Filters worth considering

Filters can protect your lens and create a variety of effects in your photos. Here, pictured clockwise from red: Red and yellow (K2) filters used primarily to enhance contrast and tonality in black-and-white images; a UV/haze (clear) filter used to reduce haze and as basic lens protection; and a warming filter that is very helpful in portraiture to warm the skin tones of your subject.

Lens filters — whether they’re dropped in at the back-end of a long super-telephoto lens or screw-mounted onto the front of the most common lenses — can be very useful for a variety of photographic purposes and can even save you a lot of money in the event of a lens accident. From colored filters to creative-effects filters to clear filters designed to reduce environmental haze, there are many types available for your Canon dSLR (see 7-4). The next sections take a look at some of the more common filters and why you might want to give them a try.


There are a large variety of other filters, ranging from those offering a variety of colors to ones with various special effects. Cross-screen, or starburst, filters have etched glass and create the effect of sparkling light; the number of etches on the glass affects how many reflections are visible. These are often used in wedding and other low-light images where bright points of light can be emphasized and enhanced with this effect; they should be used with caution, however, because when overused they tend to cheapen an image and make it look overedited to the point of distraction.

Close-up filters can increase the macro function of your lens by adding levels of magnification settings to your lens. These are a quick and easy, although a slightly lower-quality, way to take close-up images without buying another lens. They come in graduated ratings such as +1, +2, +5, and so on to indicate the relative strength of increased magnification. You can stack them for combined effect, and you should do so by using the strongest filter closest to the lens. It is important to note that they decrease your depth of field.

Category: Filters

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