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Friday, 29 November 2019

Broken Glass

There we were sitting down at dinner and there was a thump from upstairs. Not a clue what that thump was so dinner was enjoyed by all.

Sometime later I went upstairs to discover my desk top a mess and my camera on the floor, all looking like signs of a cat quickly exiting the scene.

This is more worrying, I can see pieces of plastic on the floor. So I carefully turn the camera over and see that the newly applied L-Bracket has a couple of newly acquired chips on the paintwork so has taken some impact. Oh dear, the lens cap is where that missing plastic is from and it is very wedged into the lens, takes a bit of tugging before I regret doing so because of the shower of glass released over the floor.

I can see now that the UV filter, and hopefully only the UV filter, has taken the brunt of the impact on the floor - it has taken the impact from the edge of the lens cover and taken all the force and shattered the glass and filled the gap between the filter and the lens itself with shards.

Devil of a job to free it, luckily I have a filter wrench that eventually loosens it up enough that I can hold it facing downwards and start to release the shards and finally unscrew the filter.

Ten minutes of careful cleaning with an air brush, a brush and then lens wipes shows that I cannot discern any damage to the lens surface. A couple of minutes of testing of the camera appears to show, at different distances, that the camera is doing what it should as expected.

The final damage :

replacement cost  for the same item, a Hoya pro-1 digital uv(0) filter,  £17.99 on Amazon, will be here in 2 days time - which gives me ample time to test how the lens performs with no UV filter in place.

Why would I do that? Well having just completed a quick google survey of which model filter to purchase the conclusions appear to be that the hoya filter is good value for money but more importantly the debate about having another layer of glass on the front rages on.

Me? Well unless I discover something miraculous before I screw the new arrival on, I will be doing so because I get a strong feeling as how tonight's events went that the < £20 on one layer of glass has avoided necessitating a £400 replacement.

I know that some pundits make an argument that would this one off saving is not worthwhile compared to a potential reduction in image quality all of the time but I, as an amateur photographer who refute that as I tote my kit around in a rucksack, up and down hills and mountains in all weathers, along country lanes on my bike and all those normal uses and I've had a couple of scratched filters, one a UV that was replaced, I've trashed a hoya polariser (dreadful quality, the coatings rubbed away the first time I cleaned it)  and my B&W polariser has a scratch and hasn't been replaced because it simply cannot be seen on the final image. More importantly though, I remain convinced that the capability of the person standing at the rear of the lens has a much greater impact on the final image than the reduction in image quality at the front of the lens caused by the filter at my skill level.

I would like to think I will come back here in years to come and review this and change my mind but it feels unlikely.

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