Why You Need Filters & To Ditch Your UV Filter (Camera Lesson 16)

Summary: Ryan covers why you should use camera filtration, and why you should seriously consider ditching your UV filter.

Length: 3:54 minutes

Video Lesson

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In this video I continue my look at filters by sharing with you why you need filtration, and why you should ditch your UV filter.

Why Use Filtration?

With the powerful grading software that we have available to us, you may wonder why in the world we would ever use camera filtration. After all why not just create the look in post?

Well the first reason is that it we can never truly replicate the look in post. And here is why. Out in the real world there are infinite possibilities and nuances to how light interacts with objects, and each stage of the filmmaking process decreases those possibilities and nuances.

Decrease in Quality during Camera Workflow - Camera Lesson 16

As light travels down your lens, it is shaped by the characteristics of that lens. Then it hits the camera sensor and how that sensor sees light decreases those nuances. And then how the image is recorded further restricts the image. And finally what kind of tools you have available to you in post production can also limit you. So if instead you filter the light before any of this happens, you are changing the light at the point where that light has been changes the least, which means you have a greater control of how your image looks.

The second reason why I think it is a good idea to use camera filtration is because it makes you a stronger filmmaker. By knowing what you want to say with your image, and saying it from the start, you end up creating a stronger image, which results in a clearer message. It forces you to figure out what it is that you are trying to say. If you wait until post to figure out what you are trying to say, often times it ends up resulting in mixed messages and a less than clear vision.

No Filter Example - Camera Lesson 16
1/4 Coral Filter Example - Camera Lesson 16

And the third reason why it’s a good idea, is that it will save you time in post. If you create your image in camera, that means you’ll spend less time grading your footage, which means you can spend that time elsewhere–like working on the edit or developing your next project.

Ditch Your UV

So there is a popular practice out there with SLR or photography lenses, where people put a UV filter on the end of it to protect it. The logic is that a cheap UV filter is a lot more affordable to replace then a whole lens.

Adding a UV filter on your lens needlessly degrades your image. I mean let’s be honest: 95% to 99% of the time that UV filter probably isn’t even helping you out at all.…

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Depth of Field, Part 1: How Aperture and ISO Affect Focus
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 6: Five Tips For A Successful Shoot
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 5: Lighting Six High Speed Sets
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 4: Common Lighting Problems
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 3: Camera Operation & Workflow
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 2: Frame Rate
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 1: Introduction
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Negative Fill: The Best Kept Secret (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 08)
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