How To Not Drop a Camera

Lens Filters

Lens Filters

Lens Filters are little extra pieces of glass (or plastic or acrylic or whatever) that screw onto the front of the lens. They block some wavelengths of light, or polarized light, or are graduated, or colored, or have some such special optical feature.

You have to get one of the correct size, so keep an eye on the “Diameter” symbol on your lens, which tells you what size lens filter (and replacement lens cap) to get.

UV Filters

The first lens filters to know about are UV or Haze filters, which – while somewhat helpful on their own, blocking non-visible light from refracting into visible light where we don’t want it to, that’s not really the important part.

Most helpfully, they serve as clear lens caps.

Clear lens caps? What a concept!

They can live on your camera, get dirty and scratched and beat up, and can be cleaned easily or replaced for far less money than repairing or replacing your entire camera lens. Genius!

I seriously recommend picking up even a cheap UV filter of the appropriate size and keeping it on your camera. Until you notice places where the (usually negligible, but not zero) quality loss is hurting you, it’s better to be safe and confident.

Other Types of Filters

Ken Rockwell has a whole page on filters. Ken Rockwell, Filters.

Neutral Density

ND Filter's are my favorite, because I love shooting with slow shutter speeds and a tripod.

Variable ND Filters absolutely suck until you are spending a lot of money. Then they're fine. Get a few fixed stop ND filters instead. You'll still have spent less.