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All You Need To Know About Filters

Photography filters

All You Need To Know About Filters

What are filters used for?

Basically, filters are used to block or reduce the light when capturing an image. It applies mainly to landscape photography. For example: when you’re trying to shoot sunrise, the sky will be brighter than the ground. We would then use the filter to reduce the amount of light from the sky to balance out the image, so that the ground will not be underexposed.

Filter cloud photograph

There are so many types of filters, which are the ones I must absolutely have?

Polarizing, Graduated Neutral Density (GND) filter and Reverse Graduated Neutral Density (RGND) filter must be in your filter kit.

There are others like Night filters and color filters which is applicable only in certain situations, and if you prefer to use you them. Ultimately, the kind of filters you need depend on what you want to achieve, so try several out before buying.

Norway Lofoten Reine Winter

What are ND filters, and what situations would you use them in?  

Neutral density filters are used in situations where you need to reduce the light in the overall image, so that you can increase your shutter speed without overexposing.

For example, if you are using a shutter speed of 1/60sec to capture an image, and you attach a ND6 filter, it will take 1 second to capture the same image with the same exposure.

Which are the best brands for shooting outdoors?

There are various brands such as NiSi, LEE, Hitech, Kenko, and etc.

Glass filters are preferred as we need the clarity for light transmission. NiSi uses all glass for their filters, where LEE uses resin and glass.

Spain bilbao beach sunset

Are there different filters for different genres of photography?

Basically, filters are universal. iI is how you use them.

For example, can I use a filter in street photography? Yes, I can. I use it when I need to slow the movement of the people, or am required to use a big aperture. However, bear in mind that there are some filters that are specifically meant for landscape photography, like the sunset and night filter, which helps create a sunset feel, and blue hour feel in your images.

When should I consider using colour filters?

Color filters are seldom use these days as image editing software can help to add the color in post processing. It is normally used in the film camera as there was no way to post process (back then).

Intensifying filter

What are Enhancing and Intensifying filters?

Enhancing and Intensifying filters increase certain saturation or color to your image. If I am traveling in Autumn to capture fall foliage, an enhancing filter will help to increase the yellow saturation and intensify the color.

Which are the best filters for everyday use?

For beginners, I would recommend a Polarizing, ND64, ND1000, GND0.9 and RGD0.9 filter.

Polarizing: to allow light access at a certain angle.
ND64: to reduce light access by 6 stops
ND1000: to reduce light access by 10 stops
GND0.9: to reduce light access gradually from top to middle by 3 stops
RGND0.9: to reduce light access gradually from middle to top and bottom by 3 stops

Water and farmland

How do I avoid vignette when using a filter with a wide angle lens?

Due to the design of the filter holder, there is no way to avoid vignette. Some of the filter holder may not have vignette due the superior. In the event there is vignette, have to choose the correct lens when shooting and allow for some cropping in post processing.


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