The Basic Lens Filter

When I bought my new Canon 450D recently, I also picked up a couple of UV lens filters and a polarising filter. The idea was to protect my two Canon lenses with the UV filters by leaving them permanently on the lenses. 


 With my 35mm Olympus SLR back in the 1980’s I regularly  used the polarising filter and the decision to purchase one was  almost a reflex action based on my previous experience with  the 35mm camera. When I began to think about my use of the  polariser I wondered whether, in today’s world of digital  photography, the polarising filter was as relevant as it was for  35mm photography.

 I decided to ask an expert, Robert Lachman, a staff  photographer for the Los Angeles Times for over 30 years.  Robert has a fascinating and informative website,, and he was good  enough to provide me with advice on the matter of lens filter usage. Robert’s reply to my question can be found here on his website.  Robert is also a regular contributor to the Mac ReviewCast podcast with his photography based reviews.

    • Philip from Australia
    • August 24th, 2008

    I am also in the ‘UV filter as a protector’ school. But I do buy the more expensive ones to minimise impact of the quality.

    When needed I just put the polariser on that. I do not think you can replicate the effect of the polariser in photoshop. Especially cutting through the reflection on water. Plus can cut back on glare.

    Just my 2 cents. 🙂


    • jane73
    • August 25th, 2008

    Philip, good suggestion about buying higher quality filters. I tried the polariser recently but wasn’t happy with the darkening effect that it had on the blue sky. I don’t like swapping filters when I’m out with the camera for fear of dust getting between filter and lens, so I think I will be sticking with UV filters for now. Unless I go to the beach!

    • Philip from Australia
    • August 27th, 2008

    Did you rotate it pointed at the sky? yes it darkens it. But at some point it become SO blue.

    I admit that I have trouble with turning it with the lens hood on… I look a fool trying to reach in there. But don’t bother swapping the filters… just whack that sucker on the top of the UV. Some issues at very wide angle. But the sensor in our cameras makes wide angles HARD. (one day I will buy a EFS wide angle – the only EFS lens I ever want – all my lenses are now full frame. One day I’ll get a full frame).

    I must try more beach shots. And d’oh, on a rainbow shot with polariser. Next time it’s raining.


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