Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/04/30

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Subject: Re: [Leica] New member intro & some questions
From: George Huczek <>
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 05:42:38 -0600

At 06:46 AM 30/04/98 +0200, you wrote:
>3. And the eternal lens question: do you use UV filters to protect the
>lens? I have always done it with my SLRs, and certainly the price of
>Leica lenses calls for protection. On the other hand, the very reason
>for getting into Leica is the quality of the optics, so I am a bit
>ambivalent about adding a piece of glass in front.
This topic has been hashed out quite a bit on the LUG.  There are two main
schools of thought on this one.  Leica lenses have UV filtration built-in,
so the UV filter is not necessary for actual UV filtration.  Its opponents
say that using a UV filter  creates additional glass surfaces which cause
image degradation.  Proving this is difficult, but under certain
backlighting and sidelighting conditions, it is more likely that some image
degradation may occur.  Some have even tried to test this hypothesis.
Others will argue that they can detect no appreciable difference in image
quality with or without a UV filter in most situations, and they have the
test results to prove it.  So even establishing the effect of image quality
with UV filters is not an easy issue to settle.
   Those endorsing the use of UV filters suggest that lens protection is an
important factor, though you will get the argument that only under very
adverse conditions, like when photographing near salt water, and in sand
and dust storms, does it offer much physical protection.  
   My advice is that you decide whether or not you are going to use UV
filters, but don't let anyone on the LUG know! <grin>  It will start
another UV battle here that is likely to bring out the strong supporters
who are either for or against their use.  Seriously, if you want the best
from the lenses, remove the UV filters.  However, if you NEED some lens
protection, use them TEMPORARILY under those adverse conditions, but not
for general use.  That is what I do.  That's just my advice to a new LUGer,
without wanting to reopen this debate ad nauseam.

- -GH