Capture clearer, more detail-rich scenery—and protect your lenses in the process—with the help of UV filters. Indispensable for outdoor film photography, UV filters also help improve digital shots by neutralising blue casts and cutting through haze caused by UV light. As an added bonus, UV filters double as protective filters to help keep expensive lens surfaces free from smudges, scratches, dirt and dust.
CameraPro is a proud stockist of UV lens filters from leading brands such as Hoya, B+W and Kenko. Whether you’re after UV protection for your DSLR or film camera, we’ll help you find the filter size and style you need.
Though it’s invisible to the human eye, ultraviolet (UV) light causes two main problems in cameras. One is a tendency to make everything appear more blue. The other is haze, which reduces detail and contrast, particularly in distant subjects. The higher your altitude or greater your proximity to areas where there’s lots of reflected sunlight (e.g. sea, snow, or big cities), the more apparent haze is.
Photographic film is highly sensitive to UV light and thus highly susceptible to both bluish casts and haze. Thanks to special UV filters of their own, digital camera sensors block out most—though not all—UV light, making them less sensitive to but not unaffected by UV.
By filtering UV light, UV filters reduce both blue casts and haze, which in turn produces truer colours, enhances contrast and reclaims detail lost through haze. These improvements are most pronounced in film photography (which are highly sensitive to UV, and the reason UV filters came about) but they also benefit digital images.
(Please note that UV filters can't correct haze caused by pollution or weather, e.g. fog or mist.)
The added advantage of UV filters is protection for your camera lenses. Like protection filters, UV filters help to prevent lens surface damage or wear that could undermine optical performance.
There are various grades of UV filters, all rated according to the amount and type of UV light they filter. Most UV filters are colourless but some have a slightly warm tinge to help remove blue casts and enhance contrast. Skylights, a pinker toned variety of UV filter, are recommended for portraits as they tend to be kinder to skin tones.
For more info on filter styles and sizes, please see Filters.
UV filters for camera lenses vary drastically and proportionately in price and quality. Cheap lens filters tend to be poorly made from inferior materials; as a result, they negatively affect image quality and are more likely to get stuck on your lens, or damaged.
To avoid this, make sure you buy a UV filter that’s high quality. Good UV filters made by the likes of Hoya or B+W are not only optically superior but also more durable and less prone to jamming or damage.