Wednesday, September 3, 2008
For God's sake, put a UV filter on your prosumer camera lens, people!
If you are on this site, then you are already doing some due diligence and chances are you have long been aware of Rule Number One.
However, you have no idea how many people I know who run out and (apparently on a whim) buy a Canon XHA1, Panasonic DVX or HVX, or even a Sony EX1 and then run around with nothing but the lens hood on front. You shouldn't even be using a remotely decent SLR lens for your still camera without protection. But not protecting your built-in lens on a $3,000 to $7,000 camera?
A UV filter costs $20 (or less) to $100.
Chances are I am preaching to the choir here, but there are many people out there who are not yet converted. And if you don't want the (minor) color tinting that can result with the filtering out of UV rays on your prosumer cam, then just get a clear glass protector. They screw right on the front and you never have to think about them again. Plus, they're much easier to clean with your microfiber wipes than the lens itself.
What are you gonna do when some sneezes or flings stage blood on the bare lens of your $5,000 camera? Or puts their finger on the lens and leaves a permanent thumbprint? Throw a protector on there and the Wrath of God can attack the front of your camera and all you'll have to do is spend $50 for a new filter.
I know this is beyond basic, but there are a lot of people with cameras out there still learning and trust me, you don't want to learn this lesson the hard way.
For your reference, the following cameras have the following lens thread measurements...
Canon XHA1: 72mm
Canon XLH1: 72mm
Canon XL1 and XL2: 72mm
Panasonic HVX: 82mm
Panasonic DVX: 72mm
Sony PMW-EX1: 77mm
Below are a couple links to some UV filters online to give you an idea on prices...
And here is an example of a FORUM THREAD on the topic.
Finally, here is ANOTHER THREAD which shows that some people recommend using a UV filter only in situations where there is a tangible physical threat to your lens (such as sand blowing on a windy day at the beach). My personal choice is to use a filter at all times unless there is a strong tangible visual / cinematography reason to not have the UV rays filtered. You will ultimately determine your own comfort level, visual preferences and risk tolerance.