Why do I need Filters?

Right - I'll admit - complete novice here.

Hubby wanted a DSLR camera so he can take images for his websites himself, he used to do photography years ago (long before the D came about and his old SLR is somewhere gathering dust in our garage - probably in one of the unopened boxes since we moved in 2007).

So I've got him a Sony A65 for his birthday (well technically it belongs to his company but it's almost his birthday so that will do!) anyway I need to know - do I need to get him filters?

I bought an extra flash and a 16 - 80mm lens as recommended but since I've been looking up on all sorts of photography sites and there seems to be lots of reasons to get filters.

Also I bought a SDXC card - anyone used this?


Suz xxx

With editing programs being so good these days, even iPhoto has a good editing program, there are many corrections and tweaks that can be done once the image is 'in the can', so to speak but there are a few things that only really work if you use a filter at the time; the polarising filter is one of these, and very effective it is too. It usually comes in a rotating mount so you can turn it to find the optimum effect, and it gets the strongest contrast/saturation effect at shooting at 90 degrees to the sun, ie: shoulder to the sun - but still works otherwise, but not so intensely.

I used to mess about a lot with filters. One fun effect was to put the camera on a tripod and, using a subject that has an element of movement in it, shoot 3 successive shots on the same frame changing from pure red to pure green to pure blue filters - some exposure compensation will be necessary. The 'stationary' part of the scene will look normal but the mobile part will be --- odd.

Hope he has lots of fun with it .

There are also reasons not to use filters, some say It's pointless putting a inexpensive piece of glass in front of an sometimes very expensive high quality lens. If you want to protect the lens put the lens cap back on every time. I have for the time being taken my UV filters off. I haven't however seen any remarkable difference in image quality, I do use polarising filters for sunny landscapes.

ok thanks Glyn, good advice - seems it's not as simple as buying the camera then (I knew he liked the A65). I'll let him choose the filters himself. That's me trying to be too organised for my own good!


I don't use a particular brand Suzanne, but there's nothing wrong with Hoya. It may actually be worth talking to your husband about this subject before buying - if he is into filters, or intends to be, he may want to buy one of the 'system' options, rather than have individual filters from different manufacturers.

The filter size is usually stamped on the front of the lens. I think the 16-80 is 62mm.

thanks Glyn - is there a particular brand (s) of filter's you recommend? Also - Sorry if this seems a bit of a silly question! how do I know what size to get? My lens is the Sony 16-80mm Zoom Lens (SAL1680Z)

I've seen people bundling the Hoya 62mm Pro-1 Digital UV Screw in Filter on Amazon.

It's always a good idea to have a daylight (UV) filter attached to protect the front element of the lens. Other than that, it's down to taste and style of photography. I rarely use other filters as I prefer a natural style but a neutral density filter is sometimes useful in bright conditions, especially if it's graduated.

I'm sure others on here will have different opinions and approaches to photography, but that's my tanner's worth (that dates me!).