A Few Must haves if you are going the DSLR route when investing a camera.
There doesn’t seem to be a true consensus on whether a UV filter is absolutely necessary for your lens. However I would rather air on the side of caution and have one. The UV REALLY doesn’t do much other than protecting the glass on the lens. If you accidently swing the lens around and tip into something solid, I’d rather damage a $45.00 filter than a $200 upwards lens.
A Polarizer is an important tool to have in your camera arsenal, if you are shooting in sunlight and blue sky. A Polarizer deepens the blues in the sky. If you are shooting into water, when you use a polarizer, you can actually see what’s in the water.
One of the challenges with using one however is that they generally step the f stop down one level. I have one and it stays on my lens. You can actually pace the polarizer directly over the UV filter which is what I do.
I learned my lesson the hard way. In may 2013, I went to the Memorial Day parade in Madison, Connecticut. When I arrived home to edit the photos, I was distressed to see lens flare on almost every image I shot. Extremely unhappy, I felt. I couldn’t use any of the images. Now I when I shoot in sunlight, my lens hood is on my lens all the time. Using the hood almost entirely eliminates lens flare.
Of the three lens accessories listed here, a lens hood is the most important to own if you anticipate shooting in sunlight. It should be the first thing you purchase after your lens. One of the advantages to using Canon’s Pro “L” lenses is that each “L” lens comes with a lens hood in the box. If you are purchasing consumer lenses, I believe it is imperative to also have a lens hood and use at all times when shooting in sunlight.
A polarizer filter is another accessory that can be used in sunlight as it deepens the blue color in the sky. I generally use my polarizer when I’m out shooting landscapes during the day. If I’m shooting sunrises or sunsets, both the lens hood and the polarizer are left behind as I don’t necessarily need either one. I will sometimes bring the lens hood if I need it, however, since sunrises and sunsets are not bright, lens flare is usually not a challenge. The same is true for the polarizer. Since the sky is dark, the polarizer won’t do much more than make the image darker. Use these tools as they were meant to be used and you will see your photography improve.
In the mean time:
Focus on what’s ahead of you.
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