Whilst out on a recent walkabout of the city capturing photos of Christmas lights and neon lights I had a bit of an incident, well I am a little clumsy (which I always compensate for) and it was dark, and ended up dropping my (favourite) Canon 24mm – 70mm f2.8L lens whilst attaching it to my camera body.
I knew I should have rested the other equipment I was holding at the time on the floor, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Besides, I didn’t want to hold up the rest of the group so I stupidly tried changing my lens without a free hand.
Whilst getting the 24mm – 70mm out of its pouch my hand slipped and it turned in to one of those moments, you know the ones when everything turns in to slow motion, and I saw my lens roll over a few times in the air before crashing to the ground with a heart wrenching thud. Yep, my favourite (and damn expensive) lens had just hit the deck, and I was not overly impressed. Fortunately, the lens fell on to some dirt, rather than the nearby pavement so that lessened the impact a bit, but the ground was still hard though.
Picking up my lens I was dreading what the damage was going to be, it would have been just my luck it was non-repairable. I picked the lens up and looked at the glass which had cracked all the way through, and my stomach turned in knots. Yep, this lens looked ready for the bin however when I unscrewed the UV filter the front element behind was totally fine. The UV filter took the full brunt of the impact leaving the actual lens totally unscathed.
Now then, I am the sort of person who never has lady luck smile on me, so I didn’t believe the lens was okay until I actually mounted it on the camera, fired off a test shots and reviewed them on the screen. Wow, the images were fine and there was no evidence of any damage. For once, I was the lucky one and it couldn’t have been at a better time.
When I first joined my photography group there was a big debate about UV filters and the general consensus were they were a total waste of money and degraded image quality. Okay, so having another bit of glass in front of the lens is going to reduce the image quality, but the reduction is so slight that you hardly notice it. In fact I did do a filter v non-filter test, just to see for myself, and I couldn’t tell the difference in image quality until I zoomed right in on the computer and did some serious (and total over the top) pixel peeping. Yep, I came to the conclusion that I would happily put a UV filter in front of my lenses, and that it what I have done ever since.
I have a UV filter on every one of my lenses, other than my 8mm – 15mm fish eye lens, that stays on the lens all the time. The only reason I don’t have a filter on my fish eye lens is because its convex shape doesn’t allow for one, otherwise I would have a UV filter on that too, trust me.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.