Although it's usual for photographers to use filters to protect their lenses from scratches, thumbprints, and dust, the real benefit lies in the way filters improve images and, in some instances, achieve effects that even the best photo editing suites cannot replicate. There are many different types of lens filters, each for a specific purpose.
Popular brands include Hoya, Cokin, Kenko, Zeiss, Sigma, and many more. Some are designed to protect lenses against dirt, dust, or moisture, while others change the properties of light as seen by camera sensors, while yet others create special effects. Common filters used by photographers include:
- Ultraviolet (UV) haze filters: Reduce haze, and they're commonly left on the lens permanently as a lens protector
- Polarizing filters: Reduce glare, cut unwanted reflections from water, and saturate colours, making skies appear bluer and clouds whiter
- Neutral density filters (ND): Dark filters that reduce the amount of light the sensor receives so larger apertures and slower shutter speeds can be used to reduce the depth of field or to create motion blur
- Graduated ND filters: Similar to ND filters except part of the filter is darker, so it's possible to expose bright backgrounds and dark foregrounds correctly
There are also a number of quality choices, depending on the cost of your lens. Our Hoya NX-10 series are perfect for your initial kit lenses, whereas our Hoya Ultra-Pro range are designed for the highest quality optics with the best glass, coatings and mounting.