title common camera lens filters

Top 5 Most Common Camera Lens Filters

While the trend in recent years has leaned more towards fixing colors and other issues in post-production, great cinematographers do the work and take the steps to use camera lens filters that provide quality footage with fewer needs for post-production editing and color grading. A truly cinematic production doesn’t come together in post-production but instead in the shoot itself where the lens matters more than anything.

Whether you’re new to cinematography or you’ve been in the field for quite some time, chances are you’ve got these 5 most common camera lens filters in your bag of tricks.

If you don’t already have these different types of camera lens filters, now is probably a good time to go ahead and make sure you pick up each camera lens filters before your next big video production project.

1. Diffusion Filters

Cameras have come a long way since video production started almost 100 years ago. Today’s cameras offer a sharp, clean image that is more vibrant than ever before.

However, there’s no better time than the present to own a few different diffusion filters that can be used in your cinematography to produce softer, more subtle looks. If you don’t own a diffusion lens filter, pick one up and test it out on your next shoot for a softening that can be used to produce an almost dreamy image.

2. UV Lens Filter

In the days when shooting with actual film was a major thing, UV filters were very common. While most modern cameras don’t have much need for a UV filter, having one is a great investment for one reason!

It can be used to protect your camera lens from getting scratched or from damaging if the lens is dropped. Consider using a UV filter for this purpose, even if you have a digital camera and no real need for film protection when shooting.

3. Neutral Density Lens Filter

The neutral density lens filter provide an image that essentially controls the amount of exposure of the image without needing to make adjustments to the shutter speed, ISO setting or the iris.

Similar to if you were to put a pair of sunglasses on your camera lens, the ND lens filter produces the appearance of darkening that you would expect from sunglasses. Consider a variable ND filter for quick and easy use.

4. Color Filters

Various color lens filters can be used to produce warming or cooling effects when shooting. Color balancing filters are of course used at the discretion of the cinematographer and many prefer not to use them, but they are one of the many different types of camera lens filters that you should at least own a few of in case you ever want to play with the colors of your shoot during production.

5. Polarizer Filters

Every DP should own at least one polarizer filter. Why? Because these camera lens filters have the capacity to reduce the glare and reflections that come from external light when shooting, especially when producing shots in the prime of day when the sun is most prominent.

Unlike the ND filter, which produces a distinct darkening of the footage, the polarizer lens filters allow the camera to see right through glass or a potential glare without adding noticeable heaviness to the exposure.

These are the top 5 most common camera lens filters that most DPs already have or should have.

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