What Camera Lens Filter Should I Use?

Camera filters are a must have for any photographer’s kit. They're an optical filter that can clip onto the end of your camera lens.

A good filter can change the look and feel of your photos for the better. And they can add a professional flare to your photography. There are different filters for different situations.

Filters can make an image look more natural because they help to capture how the human eye sees the world. We've listed the most popular filters to help you up your photography game.

Blue Sky captured using a polarising filter

Polarising Filters

With a blue-yellow polarising lens you can capture the depth of a blue sky or the blue of the ocean. They also make those earthy colours pop with a warmer tone.

Black and white images can even be improved using a polarising filter, adding texture to a bright sky. They're useful when you plan to shoot high contrast scenes, like at midday.

Be careful with these filters though, because a polarising filter on an ultra-wide angle lens doesn’t always have the intended effect.

A polarising filter reduces the light entering your camera by 1-3 stops, so keep this in mind. The sky can vary too much and create distinct gradient changes which you'll need to look out for.

Ultra Violet Filters

Ultra violet (UV) filters are popular for two reasons. They are commonly used to protect SLR lenses, and they are perfect for daylight photography.

UV filters block out ultra violet light and reduce haziness in daylight photography. They give a perfectly balanced image without affecting your exposure.

Girl captured using soft focus filter

Soft Focus Filters

It’s not hard to guess what soft focus filters do, they create a soft focus reducing the sharpness. They are perfect for capturing portrait photos.

The soft focus smooths out skin textures and gives your subject a youthful glow.

They are great for when you want to capture a person sitting by candlelight, or when you want to add some romance to an image.

Purple Filters

Fluorescent lighting is great for the environment, but awful for photography. Fluorescent globes seem to be everywhere these days.

They cast a green hue over your subjects’ faces making perfectly healthy people look like zombies.

To avoid that green-tinged hue ruining your photos, a purple filter will do wonders. A purple filter will counteract that green tinge, balancing your photos.

Trees and the sky in black and white using a yellow filter

Yellow Filters

Yellow filters are essential if you plan on shooting black and white images. They are great if you are just beginning to experiment with filters.

Yellow filters make an image crisper and kicks up the tone.

Yellow filters are subtle, but provide a desired result. They darken clouds and separating shades of green. This makes them perfect for shooting black and white landscape photography.

Neutral Density Filters

These filters are very popular with landscape photographers in the Camera House crew. They're great for capturing a balanced image where the contrast is too great without a filter.

Neutral density (ND) filters come in solid and graduated formats. Their main purpose is suppressing the amount of ambient light coming through your lens.

A graduated ND filter will enhance detail in the foreground without over-exposing your background.

This kind of filter captures the range of detail in land and seascapes because it fades from dark to light.

ND filters allow for a larger aperture and slower shutter speed, so more detail can be captured in the shot.

Sunset captured using an infrared filter

Infrared Filters

Infrared filters are for those photographers who like to experiment with monochrome. With an infrared filter all colours are filtered out except red and infrared.

It results in images with details that were previously hidden from view. The red in these photos is vivid and can turn an everyday image into an extraordinary one.

For a wide range of camera lens accessories like camera filters, check out our online store or head into your local Camera House shop to get more expert advice from our helpful staff.