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What is a UV / Haze filter and how does it help improve the image quality?

by Madhu
(India)

What is a UV / Haze filter and how does it help improve the image quality?

Answer:

A UV filter is simply a filter designed to filter out some of the ultraviolet light waves. Back in the days of film cameras it was common for photographers to use a UV filter to help reduce the bluish cast that can occur on a bright sunny day. Because these filters are clear they had little negative effect on image quality and they offered some protection for the lens so they were also popular as added protection against scratching the front of an expensive lens. Since they limit the amount of UV light that reaches the camera film or sensor they reduce haze and can improve contrast on a hazy day.

While some photographers today might still keep a UV filter on their digital camera lens for protection from scratches, they are not as popular as they once were because the image sensors on today’s digital cameras are not nearly as sensitive to UV light as film was. As with any filter there also can be some possible loss of image quality when using a UV filter and it can also increase the chance of lens flare. For these reasons many photographers today choose not to use them yet some still like the additional protection a filter has for the front element of an expensive lens.

A Haze filter is another type of UV filter that can help clear up a picture on a hazy day. Haze is caused by dust particles floating in the air. These dust particles reflect the ultraviolet rays the most so a filter that filters some of the UV light out can help a hazy day seem clearer when photographed. While a UV filter is clear some Haze filters will have a yellow tint as they also help reduce the excessive blue light that is also reflected by the dust particles.

Regards,
Alan

Last modified on Sunday, 22 March 2015 20:42
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