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In photography there are many, many things that can help improve the looks of your photographs and one of these is filters. Filters will most commonly be used by people that use DSLR cameras and more likely people who take their photography very seriously, as a professional photographer I fit both those brackets of course and I use many different filters to create many different styles of photograph.
The UV filter I am reviewing here, the Hama UV Filter UV-390 67mm is actually a very common filter and does not create too much of an effect on shots, it is actually used to cut the glare in photographs taken in bright sunlight and to reduce the haziness created by ultraviolet light but it is also used by many, myself included as just a means of protecting the lens.
If you catch the glass of your lens and scratch it or god forbid break it you are looking at a huge outlay for a new one where as if you have a simple UV filter, it takes the knocks and can be replaced for around £15.
Almost all lens makers such as Sony, Canon, Nikon and the likes will all make their own branded filters and sometimes I would suggest using them if for instance we are talking polarizers, or other filters that go a long way to actually creating an effect in the image you are taking but when it comes to the simple filters like UV ones then Hama filters are an excellent option as they are much less expensive. This particular filter cost me less than £20 whereas the more expensive ones are over twice that price.
I have many UV filters for my collection of lenses but this particular one is a 67mm one which means it will only fit lenses with a 67mm filter thread, this is mainly the more expensive lenses out there, I also have filters in 55mm and 62mm to cover my range of lenses, I only have a few polarizers and other filters which I change from lens to lens but I have a UV filter on all of my lenses for the protection they offer and there is no need to remove them because they do not affect the way my lenses react in studio conditions or in any other conditions.
My main use for UV filters other than to protect my lenses is to cut through hazy skies, using a UV filter can make blue skies look even bluer than the naked eye sees them, they also allows you to shoot images which become completely colour neutral and therefore are not only more accurate to what you see with the naked eye but they are also much easier to work with on Photo Shop.
These Hama filters are of a high quality and they are muti coated which many cheaper brands are not, they are in fact one of the cheapest multi coated filters I know of and certainly one I would recommend, the filters come in black or silver so they can match any lens but quite often professionals like myself will use a silver filter on a black lens and vice versa to remind us that it is there.
Some photographers I know will swear blind that they get a sharper colour and a more vibrant highlight when using UV filters in the studio, I do not personally agree with this statement but if you have heard mention of it then it might well be true but it is not a reason I would give to anyone for using a UV filter personally.
These filters are very easy to apply to the lens they simply screw on and off and can be put on or taken off in a very short space of time but like I say you can if you wish just put it on the lens and shoot away in all conditions, I have and continue to do and always will just because I know that my lens has that extra bit of protection, with some of my lenses costing upwards of a thousand pounds I would much rather be wrecking £20 filters than replacing the lenses, so I would suggest that If you are a serious photographer then once the camera and the lenses and all the other essentials are purchased, the very next thing on your list should be a Hama UV filter for every lens you own, this will not only allow you to get the best possible outdoor images when shooting in hazy or bright sunshine conditions but it will also let you relax a bit about the chance of damaging those very costly lenses!
**Please note the quick rating guide below does not apply to this product so I have just given full marks for everything**
Thanks for reading,
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For wide-angle and wide-angle zoom lenses;
No vignetting (dark shading of picture corners);
New super-quality optical glass;
Only 1 mm thick;
Great mechanical strength;
Metal mount only 3 mm thick;
Front thread for further filters or lens hood;
Especially suitable for rapid AF lenses with integrated motor drive and front-lens focus.