The first accessory you need for your DSLR

A camera to a photographer is many things. Most photographers have a loyalty to their cameras as if it was the best friend they ever had.

But at it's very basic level it is a tool. A tool that we put through some very harsh conditions.

We take them out in salt water spray from the oceans and hot sun to cool nights and high humidity.

That's why the first accessory you need after you purchase your DSLR should be a UV filter.

It is very inexpensive and just screws to the front of the camera.

It's main purpose in life is to protect your lens.

It will take the sand, salt, dirt, crude, scratches and everything else that without it your lens would take.

If you have an accident and scratch the filter your out about twelve bucks, but you just saved your very expensive lens.

So if you don't have one, get one.

The first time you bump into something and scratch it you'll be thanking me.

Photo credits: Dave Willman, Rebeccaosborn.

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I too am a fan of the UV filter. I live at the beach where sand and sea spray are part of life -- I have had good results with Hoya filters and although not cheap, they are much less costly then replacing a lens.


O.K. I may have been stretching it with the twelve bucks for the filter, you do need a good one. And if you don't ever leave the studio you don't need one at all.
I like to see a blog that sparks good debate and ideas and thank everyone for the input.


I've always had a UV filter for every lens. However.. Teekaygee brings up a good point.


I agree using a filter is good protection for your lens. However, UV filters can dull and flatten colors. A warming filter (for example an 81A) can add some pop to an image while protecting the lens....but you better spend more than 12 bucks...get a high quality filter so it won't degrade the quality of your image. peace.


Im sorry, but I agree with Teekaygee - why put a cheap UV filter on the front of a good lens. A decent lens hood will prevent most thing from making contact with you glassware, and improve contrast in the process. Modern lenses/sensors don't suffer from the effects of uv in the way that film did - and if you're going to go to the trouble of taking the filter off to avoid compromises on quality you may as well just use the lens cap.

UV filters are the photgraphy equivalent of the tin of polish they try to sell you when you buy new shoes. I think a tripod would be a much more useful first accesory


I agree with Bradcalkins, and thanks Digitalreflections for the reminder.


I'm a fan of the UV filter - but I wouldn't use a really cheap one... I had a lens in my carry-on bag on a flight and found the UV filter completely cracked when I took it out - the lens was fine. The lens cap had come off at some point. If you are concerned about ruining your quality - I suggest taking it off for a really critical shot where flare might be an issue. Some Canon professional series telephoto lenses are not fully weather sealed without a front filter - suggesting they expect you to use one.

Here is another take on this issue: Should you use a UV filter?


I don't use UV filters. Why put a cheap filter in front of good glass? Your image quality will suffer for it, and they can introduce flare. A lens cap and a hood both provide excellent protection (well obviously the cap is only good when you are not taking photos). Also if you drop your camera and the UV filter shatters, that broken glass can actually damage your front element.


Very good advice. With the price of good lenses and the economy in the tank,everyone should have one of these.

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