Photography can be an expensive hobby, with equipment improvement really making a hole in your wallet. What if I told you there was an inexpensive piece of equipment, which can greatly improve your work! You’d want to know what that is right? Well, step forward the humble camera filter.
Although in truth, there are some camera filter systems that are quite pricey, you can also get ones that are a great value. So let’s take a closer look at what camera filters are all about.
What is a camera filter?
In the age of smart phone filters, it’s worth explaining what the term “filter” used to mean in photography. A filter is something that attaches to the front of your camera lens and is used to alter or adjust the light coming into the camera in some way.
Camera filters allow you to add more creativity to your photography.
Filters come in two different shapes
- Circular Filters – These filters screw directly onto the front of your lens. You’ll need to buy a filter of the same diameter of the front of your lens (look at the back of your lens cap for the correct size). It is also possible to buy step-up or step-down rings that will allow you to attach your filter to camera lenses of different diameters.
- Square Filters – These sometimes come as a rectangular filter, and always as part of a system that allows you to attach them to the front of your lens. There is typically a bracket, which itself attaches to a round ring, that you will screw onto the front of your lens. Systems like this make stacking filters easier and are better for graduated filters.
There are in fact many different filters which you can use, and not all of them are going to be mentioned here. Many people like to use a UV filter to protect the glass on the front of their lens. This is a functional use, and this article seeks to look at the creative use of lens filters.
A few notable omissions to this list are the starburst filters, and the softeners/diffusers used in portrait photography. With all this covered, let’s take a look at the five best camera filters that you can use to enhance your photos.
Circular filter are one of the main options out there.