Originally Posted by sub50hz
So, essentially, it's up to the end user whether they'd like to take an insignificant hit in IQ or the possibility of a costly ($260 is still a good chunk of money for most people) repair. I think that's about the best way to put it, don't you?
i wouldn't word it to something like, "use a filter or spend money in repairs!" to scare off people for not using a filter. i'm just saying that even if your lens takes a significant damage, it can be repaired and your investment will not be entirely lost. i dropped the 300 f/2.8 as i literally got tackled by a 240lb high-school football player. even a filter won't protect something like that.
i'm just saying $260 was the most i've ever spent on a repair. from my books, i've spent about $106 total in maintaining my equipment (lens wipes, repairs, etc) in 2010. while i do put my lenses in extreme conditions, it doesn't mean i'm into abusing them. if i'm going to pay for a lens with the absolute highest build quality, weather seals, and durability you can assure that i wont mind putting it through rain, snow, and gatorade dumps at the 50yd line.
if you know you're going into a harsh environment (like paintballing) you should be using a protective filter and the argument ends there. then there are people who absolutely baby their photo equipment more than their own actual babies out there. i'm not one of them.
this discussion is more about using a protective filter on a day-to-day basis. in terms of iq loss, insignificant is an overstatement. to the nay-sayers i challenge them to measure the iq loss through a b+w mrc filter.
it really boils down to preference. love it, hate it, amd, intel, nvidia, ati, canon, nikon, sigma, tamron - there is no definitive answer.