Which Filters Should You Use for Landscape Photography

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Which filter should you use – if any – for Landscape Photography? It’s a question we hear all the time and one we’ve written about in our archives (we’ll link to some of our posts below) but today we came across this short video from Joshua Cripps where he tackles the question and shows some shots of images taken with the filters – to show what impact they have.

Find more from Joshua at his site here.

Further Reading on How to Use Filters in Your Landscape Photography

Check out our Brand New Landscape Lightroom Presets

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • Michael

    First time in my photography knowledge concepts I am hearing that UV filter is a gimmick and does nothing for you. Well, if you want to scratch your highly expensive lens front surface, go ahead remove it and throw away. However, I personally keep it on the front of my $1000+ and more lens. Plus being in optical business for many years, we always treat the lenses of any eye glasses with UV coating for much better vision perception and less glare. So please don’t make some statements that contradict the physic of the optic.

  • Jonathan Deitch

    In the 11 years that I’ve photographed across the United States, I have never used a UV filter and I have never scratched a lens front element. To each their own.

  • Michael

    Consider yourself being very lucky. I’ve seen many times it happened to the most careful photographers.

  • Glenn

    I recently discovered a nick in my rather expensive 82mm B+W UV filter. Bummer. I don’t know how it got there as I “baby” my equipment and I have no recollection have having banged into anything. On the bright side, I don’t have to trash my 16-35 L lens or get a new front element (if that were possible), either way at much greater cost and aggravation. Yes, changing out filters is a bore. But, as you say, to each their own.

  • Bruce

    Michael, I had heard that UV filters are not necessary for digital cameras because the sensors are not sensitive to UV. I agree they can provide a degree of protection to the front element, but you can also buy clear non-UV “filters.” I have a B+W clear non-UV filter on my lens for protection purposes.

  • I’ve got lots of UV filters. I’ve never bought one but I’ve had quite a few included with used lenses I’ve bought or included when I buy NDs. I leave them on for lenses protection until I’m ready to shoot, then they come off. I think of them as another lens cap.

  • Gizmo22

    I couldn’t agree more. This past week I was on a hike in southern Utah and when I pulled my camera out of the bag, nearly had a heart attack when I saw shattered glass. Fortunately, it was just the UV filter. I have no idea how it happened as the camera was in a well padded bag, but I’d rather replace a $30 filter than a $600 lens. I will never go without a UV filter.

  • pete guaron

    I don’t find the same need for a UV filter with digital photography that I had with analogue films. But I still use a filter for lens protection – yes it has a minor effect on the fidelity of the image the camera can capture, but so would damage to the lens, and the lenses on my full frame cost more than I’d dare tell my wife !!! Apart from that I occasionally use a polarizing filter or an ND Grad.

    And yes on occasions I do remove the filter altogether, in the interests of maximizing what the lens can do for the particular shot.

    The other day I went through an interesting review carried out a couple of years ago, on about two dozen UV filters. What was interesting was that only about a quarter of them effectively blocked more than 99.5% of UV light, and a number of them let through anything up to about a quarter of the UV light – leaving the reviewer to say that one (at least) might be a “lens protector”, but couldn’t possibly be called a “UV filter”.

    I mention that, because at about the same time, I was confronted by an article suggesting we should stop culling through technical articles when choosing equipment, because it increases the tendency towards “gear acquisition syndrome” (aka “GAS”) and in any case, we might be induced into making the wrong purchase decision by the enthusiasms of fans of a particular make or product. While there’s some truth in that, it doesn’t seem to me to be a compelling reason to ignore reviews like the one I referred to in the previous paragraph – alerting us to the fact that at least in some cases, buying some of those filters as “UV filters” would be a total waste of money.

  • Justin L

    I hike a lot with my camera, and the UV filter is very helpful when moving between shots in trees/bushes/tall grass without the lens cap.

  • Amelia Mello

    Hi Joshua, Thanks a lot for this video. I appreciate your sense of humor and how you make the information so accessible to all. I like shooting sunrises and sunsets and I am about to buy my first Lee Graduated filter. I can’t afford to buy the set now so I am going to buy one at a time. Which one would you recommend to start with, the .6 or the .9?

  • Pavol Sojak

    There are many tests where they checked how hard the UV filter is, outcome was that most of them are very-very brittle (especially when pushed or squeezed), and the filters breaks or scratch much sooner then the front element of the lenses.

  • carolyn.anderson.90
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