Motown Mike wrote:Just a note... Nikon, Canon, etc. spend millions of $$ on lens design and coatings.
Putting a cheap piece of glass in front of a good lens does not make much sense.
1. Filters on digital cameras being used outside (not in a studio) are mostly a waste of time. Let the lens do its work with no additional glass to screw up what the lens was designed to do. Do your adjustments in post production with Photoshop.
2. Camera salesmen try to sell you a filter because they are a big markup item... not because they are needed to protect the lens.
3. If you think you are protecting your lens with a filter... guess again... get a lens hood it will absorb shock on a drop much better than a filter. The biggest enemy of a lens is being dropped... not dust entering from the front element. A hood also offers some protection from rain and snow.... use a lens cap.
I have to disagree with you Mike. A high end circular polarizer greatly enhances photos in the same way a pair of high end sunglasses increases your view of the world. I love my polarizer (I buy the good ones) and use them every opportunity I get. Simply Google "circular polarizer" and look at the images returned. The difference is night and day. While the clear UV Ray filters do hurt your photo quality a little bit they are a good protection for the lens. I've heard countless stories of guys who have dropped $1,500 lenses only to be saved by the $6 UV filter they were using. I do agree with you that a lens hood is also good protection and that dust isn't a major issue under normal conditions.
Also of note, it is recommended to use some type of UV filter to protect your lens at high elevations.