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Are UV filters still up to date? - Why a UV filter still makes sense today

UV is the abbreviation for ultraviolet radiation. A distinction is made between near and extreme ultraviolet radiation. These differ in their different wavelengths. The human eye can only perceive wavelengths in the range from 380 to 780 nanometers. All other wavelengths are not visible to humans. This means that beginners in photography can quickly end up taking blurry pictures or discovering blue casts in their pictures. Nowadays, thanks to advances in technology, SLR cameras are better equipped than the popular analogue cameras were a few years ago. In digital cameras, this filter is already integrated, which prevents uv radiation. For this reason, the function of the UV filter was changed. This is now used as protection. To protect the lens from external influences such as dirt, the filter is attached to the lens. Thus, the UV filter remains an important part of photography.

What is a UV filter needed for?

UV filters are also known as UV blocking filters or skylight filters. On an analog camera, the filter served to filter out the ultraviolet part of the sunlight, thus guaranteeing better quality. The non-visible UV radiation of 350 nanometers is blocked by the filter. Otherwise the image quality would be negatively affected. The result would be blurry images. On the one hand, the skylight filter has the positive effect that the image quality of the recordings is perfect and the contrasts are minimized.
Some photographers are convinced that UV filters are no longer necessary in the age of digital photography. However, the UV blocking filter is now used as a protective filter for the camera lens. Without this lens protection, scratches would damage the front lens by cleaning dust and dirt. As an additional layer of glass, the barrier filter not only protects against environmental influences, but also against a damaged lens after an impact. Sand in particular is a common cause of scratches on the camera lens. If there is no coating, i.e. if there is no coating, you can see unattractive blue casts in the images. The skylight filter helps here. A coated filter can be recognized by several layers. Unlike a coated filter, non-coated filters only have one layer of glass. The number of coatings gives an indication of how many layers were installed.

The strength of UV radiation depends on various factors. Depending on the time of day and season, the intensity of ultraviolet radiation varies. The proportion of radiation is highest in the summertime. The radiation is also more intense at higher altitudes. It is therefore recommended to use a blocking filter in the mountains. It is known that snow reflects UV rays, but water, asphalt and sand also reflect the radiation.

Is a skylight filter necessary?

The UV blocking filter is particularly necessary for analogue cameras, because the integrated UV filter in a digital camera means that it is no longer absolutely necessary here. However, the skylight filter is always suitable as a lens protection. That's why the UV filter can be described as an "always on" filter. The filter offers reliable protection against everyday situations or environmental influences. On the mountains, on the beach or by the water are the places where lens protection is necessary. However, the filter is not suitable for taking pictures under water, because the pictures will be blurry and will not achieve the desired result. The UV filter is also not absolutely necessary in black and white photography. But as protection for the camera lens, the UV filter makes sense everywhere.

How is the filter attached to the camera?

Most skylight filters are made of glass or plastic. This is usually screwed in front of the lens, on the filter thread. The antimicrobial UV protection filter from Kase is traditionally screwed onto the lens and is available in many diameters for a wide variety of lenses. So that the filter can be unscrewed again, it should not be screwed on too tightly. As an alternative to the filter that has to be screwed on, there are filters that can be used magnetically, with which screwing on is no longer necessary. Thanks to the magnetism, the MCUV UV filter can be attached quickly and easily. This saves time in attachment, and the magnetic filter also convinces with a stable attachment.

Which UV filter fits my lens?

In order to find out which filter fits the lens, the information on the diameters must match. The unit of the filter diameter is determined in millimeters, just like the diameter of the lens. It is therefore necessary to specify the diameter on the lens, which is usually located on the edge of the lens. Accordingly, a 75 mm filter should be used for a 75 mm lens. For example, Kase's round magnetic MCUV UV filter is available in 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm and 95mm sizes. If the filter and lens do not match, an adapter can be purchased.

Is it worth buying a skylight filter?

If you would like to photograph the landscape, the filter is required and offers cheap and good protection. It is worth buying the UV filter because a new lens is significantly more expensive than a new filter. However, you should not save too much on a UV blocking filter, because a cheap filter can go hand in hand with poor image quality.

What should I look out for when buying a UV filter?

Coating: In order for the UV filter to offer good protection for the lens, care should be taken to ensure that the coating is oil- and water-repellent and scratch-resistant.

Glass quality: The filter glass should be of good quality, because scratches on the lens can cause unsightly light refractions. The remuneration is decisive for the value of the filter. The higher the filter is coated, the better the quality.

Filter diameter: The diameter of the filter and the thread size of the lens should be identical. If these differ, an adapter ring can be used.

Do cheap filters offer the same image quality as more expensive products?

Although cheap products also offer effective protection, the quality of the images suffers both with too little light and with too much UV light. This loss of light can lead to underexposure of the images. However, the cheap products hardly differ from the more expensive filters in good lighting conditions. Purchasing a high-quality product involves higher costs, but differences in quality are noticeable.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the UV blocking filter?

Advantages
Disadvantages
  • Excellent protection against dirt, water and other environmental influences   
  • Water and oil repellent   
  • Useful for analog cameras 
  • Cheaper than clear glass filters   
  • Minimizes the contrast
  • Not applicable for underwater photography   
  • Cheap filters are of poorer quality than more expensive filters   
  • cannot be used with coated camera lenses

Topseller

ROUND Magnetic MCUV UV-Filter
Diameter: 77mm
The magnetic UV filter is designed as an "always-on" protection filter against scratches and dirt on your lens. The filter has on its outside a magnetic surface which allows to use our magnetic CPL and ND filters. The filters are offered in tdifferent sizes. Material frame: aluminum / magnetic stripes Material glass: tempered optical glass Delivery scope: 1x Magnetic UV Filter Note on mounting the MCUV UV magnetic filter: The MCUV has an internal thread and is screwed directly onto the lens (or an intermediate screw-in step up adapter ring) WITHOUT a magnetic adapter ring. ND filters can be mounted on the MCUV via magnetism. The MCUV virtually "replaces" the magnetic adapter ring. The background is that the MCUV is intended as "always on protection".

Variants from €79.90*
€89.90*
ROUND Screw In Anti Microbial UV Protection Filter
Diameter: 77mm
Kase's UV protective filter of MCUV II series are made of precision optical glass and provided with a special coating that makes the filter scratch resistant and water- and oil-repellent. The compact design of the SLIM design with a thickness of 3.2 mm occur no problem with additional vignetting. The MCUV II filters absorb unwanted UV components in the light and can, thanks to its colorless and clear properties of course, as permaneter protection filter be left on the lens The Kasefilter MCUV II are available in the following diameters:. 37mm, 39mm, 40.5mm, 43mm, 46mm, 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm , 82mm, 86mm, 95mm, 105mm and 150mm B270 optical glass SLIM design (3.2mm)

Variants from €29.90*
€39.90*
Clip In Filter for Fuji - Mirrorless Cameras - MCUV UV Filter
The clip-in filters can be installed quickly and are made of high-quality optical glass.The frame or filter holder is made of aluminum. Due to the low weight of only 3.3 grams per filter, the clip-in filters are easy to transport.The filters have a multiple coating. This makes the filters oil and water repellent and dirt repellent.Scope of delivery of the clip in filter:1x MCUV FilterRubber finger cot for assemblyTool for removing the installed filterPlastic storage boxProduct Video

€79.90*
Clip In Filter for Nikon Z6 Z7 - MCUV UV Filter
The Clip In Filters can be mounted quickly and are made of high-quality optical B270 glass. The frame or filter holder is made of aluminium. Due to the low weight of only 3.3 grams per filter, the Clip In Filters are easy to transport. The filters have a multiple coating. This makes the filters oil- and water-repellent as well as dirt-repellent. The Kase Clip In Filters for Nikon's mirrorless cameras fit the following models: Nikon Z6 Nikon Z6 II Nikon Z7 Scope of delivery of the Clip In Filter: Filter Fingerling made of rubber for mounting Tool for removing the mounted filter Plastic storage box

€89.90*
Clip In Filter Half Frame for Sony Alpha - MCUV UV Filter
The clip-in filters can be installed quickly and are made of high-quality optical glass. The frame or filter holder is made of aluminum. Due to the low weight of only 3.3 grams per filter, the clip-in filters are easy to transport. The filters have a multiple coating. This makes the filters oil and water repellent and dirt repellent. These clip in filters are compatible with: α6000  α6100 α6500 α6400 α6600  Scope of delivery of the clip in filter: 1x filter Rubber finger cot for assembly Tool for removing the installed filter Plastic storage box

€79.90*
Clip In Filter for Sony Alpha - MCUV UV Filter
The clip-in filters can be installed quickly and are made of high-quality optical glass. The frame or filter holder is made of aluminum. Due to the low weight of only 3.3 grams per filter, the clip-in filters are easy to transport. The filters have a multiple coating. This makes the filters oil and water repellent and dirt repellent. These clip in filters are compatible with: Sony a7 Sony a7 II Sony a7 III Sony a7R Sony a7R II Sony a7R III Sony a7R IV Sony a7S Sony a7S II Sony a7S III Sony a9 Sony a9 II Sony Alpha 1 Scope of delivery of the clip in filter: 1x filter Rubber finger cot for assembly Tool for removing the installed filter Plastic storage box

€79.90*