If you are into your photography then I would hazard a guess that lurking somewhere in your camera bag, you have the odd filter. If you are serious about your landscape photography then I am also betting that you had a sharp intake of breath when you saw how much good filters can cost. I know when I bought a set of Lee Filters a few years ago, there wasn't much change out of £1000.
I am sure that there are photographers out there who don't use filters at all and they still produce amazing results. However for us mere mortals, they are essential for controlling and balancing the light. With modern editing software the need for sets of hard, medium and soft edge graduated filters has somewhat diminished, as it's just as easy to exposure blend a couple of images. However when we want to remove reflected light then we are going to need to use a polarising filter and if we want to get creative with water, for example then an ND filter is going to be needed.
Over the years, the cost of filters and which ones to buy is probably the conversation that I have had the most with clients.
I have a simple answer - buy the very best that you can afford. Its exactly the same argument with lenses, buy the best glass. It's a sad fact but it's also reality that photography is, especially when you buy the best kit, is an expensive hobby.
Getting back to filters I answer my clients in another way:-
"If you needed to wear glasses would you buy them from the optician or would you get a pair from the local pound shop?"
The answer is, of course you would trundle down to the local optician, have your eyes tested, get a prescription and then take another sharp intake of breath when presented with the bill. The same is true for filters, why would you spend hundreds if not thousands of pounds on the sharpest and optically amazing camera lens, only to degrade the quality of your images by putting inferior glass or plastic in front of it?
Cheap filters may sound like a good idea, however a word of caution, it is highly likely that you will notice that your images are not quite as sharp as they used to be or they have a colour cast to them, probably both.
For the past 6 months, I have been using Maven Filters, which I have to say are without doubt the best filters that I have ever used. For the sake of transparency let's get one thing out of the way before we go any further. Maven sent me the filters for free. However, I am not sponsored by them and I am not being paid to write this blog or to make the video that I will talk abut soon. All that they asked was that I tested the filters for them, gave them feedback be it good, bad or indifferent and that I signed an NDA until they launched their range of Wave 2 filters. All of the feedback with very positive!
On the 27th December 2023, Maven launched a kickstarter campaign and for the next few weeks, you have the chance to get these new filters with amazing savings.
I am not going to try and explain kickstarter in detail, you will find much more by clicking on this link.
If you link the sound of what Kickstarter is about, then to find out more about Maven's Wave 2 filters the link is below.
To find out more about the filter rings and step up rings that are needed to attached everything to your lenses then Mavens main website can be found at:-
If you are in the market for a new set of filters or are looking to upgrade your existing ones, it is definitely worth having a look but you will need to be quick to get the discounts.
So onto my video, as I have mentioned, I haven't been paid to produce this. I simply wanted a way to explain what my findings were over the past 6 months. Have a look and see the results for yourself. If you do decide to buy some Maven filters then I would be really interested to know what you think and see some of your pictures.
Click here or on the picture to be taken to the video.