Lens filters are camera accessories that you can attach to the front of the lens. They not only protect the lens, but they also have the ability to alter how light transcends through the lens and add different effects. They're made of high grade resin glass or translucent glass. They can be an essential part of a photographers’ assortment of equipment, especially with landscape photography. It allows the photographer to explore different possibilities in the photographic process and capture creative and beautiful effects in photos.
These filters are not to be confused with digital filters that we now use to edit images in Lightroom or Photoshop. Apart from it being used as light enhancements, lens filters are also be used for protection against dust, moisture and fingerprints.
If you want to take your photography to the next level, read on to know more about camera lens filters.
Types of lens filters
UV filtersThis is to protect the front element of your lens from dust and moisture. However, some photographers argue that using a UV lens filter isn’t necessary with modern cameras because it's difficult to tell the difference between the photos with or without the filter.
Polarizing filters are best known for making colors pop out. It adds vividness and contrast to a photo. This is an essential filter for landscape photography. This lens is capable of cutting the reflected light in a scene and automatically enhancing the pictures by increasing color saturation. Also, when taking photos of a subject in the distance it helps reduce the atmospheric haze. Most photographers heavily rely on this filter because the effects cannot be fully replicated in software.
Neutral Density filtersThe purpose of the neutral density filter is to reduce the amount of light making its way to the camera. We know that in the world of photography, more light is better. It allows photographers to shoot their wide-aperture lenses in bright light without overexposure. It subtracts the light according to the capacity of the filter.
Color correction filters
Color correction filters changes the saturation or tone of an image. Colors consists of magenta, yellow, green and blue filters. These colors are available in 10% increments and are used to modify or correct the color balance of irregular light. This filter is rarely used today as it was popularly used with film. However, many photographers who prefer correcting their images at the time rather than digitally in post-production, still uses it.
Infrared filtersAlso known as heat absorbing filters, are made to reflect or block mid-infrared wavelengths when passing visible light. Light waves up to 400mm are called ultraviolet light and the waves over 700mm are known as IR light. Some cameras have built in IR filters that reduce the amount of IR light that can reach the camera’s sensor.
From the name itself, macro filters act as a “magnifying glass” which helps allow the photographer to focus on a subject from a distance.
Before buying lens filters, you want to make sure to buy the correct size filters. To know this, take off the lens cap, turn it over and check the number (58mm, 62mm etc). Using incorrect filters can actually damage your lens. It can cause residual glare, flares and stains.
Light conditions determine how we can make the most out of filters. If you want special effects like silky or softened water, reduced reflections in polarized surfaces or decreased fog and haze in photographs, filters can help trasnform your photo.