Lens Rentals explores just how bad does a poor quality UV filter make your lens?


posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 4:00 PM EDT


Lens Rentals founder Roger Cicala regularly publishes excellent articles on the Lens Rentals blog. One of his regular topics has been UV filters, previously discussed here, here and more recently here.

Roger has written about UV filters again, this time delivering a mocking. “Yes, I’m sick of filter articles, too. But I come today not to educate you, but to mock others,” Roger opens, “Because yes, people continue to try to save a few bucks by putting a cheap filter in front of their $1,000 lens.”

The impetus for this attack on UV filters is that a customer rented a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens from Lens Rentals and returned it complaining about it becoming suddenly soft. Why would it have suddenly become soft? The customer had put a bad UV filter on it. Fortunately for Roger and his extensive testing setup, the lens was returned with the crappy filter still in place so he decided to see just how bad it was making the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

200mm with the filter in place. Olaf Optical Testing, 2017. Image credit: Lens Rentals
200mm without the filter in place. Olaf Optical Testing, 2017. Image credit: Lens Rentals

As you can see, the results when the lens is focused are horrific thanks to the UV filter. Check out the full article to see what happens when the lens is defocused…the results are troubling for bokeh fans.

Roger notes, sometimes there are good reasons to place a high-quality UV filter in front of your expensive lens, even though it does have an impact on optical quality. There is never a good reason to put a bad UV filter in front of an expensive lens. Further, you can’t rely on just brand name, as there are companies such as Tiffen or Hoya who make excellent UV filters but also sell much cheaper, poor ones too.

(Via Lens Rentals)