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Camera Lens Filters that Beginners Should Know

As a beginner, you may not know that the camera has a variety of filters, each of which has a different purpose. But they also have something in common, which is to help photographers take better photos and protect the camera lens. Using filters can enhance colors, reduce light reflection, and overcome some extremely difficult lighting environments. So what are the specific functions of each lens, continue to look down.

1. UV and Skylight Filters

Protective UV and skylight filters are often used to protect the front element of a lens from dust, dirt, moisture and potential scratches. The UV filter does not affect most visible light, so it does not change the exposure of the image.

When buying a good UV filter, the first thing to look at is the light transmittance. The higher the light transmittance, the higher the quality of the filter; the second is to choose ultra-thin borders as much as possible to avoid dark corners and affect imaging; finally, try to Choose UV with multiple coatings. UV mirrors with no coating or poor coating will easily produce glare during backlight shooting, which will affect the image quality.

2. Polarizing Filters

Filters out polarized light, dramatically reducing reflections, enhancing colors and increasing contrast. Can be used for any type of photography. It can be used to overly darken the sky because it increases the contrast between the clouds and the sky.

There are two types of polarizing filters – linear and circular. Linear polarizers should not be used on DSLR cameras, because they can result in metering errors. Circular polarizers, on the other hand, are perfect for DSLRs and do not cause any metering issues due to their construction. 
Setting exposure and focus

3. Neutral Density Filters 

The main purpose of using the ND lens is to prevent overexposure. If the light is too bright, it is difficult to choose a slower shutter speed to shoot. At this time, use the ND lens to reduce the light entering the lens and you can use a slower shutter to shoot. For example, if you need to shoot outdoors in strong sunlight, or you need to use a longer exposure time under normal light conditions.

Shooting waterfalls with slow shutter speeds to show special effects such as blurred water flow, traffic flow, people flow, cloud flow, etc., all require ND filters.

Smart HDR

4. Graduated Neutral Density (GND) Filter

Hard-Edge GND Filter

Portrait mode, as the name suggests, this is a special function for taking portraits. It can highlight the subject and blur the background. Of course, you can also use this mode to take various close-up photos, such as a delicious cake or a cute animal.
Smart HDR

Soft-Edge GND Filter

One of the photographer's favorite scenes is the mountain landscape, which is also one of the most frequently represented landscape subjects. However, unlike the desert scene, it is usually difficult to separate the sky from the ground completely, and the horizon is not straight. Therefore, here we need to replace the Hard-Edge GND Filter with a Soft-Edge GND Filter to achieve a similar effect. While avoiding overexposure in the picture, the Soft-Edge GND Filter will not leave a sharp and obvious dividing line between light and dark in the picture.
Smart HDR

Reverse GND Filter

Compared with traditional Graduated Filter, Reverse GND Filter are relatively rare in the market. However, if you are a sunrise or sunset lover, this filter should become your must-have. The color depth of the Reverse GND Filter decreases from the center to the edge, the center part has the darkest color, and the edge part is the lightest. This design is a good response to the brightest part of the horizon at sunrise and sunset, while the sky and sea (ground) are relatively dark, so it can avoid local overexposure of the picture.
Use the camera's own photo mode

5. Color/Warming/Cooling Filter

Love for color and all things related to color can be said to be one of the distinguishing characteristics of a photographer. Color filters have the functions of color correction, color reorganization and color enhancement. It is very suitable for photographers who want to correct or add color to the images and videos they take.

The Warming and Cooling filters are not only suitable for correcting those unreal colors, but also can be used to change the color temperature of the original image, adding cold or warm to the picture. While changing the white balance, this filter can also help us transform the mood and atmosphere of the photo.
Don't use digital zoom

6. Black and White Filter

Black and white lovers will definitely use this filter to the maximum. Now we can also have many other ways to make photos appear black and white. The black and white filter has red, orange, yellow, green and other colors. It mainly achieves a specific black and white effect by letting the color light of the same color as its own color light pass and filtering out other color light.

Rule of thirds


Mentioned in the article are just some of the many filters. With the continuous development of digital imaging technology, more and more people add filters to pictures through post-processing. However, the effects of filters such as UV filters or polarizers are difficult to simulate by software. Others, such as black and white filters or color filters, have gradually been replaced by image software filters.

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