Camera lenses can serve a myriad of purposes in digital photography – and although these can be applied in post-production (mainly thanks to Instagram and Snapchat!), it is nothing in comparison to getting the perfect shot in production. Lenses are most commonly used for enhancing colours and reducing reflections or simply just to protect lenses, but speciality lenses have become increasingly popular to get the most creative of imagery. Our short guide below will take you through which filters are best for your needs.
It is paramount when choosing the right filter that you get the correct sizes. It’s important to remember that a lens’ focal length isn’t always consistent with the lens diameter. If unsure, always look for the geometric symbol on the body of the lens 'ø' – the number next to this will correspond with lens diameter. Once you’re got the filter world is your oyster!
Neutral Density Filters
An ND (neutral density) filter is a landscape photographers’ best friend – letting in less light to your camera’s sensor meaning you can use a longer exposure time without impacting the colour of your photography. There are many different levels of ND filters; from density values of 0.9 right through to 4.5 and the right choice will give you the perfect balance of lighting. The greater the density value, the more light is reduced in your final shot. For example, if you’re looking to photograph and waterfall with a long exposure with a perfect motion blur – you’ll be looking to use an ND filter with a higher density value to combat the water reflection as well as the longer exposure (something like the Marumi ND4000 (3.6)). Without this ND lens filter, you’d be left with a photo that’s far too bright.
If you’re looking to boost saturation, reduce glare and enhance contrast, a polarising filter would be right for you. They’re great for removing unwanted reflections and flares from glass or water so perfect for something like wildlife photography. The Marumi DHG Super Circular Polarising Filter is a great option, as it comes complete with a hard protection surface to help prevent scratches from heavy duty use as well as a water and oil repellent coating that keeps the lens clean and clear.
If you’re more of an ‘out and about’ photographer, especially in the daytime, a UV camera lens filter might be better suited to your needs. These UV filters protect and prevent ultraviolet damage to your camera’s lens, preventing them from turning out hazy. A great option for a UV filter is the Marumi DHG Super UV Filters which block ultraviolet rays with a wavelength of up to 390mm, helping you to produce clearer images in higher contrast. These UV filters are also a must-have for any kind of travel photographer, helping to protect your lenses from dirt and scratches from heavy use as well as fine weather.
Macro & Achromat Filters
When shooting macro, it’s key to find a filter that will help enhance your imagery. The Marumi DHG Macro X3 Filter or Achromat Lenses will aid by shortening the focal distance of any lens, helping to enhance its close-focus capability. Without a macro or achromat filter, your photography may be susceptible to inner reflections or ghosting resulting in poor quality images.
Special Effects Filters
Special effects filters have become more and more of a staple in a lens collection from the telephoto, wide angle lenses that can open your photography up to a more urban feel; through to StarCross filters that turn any bright point of light into a multi-point star which allow you to create sparkling illuminations and nightscapes.