On Protective Filters
I recently bought my first DSLR with a basic kit lens. My friend saw the equipment and told me that the quality of my lens will improve if I use a UV filter on it. Do filters really improve optical quality and would you recommend their use?
Ankita Singh, Chandigarh, via post
The quality of the optics will not improve with the use of a filter. In fact, if the filter is of inferior quality, it may hinder the overall performance of your lens in some ways. In most cases, this difference is minute, and barely visible only when you scrutinise the picture at full resolution. However, we still recommend the use of a multi-coated UV filter from a reputed brand like Kenko or Tiffen, for one simple reason— protection. A UV filter covers the exterior element and protects it against any sort of physical damage. It also helps to minimise dust. In the long run, this may mean that your lens is far better protected than it would have been, without the filter. Thus, you will be able to keep scratches, dust and other problems to an absolute minimum. This, in turn, will mean that the optics of the lens will not deteriorate over time.