The pros and cons of protective filters (UV or clear type) on lenses is an age old debate. One side of the argument is that you definitely want to protect your investment, and filters is an obvious choice. On the other hand, you paid for those expensive optics for their clarity and maximum transmission, among other things. And you don’t want to degrade that optical quality by adding a piece of filter in front, especially if the filter is not a high quality one. This second camp says lens hood is the better way to provide protection, and also provide the added benefit of blocking stray light, which actually improves image quality.
Call me lazy, but I really dislike using lens hood. It doesn’t add much weight to carry, but the size penalty is not insignificant. It makes me wonder, though, if I would have fared better with the hood when my Panasonic GX7 tumbled forward on my tripod and the Olympus 12-40/2.8 hit the wooden floor a few hours ago. My Hoya UV filter was shattered, and the filter holder and lens thread were bent to the point that the filter couldn’t be screwed out. I managed to remove the broken filter glass and confirmed that the front element of the lens do not suffer any real damage. But the bent filter thread is going to be a problem in use, as well as affecting the resale value.
In any case, this is not a post about filter vs. lens hood. It is just a post about feeling glad to have at least one of those protection in place. In fact, I am going to put the hood on the 12-40 now just for good measure. (At least this is one of the few Olympus lenses that comes with hood) That, as well as waiting for the order of my Really Right Stuff L-Plate to arrive. Tilting the camera to portrait orientation using the regular plate and drop notch (Like pictured here) is the main cause of this accident. I have been putting off purchasing the L-plate for a while now. But the event of this evening proves it is not just for convenience, but safety as well.