UV and Porrizing filters and what to do with them


Well-known Member
Bought a couple of filters this week from ebay, a Hoya UV filter and a Hama Polarizing filter, both were in good condition (UV was still sealed in its case) and are free from any marks.

Went out tonight to take some pictures with them on and was not overly impressed. The UV was on first, everything seems to have a slight blue cast, then I put the polarizor on, results not as expected.




Can anyone tell me what I should be doing please



Distinguished Member
The UV should cut down on haze in landscape shots I believe but I think may be redundant given that a lot can be done in post processing these days.
The polariser if used on an autofocus camera should be of the "Circular" rather than the traditional "Linear" type which were the norm on manual focused lenses...this is to do with the way the polariser is etched/cut and nothing to do with its construction or shape.
With the polariser fitted and looking through the lens at for example a blue sky you should rotate the filter until the sky turns a deep blue or if pointed at water you should see the light reflections lessen...likewise green grass in a landscape should deepen...they are best used on a sunny day.

Nick Cartwright

I was told polarisers are most effective if the sun is at an angle to you, rather than ahead or behind.

I haven't had much chance to really play with mine yet, so this is all I can add at the moment.

Not sure about the UV filter, but a lot of people use them to just protect the front element of their lenses. If it is affecting the image at all then it might be best not to use it.


Ahoy there!

UV & PL filters are real handy. The best way I find to use them are:

1. Keep the UV filter attached to the lens all the times. Apart from cutting down on the rays, it protects the main lens.

2. The PL circular filter should be manually adjustable. When fitted (screw onto the UV filter - but only tighten until slight resistence is met) and used near cars, windows/glass, reflective surfaces or water, turn the outer ring and you will see any reflection being reduced or removed.

EDIT - Additional Info

Found a website that explains all about filters, effects and uses here.


Well-known Member
Pirate!! said:
1. Keep the UV filter attached to the lens all the times. Apart from cutting down on the rays, it protects the main lens.

I can vouch for that. A few months ago I dropped my Nikon D70 (which was in a soft case) on a carpet floor, from only a few feet and shattered the UV filter, but fortunatley the lens was OK. The UV filter had done it's job.
If I hadn't had the filter on it would have been a £250 replacement lens rather than a £6 filter!


As film and digital sensors are both sensitive to ultra violet radiation is can be handy to use a UV filter. As another poster has mentioned the main use is for landscapes when the UV haze can be a problem. That said, most modern multi-coated optics have a degree of UV cut so it's not as big a deal as it was in the past.

Many photographers use a UV filter as a protection for the front element of the lens. This can be a good idea especially if you take pictures in environments like beaches or where debris is flying around.

A polariser can be used to darken a blue sky and to cut reflections from objects like water or glass. It can also boost the colour saturation of objects by cutting any reflections down. The effect tends to be strongest when the sun is at an angle to you. You won't see much effect when it is overcast nor when the sun is setting.

Just twiddle the filter until you get the effect you want. Watch out for over polarisation as this can turn the sky almost black which may not be what you wanted!

As a general rule don't use a filter if you don't need it as they slightly degrade quality (but as most digital cameras have a blur filter over the sensor you'd be hard pressed to notice) and they definitely increase flare which can be a real pain when shooting into the sun.

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