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: 285, on the topic: Protective filters

  • Victor

    And my question about the gradient filter (how to follow the rule of thirds when composing the frame, if you use a round filter whose border is dark and light in the middle) remains valid. Can someone speak out on this issue? I don’t really count on Arkady’s answer :) I don’t understand how people can respond in time, with such a number of articles as Arkady’s. This is not enough days.

    • Denis

      Well, either cropping or something else)

  • Alexander

    Fotkal a year somewhere on the N5100, a couple of days ago I came across this site. the information here is priceless. I rediscover the possibilities of the camera. Arkady, thank you very much for your work! from Russia.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It's my pleasure)

  • Oleg

    Good afternoon. Arkady, have you ever used an infrared filter? If yes, please tell us how. And, of course, I would like to see sample photos.

  • Vlad

    The HOYA HD is a mega filter, and dirt is removed effortlessly and is as strong as steel. I have been using the polaric for three years now and I am sooooo happy with this filter. He is simply the best! True and not cheap))

  • Igor

    Tell me Arkady, I bought a new filter, but the lens cap does not fit the filter, what do you recommend?
    How to solve the problem?

  • Dmitriy

    Good afternoon Arkady. I am going to buy filters and would like to clarify a couple of details. The lenses that I will use with filters are 67 and 77 in diameter. I understand that you need to buy gradient filters for each separately, but I’m polarized, neutral gray and infrared I can take only under 77, and with 67 use with adapter rings? Thanks

  • NB

    Hello! Please tell me, I want to buy such a filter: But the description says that it is linear. Do such filters (non-polarizing) also have the rule about the undesirability of using linear filters on new carcasses, or are UV filters only linear and do not bring any negative changes to the final image, in contrast to linear polar explorers?

  • absh

    Do you think the UV filter will help at least slightly correct the problem with a decrease in the contrast of Jupiter-37A in side and backlight?

  • Alexander

    Tell me. Will it fit Nikon D5100 from 18-105 Hoya TEK Pol-Circ. 67mm and Marumi Cross Screen 67mm will it focus normally, etc. ?????????? thanks in advance)

  • Novel

    Good afternoon, Arkady. The question is probably for everyone. I use the Hoya HMC UV (0) 77 filter, and noticed the following. Under the same conditions, when I photograph a color object, a photo with a filter is slightly brighter (lighter) in colors and the whole image, and when I photograph without it, the image is more contrast (probably darker), the color is saturated. These exposures do not change. I take pictures without a tag. It seems to me that the filter does not transmit halftones, but the picture hangs. It can beat. Your opinion. And is there a filter that will be completely neutral (tell the manufacturer from personal experience). Thanks.

  • Paul

    Please correct "with their fingerprints" on "THEIR fingerprints". Don't think I'm digging :)

  • lady

    Good day-tell me, this protective filter is good for protection from dust, moisture ??

  • Maria

    Hello Arkady. Thank you so much for your blog, a lot of useful and understandable information. I have a question about filters (lenses) close up. I did not find information about them in your blog. The question is: I have a Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G AF-S lens, its MDF is 45 cm. When screwing up close +10, this filter will reduce the MDF for the lens (that is, it will be possible to remove, say, from 25 cm) or keep the previous ones 45cm, but will enlarge the subject?

    • anonym

      ... and I am interested in this question. Thanks for the answer.

  • Ruslan

    Well, what can I add. A protective filter is a necessary thing and often just a must. And the more expensive the lens, the more sense it makes to put it. But there is a regularity here, because the more expensive the lens, the more quality it is capable of delivering (after all, this is what such money is paid for) ... but filters are different. When I had a whale lens, the filter was cheap, but having bought 24-70 from nikon, the question arose of buying a filter. When I took 2 filters and looked at the reflection in the glass ... I was shocked, in the cheap one I was reflected almost like in plain glass, but in Hoya HD there is almost no reflection ... it is awesome transparent. Of course, I was crushed by a toad, but I decided that a filter of the highest quality is needed for such a lens. Then I bought the same for 80-200. This is not an advertisement of a company, do not think, but I have reviewed many filters and of those that were - this one with minimal reflection.

  • Alexander

    Arkady, firstly, many thanks for the most valuable articles for photographers. It’s just a unique site for me, I’ve learned a lot of useful things. Secondly, I will express my opinion about the filters. I bought a cheap NiSi filter for $ 10 without enlightenment (without the MC designation) and on a 35mm Nikon lens, bunnies appear in certain angles but photos. After installing the filter for 15-20% of Hoya HMC UV there are no bunnies. An enlightened filter visually flashes green, unlike a conventional transparent filter. I completely agree with Arkady that it is best to take protective filters with multilayer enlightenment.

  • anonym

    Tell me, please, what is the difference between filters with ultraviolet absorption from SkyLight?

    • anonym

      Draws a picture in a warm tone. You do not need it, there is Photoshop, ACDsee, Lightroom and more.

  • Drya

    Tell me, please, is it possible to buy a polarizing filter on a Canon 1100D camera, or does the camera not matter?

    • anonym

      The camera doesn't matter. And the lens too. "Polarik" is bought by landscape painters and those who are closely involved in subject photography. This filter is even more technical, but also partly artistic, provided that you know how to achieve the desired effect with its help. For an ordinary amateur, this is far from the first necessity. But protective is highly desirable. Here, if you have a complete zoom on the camera, then at the time of writing this review, you can keep within one and a half hundred hryvnia.

  • jinn113

    Arkady, you didn’t try to fight with purple fringing on fast fixes using the haze 2A filter. In my opinion there were successful attempts in the preview but they wrote that 2A strongly biases the BB.

  • jinn113

    Don't buy cheap filters. I received a 'as a gift' with a boo canon 28-135 hoya skylight filter and being a complete layman at that time was very happy about the protection. 28-135 was changed to 15-85 and in sunny weather and sometimes it became simply impossible to shoot with a flash - hares, autofocus went into long-distance search. Until I figured out how to unscrew the miracle hoya, I frayed all my nerves and almost lost my taste for the hobby of photography. Everything is fine without a filter, only sometimes I am careful in crowds and tour trips. Always wear a lid when not photographing. Remove the lid - a second (I don't use the hood). All the same, I am an amateur, not a war correspondent - there is no need to climb into the trench with a lens forward. And now it seems to me not so rational to protect an objective with a capacity of $ 300-500 with a filter for $ 200.

  • jinn113

    Arkady, sorry did not find how to edit posts. Link to dp review with purple fringing

  • Andrei

    Arkady, you write that the lens is for life. For manual it is clear, but what about lenses with a built-in motor, what is their service life?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Service life is directly proportional to your handling.

  • Sergei

    Please tell me if there is a difference between Hoya HMC-UV (0) and Marumi Marumi MC UV (Haze)? I already have a Hoya, I am pleased with her. Will Marumi be any worse? I am confused by the Haze prefix.

    • Alexander

      I use 52mm Marumi MC UV (Haze). But no need to bother. The main thing is that the glass is reliably protected from dust and dirt by a filter. Therefore, when shooting, all attention to the frame. The filter (any) also protects your nerves. :)

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  • Dmitriy

    Hello Arkady, I have a Nikon D5200, I ordered a Hoya HMC UV-0 filter. But now I doubt the correct choice, and whether I can now put on a hood. Thank you in advance.

  • Alexey

    The B + W Schneider 010M UV-Haze MRC filter is not bad.

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