The Sleeping Giant's Sea Lion

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My 24-105L is in the mail, and I'm looking for a filter to protect the front element. I've decided to go with B+W since they seem to have the best quality to match my L lens.

I've narrowed it down to 2 77mm UVA Haze filters, one has MRC and another doesn't. The MRC filter is double the price, and I want to know if it's worth it.

Let me get a couple of things out of the way:

  1. I'm not looking for an advice on whether to use UV filter for lens protection
  2. I don't mind paying extra $40 as long as I actually get something in return
  3. I'd prefer to hear from people who have one or both of these filters

I guess all I'm looking for are the REAL LIFE benefits of MRC.

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I know you don't want to hear it, but see photo.stackexchange.com/questions/9257/what-causes-lens-flare –  mattdm Feb 28 '11 at 12:35

3 Answers 3

up vote 23 down vote accepted

MRC coating is a good thing to consider if you want your filter to last long enough for your lens. MRC stands for Multi Resistant Coating is something like the weather seal for lenses. Its necessary if you tend to shoot in extreme conditions against mist/dust/water drops etc etc. MRC gives you a few benefits:

  1. Cleaning is easier.
  2. More resistant to mechanical scratches.
  3. Water/Moist/Dust is repelled.

Overall my suggestion would be to get the one having MRC as you'll be pairing it with an awesome weatherproof lens, it deserves it ;)

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2  
+1 for explaining what MRC stands for! :) –  AJ Finch Feb 28 '11 at 14:32
    
More detailed coverage on MRC from the manufacturer can be found: schneideroptics.com/pdfs/filters/MRC.PDF –  adurity Nov 12 '11 at 8:57

"and I'm looking for a filter to protect the front element"

Don't. Add a lenshood and keep the front cap on when you aren't shooting. Any filter will compromise the optics of your expensive lens.

"I've decided to go with B+W since they seem to have the best quality to match my L lens."

That's the right thing to do for any filter, especially if it's going to be mounted on some expensive glass. A lot grade filter will turn that expensive lens into something that's no better than some cheap knockoff.

Put it like this: A cheap UV filter is just a piece of thin windowpane. You're thus effectively shooting through a window. An MRC version has a lot of the glare reduced that that produces, at the cost of some colour cast. It's also likely hardened so it doesn't scratch as easily (and those filters will scratch a lot easier than does your lens).

If I use filters at all (and currently I use ONLY polarisers and the very occasional Skylight 1B) it's always the best grade I can get in the size I need. And if that's not the best on the market it gets marked for replacement by something better the moment I get it (thus I'll only buy cheaper versions if I need it urgently and can't get better).

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17  
Its clearly mentioned by the owner: "I'm not looking for an advice on whether to use UV filter for lens protection" –  fahad.hasan Feb 28 '11 at 9:09
2  
it does need mentioning why he should get the best if he insists on getting them at all. If there were some reason to use them, even the cheapest would be better than something. As there isn't such a reason, using the best only will at least lead to some damage control. –  jwenting Feb 28 '11 at 9:26
2  
He can say he's not looking for advice, but it's still a good answer. –  mattdm Feb 28 '11 at 12:37
1  
I think this is good advice, however, it doesn't really answer the question. –  chills42 Feb 28 '11 at 13:25
7  
I have to agree with @Shutterbug. We should answer the question. He was not asking whether he should be using UV filters. That is an entirely different question which has been debated to death and hardly needs to be resurrected. –  labnut Feb 28 '11 at 14:07

MCR (as already noted, Multi Resistant Coated) filters greatly reduce ghosting, something which has often affected exposures made with non-coated versions. Good filters and B&W are possibly the best, will not "compromise the optics of your expensive lens", cheap ones will. The coated versions from B&W cost considerably more, but in the end are worth the difference, apart from anything else they'll last longer. I shoot both film and digital, mainly monochrome, possess both coated and non-coated filters from B&W (yellow & orange), non-coated from Leica (yellow & UV) and Olympus (UV), and coated from Zeiss (UV).

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