What are camera lens filters used for?
Camera lens filters are made from either glass or resin and are attached to the front of your camera lens to change the way the light travels onto your camera’s sensor. This can alter the exposure, colour or direction of light to create visual effects that look great on photographs.
What different types of filter are there for camera lenses?
There are many different types of lens filters available, depending on the type of images you want to create. These include:
UV filters block ultraviolet rays as they enter the lens. They were essential back when photography films were sensitive to UV light, which could cause photographs to be tinted with a hazy blue appearance.
Nowadays, UV filters are used as a protective cover for camera lenses to keep scratches, sea spray and dust at bay, making them a handy accessory for outdoor photo shoots.
Neutral density filters
This type of filter allows you to easily control the exposure of an image by stopping light from reaching the camera sensor. This allows you to leave the camera with a higher aperture for a longer time frame. They don’t alter the colour or hue of your photos, but the longer exposure time means that you can use movement to your advantage. For example, if you’re taking a photograph of a beach, longer exposure will allow enough time for the water to move, providing a misty effect that will look stunning in your images.
Polarising filters work by reducing reflections and glare, as well as increasing colour saturation. This makes them particularly effective if you’re taking a photograph of a beautiful sky. When your camera is turned towards a light source, the polarising filter will rotate an outer ring to vary the amount of polarisation being filtered.
Coloured filters are exactly what you’d expect them to be; disks of coloured glass placed in front of your camera lens to change how the camera sees light. The effect that comes out on your images will depend on the colour of the filter; for example, blue filters play around with contrast and enhance oranges and reds.
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