The Ultimate Guide To Landscape Filters: UV And Skylight Filters

In our first guide to essential landscape filters, we take a look at UV and Skylight filters.

| General Photography

Sarah Howard, from Image Seen, has put together a comprehensive guide on filters landscape photographers should have in their camera bag and in part one, UV and Skylight filters are the focus. 

Keep checking FilterZone for the next instalment which will look at polarising filters. 

The Ultimate Guide To Landscape Filters: UV And Skylight Filters: UV Filter

UV And Skylight Filters

Skylight and UV filters are screw-in filters, which attach directly to the front of the lens. They are often used to protect the front of the lens from scratches,  fingerprints, dust, sand etc and can offer some protection if the lens is dropped– it’s more cost effective to replace a damaged filter than it is the lens!

Both filter ultraviolet light, helping to reduce the haziness sometimes seen in landscapes on summer days and in doing so, give clearer, crisper results. They are particularly useful when shooting snowy scenes as snow reflects UV light, giving it a blue cast.

Unlike a UV filter, a skylight filter has a slight pink cast to it, which was originally designed to reduce the very slight blue cast sometimes present when shooting landscapes with a blue sky on colour film. On a digital camera with automatic white balance, the effect of this pink tinge is removed; so the two filters are essentially are doing the same job. Both filters are clear and do not reduce the amount of light entering the lens.

It is best to pay a little more for a good UV filter; multi coated ones are designed to help maximise light transmission.


What To Watch:

If using a wide-angle lens, remember to remove the UV or skylight filter when using other filters such as polarisers or graduated filters. Failure to do this will lead to an increased chance of vignetting. Not only this, but having too many layers of glass in front of the lens can lead to possible flare and degrade image quality.

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