Filters are useful for water, coffee, (ahem) vodka…and your camera lenses!
Chances are, you just spent a bunch of money on the camera and/or lens you’ve always wanted. Within about 2 weeks you’ve already lost the lens cap because you left it at a friend’s house or your kid took it and is doing god-knows-what with it now. But good news: Believe it or not, most professional photographers don’t know where their lens caps are either! Most of us use FILTERS to protect the front glass of our precious lenses. A filter is basically a little cap of clear plastic that you can put on– and keep on– your lens.
My brand of choice is B+W, and I always buy a “UV Haze” filter as soon as I purchase a new lens. The filter has virtually no effect on the result of the photo and is a great source of protection. I often take the filter off and clean it with a microfiber cloth, and I use a bulb blower (not compressed air!) to blow some of the remaining dust off the lens. This is a much better solution than having to put the lens cap on every time you store the lens. And furthermore, if you photograph kids, it’s a great source of protection in the event they get their sticky little hands on the camera when you aren’t looking!