Protective Filters? UV Filters? Why bother?

Law of Selective Gravitation at work for you....

Law of Selective Gravitation at work for you….

By Neil Eschenfelder

So you’re looking at a new lens. Your extremely knowledgeable sales person suggests a UV filter to protect your prospective new lens’ front element. “Nah,” you say, blanching at your potential $75 additional investment. “I’ll be really careful with it. Besides, I’m not a professional so I don’t need it.”


Bent filter ring at 12 o’clock

You obviously have no knowledge of physics’ Law of Selective Gravitation. Professional or amateur, this law, honed and refined over decades of actual photographer field experience, states your dropped lens always lands where it sustains the most damage. No filter? Max damage results in shattered front lens element and bent filter attachment threads. Cheap filter? Professional or amateur, potentially distorted photos.

Looking back to photography’s film days, sky light reflection as well as UV radiation cast unwanted blue into film causing color shifts. UV & Skylight filters formed shooters’ first line of defense. Especially with slide film, you could actually see resulting color differences

Translate to now. Some vendors have plain or clear lens covers with no corrective value. Still others offer filters featuring UV absorption. When, though, is any filter or lens protector different from another? What difference does a $75 filter make over a $20 version? Why should you even bother?

Lens protection speaks for itself. Color enhancement might prove more difficult to see even though makers engineer UV absorption into their offerings. If you’re going to put a protector on your lens, UV filter or not, wouldn’t adding one creating the least interference with your images make the most sense?

Typical filter ring on top. Breakthrough ring at bottom.

Typical filter ring on top. Breakthrough ring at bottom.

Graham Clark of Breakthrough Filters contacted Pixels fall of 2016. He said a shop like Pixels should offer nothing but the best. People come to Pixels for knowledgeable help making their best possible images. That’s where he wanted Breakthrough Filters. Graham told us he started making filters because the market wasn’t taking full advantage of current technology. They were for the most part either really cheap causing actual image distortion or they offered better quality but fell short of modern technology’s best offering. Some suffered simple mechanical issues such as rings too thick making filters visible in photographer’s images. There were rings which users could not effectively grasp because they were too thin for lens caps to grip. Some had slippery surfaces. Poor air to glass surface coatings caused unwanted reflections and lens flare. Some glass looked like its most recent pre filter incarnation was discarded soft drink bottles. Prodded by these & other reasons, Graham decided to make the best filter, bar none. Oh, one more thing. Breakthrough provides 25 years’ warranty coverage against manufacturer defects. Mike drop.

Breakthrough UV on left. Uncoated filter on right. Which passes more light with less flare?

Breakthrough UV on left. Uncoated filter on right. Which passes more light with less flare?

Nano coatings repel moisture & dust.

Breakthrough Nano coatings repel moisture & dust. Uncoated filter on left

California based Breakthrough Filters offers models across several price ranges, Pixels decided offering Breakthrough’s X4 top tier made the most sense. Breakthrough X4s offer Schott 270 optical glass, among the world’s clearest. In order to minimize lens flare and maximize contrast, Breakthrough X4s offer 8 multicoat layers on each air to glass surface for 16 layers total. X4 filters also feature fingerprint and moisture resisting nano coatings. Couple these with Breakthrough’s easy to grip powder coated black ultra thin brass ring and you have the best, easiest to install and remove UV filter on the market. Rest assured, no filter offers less image distortion or truer color. Check out Breakthrough Filters at Pixels Foto today.


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