This Handy Visual Cheat Sheet Shows You When & Where to Use Lens Filters

"What the hell does that filter even do? When do I use it? How do I use it?"

If you're new to lens filtration, these questions undoubtedly have been on your mind. Luckily, this infographic acts as a perfect cheat sheet to show you the effects of different filters, as well the conditions in which you should utilize them. Check it out below:

Credit: Zippi

Now that we're entrenched in the digital age, filtration can be achieved, in many cases, in post, so some filmmakers find certain filters, like B&W and cooling/warming filters somewhat obsolete. (Especially if you're not shooting on film.) However, that "fix it in post" mantra will eventually get you in trouble -- like when you can't fix it in post and could've saved yourself a huge headache by being prepared. If anything, bringing along a polarizer and some neutral density filters is a good habit to get into.

Of course, you could always read about lens filters, how to use them, what they do, how much they cost, etc. (But we're visual animals in the film industry, so this infographic is particularly gratifying to peruse.)     

Your Comment


I like it, thanks.

July 3, 2015 at 3:24PM

Saied M.

Nice intro to a almost forgotten art of using filters.

Let's not forget, that when using filters you're changing the nature of the light hitting the film or chip, and that in post you're changing the recorded image. Some of the effects are impossible (or extremely difficult) to recreate in correction (like when you're shooting through glass with polarizer or with the split focus/close up filters).

My professor always carried with him a case full of different filters. As a matter of fact, they were the only piece of equipment that he actually owned.

Great post.

July 9, 2015 at 4:32AM

Srdjan Bozinovic
Director of Photography, Head Cameraman

Couldn't agree more. I always prefer to do as much in-camera as possible rather than rely on post processes to get some "look". I too feel like the use of filtration is becoming a lost art as well because of the dependence on post.

July 10, 2015 at 8:05AM

Bryan Tosh
Director of Photography

aquí hay dos mejores sitios web para esto

March 24, 2018 at 1:48PM