Do you need a UV filter?
Everyone who has ever bought a camera kit knows that there are UV filters available. But what is it for? Is it really necessary? And if I have not bought a camera kit, do I have to buy a UV filter for my camera as well?
Technical use of a UV filter
The sensor of a camera is not only sensitive to the visible light spectrum, but also to the invisible light spectrum. The invisible UV light (ultraviolet light) can thus also be recorded and sometimes even appear on the image. A UV filter can keep just this light away from the sensor to protect it and prevent the exposure on the photo.
Lenses also shield the sensor of a camera from excessive light. However, this only applies to the visible light spectrum. Only a filter can regulate the light irradiation of the non-visible light. The photos thus become sharper.
Optical benefits of a UV filter
Other advantages of a UV filter are immediately visible in the photos. If the ultraviolet light does not affect the desired light spectrum and additional light irradiation is prevented by a filter, higher contrasts are created on the photos. As a result, unadulterated colors are achieved, especially when the white balance has previously been carried out manually. This is especially important if an image with natural colors is to be created.
My Recommendations on UV-Filters
Why a UV filter can be superfluous
Most modern camera sensors have a protective layer applied to them, which blocks UV light even without a UV filter or lens. Therefore, a filter is often no longer necessary. Also, the design of modern lenses often already blocks a large part of the UV radiation. It is therefore almost impossible that photos taken with a modern setup are still affected by UV light.
UV filters as protection?
You may be wondering why UV filters are still used today? There is a logical explanation: They are often used to protect the lens from scratches and other damage. Since UV filters are usually very inexpensive and do not make a noticeable difference in photography, many photographers use them to protect their lenses. Should something happen, it is much cheaper to replace a UV filter than to replace a lens. Is this necessary? No. Even the glass of a high-quality lens is much more robust than you might think at first. Even in case of a fall, a lens hood would protect much more than the thin UV filter.
In a bad case, where the filter bursts in a fall and glass splinters hit the lens, a UV filter can even cause serious damage. In addition, the inferior glass of filter bursts much faster than the lens is actually damaged.
The UV filter as a disturbance factor
A filter can also negatively affect the quality of photos. For example, so-called ghosting artifacts can occur in backlit photos. Here, objects outside the photo are mirrored in the filter glass and thus become visible on the image. However, the objects are not clearly visible but are strongly transparent, they look like ghosts in the photo.
Also, a UV filter in combination with other filters can worsen the imaging performance of the lens. Finally, further glasses are added to the lens that actually does not belong here.
Everyone must know for themselves how much they want to protect their lens. But I do not use UV filters but put lens hoods on the lens instead. What is your opinion about UV filters? Let me know, I would be very interested 🙂