picture quality comparison
with and without UV-Filter.
Hans-Joachim Weber (2005-06-25)
Many Photo enthusiasts clear advise against the use of
UV-Filters because they fear a visible degration concerning picture quality.
Because I got a 58mm Hama UV 390 (0-Haze) HTMC® coated Filter for
free I wanted to test for myself wether there really is a visible loss in contrast,
sharpness or color rendition due to the usage of this UV-Filter on my
As ever I took some comparison shots to analyse the
The first shot (a part of a door; I know, not a great composition!) was
taken with a havy Tripod and remote control shutter release to minimize shake.
Also for all pictures presented here the original Olympus sun shade was used.
The first picture (door) presented here was taken
with the Hama UV-Filter mounted.
The shot of the whole picture was downsized from the Olympus 8MPixel resolution
3264x2448 to 900x675 for the WEB.
Olympus C-8080WZ; 7.1-35.6mm 1:2.4-3.5; 18,4mm (72mm equiv.) f5.0 1/50; 50 ASA;
white balance manual sun daylight
The picture once more shows the sharpness of this masterpiece
And here is the comparison of the 100% crops of both shots together.
All color, contrast and sharpness settings were camera default, mode M.
100% crops from the center of the 8 MPixel Door
Left picture without any Filter, right picture with Hama UV-Filter.
Thanks to the havy tripod the door is shown up to the finest
details. The left picture was taken without, the right picture was taken with
the Hama UV-Filter. Can you see any difference?
I can see a "verry, very" little loss of contrast
in the right picture taken with the UV-Filter. But nothing that would really
bother me. This litte decrease in picture quality really astonished me! The
picture in total did not came out more bad than without UV-Filter, because color
rendition came out slightly warmer, a behaviour I like sometimes with the
Olympus C-8080WZ. Please regard that I used Mode M manual exposure and manual
white balance for both pictures.
Lets view another more realistic shot of a beach chair
(1/320s, f2.8, 7,1mm 28mm equivalent handheld ). I used the more practical
Auto white balance, Mode A for exposure and Handheld.
Look at and compare the 100% crops of both shots:
100% crops from the center of the handheld 8 MPixel
beach chair shots.
Left picture without any Filter, right picture with Hama 390 Haze UV-Filter.
You can see on the left side once more the shot taken without
UV-Filter on the right side the same scenerie with UV-Filter. IMHO the shots
came out nearly equal!
In this case the camera white balance was used in auto mode an therefore removed
the warm toning effect of the Filter.
Due to fact the pictures are handheld even at 1/320 28mm I did
not get pictures showing the possible sharpness the Olympus C-8080WZ lens could
have delivered with a tripod. So the minimal degration due to the Filter
practicaly does not show up!
The picture degration due to the use of
a UV-Filter seems in my case to be very overrated from many enthusiasts in
the class leading resolving Olympus C-8080WZ lens ist not really degraded by the use of my
In freehand shots it really does not
matter! The blur due to the camera shake is much more visible!
The effect of better color balancing (proposed
by the filter manufactures) is nearly totally removed by the Digicam in usual sceneries by the auto white balance.
The filter in my test shots does not show any
improvements, but if you want to protect your lens from dust and water you can go with
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