Please briefly describe what filter (s) you use and why.

Please briefly describe what filter (s) you use and why.
Yes, there are still good reasons to use lens filters.
62% (187 votes)
No, I don't use any filters over my lenses.
36% (108 votes)
I am not sure what use filters are these days so haven't made up my mind.
2% (5 votes)
Total votes: 300

Jeff Signorini's picture

There are things you can do with filters that you can't do as well in the computer... and that takes a lot less time - any time I can save on post-production is a plus.

Steven Cicchetti's picture

Until the dynamic range of digital cameras is greatly increase there will always be a need for graduated filters, ND filters for increasing exposure times and the good old polarizer.

Duncan Hill's picture

There are some effects that will never be attainable without actually having the glass in front of the lens. Even if software comes close, after the time spent in post, you could have just used a real filter.

Ken K.'s picture

Polarizer and Split ND are the only ones I use anymore.

Christopher's picture

You can't make digital ND filters that is for sure. Anything to modify the light before it even hits the sensor is usable. Filters will NEVER go obsolete.

Pete Arnold's picture

I think some photogs have become so adept at using plug-ins and other processing, they have over looked the fact that if you make the best image before digital editing, the result after editing can be even better. So I still use real filters, for the best results.

Tom Bence's picture

There will always be a place for a good UV or skylight if for only to protect expensive optics and a good polarizer is indispensable.

J.  Peele Jr.'s picture

I still use two filters pretty often. That would be my 8-point light filter and my UV filter. The 8-point saves me a lot of time in Photoshop getting the same effect and the UV filter is really just protection for my lense (fingerprints, dust, etc.)

Tom Nation's picture

Must have the following: circular polarizer; gradient; set of NDs. These correct lighting situations which cannot be fixed in Photoshop.

James's picture

The cost effectiveness far out ways repairs of any type.

Chuck Pine's picture

I use 2 filters quite often—a skylight/haze filter and a circular polarizer (but not at the same time). I also use a graduated or split neutral density filter from time to time.

Ron Landis's picture

Two lens filters I use most oftern I believe are still better alternatives to software; circular polarizers and graduated neutral density. Here are the reasons: Blownout/clipped highlights are just that and can't be recovered in any software that I know of without it making those bright spots look unnatural. There's a natural looking richness to the color resolution when using polarizers and/or GNDs that software doesn't seem to achieve. Nature is more complicated than the stilted algorithms that are embedded in software and filters like soft GNDs or circular polarizers are better suited to capturing those subtlties. I'd rather be in the field photographing than behind a computer screen especially when it's not raining, so filters in the field cut down on the time in the digital darkroom.

Jerry Guthrie's picture

Digital filters cannot duplicate a gradual neutral density filter for better definition of sky & highlights in landscapes.

H.  Jack Morgan's picture

I carry only ND & polarizing filters now, clear glass protects my lenses. I understand that my low pass filter removes UV.

Paul F.'s picture

UV filters are cheap lens insurance. C-Polarizers are of great benefit to (especially) nature & outdoor photographers, and I find no substitute for a 3-stop Graduated ND filter. Other than those, not a lot of use for filters in this, the digital age.

John Sandstedt's picture

I use polarizing, neutral density and color correcting filters - simply because I have them and am not interested in purchasing more software. Importantly, I am a believer in the axiom that it's more important to achieve the image in camera than to massage to something else.

Tom D.'s picture

Kinda hard to duplicate the effects of a polarizer or a split ND filter in processing, so I always carry those.

Phil M.'s picture

No plug-in is going to bring back data that was lost when a picture was shot. I carry a CP fliter.

Michael Rosenberg's picture

In software, it is easy to tweek the effects you want using filter by NIK or Tiffen, but relying on these filters to create an effective image will most often look fake - like the current fad of overdoing HDR images. Filters on the lens give us the opportunity to be creative in the field where it counts the most. In my image Jefferson Sun (on my website - I could never have achieved the level of detail and lack of noise in the Jefferson Memorial and the surrounding trees without the use of a Singh Ray Variable Neutral Density filter and fill flashes.

Woody Stephens's picture

The less post-processing of images I have to do, the better. I use a polarizer. I haven't found a way remove glare and reflections in Photo Shop.

Spencer Wood's picture

Polarizers and neutral density/graduated neutral density filters are still a mainstay in my photography.

Mel Reimer's picture

I doubt that any of the in-camera or computer processing software will ever effectively replace the add-on lens filters for professional effects.

Merrill Shea's picture

In this digital age, the only filters I use are UVs to protect my lenses.

Jim Jones's picture

Programs can't replace Polarizers.

Peter A.  White's picture

I still use my two coveted filters for landsacape work- my polarizer and my ND filter (usually my split ND known affectionationely as Mr Splittie!) Why? Software filters are cool but 2 major reasons- 1. I see through the view finder of my D300 the "customized" image I'm getting in real time and, as always, less time at the computer means more time for enjoyment of the actual creating of photo images of the subject I am pursuing in the field,

John Frenzel's picture

I use ND filters and polarizers at times.

Don Dement's picture

Even the polarizer can be emulated quickly (and better) for skies using Lightroom. But for foliage color, it's the best and I still keep one in case.

Frank Scharf's picture

I use an ultra violet filter on each lens which I own as a protection for the lens, not necessarily because I need it. I own polarizing filters for most lenses, but I don't use them.

Gerry Bishop's picture

No software can do what a polarizing filter can, and its often easier and better to use a split ND filter in the field than to use the Gradient Tool in Photoshop.

Russ Alexander's picture

You cannot duplicate the effects of a polarizer filter in Photoshop or any other image processing software.