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Objective Lens filters - is clear glass available?

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 09:07 PM

Hi guys, I just acquired a wonderful set of Canon 15x50 Image Stabilized Binoculars (which are spectacular, by the way) and have a question for the experts regarding protective lens filters. The binoculars do not come with lens caps to cover the objective lenses, but do have 58mm threaded sockets around them. I would like to get some clear glass photographic lens filters to install and leave on, to keep the lenses protected, pristine and clean. The question is, what kind should I get? I want something that is 100% optically clear and won't distort colors, diminish light transmission, or reduce clarity at all. Something like an Ultra Clear Lens (UCL). Doing a little homework I haven't come across that as a screw in photography filter, but did come across something called "UV-Haze" filters, described as follows by Tiffen:

"TIFFEN 58UVP -- The Haze ( UV ) filter improves your pictures while protecting your lens from dust, moisture and scratches.
o Can be left on the lens at all times for protection
o Corrects for Ultraviolet ( UV ) light which can register on film and videotape as a bluish cast, obscuring distant details "

Is this what I want? Doesn't someone make a plain glass (like a UCL) lens for this purpose? What's the best choice?

Thanks in advance,

Cheers,

Dave

#2 craig_oz_land

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 02:12 AM

The 15x50s I had a look through recently had clear protective covers on the objectives standard. They were brand new out of the box.

Are you sure yours does not have them? If not the UV haze filters would have to be the ideal ones short of a transparent multicoated cover which I am not sure exist.

Are the UV filters anti-reflection multicoated?

Cheers, Craig.

#3 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 01:30 PM

I got some advice from various photographer friends. Some said they put on UV-Haze filters and leave them on all the time as protectors, others said they just handle their lenses with care and leave them naked because they don't want ANYTHING in front of their glass. I decided to play it safe and ordered a pair of Tiffen UV-Haze filters ($5.99 each from Amazon vs. $20.99 retail price at a local "chain" photo shop :shrug:) and I'll see how they go. With filters attached, I can use a regular camera style lens cap to securely protect it, as well. (I'm the sort of guy that in my car, puts rubber floor mats over my original floor mats, if you catch my drift). :)

I thought about using conventional "slip on" type lens caps, but the barrels of these binoculars are quite large in diameter and have sort of a tapered shape, so I am not sure how well they would work. I don't know where to shop for some, in any event. And I dislike having them loose and needing to keep track of them.

As an alternative, has anyone tried a "fast cap" that hinges open and shut? I might consider something like
this.
Posted Image

Thanks again and cheers,

Dave

PS -- I am loving these binoculars! :jump:

#4 KennyJ

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 02:28 PM

Dave,

Congratulations on getting yourself a binocular you have already described as being wonderful , spectacular , and an object of your love.

I know and appreciate those sentiments.

I am less familar with the idea of using a "permanent transparant covers" of some sort through which to look , and am not convinced this will not affect the image quality adversely.

In fact I am pretty sure that they WILL degrade the image.

Of course , I am no stranger to being proved "wrong" !

If you can ever bear to take the risk of removing these covers for a few minutes sometime , I would be very interested to learn of your HONEST opinions about what , if any , differences you might notice between "with" and "without" covers.

Enjoy your 15 x 50s -- and do keep in touch.

Regards , Kenny.

#5 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 07:26 PM

Kenny,
I am not that familiar with using filters on binoculars.
However, it is very common on cameras. The reason being that film is sensitive to UV and will give photos a bluish tint if a large amount of UV light hits the film. Often there is no real discernable affect of the filter when there is low UV levels (although some will dispute this). So many people fearing scratching a $250-$3000+ lense will purchase UV filters and use them as protection against stratching the lenses (they save one of my lenses). On digital cameras the CCD element is sensitive to IR and an IR filter is usually built into the camera.
However, I would guess the filter would make more of a difference in astronomy since light levels are much lower then in most photography (and exposure time can be increased for photography when it is not) . However the drop off should be minimal. However, if the user can not tell the difference then why not use them.

Although if the threading is the same as on a camera then I am curious why a pair of camera lens caps would not do what avusblue wants.

They also sell polarizing and other types of filters such as haze-reducers and color filters. I wonder if any of those type filtes would help increase contrast of some views similar to lunar or nebula filters? would interesting to see.

#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 07:36 PM

To answer the question originally asked. If the threading is the same as for a camera then there are clear filters.

Nikon 58 MM Clear NC Glass Filter and Hoya clear glass filter are two that I know of. They are multicoated to reduce reflection and ghosting. They are both around $34 a piece.
You can also get Hoya or Nikon UV filters they are also multicoated and claim to transmit 99.7% of light.

The Tiffen filters are cheaper at about $12 and they make a clear filter, but I am not sure they are multicoated which means they will reflect more light (if not multicoated).
My guess is the Tiffens are not multicoated do to the price and the fact it is not listed in any of the specs I can find.

You may want to also see if crystal or sun-pak filter carry clear glass multicoated lenses. They may be cheaper then the Hoya or Nikon.

#7 Rusty

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 08:05 PM

You can get snap on caps in that size (they have tabs to squeeze and remove). You can also get retainers, small cord with an adhesive pad on one end and an elastic band on the other.

But I'm surprised the Canons didn't come with caps - I'd snoop arounf the 'net and see if they're not standard...

#8 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 08:25 PM

Since a few people mentioned it, I checked on amazon and another site and these bino's do not come with caps or a protective filter standard. which does seem odd for a $1300 pair of bino's.

The regular 58mm camera caps work on them, but are hard to use with the rubber cover. I would guess that would be the best idea or use a cheap set of screw on glass filters that you take off. If I paid that much for a pair of optics I would not want to reduce to optics by adding extra lenses. If you want to leave the lenses on I would purchase some high quality multicoated lenses. JMHO

#9 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 10:52 AM

1) Yes, these do not come with caps for the objectives. I contacted Canon to verify this.

2) I did also order the "snap on" style lens caps to try both with and without the filters.

3) It certainly is possible that I will find a noticeable diminuition of image quality. I will closely check for this. If so, I will go without the filters at night and only use them during "high impact" type active daytime use.

4) I will certainly report in with additional observations and learnings when I get the filters and give them a good try.

Cheers,

Dave


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