Well once again this little gem has come up, so I thought I would write do a short blog on it.
Should you have a UV(0) filter on your lens?
The two sites are:
- Any extra piece of glass is going to reduce/manipulate/change the quality of the image.
- The protection offers by the filter out ways any image quality images.
Here are my thoughts on the subject:
Both statements are true. You just paid $500-$1200 for a nice lens on your SLR to get the absolutely best image you can. Why introduce something that is going to take away from your image quality? But also, you just paid $500-$1200 for a nice lens, do you really want to scratch the front element when a small piece of debris get blown into it? Or while you’re cleaning it, you scratch it?
So what’s the answer? The answer is to use a filter, but use the best filter possible to reduce the amount of disruption to an absolute minimum. Multi-coated filters, good name brand filters are the best option.
I personally use Sunpack filters as they are actually made by the same manufacturers as other “name brand” filters but cost half. When I get a new lens, after testing it and within the first 12 hours I have a sunpack UV(0) filter on there and it doesn’t come off until spring cleaning. I do my very best not to have to remove the filter. I have heard of “What about sunflares?” USE your hood, that’s what it is for. Also, you can use a GND filter on top of the UV filter. Most non-ultra-wide filtes (< 14mm) will not notice the extra lens. You should check this on your lens before trying it though. My Canon EF 24-105mm L f/4 is my main walk around lens and it has had UV(0), and 2 GND (-3 stop) filters on it without it doing any vignetting — so it depends on the lens.
Final word…. I rather break and chuck s $60 filter than have to send in my lens to Canon for a $400 repair anyday of the week.
There are no magic bullets on getting a knife’s edge sharp picture.
Here are some steps that you need to get you 50% there, the rest you’ll have to do…
- Use a tripod, monopod, or anything else.
Before you even ask — YES, you need one. The best one that you’ll actually carry with you.
- Be it, a $450 carbon-fiber Manfrotto, or a $12 Walmart special. Having it and using it better than having it and not using it.
- This includes a ziplock full of rice that you can slap down and use as a bed to place your camera on, to using the side of a building to push your camera against.
- A proper stance is the last part of this. Left hand underneath against your chest, cradling the camera on your palm, your fingers spread out being parted by the lens.
- Use a fast shutter speed.
The general rule of thumb is that if you at 100mm focal length, you can hand hold up to 1/100th of a second or faster. I would not tell anyone to hand hold anything below 1/80th — as your blood pressure, heart beat, and simple act of breathing can introduce movement in the image. This goes double for longer focal length.
- Use good glass.
You have to do your research before buying your glass. Almost all main lens manufacturers have your “regular” or “consumer” lenses, and also a “professional” series. The main difference is the construction and optics that are used in the lens. Canon has the “L” series, Sigma has the “EX” series, Tamron well they don’t but they claim all of their lenses are professional.
- Use the proper depth of field — good focus
A whole lot of images are in fact very sharp — you just don’t like where the sharpness is. This is because of poor focus, because the subject moved, you moved or you just mis-focus. This plus, a small depth of field puts all or some of your subject out of focus, and not very sharp. Using manual focus is obviously idle, if possible. Using a larger depth of field (smaller aperture) would also help. If you camera has a “auto-keep-focus” such as the Canon AI Servo that will lock and keep focus will also help if the subject is moving.
- Use a short focal length
Now this one is my personal note, I think most people try to zoom too much. Most your feet and get closer to your subject and fill the frame. Use the shortest focal length you have (without going into the wide range [< 50mm]).
- Proper post-processing
Unlike film, almost all digital images need some post processing. Specially USM (UnSharpen mark) — opposite to it’s name it’s actually a tool that sharpens your images. It is not a tool to sharpen a blurry image, but if you have done everything else this last step will give you that extra pop of sharpness.
As always, there are dozen different answers to every question, but I am hoping that these small points help someone get a sharper image.
The answer at this point (without actually touching the new body) is a “Yes”.
- 8+ FPS – This is the same as the 1D Mark II, and 1D Mark IIN pro bodies.
- Very Fast AF – 7D has a dedicated chip for AF, again same as all 1D pro bodies.
- Cost: $1699 List Price, vs. Who know how much for the 1D Mark IV. (5D Mark II is selling for more than $2700, figure we’re looking at $4000 easily for the new 1D)
What it is lacking:
- 45 Point AF System – we only have 19 AF points. But is this a big deal? Not really. 95% of the time you’re using the Center AF point because that’s the only one that is tack sharp. The rest are still sharp, but relatively to the center point, not as much.
- Sealed Body – Oh this is a life saver at times, but then again that’s because I’m too lazy to pull out the Hyperphoic protection from thinktank.
- Battery – Ok this is almost a deal breaker. On a 1D Mark II battery (a generation old) I can go with over 7000 shots without even looking at the battery charge. Yes, that’s not even the max, I don’t think I’ve ever run any of my batteries down 100% on any single shoot. I’ve actually covered 3 games in a row over 4000 shots with the battery only 50% used. I also use Lens IS 99% of the time in sports, (Mode 2). So, what is the power run of the 7D? No idea, but a grip is going to be needed (Most sports are shot in vertical anyway, so need the button). We’ll have to wait and see. Anyone remember the 5D Mark II Battery fiasco?