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Minimum Basic Filter Requirements?

What would you consider to be the minimum basic lens filter requirements for general photography using a super-zoom camera?

Please list in order of your priority.
Requirement for *general* photography? IMO, none.

The only reason I ever used a filter was to protect the lens. Any UV filter will work great for that.

Now if you're doing some *specialized* photography and want to manipulate the light before it reaches the lens (add starbursts), or want to reduce glare, or haze from florescent lights, or soften the image for portraits, then there are specific filters for those things.

You can also accomplish those things in Photoshop, and in some cases, in-camera.

Filters are useful if you have an old camera without a lot of modern digital processing or don't want to use Photoshop.

You need to tell us exactly what effects you're interested in.

Are you taking photos indoors with florescent lighting?

Outdoors facing the sun?


Any of the above? All of the above? None of the above?
I am not interested in "effects" like star bursts, etc.. Shots would include landscapes (sunny and cloudy), portraits indor (all lighting) and outdoor, macro outdoors, water scenes and action shots outdoors. I think that would cover just about all.

I was thinking:
  1. UV for lens protection in dirty environments only
  2. Circular polarising
  3. Variable neutral density
Should cover most of my general photography needs.

For post processing, I use GIMP and Rawtherapee (when shooting in RAW). I am no expert with this software but I have been using it for the past few years.

Am I reasonably well covered or should I consider others?
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The one I use the most is the circular polarising filter, it is great to saturate colours and remove light haze - as long as the sun is out :001_smile

I have some different neutral density filters, but I don't use them much, mostly for long exposures and I don't do a lot of those, so the filters don't see much action to be honest, but they don't take up much space in my camera bag, so they live there "just in case" :wink:

I have a UV filter somewhere, it came with a lens but I have never used it. I don't think it is necessary, lenses are quite sturdy, so a rubber dust blower and a soft cloth has been quite sufficient for me over the years.
I do mostly nature and landscapes so the lens will collect dust especially if photographing in windy conditions.
Talking about photography and camera gear... I need a new camera. I lost 4 lenses, a battery, and the charger, on my last vacation, and I gave my remaining lens and camera to my granddaughter. Time to start window shopping.
I assume digital?

Then add a graduated neutral density filter.
It is digital, a Fujifilm Finepix HS20EXR. I purchased it second-hand in Japan. My preference was for an HS10 but they are even harder to find in good condition for sale. I have had both the HS10 and HS20EXR before and found them well suited in my travels.

I'll first see how often I use a variable ND filter before looking into a graduated ND.
I have always put UV filters on all of my lenses as soon as I get them. They have saved 2-3 of my lenses over the last 30-ish years. I don’t find they noticeably degrade/alter my images and they are dirt cheap. K&F, Hoya and Tiffen are good quality and are in the $15-25 range depending on size. I found that the Amazon ones are good enough quality and are on sale now for $5-6.

I use circular polarizers from time to time, but they aren’t a necessity IMO.
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