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Should You Use a UV Filter?

Should You Use a UV Filter?

A UV filter is a glass screen or filter that blocks ultraviolet rays and confers to the front of your camera lens. They are beneficial for film photography, but now most professional photographers use them to protect their lenses.

There’s a lot of deception about UV/IR coating filters out there. Some professional photographers swear they’re essential, while others similarly believe they’re a total waste of money. In some film-making shops, the salespeople won’t let you leave with a new lens without paying for a UV filter; in others, they’ll make fun of you out the door if you try to purchase them. So what’s the truth? Let’s find out.

What Does a UV Filter Do?

A UV filter stops UV light as it enters the lens. Consider it as sunblock for your camera. Some old shooting films were susceptible to UV light so, if you didn’t use a UV filter, you would finish up with a blue haze in your pictures. It was widespread if you were shooting anywhere there was much UV light, like on a sunny day or at high altitude.

The thing is, contemporary films and cardinal sensors aren’t sensitive to UV light. It doesn’t affect or disturb them the way it does older films. It means you don’t want a UV filter to block UV light to take good pictures. Though, this hasn’t still UV filters from gathering up a less important use as a protective filter for your lenses. Some camera stores are unwilling to let you walk out the door with a new lens if you haven’t also purchased a UV filter to protect it.

Top 5 Reasons To Have A UV Filter

Some of the top reasons for having a camera lens that’s some photographers believe in are:

  • Keep the front of your lens from water and scratches
  • Keep the front of your lens from dust and dirt
  • Blocks divergence killing haze at high altitudes when using modern digital cameras
  • Keep the front of your lens from oils and smudges
  • Blocks that same haze at all sizes when using film cameras

The Optical Effects of UV Filters

There’s one last thing to consider about UV filters: placing any extra glass in the anterior of your lenses affects the picture quality.

UV filters block a minor percentage (between 0.1 and 5%) of the light elegance that passes through them.¬† It decreases the sharpness and contrast of your images vary slightly because of how light interacts with your filter. It’s a hardly noticeable effect and easily secure in Photoshop, but it is there. It’s also worse in inexpensive filters from no-name brands.


Are UV filters worth it? In summary, the UV/IR coating filters aren’t essential unless you’re shooting film or wants to shoot outdoor. Still, if you’re shooting landscapes or working in a setting that could harm your lens, reflect some form of lens protection, but if you do choose to use a UV filter or transparent glass protector, be sure to buy quality.

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