UV and Polarization Filter Discussion

I have read some debate concerning the use of UV filters.  Their main use in my view is one of protection.  It your lens hits something your UV filter will get scratched or possibly break and your lens will be fine.  Just unscrew the UV filter and purchase a new one.  I think this is a big advantage when you are working with lenses that cost more than $1000.  Others claim their is no point in purchasing an expensive lens made from the finest glass around, and then add another layer of glass on top that is of lower quality.  Why purchase such a fine lens and decrease it's abilities by adding more glass, and probably lower grade glass.  Personally, I disagree.  I can't see any difference in the quality of a photo with or without my UV filter.  The recommendation by those who are against the idea of purchasing UV filters for protection, is to always use your lens hood.  The lens hood sticks out a considerable distance from the front of the lens, is less expensive, will not add more glass over your lens, and adds even more protection.  I would have to agree to all of these points.  The only probably for me is that lens hood makes the lens look so much bigger and more conspicuous, that I don't feel comfortable using it all the time.  Also, it will not fit in my bag attached to the lens, since it adds so much size, and I worry that I will not put it on every time.  The UV filter is always on, so I never have to worry.  Well, you have to make your own decision on this.

One thing I do agree on is that there is not point in purchasing a terrific lens with great glass and adding a low grade filter on top of it.  This is why I purchased a B+W brand filter.  B+W is known to sell the highest quality filters, but they do cost more.  But again, why purchase a really expensive lens and cover it with a cheap filter of bad quality.  I also decided on the MRC version of the filter which is suppose to be more resistant to scratching.  The filter is quit expensive so I figured I may as well spend a little extra and try to ensure that  I wont have to replace it very often, if ever.

On the other hand a polarization filter is a must.  A polarization filter cuts haze, and adds contrast making many photos much more pleasing.  Most of my landscape photos are taken with the addition of a polarization filter.  Skies look bluer, clouds stand out more, colors are more vivid, and there is less haze present.  A polarization filter is a must for any serious photographer.  Again, I purchased a high quality filter to go with these high quality lenses.  There is no point in purchasing a great lens and covering it with cheap glass.  The Kaesemann polarizing filter is suppose to be the highest quality.  It is now sold and owned by B+W.  I also decided to get the MRC version to help resist scratches.  For auto focus cameras you will need to purchase a circular polarizer.  Unfortunately, the standard polarization lens prevents the auto focus technology from working.  Circular polarizers do not work as well, but if you don't mind manually focusing you can go with the standard Linear Polarizers.

At this time I don't have a good example of a photo with and without a polarization filter, so I do not show any photos at the top.  As soon as I shoot an example I will include it for your review.

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Photos by Rob Bukar