Safety filters

When buying a lens, an important factor is the purchase of a protective filter. Why is this needed? As the name comes up - to protect the lens, and these are not just empty words, but sensible advice to all amateurs and professionals to protect their favorite lenses.

Type of lens filter

Type of lens filter

Protective filters protect against:

  1. Finger sticking hands of the front lens of the lens is the most common oversight of any photographer. Even having not a little experience behind me, I still see both my and my photographers lenses flogged with their fingerprints. Like it or not, sometimes you want to remove the protective cover from the lens, but it’s not there, and you bury a bare lens instead.
  2. From mechanical stress. Sometimes, the front lens is hit by a photo bag, shoulder, witness's chest at a wedding when shooting a ransom, etc. It is also practically impossible to protect yourself from this. Actually, the motivator for this article was the fact that I broke my protective filter on the corner of the bar counter when reporting. And if it were not for the protective filter, then the front lens would not have been sweet. Therefore, filters really protect against mechanical effects.
  3. From dust, dirt, liquids, etc. You can safely fasten the filter and not worry about the cleanliness of the front lens.

Do you really need a protective filter?

Yes, unlike specific polarizing, stellar, gradient and color filters, which are needed only for a narrow kind of use, a protective filter is desirable always worn on the lens... For example, a protective filter is 100 times cheaper than a lens, and a good lens costs a couple of thousand dollars. it will be a pity to scratch. In the event that the lens has been subjected to strong impact, then scratches and other unpleasant trifles will remain on the filter, which can be easily, painlessly, and most importantly, very cheaply replaced with a new one. You can also wipe the filter with any cloth and also don’t worry that the first piece of cloth that comes across will not leave scratches on the lens.

After installing the filter, the front lens can do exactly the same close with a protective black cover - that is, the filter has two threads on one and the other side. One is screwed into the lens, and the other imitates the same thread as on the lens - for example, for wrapping a hood.

Personally, I use protective filters with an ultraviolet absorbing layer, thus killing two birds with one stone. Protective filters are usually marked as neutral, clear, which usually looks like an English lettering. UV filters are labeled as UV (0), UV (C), etc. Different manufacturers have different designations. It is best to take protective filters with high light transmittance of 95-97% and multilayer coating. You can still read about polarizing filter.


For expensive lenses, the presence of at least a protective or ultraviolet filter is not a luxury, but irreplaceable thing, which will extend the lens service. And as everyone knows, cameras change, and lenses remain for almost a lifetime.

Do not forget to press the buttons social networks ↓ - it is important for me. Thanks for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 210, on the topic: Protective filters

  • Dmitriy

    Arkady, tell me, can a good enlightenment of a protective filter affect the image quality? I choose a filter on nikkor 35 1.8 g dx. Bought from China for $ 5, catches a lot of hares. I think, change to something better. Can you recommend something?

    • Carl Zeiss

      No enlightenment on the filter does not improve the image quality. But it can worsen. If the filter is of poor quality from an obscure manufacturer.
      Hares to catch the lens is not because of the filter. And primarily because of the design of the lens itself, because of its optical design. There are lenses that are more resistant and there are less. You, apparently, from the second. But this does not mean that the lens is bad. It's just such a construction. Many high-quality and expensive glasses “catch hares” willingly. To some extent, the hood helps to minimize this. The hood is generally a good thing! It protects from hares, and from damage and scratches, and increases the contrast of the picture. Especially for lenses that love to "catch hares", such as high-aperture fifty-kopeck fixes. So the light filter is not to blame. And, nevertheless, I advise a hood.

    • Rodion

      In the same China there are suitable inexpensive filters ($ 10) KnightX UV MC HD - with such a green coating. I think they will not be inferior to the branded ones for twice or three times the price - there is a Minolta 49 mm, the same in appearance and quality in accuracy.

      • Carl Zeiss

        And how can we know whether they will yield as branded or not? If we do not know the purity, uniformity, degree of refraction and other characteristics of the glass from which they are made. Corporate filters are of high quality because the brand maintains its reputation and will not sell marriage under its own name. And unknown cheap Chinese, it’s like a lottery: any nonsense as a result comes across. Although occasionally lucky.

        • Rodion

          There is one, there is another, I can compare and draw a conclusion.

    • Michael

      A good filter simply will not worsen the image (as if it does not exist), but improve, alas ...

  • Dmitriy

    Arkady, good afternoon! Tell me, will there be a difference in image quality if I use an expensive UV filter or, let's say, a middle-class filter? Thank you in advance for your reply!

    • Sergey M.

      The presence of a light filter (expensive or cheap) on the lens, the individual choice of the photographer. Ideally, given the choice, the filter should be matched to the lens. The same filter behaves differently on different lenses, for example: the relatively cheap and old Hoya HMC UV (0) on the sigma 17-70 and the nikon D200, just like the B + W UV 010 MRC on the Carl Zeiss Planar 50 /1.4 and Canon 5d mark - a slight increase in contrast while maintaining the sharpness of the image. The cheap Chinese rootless "polarizer" on the Nikkor 35 dx produces an excellent contrast picture, no worse than expensive filters and no more than what this lens can show. If your objective lenses are constantly in drops and dirt, then without a filter - nowhere.

  • Helen

    Arkady, this question is for you: with active scrolling of the zoom, the lens sucks in dust that falls on the camera itself. Can a protective filter protect not only a lens, but also a device? Or is it the design of a specific lens and does it suck in dust not only from the side of the glass, but also possibly through the edges?
    Thank you!

  • Sergei

    Kind time of the day, I'm an amateur, I’m buying my first camera in my life - this is a Nikon D5200 with an 18-200mm lens, tell me a normal universal filter, so that it protects and helps in all photos and helps in photos!

  • Eugene

    Arkady, hello! Please advise on the ultraviolet light filter there was a stain, as if dried syrup or wood sap was rubbed with Lenspen, but ring-shaped streaks are visible, can the filter be washed with water? or better? the pollution was such that even Lenspen did not slip on the glass. Could I have spoiled the Lenspen cleaning brush. Recam filter.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    try heating instead of cooling - on an electric fireplace or a radiator - and turn the knobs

    • Dmitriy

      And if the UV-filter is stuck to a used lens and does not unscrew in any way, will your method help?

      • Dmitriy

        I have a filter ring made of thick metal, and the filter itself xs how old, the lens is also steel.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    There are clever people who say in the characteristics of the filters that they protect the matrix from ultraviolet radiation. This information is for those who studied poorly at school and do not know that any glass (lens in the lens, window) does not pass ultraviolet light. Therefore, in addition to the front lens of the lens, the filter protects nothing more, and it is not necessary.

    • Vitaly N

      Not fairy tales. The length of the ultraviolet rays is different. If glass delayed the entire range, then violet would also weaken. Another thing is that ultraviolet is not afraid of the matrix, especially if photographing is not in the mountains. Such filters are needed for film cameras in which ultraviolet light illuminates the film, reducing the contrast of images. And now this is more marketing.

    • Vitaly N

      And by the way, glass does not completely absorb ultraviolet. Otherwise, museums would not be forbidden to photograph closed exhibits with a flash.

      • Oleg

        educational dialogue

      • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

        The spectrum of ultraviolet radiation that passes through the glass does not cause a person to tan, for example, that is, it is no different from any other light. And museums can come up with a lot of things.

        • Denis

          in fact, even if you don't open the windows in the car, the hand will light up quickly enough on one side, but not on the other

          • Denis

            in general, I wanted to say that it delays, but not all ultraviolet

  • Sanya

    I want to buy MCUV ZOMEI for Sigma 17-50. What do you think? Maybe someone already has this one available. I buy for protection, well, enlightenment will not be superfluous. But I think the polarist should not buy me because I do not dabble in landscapes.

  • Mikhail Barchenkov

    Thank you very much for the article. Yes, everything is true and very intelligibly you wrote, I also immediately bought a protective filter, but at that time I knew very little (and now it’s not enough, but there are already some ideas) about filters and about photo modeling.

  • Carl Zeiss

    Speaking of birds!
    I used to like filters very much from Marumi! I tried many different ones. All are good in their own way. But when I accidentally tried one of the filters from Cokin, I was very impressed. Compared two filters of the same type red eye (enhancing red shades in the pictures) from Marumi and from Cokin. Both are good of course. But I liked the latter significantly more than Marumievsky. Compared in the first place, according to the results. Very much Cokin beautifully conveys not only the colors themselves, but also the midtones, which, when applied to the photograph, turn out to be even more in my opinion.

  • Michael

    Greetings. Please comment filter: Hoya HD UV 77mm

    • Pokemon

      And what to comment on it?
      Kenko and Hoya have really good UV filters.
      True, now there is little sense from UV filters for lenses - mainly the protective function for the objective lens remains.
      From UV still Marumi are not bad.
      Flama - junk, giving a bunch of hares from any light source.

    • Alexander

      so why bother with chinese filters?
      buy famous brands and you won’t be disappointed.
      for half a penny, do not wait for quality.

    • Vitaly N

      Rise is generally a strange office: beautiful packaging and products, but functionality ... I ordered M42-Nikon adapters, neatly carved, powder-coated, color-coded ... but one was obviously carved on Monday after the Chinese New Year - I did not wear a camera. I ordered two metal hoods - they came of different depths ... Better to look for something budgetary from Kenko-Hoya-Tokina, the office is the same. But not with Ali.

  • Vio

    “The chest of a wedding witness when filming the ransom” is better than the bride :)

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