UV Filters: the Big Test – Do You Really Need Them?

On this video Wildlife and nature photographer Steve Perry (from backcountrygallery) takes a close look at using UV filters on digital cameras – do they effect the image quality, do they really protect your camera and are they worth the hassle.

A few weeks ago we published photographer Matt Granger’s video on this subject which was basically his opinion – UV filters are just useless and unnecessary. We didn’t agree at all (see what we wrote in the article).

Perry actually did some real world testing in this video (non scientific but still interesting). Basically from his test you can see that the front element of a lens is stronger than any filter he tested (actually not a big surprise if you think about the thickness of the glass).

What Perry didn’t test and we feel is important is scratch resistance – modern lenses has some scratch resistant coating to some degree but in our view why risk it? it is much better to have a filter scratched than a lens – and as he discovered the front element might be fixed but it is expensive (sometimes very much so). Yes you can use a hood for protection (everybody agrees on that – but you don’t always have a hood – we don’t have one for some of our older lenses and there are cases when the hood will not help – especially if it is short). Also – we feel that cleaning a filter is always easier than the actual front element – but maybe it is just us.

At the end of the day you will have to make your own mind – we use filters on all of our lenses almost all of the time and feel good about it – if you don’t want to – it is O.K. just understand the pros\cons of this decision.

We shall also repeat here the same video on the Kenko filter strength test that we shared on the previous video – apparently Perry didn’t test the right filters if he was looking for durability…

Kenko – super strong filter



You can check out many more helpful photography tips on our Photography tips section here on LensVid. We have a special page dedicated to all of Perry ‘s videos which you can find here.