UV Filter for Lens Protection, What’s your take?

UV filters were invented to block UV light, but since there really isn’t a big amount of UV around us at sea level, we really don’t need the UV filter, however as you go to higher altitude, when you’re rock climbing or hiking or going up on a mountain, the amount of UV increases so you’ll probably need a UV Filter.

Because a UV Filter looks clear and transparent there are people who wants to use it as a protection filter that stays on their lens. This issue has come up a lot of times and is a topic of intense debate. Some have argued that it degrades the image quality, to others, it can really save you money and a trip to the repair shop. I think it really depends, I myself have tried to use it, but I didn’t like, why? Well, first of, the only filters I use is a Circular polarizing filter and a Neutral density filter(i have to get a new one in the 72mm type).

Washington MonumentI don’t want to stack filters together, stacking a polarizing filter over a uv filter can cause vignetting which can sometimes ruin the image. It’s a hassle to take the UV filter out and screw in a polarizer. UV filter even those multi coated ones, introduce ghosting, and increased lens flare. On the left is an example of a photo taken at night with a UV Filter attached to the lens. You will noticed that there are a lot of ghost images and lens flare cause by the the UV Filter. This lights were inadvertently reflected off the inside of the filter which bounce back to the lens and back to the filter.

So for protection I only use my lens hood, I never go out to shoot without a lens hood for my lens.

I would love to hear your take on this matter, please feel free to voice your opinion.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

3 thoughts on “UV Filter for Lens Protection, What’s your take?

  1. William Bullimore

    I totally agree. I used to have UV filters on all my lenses but found that they were more trouble than they’re worth. Especially in humid conditions, they would cause condensation between the filter and the lens. Also, my $150 filters were still not very good quality. I suppose I would have to pay hundreds more and that’s just way too much for each lens. That’s why I have insurance. If anything happens to my lens, I’d rather just replace it.