Camera Tip: A Clear Picture of Filters

UV and Clear Filters

One of the most common questions asked on a safari is regarding the use of a protective filter. You can find our post on filters here. But more questions have arisen lately regarding the use of UV vs skylight vs clear filters.

First, the easy one. A clear filter. A clear filter is just a piece of clear glass that is just designed to protect your lens from scratches.

A skylight filter has a warm tint meant to add a little bit of warmth to your image. When using film, this was rather important if you preferred your images to be a tad warm. However, auto white balance automatically corrects this warmth back out so it no longer does what it is supposed to do.

A UV filter is a filter that is meant to block the UV wavelength. The reason this is important is because UV can often cause a problem with image clarity. Having said this, it is no longer as important because digital sensors now incorporate UV in the sensor. The question then begs, will a UV filter have an adverse effect on a digital image as a result of this? Representatives from both camera manufacturer Canon and glass maker Schneider both confirm that it does not.

Thus shopping for the least expensive but highest quality filter is a good goal.