Many people complain that UV filters degrade their image quality. But does it really? We did a very quick test with one of the sharpest lenses currently on the market to see.
Can you tell the difference?
For this test, the Canon 5D Mk II was paired with the Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX with the brand new Phottix Mitros on top. The combo was placed on the Vanguard Auctus Plus 383C with the GH-100 head. The filter is one of the brand new Rokinon digital UV filters. The images were then imported into Lightroom 4.
We set up the scene. Then the camera was set to delay shooting and the same exposure settings for each image. Focus was fixed on the same spot and the Phottix Mitros was aimed towards the ceiling to add specular highlights to each image in order to bring out extra sharpness from the Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX.
The images were then pulled into Lightroom and resized for the web.
What Do You Think?
Which one was taken with a filter, and which one wasn’t? Let us know in the comments below!
Editor’s Update: For those of you (and some of you on Facebook) who stated that it can’t be really told at 72 PPI, congratulations. Why? Because the overall point of this test was to show you all that it won’t matter unless you know before hand. And since most images going on the web are sized down to this point, who cares if a filter is used or not? Are all your images going on the web? Then who cares if you apply a filter to protect your front element. As for the types of images that a UV filter can degrade, the general notion (which I’ve received from customer inquiries) is about another piece of glass not from the manufacturer degrading the image quality. In all honesty, bad filters can surely degrade the image quality. Better filters have better optics and can therefore also provide better image quality.
But in the end, Image A had the UV filter while image B did not have the filter.
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