UV filters were popular in film and early digital photography because they removed the bluish haze cast by the sun. Modern digital cameras, however, typically do a good job of eliminating that issue on their own. So why are UV filters still popular?
UV filters have been embraced as a way to protect the front of a lens from scratches and dust without changing image quality. UV filters are clear so they don't prevent light from getting through. It's much cheaper to replace a scratched UV filter than to replace a lens, and for that reason, UV filters are still very popular. These best UV filters are made from high quality glass and materials and offer a protective element for camera lenses.
Please note: These picks come in all sizes so just choose which ones fit your camera len(s) best.
One of the best rated filters out there, B+W's UV filters with Multi-Resistant Coating (MRC) are durable, making them a good option for protecting your lens. While they're working to keep scratches and dust away, the coatings prevent ghosting and flare, so image quality won't be negatively affected. Read Full Review
Multi-Resistant Coating (MRC) is the beauty behind this UV filter. The B+W UV Haze MRC filters have coatings that make them more scratch resistant than other options. Along with adding to their durability, the coatings also help prevent reflections and ghosting which could ultimately impact image quality. Made with Schott glass, this filter is one of the best for protecting expensive lenses. The outer ring is constructed with rugged brass, so every part of this filter is designed for durability and protection.
Tiffen's UV filters offer both value and protection. The design prevents the glass from affecting image quality, while the sturdy design still offers protection for your lens. It's designed to stay on your lens all the time to prevent scratches. Read Full Review
Since UV filters don't improve image quality, it's hard to justify spending nearly $100 on one. Tiffen's UV Filters With Coating offer excellent value, while protecting your lenses from scratches, dirt, moisture, dust and fingerprints. Tiffen puts the filter substrate between two thin pieces of glass, a process that helps ensure colors won't be affected by this filter. Speaking of having no impact on color, this Tiffen UV filter can be used with other filters, so you can leave it on your lens at all times if you'd like.
Large rims on UV filters can cause vignetting, or darkening around the edge of the image, on wide angle lenses. This Hoya Pro1D uses a low profile design, so it will protect even wide angle lenses without negatively impacting image quality. Read Full Review
Designed specifically for protection, this Hoya won't affect your images at all while still keeping the front of the lens safe. Multiple coatings ensure the filter won't cause reflections that could negatively impact the image by causing ghosting. A black frame coupled with black-rimmed glass help to further reduce negative reflections. And speaking of the frame, it's a low profile, so it won't cause vignetting, even on wide angle lenses. These filters are high quality options, and even come with a UV protected case for storage.
Sony is popular for their high quality glass, and that extends some into their filters. Designed with multiple coatings and a low profile, this option from Sony is a good choice. Read Full Review
Sony has an excellent reputation for their lenses, and their filters tend to follow in those big footsteps as well. Their Multi-Coat Protection filters feature the high quality Carl Zeiss design, while still available at a reasonable price. The multiple coatings prevent reflection and ghosting while the low profile keeps vignetting at bay. Sturdy enough to protect the lens from dust, scratches and moisture, it's constructed with aluminum and glass. These filters will protect your expensive lenses, but don't deliver a big sticker shock.
Looking for multiple coatings without spending multiples? This Sigma is a good compromise, offering quite a bit of value and lens protection for the price. Read Full Review
Sigma offers a nice UV protection filter option that still includes multiple coatings but doesn't break the bank. This filter is designed to stay on the lens at all times, and can even be used in conjunction with other filters. The glass itself keeps out dust, moisture and other lens hazards, while the coatings keep out unwanted glare. The filter screws on and off easily, though you won't need to take it off much.