There are certain things in this world that I truly love. Camera lens filters are one of those things. I love lens filters.
Before I begin, you may want to read through a previous blog post in the topic I’ll discuss below. It’s pretty thorough and I even added a few photos in there. Check it out here:
Basically, lens filters are a potentially very inexpensive way to take photos that look professional. I like to think of them as the secret sauce that makes the shot a hundred times better. A regular lens can produce images that look somewhat naked. Adding a lens filter fixes that. They reduce glare, add depth, and reduce overabundant light. For such a small amount of money, they may very well be the best investment a budding photographer can make.
If you aren’t aware of what lens filters are yet, please take a look at these next two photos. I recently picked these up and they’re just wonderful. They’re cheap too at only $36 for the entire set. They have tiny threads and screw right onto the end of your lens. You’ll need to look at the diameter of your lens before you buy, but that’s easy. The measurement is written right on it.
Very briefly, I’m going to cover what each type of filter does. If you’d like to add anything to this thread regarding filters or your own experience with them, I really wish you would. Simply reply down below.
These filters let you get really close to an object to engage in something like macro photography. They say these filters don’t actually make the object larger, but that they allow you to get closer. You may already know that each lens only lets you get so close to something before it won’t focus anymore. Well, these filters break that barrier and let you get really, really close. With them, you can take pictures of hair in a butterfly’s nostril.
Back in the days of film, these filters were important to keep out the UV rays from daylight. Today, most photographers use them as an inexpensive way to protect the glass on their expensive lenses that sit right behind the filter. In all reality, that’s what you’d probably use this filter for as well.
ND (Neutral Density) Filters
These filters reduce the amount of light that comes through your lens. If you’re taking long exposure shots in daylight or if you have a full frame sensor in your camera, you’ll most likely need to add one of the available strengths of this type of filter to your lens.
The coolest of them all. These filters twist and allow you to adjust the look you’re going for. They can slightly alter the colors in a scene and even add depth. You’ll likely notice skies looking bluer and that reflections on water don’t bother you nearly as much as they used to. If there is one filter to buy, this is the one.
I’m actually not even sure why these filters are sold anymore. They’re pink in color and they used to be sold in the days of film to color correct for indoor photography under florescent lighting. Today, digital cameras have white balance adjustments that take care of that for us. Some say that these filters are used for a pink effect in some situations, but I don’t really buy it. You can add any effect you want in post-processing. This is the least important filter in the bunch.
So there you have it. A fast and dirty overview of camera lens filters. Tell me what you know down below and please share any advice you have. Thanks!