Fundamental Filters for (DSLR) Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras

Clicking the picture in digital format offers us a great deal of versatility. Multiple accessories used in film production may be controlled with any decent picture editing program.

However, there are still certain controls that can only be implemented at the optical level and not the digital level. This implies that some accessories are still indispensable, filters being the most notable.

Filters are thin pieces of glass with varying characteristics placed between the optical path of light and the lens. Because the outer diameter of each lens is measured in millimeters, we must utilize filters of the same size.

This is standardized to a certain extent since we have certain lens sizes such as 50mm, 52mm, 67mm, 58mm, 77mm, 95mm, etc. In addition to offering further light control, filters also provide the following:

  • Protection against unintentional damage to the glass surface of the lens and regular cleaning.
  • The cost of a filter is often a tiny proportion of the cost of the lens; hence every lens must include a simple or UV filter.
  • Lens protection from the elements

As an additional glass element in front of the lens, the filter may introduce optical flaws and delay the lens’s autofocus speed. Nonetheless, this impact is small and unnoticeable. One may always use a higher-quality filter to minimize this effect. Professional photographers may need to be concerned about it.

Here are the fundamentals of the most vital filter.

Plain Filter | Fundamental Filters for DSLR

This is a simple piece of glass for lens protection. This does not affect the properties of light.

Ultra Violet (UV) filter

It absorbs the UV rays that often render outdoor images unclear and foggy. It is very useful for landscape photographs with a blue sky. It also functions as a permanent lens guard, making it an absolute need for any lens.

Circular Polarizing (CP) filter

This filter utilizes the unique feature of light reflection. When light reflects off a shiny surface (such as glass or water), it rotates by a particular number of degrees. The term for this is polarization. The Circular Polarizing Filter facilitates the management of this reflection.

It eliminates undesirable reflections from non-metallic surfaces such as water, glass, etc. They also help colors become more saturated and sharper with increased contrast. This technique often enhances the contrast and richness of blue sky and white clouds. Spin the filter to get the desired look. This filter is essential for landscape and wildlife photographers.

Neutral Density (ND) Filter

The ND filters lower the amount of light entering the lens, allowing for the use of larger apertures without the need to slow the shutter speed during strong daylight. This is ideal for portrait photography to decrease the depth of field.

The subject seems sharp and distinct, while the backdrop is softly blurred. It is also often employed to accentuate movement in images of waterfalls and other natural situations since we may use slower shutter speeds in broad daylight. Without this filter, you would have to wait until sunset to get the same look.

These are often offered with rating ND2, ND4, ND8, ND16, etc. Each “n” multiple of 2 represents an “n”-stop reduction in brightness. ND8 indicates that the light will be reduced by 3 f-stops (23 = 8).

Graduated Neutral Density Filter (GND)

These filters operate on the same concept as traditional ND filters. However, they do not impart the ND effect to the whole glass. The progressive ND effect is ideal for when you want to darken the sky but not the foreground (which is helpful when we have a bright sky and dull foreground).

The upper half of the filter reduces the amount of light entering the camera (often by 1, 2, or 3’stops), while the bottom half allows the darker portion of the picture to be exposed properly. These filters have limitations, such as the assumption that the gradual transition is a straight line, which is not necessarily true. They are also rather costly. Most of these filters are rectangular and placed in a specialized holder.

Soft focus filter | Fundamental Filters for DSLR

It produces an image with a sharp focus and smooth gradation. This effect is more pronounced on objects with point light sources. This filter diffuses light by dispersing it with microscopic lenses shaped like droplets of water randomly arranged on an acrylic board’s surface. This is quite useful for adding additional effects to portrait photographs. However, this effect may also be obtained by post-editing.

Macro Filter

These filters are a sort of lens that shortens the lens’s minimum focusing distance. This facilitates close-range photography, resulting in a macro impression.

Shade Filters | Fundamental Filters for DSLR

Red, green, and blue color filters are available in various intensities and hues, including red, green, and blue. These aid in the optical correction of color. Nonetheless, we may get by without this filter since color fixing is possible at the post-editing stage.