What Are Filters and Why Do Photographers Use Them?

Optical Filters

Here’s a primer about optical filters from Photo-Mentor.com, describing what they are, why we use them and when.

An optical filter is a piece of glass attached to a camera lens to selectively transmit light of a particular wavelength while blocking the others. It conditions the light entering the camera in favorable ways – often in ways that post-processing can’t easily duplicate. While this function can be emulated by post-processing in Photoshop, there is nothing quite like the real thing.

Polarizers, neutral density (ND) filters, IR pass and UV pass filters and UV cut filters are discussed in this post. There is also a discussion on the pros and cons of filters, questions like why you would use an extra layer of glass that could subtract from the amount of light entering your lens.

[Via: Photo-Mentor.com]

Chris Malinao

About Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.

One thought on “What Are Filters and Why Do Photographers Use Them?

  1. Jim

    My UV filter has really improved the quality of the shots I am taking. The polarizer also improves sunny day outdoor shots. These two filters I consider to be necessary for any aspiring photographer.


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Vintage Zeiss Tessar 50mm lens in early exacta mount
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