One of my favorite photography teachers soapboxes was UV Filters. He had been a photographer for 30+ years and the one piece of equipment he recommended over everything else? A UV Filter for new camera lenses.
“Trust me – add it to your purchase and put it on before you leave the store. I promise you that someday you will thank me.“
My “someday” came last week as I grabbed my camera bag, my long lens bag and my purse – throwing them over my shoulder to go photograph a sports event.
My mistake was thinking I should pack a snack in my backpack camera bag… I grabbed it off my shoulder, thinking my long lens bag strap was underneath it on my shoulder. Sad story – it wasn’t under the backpack shoulder strap.
The result was a 3 foot drop to the tile floor in my kitchen and what you see to the left.
Sad day. I seriously wondered how my lens could be ok with all the shards of glass, and that impact – OUCH!
The next day I dropped my lens off to Kew’s Camera Repair Shop. I also left my camera & all my other lenses there for sensor cleaning and focus checks – then crossed my fingers and prayed it would be ok.
Fast forward five days and my $55 filter literally saved my lens. Gratitude doesn’t even begin to cover my feelings for the nice people who run Kew’s Camera. Seriously.
Some great advice from my camera repair guy: If you own a DSLR camera and have a nice lens – don’t put any brand of filter on it besides the brand of your camera (i.e. Canon) or B&W. B&W is a little more available and one of the only brands that is made of brass instead of aluminum. Brass is stronger than aluminum so if you accidentally drop your lens you get more protection.
I can’t even begin to tell you how glad I am for my photography teacher’s advice. Sadly he passed away a few years ago so I can’t thank him in person, but I can pass on his wisdom to others who may find it helpful.
Another interesting tidbit: I was VERY lucky my lens didn’t need repair as most high-end Canon parts (and Nikon) come from Japan, there are massive delays. This will continue for the next few months as both Canon and Nikon scramble to get things moved around and back on track in other plants and facilities. So without my UV filter, I could have been waiting months to get my long lens back….
Bottom Line – Buy a UV filter for your lenses! Someday you’ll thank me or have a story to tell to others who it will help!