Should You Use a UV Filter On Your Lens or Will It Just Degrade Image Quality? (VIDEO)

The first thing many photographers do after investing in a new lens is to screw on a UV or haze filter. The idea is that these filters protect the front element of your lens from dirt and impact damage while improving contrast and eliminating atmospheric haze.

But does adding a relatively inexpensive piece of glass in front of your lens degrade image quality? In the video below, photographer Phil Steele explores that question and others to help you decide when using a UV filter is the way to go.

The cost of UV filters range widely, and Steele explains why: High-quality filters are made from optically pure glass with special coatings that not only block UV light, but help reduce chromatic aberration and lens flare. Many premium filters also feature a scratch-resistant surface. He also notes that the effects of UV light are far greater when shooting film than they are with digital cameras.

So watch the video below and you’ll be better prepared to decide whether UV filters make sense for you. There are more helpful tips on Steele’s YouTube channel, and be sure to watch an earlier video of his we shared explaining the key considerations for choosing and using a tripod.