Learn more about UV Filters
There is a wide variety of camera gear that is available in the market. A beginner photographer or a videographer needs to select the specific gear that will benefit their needs. In that ocean of gear, one of the important pieces of gear is the filters. Filters are further divided into several types - and one of those types is a UV Filter - about which we will be discussing here in detail.
When you buy your first camera body and a lens, it is essential to look for good quality protective lens filters - also known as UV Filters. As we are just starting, we need to keep our gear running for a longer time while not compromising image quality. This is exactly where a UV Filter would help - but don't just get any filter as it might affect the image quality.
What is a UV Filter?
A UV Filter is basically a filter that helps in preventing the camera sensor from UV Rays. In earlier times, when everything was shot using films, UV radiation affected image quality, which sometimes even rendered the images useless. This was the time when a UV Filter was extremely beneficial to prevent the images from getting ruined.
However, as the technology progressed and as we got more of those digital sensors, the usability of these protective filters reduced. However, they still do their job by protecting the sensor and the outer lens - but the image quality isn't something that will be affected by these filters. Just note that you will need to get a quality filter here - else attaching them can degrade the quality.
We got you covered for this as we sell high-quality UV Filters in our store - that are manufactured by reputed brands. We understand the creator's needs and don't want the gear to be a hindrance in their work - which is why you will always find great quality gear.
Why should you use a UV Filter?
There are several types of filters - and every filter is used for a different purpose. Most UV filters are mainly used for two different purposes. One of the major purposes is to protect the camera lenses and act as the first line of defense. And the second important purpose is to protect the digital camera sensor from UV Light.
Let's learn a little more about these use cases - and why you should keep these in mind while purchasing any UV Filter.
A UV filter is mainly used as a protective filter with modern cameras. As most photographers can mount this on the top of their lens glass, it will prevent the optical glass from being damaged. If the lens is bumped into something, the damage will be taken by the filter - and not the actual lens - which would help you save a lot of money.
If the UV filter breaks, it is way easier and cheaper to replace it than replace a camera lens. A good filter would cost you around USD 100, while the repair or replacement of the lens can cost you hundreds - or even thousands of dollars, depending on the actual cost of the lens.
UV Filters not only prevent the lens from breaking but also prevent micro-scratches that would be caused by dust particles - even with regular usage. When the dust particles rub against the surface of the lens, it can damage the lens - but we can prevent the same if we have the UV Filter.
When you shoot near a beach, your new lens can also get damaged because of sea spray. Not only that, but this can also cause smudges and smears - which won't even go away with a microfiber cloth. If you want to prevent your gear from going through all this, one of the easiest ways is by using UV Filters for added protection.
Block the UV Light
This used to be one of the main uses of UV Filters in the early days. When the creators shoot on color film at a high altitude or a sunny day, it becomes highly essential to use this filter. Without the filter, the image on the film will end up having a blue haze - which doesn't really look pleasing.
However, with most digital cameras, the sensors are almost completely insensitive to UV light - which means that the image quality won't be affected much without a filter. While this applies to all the cameras, it most definitely doesn't apply to all cameras. Some camera sensors are still a bit sensitive to UV radiation - and to avoid that, it will be beneficial to use a UV filter - especially when you go out to shoot on a bright sunny day.
A UV filter not only blocks the UV light - but would also hinder the light transmission by a bit. So, when you start using these filters, you will need to keep this in mind. Also, only a high-quality filter will allow you to retain the best image quality of the actual lens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even though the camera sensor itself now handles the main purpose of UV filters, these filters still retain their space in the camera bag of a creator. Alongside several other filters, a UV filter will almost always be found inside a camera bag of a creator - as it still serves a purpose. And if you are stepping into this field, it is obvious that you have questions about this filter.
Don't worry. You have questions - and we have answers. Here, we have prepared answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about UV Filters.
What does a UV Filter do?
Most UV filters do two main tasks. One is to protect the camera lens from getting damaged due to any unforeseen circumstances, while the second one is to prevent the ultraviolet light from entering the sensor. While these are the main things that this filter can do, some creators also use it creatively - and specifically damage or paint the optical glass of these filters for a unique effect. Such unique effects can easily help them stand out from the crowd.
How effective are UV Filters?
In the earlier times, many photographers used UV Filters as they were pretty much a requirement to shoot with film on sunny days. However, things have changed now - and so has the effectiveness of these filters.
The differences between an image shot with the filter and an image shot without the filter have been decreasing with every passing day. One can't really figure out which image would have been shot with what setup - like we can with some other filters. However, that is not to say that these don't work - or don't have any purpose.
They do work - and we can notice some differences with a high-quality UV filter. Also, never forget about their usability as a protective filter - which has indeed become its main selling point.
Does a UV Filter really block UV Light?
Yes, it does.
While the changes in the images are less and less visible these days due to the insensitivity of the sensor to ultraviolet light, it is essential to note that UV filters still block the UV light. This prevents the images from having that blue haze - while retaining the sharpness and contrast when shooting in direct sunlight.
Can ultraviolet light affect the image quality on a digital camera?
Not really. Let us explain.
With the rise in digital cameras, the technology used in their sensors has evolved as well. The sensors are now almost insensitive to ultraviolet light with the new technology. This means the sensor won't catch UV light - which means it would indeed not affect image quality on a digital camera.
Are UV Lens Filters still necessary?
Absolutely! The UV Lens Filters are still necessary to block out the UV light from reaching the camera sensor and protect the lens against any damage.
UV Light can still affect the white balance in your images - when you don't use a UV filter. Also, it is always better to have the first line of defense for an expensive piece of equipment.
Is a UV Lens Filter unbreakable?
Unfortunately, none of the UV Lens Filters are unbreakable.
Glass is glass - and glass breaks. However, while it is possible to break these filters, they would definitely help in preventing your lens and the camera from taking any major damage. Also, it's much cheaper to replace this small filter than to replace the camera lens.
What thread sizes do you offer for the UV Filters?
We offer a wide collection of UV Filters in several thread sizes. The thread sizes in our store range from being 37mm to 95mm. We believe that these sizes should cover all major lenses available in the market.
I don’t see any UV Lens Filters for the thread size of the camera lens. What should I do now?
While we can't promise to add more thread sizes, we can definitely offer a solution here. If a UV filter with the thread size of your camera lens doesn't exist in our store, you should likely go with a slightly larger-sized filter. You can then use a step-up ring and use that UV Filter on your camera lens.
It is essential to go with a step-up ring and a larger filter here. If you go with a smaller filter and a step-down ring, it will likely create vignetting on the edges - which doesn't look good.
Do professional photographers still use a UV Filter?
The simple answer here would be a resounding - Yes!
When a professional photographer uses their professional gear, they would rather not risk the overall lens. This is why several creators use a UV Filter to protect their lenses. Also, having insurance can help here - but it will also cost you a little more.
Would a UV Filter create effects like lens flare and ghosting in the image?
For the most part, the answer here would be - Yes.
UV filters act as an extra piece of glass on top of our lenses. This means that the light needs to pass through this additional layer of glass - which unfortunately creates the effects like lens flare and ghosting in the image. While we can reduce these effects by investing in better quality UV Filters, they will still be present and can be noticed when we have a closer look.
Is a UV Filter worth investing in?
Even though the filter has reduced usability and a couple of disadvantages, it is still highly worth investing in good quality UV Filters. It is essential to note that good quality filters are the ones we still recommend investing in - because they will have lesser disadvantages over the cheaper ones - and will also be able to provide better protection to the lens.
Which brands do you carry?
We carry Gobe, Hoya, and Urth in our store for the UV Filters. They allow us to provide you with a wide range of options to choose from. So, if you need UV Filters from these brands, we got you covered.
A UV Lens Filter still plays an important role - even though we are shooting on digital cameras. Several photographers keep them attached to their camera lenses all the time as most of them would allow for the lens cap to attach to the front element of the filter itself. In today's world, their usage has definitely changed. And we tried to cover it all here - including the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
However, if you still have a tough time selecting a UV filter for yourself, feel free to reach out to one of our Gear Guides. You can tell them about your needs, and they'll guide you through the selection process. Also, they will give you personalized recommendations based on your usage. We have a wonderful team there who is always ready to help.