The Benefits of Using a UV Filter for Photography: An Expert's Perspective

Photography is an art form that requires the right tools and techniques to capture the perfect shot. One of the most important tools in a photographer's arsenal is the UV filter. A UV filter is a glass filter that is placed on the front of the camera lens and blocks UV rays. They used to be necessary for film photography, but now most photographers use them to protect their lenses. UV filters block UV light, which is invisible to the naked eye.

These are the same rays of light that give us a beautiful tan when we relax on the beach. In the past, UV filters were used to filter out the shortest ultraviolet wavelengths while remaining transparent to visible light. With a film camera, UV light in bright outdoor conditions usually creates a bluish haze in the image. However, digital sensors are quite insensitive to UV light, so there is no blue haze when shooting outdoors, even without a UV filter. In some photo stores, sellers won't let you go out with a new lens unless you also bought a UV filter; in others, they'll laugh out loud at you if you try to buy them.

Whether or not to use a UV filter is a personal choice, however, there are some types of photography where UV filter protection is useful. You might see UV filters sold with an L in their name, such as L35, L37 or L39; for example, the Nikon UV Haze L37 72 mm glass filter. Even in the few cases where the UV filter could have protected the front element, the lens was dead anyway. In addition, quality UV filters offer some protection against lens contamination while at the same time minimizing the additional inherent distortion. In the end, as with many options in this industry, using a UV filter depends on personal preference and what's best for you and your photograph. As an expert photographer, I can tell you that digital cameras are much less sensitive to UV light compared to analog cameras.

Therefore, photographers rarely encounter occasions when a UV filter makes a difference in improving the image quality of photos. However, if you're in an environment where dirt or water could splash onto the front of the lens, it's much easier and safer to clean a UV filter than the lens glass itself. Of course, all of the above also applies to all types of filters in general and not just to UV filters. So, should you buy and use a UV filter on your camera lens? Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and what's best for you and your photograph.

Clément Vermeulen
Clément Vermeulen

Freelance pop cultureaholic. Lifelong internet geek. Avid problem solver. Subtly charming bacon scholar. Proud zombie fanatic. Passionate tv fanatic.