Complete Guide to Choosing & Using Camera Lens Filters & Adapters (VIDEO)

Camera lens filters and adapters are among the least expensive accessories that can make a big difference in your images, especially when shooting outdoors. In fact, many experienced landscape photographers never leave home without a selection of these tools.

This quick video below comes to us from Paint in Bytes, a new YouTube channel devoted to making the most of accessories and new technologies for creative purposes. Instructor Ali Chakra is an accomplished photographer, filmmaker, and graphic designer based in Germany, and in barely nine minutes he discusses how lens filters and adapters can really up your game.

In this comprehensive guide Chakra discusses the most common filters and how they work their magic once threaded onto the front of a lens. Neutral Density (ND filters, Variable Neutral Density (VND) filters and Polarizing filters are all part of the discussion, as are protective UV and Skylight filters.

Chakra explores how Polarizing filters cut glare and darken pale skies, and the way Color filters can add an artistic look by altering or enhancing the natural tones of a scene. As you'll see, there are also a variety of popular Special Effects filters for creating in-camera effects without any post processing.

These interesting options can do everything from adding starbursts to a shot, creating an infrared appearance, to providing a soft, diffused look. There are also Special Effects filters that add vignetting, and even those for creating more outlandish kaleidoscope and multi-image effects,

Once you get started with these affordable accessories it's often hard to stop. And things can get costly because some of your lenses likely require filters in different sizes. In that regard Chakra explains how to economize by purchasing cheap step-up and step-down adapter rings that enable you to mount the same filter on lenses with different thread sizes.

The fun part of all this is that the use of lens filters doesn't adhere to any strict rules. That means you can create a wide variety of effects with a bit of experimentation. So watch the video and get started.

We also recommend another helpful guide we posted earlier, explaining the basics of long-exposure photography for beginners.