Photographers use camera lens filters to protect their lenses from dust, smudges, and scratches. However, that’s not the only use of the camera filters.
Professionals use camera filters to enhance the quality of an image, change its look and tell a story in a different mood and era.
Using camera filters instantly changes how an image looks. Each camera lens filter is used for different purposes and offers different quality – better indeed.
Though, it’s not always easy to understand its uses, especially if you’re a beginner. I’ve tried my best to get lens filters explained in an easy and understandable way – So, let’s begin.
Why Should I Use A Filter On My Camera Lens?
You should be using camera lens filters for the following reason:
1. Your Lens is Protected
The primary benefit you’re giving to your lens by using camera lens filters is protection.
Of course, your lens will be protected from dust, scratches, and smudges, but if you’re using a UV filter, your lens will also be protected from the sun.
This proves to be highly beneficial when you’re shooting outdoors in sunlight on a beach or some other place. It doesn’t let your lens degrade due to harsh UV rays.
2. You get a Perfect Exposure
There are several times when you’re working with complicated lighting conditions. Using camera filters can flawlessly help you achieve an even and accurate exposure for your entire image.
What camera filters do here is that block some of the unwanted light entering the lens. Again, if you’re shooting outside, this turns out to be an amazing option, even when the fast shutter speed fails to avoid overexposure.
3. Your Colors are altered and enhanced
Camera filters come in different colors and shapes that I’ll be explaining further. These can correct or pop up the colors in your photos.
Some lens filters work pretty well at enhancing the colors and contrast for a more vibrant photo and others can alter the color temperature of a scene.
You can capture a single scene in different colors and give it a different vision with each change of filter.
4. You tell a Different Story each time
From black & white to vintage to polarized, you can play and experiment with different lens filters.
Being a photographer, you must be in touch with the fact that every picture tells a story, and camera filters just allow you to create different ones each time.
With lens filters you can create more vivid colors, enhance the contrast, avoid reflections from glassy surfaces, eliminate glare, and much more.
What Camera Filters Do I Need For My Lens?
There are many different kinds of filters you can use for your lens:
1. Neutral Density Filters (ND)
Neutral density camera filters are used to reduce the amount of light entering the lens. It’s very helpful in situations when increased aperture must be used to avoid overexposure or motion blur that needs to be created while capturing moving objects, people, rivers, etc.
You may use this camera filter while performing flash or landscape photography. This filter generally transits from dark to clear towards the center.
2. Clear/Haze/UV filter
These filters do the basic work of protecting the lens from dust, scratches, and moisture. As the name suggests, UV filters are used to protect the lens from harsh UV rays. These can be mounted permanently over your camera lens for all-time protection.
3. Cooling/Warming/Color filter
These filters are helpful in correcting colors, thus, resulting in a change in the camera’s white balance.
Cooling and Warming color filters can basically be used to add or block colors, or even create a new color with a mix of both original and colored lens views.
Though, most photographers do not use such filters now in Digital Photography as you may get this effect created by a professional photo retouching and photo editing service for post-production.
4. Polarizing Filter
Polarizing camera filter filters out polarized light. It dramatically enhances colors, increases contrast, and reduces reflections. These are generally round in shape and can be used for any kind of photography.
5. Close-Up Filter
The Close-up filter AKA diopter is used to focus closer on the surface. This camera lens filter is particularly useful for macro photography and close-up shots.
6. Soft-edged Graduated Neutral Density
GND filters are used in conditions where contrast is high and where the horizon is not flat. The soft edge permits smoother transitions.
You can use such filters for landscape photography. These are generally rectangular and used with holders.
7. Hard-edged Graduated Neutral Density filter
HDN filters are basically used in high contrast conditions where the horizon is flat and the sky is brighter than the foreground. These are always rectangular and used with camera filter holders.
8. Reverse Graduated Neutral Density filter
This filter is a specialized filter used for landscape photography. You should use it while shooting against the sun as it is set close to the horizon, it’ll give you a beautiful effect.
Unlike the GND filter, the Reverse GND filter transits from dark to less dark from the middle to the edge.
9. Special Effects filters
Special effects filters are of different kinds such as:
- Star filters – They make bright objects look star-like
- Diffusion filters – These lens filters create softening, ‘dreamy’ effect used for portraits
- Multi-vision filters – used to create multiple copies of a subject
- Infrared filters – used to block infrared and let the visible light pass
- Bokeh filters – These filters are amazing. They have a specific shape cut at the center of the filter that makes bokeh highlights of the same shape.
What Are The Different Shapes Of Camera Lens Filters?
There are mainly 4 types of camera filter shapes.
Square filters are usually used with a camera lens filter holder that is mounted on the front of the lens. It is popularly used for landscape photography.
Rectangular camera filt6ers are another great choice for landscape photography. This camera filter gives you more space to move around the subject – It eliminates the risk of uneven spots.
The most common size is 4×6, but you may use smaller and larger camera lens filters as per your need.
Screw-On AKA round filters that are directly mounted and screwed at the front of the camera lens.
Polarizing filters, color filters, and ND filters all fall under this category. They come in different diameters and thicknesses. The thicker your lens is, the more the vignetting in your photos will be produced.
These camera filters are generally used with telephoto lenses. They have larger than normal front elements and cannot always be easily used with Screw-On filters.
A drop-in filter is inserted into a small, special area near the rear part of the lens.
No matter which digital camera brand you’re using, camera filters can always come in handy whenever you want to add an impact to your images.
These come in various shapes and shades that you can utilize in different circumstances. I’ve tried to explain camera lens filters accurately and precisely in this article.
However, when and why you use it completely depends on how familiar you are with lens filters and what kind of photography you perform. But the one thing is for sure, if you decide to use them, they’ll surely not disappoint you.
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The main types of filters used by professional photographers are called UV filters, Polarizing filters, and ND (Neutral Density) Filters.What filter do most photographers use? ›
The main types of filters used by professional photographers are called UV filters, Polarizing filters, and ND (Neutral Density) Filters.What is a good filter to keep on you lens at all times? ›
- Hoya HD nano Mk II UV. A good way to make skies look a little more natural, especially for film. ...
- K&F Concept UV Filter Ultra Slim. ...
- Urth UV Filter Plus+ ...
- AmazonBasics UV Protection Filter. ...
- Hoya UV Digital HMC Screw-in Filter. ...
- Gobe UV Lens Filter. ...
- Tiffen UV Protector filter. ...
- Hoya HMC Skylight 1B.
Do professional photographers use filters? Yes, plenty of professional photographers use clear filters on their lenses. And nearly every pro landscape shooter works with a polarizer and neutral density filters.What filter makes you look prettier? ›
YouCam Makeup: Best Beauty Filter App Overall
Many of the beautiful face filters also come with creative backgrounds and accessories to upgrade the look. If you want to turn off certain backgrounds or features, the app also enables easy customization options.
Three common filter types for particle filtration are bag, cartridge, and self-cleaning filters.What filter is the most popular? ›
Some of the most popular Instagram filters are Clarendon, Gingham, Juno, and Lark. The only downside of using these preset filters on your photos is that you can't customize them. Once they're on your photo, that's it!Are expensive lens filters worth it? ›
Any filter can cause side effects like image softening or increased flare or color casts, but more expensive filters will generally be made with better glass and have coatings to reduce these effects. They will also generally have sturdier filter rings.Should I use a polarizing filter all the time? ›
A polarizing filter is not something you want to leave on your lenses at all times though since it reduces light transmission and it can potentially make the sky look unevenly gradient when using wide-angle lenses.What filter do real estate photographers use? ›
Photographers often use a circular polarizer filter (CPL) for landscape, outdoor, and street photography. The CPL is one of the best filters for real estate pictures, especially when shooting outdoor real estate property listing photos.
Filters help minimize glare and reflections, enhance colors, reduce light coming into the lens, and more. Each lens filter serves a specific purpose, as each one is built to deliver a specific effect that can help enhance the final look of an image.What mode do professional photographers use? ›
When photographing landscapes, a tripod and a low ISO setting should be used for the majority of the shots. Manual Mode is the shooting mode prefered by the majority of professional photographers because it enables them to exert the most influence over the photographs they take.What filter is best for night photography? ›
- Optolong L-eXtreme light pollution filter. ...
- Hoya Starscape light pollution filter. ...
- Kase Wolverine Neutral Night light pollution filter. ...
- NiSi Circular Natural Night Filter. ...
- K&F Concept Natural Night light pollution filter. ...
- Haida NanoPro MC Clear-Night light pollution filter.
Certain lens filters can be square (usually neutral density or ND) or rectangular (graduated neutral density or GND ones). Square lens filters can come in many different sizes (70, 75, 100, 150, 165 and 180mm), although the most common one is 100mm.Which is better UV filter or polarizing filter? ›
A polarizing filter can reduce reflections and glare, but it can also darken your image, reduce the amount of light that reaches your sensor, and create uneven polarization in wide-angle shots. A UV filter can prevent haze and protect your lens, but it can also introduce flare, ghosting, and vignetting in some cases.What is the new filter everyone is using? ›
TikTok has a new filter called “Bold Glamour” that can really change your face in a not-so-real manner that actually looks very real. Like really real.What is the filter that makes you look younger? ›
One of the best teenage filter apps available is YouCam Makeup. This app is free to download and offers numerous features including a teenage filter that can make you look younger. You can try this app for free and see how you would look like with a younger appearance.What is the beauty filter that everyone is using? ›
The TikTok 'bold glamour' filter is going viral for its wildly unrealistic beauty standard.What are the 5 types of filters? ›
- Mechanical Filters.
- Absorption Filters.
- Sequestration Filters.
- Ion Exchange Filters.
- Reverse Osmosis Filters.
Filters can be active or passive, and the four main types of filters are low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, and notch/band-reject (though there are also all-pass filters). I hope you've learned a bit about how to describe filters and what they can accomplish. You can read more in these textbook resources below!
To avoid that green-tinged hue ruining your photos, a purple filter will do wonders. A purple filter will counteract that green tinge, balancing your photos.
ariana grande polaroid effect filter vsco.Which filter is best for girls? ›
- TanVille. How cool would be to get a tan without having to sunbathe and to get sunburnt? ...
- Ab-Pro X. We know you love those donuts that go well your latte and messes with your diet plan. ...
- Nailsonpoint. ...
- Blush-well. ...
- InstaTattoo. ...
- CurvesPlus. ...
VSCO. A lot of people know that VSCO is one of the best apps for influencers and it has excellent filters. Still, the app ends up having a very specific look associated with itself. The type of filter that makes images look smooth and pastel is called VSCO in many camera apps.Are polarized lens filters worth it? ›
You should use a polarizing lens filter when you want to reduce glare or reflection from water, glass, or even leaves. If you're shooting through glass, for example, a shop or train window, a polarizer can help remove any reflections that will distract the audience.What does a haze filter do? ›
UV filters, also referred to as Haze filters, are designed to cut through the effects of atmospheric haze, moisture, and other forms of airborne pollutants, each of which contributes to image degradation. UV/Haze filters are available in varying strengths.Is a circular polarizer worth it? ›
Let me start with this statement: every landscape photographer should own a circular polarizer. If you're tired of unwanted glare and reflections, struggle to make wet surfaces look good, or can't seem to get the contrast and colors to pop in your image, a polarizing filter is exactly what you need.What filter removes reflections? ›
A polarizing filter removes light that has been reflected in the scene you are trying to shoot. For example, sun or light glare off a lake or remove glare from a car window. By modifying the reflected light through the polarizing filter it allows a cleaner more contrast shot.What is an ideal polarizing filter? ›
The best polarizing filters have high light transmission. They block only 1 to 1-1/2 stops of light. Cheaper filters may block up to 3 stops of light. You will have to compensate by increasing the exposure. In most situations, this is not a problem.Can you leave a CPL filter on all the time? ›
Some people keep the CPL filter on their lens all the time as an additional camera lens protector (the way others use a UV filter). If this is you, just make sure that you have the CPL rotated correctly when you're not wanting the effect.
YouCam Makeup is the best beauty filter app for celebrity selfies. It gives you seamless, natural edits to smooth your skin, reshape your face and body, and add incredible makeup looks you'll want to show off.What lens is best for interior photography? ›
Use a wide-angle lens (32mm) to capture the wide images of the space and a regular portrait lens (50mm) to capture the close-ups of your designs and to minimize distortion. A great wide-angle lens is the 16-35mm F/2.8.What filter to enhance portraits? ›
Neutral density filters are mainly used for portrait work and landscape work (with the stronger ND filters used in landscape photography). Let's take a look at the different types of ND filters and why you might want to use them: Portrait filters – ND2, ND4, and ND8 filters can broadly be described as portrait filters.What is the best filter for smooth skin? ›
Facetune. FaceTune is one of the most popular skin-smoothing video filter apps on the market right now. It allows users to adjust and enhance their videos with its smooth and natural-looking filters, giving them an airbrushed look without making them look too fake or unnatural.How can I improve my face camera quality? ›
Tell Me How to Get Better Camera Quality on Android
Android phones allow you to change the resolution of your photographs. Open your camera app and click on Settings in the bottom left corner. Click on Resolutions. Then make sure you have the highest possible quality selected.
Most professional photographers continue to forego using an autofocus system because manual focusing allows them maximum control over their images.How do you shoot like a pro photographer? ›
- Master the Fundamentals of Composition. Choose a Strong Focal Point. ...
- Make Sure You Have Good Lighting. ...
- Get Some Lighting Equipment. ...
- Learn How to Edit Photos Like a Professional. ...
- Learn Your Camera's Settings. ...
- Pick Up a Tripod. ...
- Upgrade Your Gear. ...
- Show Off Your Shots Like a Pro.
TTL mode is useful for wedding photographers because they are required to move around a lot during the event and do not have enough time to change the settings of their camera for each shot they take.What is the most used IG filter? ›
Some of the most popular Instagram filters are Clarendon, Gingham, Juno, and Lark. The only downside of using these preset filters on your photos is that you can't customize them. Once they're on your photo, that's it!Which type of filter is the most common? ›
The most common type of pressure filter with a filter cloth is known as the filter press.
TikTok has a new filter called “Bold Glamour” that can really change your face in a not-so-real manner that actually looks very real. Like really real.What photo filters do influencers use? ›
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC.
- Layout from Instagram.
There are three stages of filtration: mechanical, chemical and biological.Do photographers use ND filters? ›
Use an ND filter for long exposure photography.
Because they reduce the amount of light that enters the image, ND filters can also be a great tool for creating daytime photos with motion blur. To achieve blur, you need to use a longer shutter speed or exposure time.
Neutral Density (ND) filters reduce the intensity of all wavelengths, or colors, of light equally from entering the camera, in measured amounts. This allows the photographer more control in selecting shutter speed and aperture combinations in a variety of conditions.What filter is Ariana Grande using? ›
ariana grande polaroid effect filter vsco | Vsco filter, Photo editing techniques, Vsco photography.What app do Kardashians use? ›
The Kardashian/Jenner clan have Instagram all sewn up.
While most of us don't make careers out of our Instas like the girls, we still want the skinny on how they look so flawless. The Keeping Up With The Kardashian stars reportedly use the app Perfect365 to edit their photos before posting.