Sunday, October 6, 2013

Today's Topic: UV filters

Ok so although this is primarily my photography blog. I will be writing short pieces every once in a while on certain topics regarding photo things! So todays topic is about UV filters.

     First I need to specify to those not knowing, a UV filter and an ND filter are two very different things. An ND filter is meant to lower the amount of light coming into the sensor, to darken the image without having to increase shutter speed or change your aperture. A UV filter, well it filters out the UV light, pretty straight forward. A simple way to tell is just look at it, first it will say on the side, secondly, an ND filter will be dark, like sunglasses, while a UV filter will be relatively clear.

    For starters: what good are they, why should you use one, and why do they even exist? The uv filter was originally born for the use of film cameras to reduce, or eliminate, the amount of ultra-violet light coming into the camera. This is because UV light onto film can make it appear hazy and blueish, and just plain horrible. This was simple fix to correcting images before the digital age where getting rid of said things was a simple drag of the mouse. But now in the digital time of cameras, this all seems useless, as a digital sensor does not pick up UV light. I could go into this much more in depth, but don't want to bore you. Everyone here and there has an old film camera laying around, I personally learned on one. But it is hard to find a pro photographer shooting film, unless that is strictly what they do. The idea to keep using UV filters was kept around in the mid 90's to 2000's era on the massive switch to digital, because that's how everyone has been doing it, forever. So if you've been doing something one way why change right?
     I will be the first to admit I still use a UV filter on all my lenses, but why, because the digital sensor is not affected by UV light, right? My main and well really only reason is to protect my lens. I would much rather scratch a $20-$40 UV filter then make an L glass lens be rendered useless. It's a good practice to use but take it with a grain of salt.

    While you can find UV filters for $9 on eBay, its a cheap and great way to protect your lens, but it can do more harm than good. Cheap UV filters can distort your image because they are made from low quality glass than does the job, but ruins the image on digital, makes it grainy, and some color distortion on high contrast areas. So with that, when you go out to buy one, spending a few more bucks can go a long ways. A very inexpensive one may save your lens, but ruin your image, but whats the point if the image looks like crap? If it's to good to be true, then it can't be. Taken a little out of context, spending more money can help, A lot.

    All this being said, and take into thought as you want, I will always use a UV filter, not to filter out the light my camera can't see, but to protect a $1000+ lens with a simple $40 investment, its like an insurance policy. Using a UV filter that screws on also lets you not have to worry about losing useless lens caps (I ditch them anyways) because if it gets scratched, it not a big deal. Keep a couple on hand just incase and have a great time taking pictures!

1 comment:

  1. Comments and Suggestions are always appreciated!


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