All About UV Filters

Should You Own a UV Filter? |

Probably! A UV Filter helps filter ultraviolet rays that cause unwanted haziness/flare in your photographs. When I shot film, filters were a must. And even though newer digital cameras aren’t as susceptible to haze, I still find that they make a difference, particularly with landscapes. In general, you’ll achieve stronger contrast and deeper blue tones with a filter. Read on for more about why you should own a UV Filter:


Keeping a UV filter on your lens just might save it one day! A filter will absolutely protect it from smudges and scratches since there is no longer any contact between the outside world and the lens itself. I once dropped my lens and instead of breaking, my UV filter was dented. Another time, the UV filter shattered but the lens was safe. For me, I like the insurance a UV filter carries.

Choosing Your Filter

If you have an expensive lens, it seems counter-intuitive  to buy a cheap piece of glass to place in front of it, so make sure to do some research and spend a little more for a nicer filter.

When To Use a UV Filter |

The Exceptions

So why wouldn’t you keep it on all the time? Sometimes, specific lighting situations will introduce more flare and more haze when a UV filter is used. I’ve found this to be true with backlit scenarios, and it can result in a lack of sharpness and contrast.

When Not to Use a UV Filter |

Bottom Line

UV Filters can help, but they can also hurt. Understanding when and where to use them will help you get the clearest, sharpest images possible. Personally, I don’t use them in a controlled studio setting. But on vacations and when I shoot events, I keep it on for protection and the added contrast in scenic settings.

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