Over the years, more and more people have decided to start using a lens filter with their lens of choice to help both increase the functionality of the lens as well as help to protect it from any potential damage during use. We keep seeing a number of people reaching out asking questions about why they should decide to use a lens filter with their current lens so we have decided to publish this article in an attempt to help our readers understand the difference between the three main lens filter types.
The UV Lens Filter
With out a doubt in our mind, the most popular type of filter in use right now is the UV filter. Although it was originally intended to help prevent ultraviolet light rays from hitting your camera sensor back in the days of film-based cameras it has since evolved. Although in this modern day of digital photography, there is little film used so there is no risk of UV light damaging it. As the UV filter protected the front lens element during use so well, photographers simply started using the UV filter as a kind of sacrificial element to help save their main lens element during use.
There are literally tens of thousands of comments on social media and the various photography based forums where people comment how they dropped their camera and their UV filter broke but their actual lens was protected due to using a UV filter. A common theory is that you should have a UV filter that costs around ten percent of what your actual camera lens costs you. This helps to increase the quality of the UV filter and the protection it offers as your camera lens value also increases.
That said, in this modern age, there are a number of brands such as Gobe, Kenko, Hoya, and Tiffen who all product very good UV filters that will serve you and your lens of choice well. If you would like to read more about UV lens filters, here are some related articles:-
- 2 Of The Best UV filters For Sony A6000 Users!
- 2 Of The Best UV Filters For Nikon D3400 Owners!
- An In-Depth Hoya UV Filter Review!
- The Ultimate Kenko UV Filter Review!
The CPL Lens Filter
Although not as popular as the UV filter that we covered above, we would imagine that the second most popular type of lens filter on the market right now is the CPL filter. This type of lens filter has been specifically designed to help improve the performance of your lens to get you the best image quality possible if there are reflective elements in your shot.
For example, say you are trying to capture a photograph of a lake but the sun is reflecting the water off the lake and it is ruining the image quality of your photograph. You can mount a CPL filter onto your lens and it will help remove the glare of the reflected sunlight from the water while also improving your overall image quality.
Price ranges of CPL filters can vairy a fair bit in all fairness but we would imagine anything from the $30 upwards ranges will perform well and help you get some excellent photographs. Again, try to always stick with brands such as Gobe, Hoya, Tiffen, and Kenko to ensure that you get the best product possible for your budget.
If you would like to read more about CPL filters, here are some related reviews:-
The ND Lens Filter
The third and final main type of lens filter that commonly uses these days is the ND filter. The purpose of an ND filter is to allow you to control the amount of light that is able to get into your camera lens and reach your camera sensor. This helps you take advantage of blending both time and motion in the same photograph. For example, the silky smooth water effect seen in the photograph below is due to using an ND filter so you are able to use longer exposures to capture the movement of the water.
Depending on what you are actually trying to get done with your photograph, there are a large number of ND filters that all perform slightly differently to each other. Additionally, the more specialist the ND filter that you are considering using, the higher its price tag will be. That said, anything over the $30 mark is usually decent but professional level ND filters can be $70 and over.
If you are wanting to read more and ND filters then here are some related articles:-
- 2 Of The Best ND Filters For Sony A6000 Cameras!
- The Ultimate Zomei ND Filter Review!
- An In-Depth Hoya ND Filters Review!