On Friday, I experienced the true value of a UV filter first hand. The filter saved my Canon 70-200MM f2.8 lens which currently sells for just over $2,000.
Whether you own a $200 lens or a $2,000 lens, you need to have a UV filter on the lens as a first line of defense. The UV filter can protect your lens from getting scratched, broken, dirty, etc. In my case, it kept the end of my lens glass from getting very damaged.
I had the camera hooked on a strap, but I made two rookie mistakes: 1) It was on the body and not the lens which on the 70-200 the hook should be on the lens. Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! on my part which is what I get for being in a hurry. 2) The L bracket plate on the bottom of my camera only allows me to put my Manfrotto quick release vertically not horizontally. The L bracket is new to me and I just learned the hard way.
As I was starting to climb a ladder, the camera fell to the ground hitting lens first. Glass shattered all over the asphalt. Whew! It was the glass from my filter and the ding you see in the picture on this page is my filter not my lens. The lens is going to Canon to get checked out, but it seemed to work fine the rest of the shoot.
Cringe! Yes, if I stop and think about what could have happened if I had been way up on the ladder, it's very scary. I was fortunate to learn a lesson without totally running my gear.
Advice On Buying A Filter:
Don't buy the cheapest filter on the planet. In my case, I often buy mid-price point filters. This particular filter was a Maurami UV Filter which I don't even remember where I bought it. Since the filter performed so well, I'm tempted to stay with it or go on the high end with a B + W filter. One things for sure, I'm not buying a cheap filter to protect a $2,000+ lens.
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