Filters for lens protection

There is a great debate among pho­tog­ra­phers as to whether or not lens fil­ters need to be used for lens pro­tec­tion. Pho­tog­ra­phers are divided when it comes to fil­ters and image qual­ity. Many believe that adding a fil­ter to the lens reduces the image qual­ity while other pho­tog­ra­phers feel there are lit­tle to no effects to the photograph.

A fil­ter is not only used to‚protect against every day use. UV fil­ters offer pro­tec­tion against UV rays that may dam­age our lenses, and Sky­light fil­ters reduce the haze and clar­ify the photo. But really, are these truly nec­es­sary? Many pho­tog­ra­phers sug­gest that they have no notice­able effect in most cir­cum­stances. Lenses are made so strong today, that the ques­tion remains…“To use a fil­ter, or not to use a filter?”

Feel free to add your com­ments here or join our pho­tog­ra­phy forum and add to the con­ver­sa­tion. Here’s a link to the topic in the pho­tog­ra­phy forum.

Polarizing filters reduce reflections

Most peo­ple use polar­iz­ing fil­ters to reduce the bright­ness of the sky so that it does not get blown out. How­ever another very use­ful thing that polar­iz­ing fil­ters do is that polar­iz­ers reduce unwanted reflections.

This shot below by forum mem­ber Travis is an AMAZING exam­ple of the same shot with and with­out a polar­iz­ing fil­ter. The top image is shot with­out the polar­izer and the bot­tom image uses the polar­iz­ing fil­ter and gets rid of all the reflec­tions. Thanks so much for let­ting me use these images Travis!

polarizing filters reduce reflections

polar­iz­ing fil­ters reduce reflections

3 other links on our forum that talk about how to use polar­iz­ers
Travis’s orig­i­nal post
Neu­tral gra­di­ent fil­ter — also talks about polar­iz­ers
Fil­ters — also talks about polar­iz­ing fil­ters and other filters