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When to Use a UV Filter on Your Camera Lens

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

A UV filter is a piece of coated glass you attach to your lens. It screens out ultra-violet (UV) light. It also keeps the lens safe and clean.

If you are considering adding a UV filter to your camera gear collection, it’s essential to understand its function. This article will tell you what you need to know.

What Effect Does a UV Filter Have?

UV light won’t have much effect on a digital camera. This is because most digital cameras have lenses with special coatings that filter out UV rays. However, in some instances, they can affect a camera’s white balance making images look bluer.

If you are using a film camera, you will need to be more aware of UV rays’ effects. They will cause a haze of fogginess on images and may also produce a blue cast. They will be especially noticeable if you’re near water or snow or if you’re shooting at high altitudes.

Should I Use a UV Lens?

Based on the information you have gotten so far, you may wonder if a UV filter is necessary. Today, most photographers shoot in digital and digital cameras really aren’t affected by UV rays. So why add the lens?

Well, a filter will always come in handy in protecting the camera from dirt, water, and scratches. And if you’re going to add a filter, it might as well be a UV one as this will ensure that you don’t get any weird effects from the rays.

The Downside of UV Lenses

While UV filters offer protection and eliminate the risk of UV rays interfering with your photo quality, they come with their share of downsides.

For example, some people argue that putting an extra pane of glass on their camera reduces image quality. However, others note that a UV filter causes minimal to no quality loss.

UV lenses can also cause lens ghosting, especially when you’re shooting at night and bright lights are in the picture. It occurs when the bright lights bounce off the digital sensor and reflect onto the rear surface of the filter to bounce back onto the sensor.

Lens ghosting is more likely to occur if your aperture is set to a wide setting. Furthermore, you can always take your UV filter off if you are shooting at night.

There are also some who say that a UV filter can lead to a greater risk of lens flare. They think that the extra pane of glass leads to miscalculations in how much light passes through the lens.

However, others argue that this is not true. They say that an extra layer of glass will not make a considerable difference especially taking into account that some lenses have up to 15 different glass elements.

A UV filter is known to have certain drawbacks, but its ability to offer protection and eliminate issues with UV rays makes it a good option, especially for beginners. Will you be adding one to your gear collection?

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