.
What else can you do to protect your lenses? Attach the lens hood. You already have one, and it offers much more impact protection than a UV filter.
To get all the data about this test, head over to Steve Perry’s website. He’s also got some great video tutorials for you on his YouTube channel. Thank you for this very insightful video, Steve! Well done!
Are you using a UV filter for protective purposes? Share your experience with us in the comments below!