Lens Protection Filters

I am horrified by the number of photographers I meet on training workshops who fail to protect the front element of their lenses with either a lens hood, clear protection filter, or better still, both.

Steve and I have just been going through some footage* shot on the Canon 5D MkII for a video workshop we'll be running shortly, and came across the following shot which is a good example of why you should always have a clear protection filter over the front element of your precious glass!

What you are seeing is a real-time deposition of sea salt spray on the lens protection filter. Had this been the front element of the lens (Canon 100 - 400 f5.6 IS L Series zoom) I'd now be a few hundred pounds or dollars poorer! A lens protection filter should be looked upon as an investment, not a cost. They may add to the initial cost of your lens, but are much quicker, easier and cheaper to replace than an expensive front element.

This clip is only 8 seconds, imagine the state of the lens without the filter? Not good. In order to maintain quality footage, I was having to clean the protection filter between each take with a well washed (unused) handkerchief. You could also use a microfibre cloth, but a well washed hankie is cheaper.

If you haven't got a protection filter on the front of your lens, put one on the top of "what I'm going to buy for my photo bag next" list.

* Note: Steve's the editor. I shot the footage and was "directing" or interfering with the process depending on how you see it ;-) If you want to see one of Steve's recent projects click here for a short Youtube preview. Yes, Steve edits film and video for a living. Immodesty Blaize is currently doing the rounds of UK cinemas.


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