I like to be extra careful with my lenses, in the hope that I can resell them for nearly what I pay. To this end, I use UV filters as an extra layer of protection(in addition to my paranoia :P ). Recently I was in California, and one of the Camera Shops had used UV filters very cheap. For some stupid reason, I only bought one for my prime. Now I am kicking myself as I just got two new lenses without UV filters.

In my current location, there aren't any nice shops like that, so I cant just take a ride down the road and pick some up.

Are there any places online that I can buy used filters very inexpensively?

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    Keep in mind putting any filter in front of your lens increases the likelihood of flaring and cheap filters (especially uncoated ones) are more prone. All the money you put into really nice lens glass can be compromised by one $10 filter you stick in front :) – Shizam Oct 30 '10 at 22:37

Their website is janky, but 2Filter has pretty good prices.

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    I've bought a lot of filters from 2Filter, great prices. – Shizam Oct 30 '10 at 22:37

Consider looking at value and not just price. There are substantial differences among UV and haze filters; some of them will significantly degrade your photos under some circumstances and most of them have some measurable effects in any photo.

Useful reviews appear at http://www.kenandchristine.com/gallery/1054387/1 (which is well illustrated--some of those photos are eye-openers--but does not try to be scientific or comprehensive) and www.lenstip.com (the site is currently down so I can't give you the precise link). The latter evaluates the filters with a spectrophotometer to measure (a) how much visible light they allow and (b) how much UV light they block. I recall it also evaluates flare. It found that many (but not all) of the Hoya UV filters are both cheap and excellent. Its top rated filter, out of the two dozen tested, is also the cheapest (one of the Hoyas).

Many of the low-price dealers are now accessible at Amazon.com. Often the shipping is free. I have been able to obtain top-rated filters from Hoya, B&W, and Marumi there.

  • Wow great! Thank you for the added info! I have heard good things about Hoya, but this site seems to add confidence to those rumors. – BBischof Oct 30 '10 at 21:17

If you use other filters than UV, then it saves a great deal of money to simply buy filters in one size and then a bunch of step-up rings. Step-up-rings are very cheap.

You must obviously buy a filter for your largest lens, so if that is not the case with the one you bought, you may need to buy one at regular price.

There is one catch though and that is that step-up rings will prevent you to use the lens hood at the same time. Since UV filters are only advised to protect your lens from eminent danger, hopefully you won't find yourself bothered by this downside often.

PS: I know it does not answer your actual question since I'm telling you to buy step-up-rings instead but hopefully it can serve you instead.

  • actually this was very useful advice, thank you for this perspective which I definitely overlooked. – BBischof Oct 30 '10 at 21:12
  • I just took your advice and bought a 77mm. Thanks again. – BBischof Nov 1 '10 at 3:49

I've had good luck buying used filters off ebay. There are also a number of very inexpensive, new ones - no idea of the quality of these (but I just ordered one to try, so I guess I'll find out!)

  • While it now seems obvious, somehow I didn't look on Ebay, I guess my normal inclination is to avoid Ebay :/ Thanks for your answer. – BBischof Oct 30 '10 at 21:13

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