The quality of UV filters does matter

There are many discussions on the Web concerning the question whether it makes sense or not to use UV filters for camera lenses. After spending a couple of hours reading these discussions, the only thing that became clear to me it that it is apparently an emotional topic for a surprisingly large number of people, but that there are no conclusive arguments convincing enough to support either side.

Since I mainly bought UV filters to protect my lenses, I could never understand why they needed to be so expensive. When I needed to buy a 67 mm UV filter a couple of months ago, I spotted  a brand I never saw before. The brandname was “Phottix” and the packaging stated that the filter was produced in China, using glass produced in Germany. The price of the filter was only CHF 15, around a third of the price I normally pay for my B&W or Hoya filters. I was quite happy with this filter for a couple of months and even thought that the aforementioned suppliers had ripped me off for years.

All this changed a couple of weeks ago when I viewed the first picture below which I took at the Via Mala Schlucht (CH) on the LCD screen of camera. I could not believe my eyes and immediately took the second picture without this filter.

Both pictures are taken with a Nikon D750 camera and a Tamron 28-75 2.8 lens. The (RAW) pictures are displayed here as they came out of the camera.

I still do not know whether UV filters are necessary from an image quality perspective or not, but I do know (now) that cheap ones are to be avoided… at all costs.

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