Common problems caused by filters
The most common issues that can affect your images when using filters, and how to solve them
Vignettes are darkened corners in an image. They’re usually produced when using filters with wide-angle lenses, especially at wide apertures, because the wider field of view means the filter the holder is included in the image.
The best way to overcome this is to zoom in slightly until the edge of the holder is no longer in frame, or to decrease the aperture. If you’re using multiple filters you may need to remove some of them.
Flare can either be circles of light on your image or an overall lack of contrast. It’s most often caused by a dirty or damaged filter, and is usually produced when you’re shooting into the light, although it can occur at almost any time.
The solution is to simply clean the filter if it’s dirty, but if it’s damaged then replacing it is the only real answer. If you’re shooting with the main light source just outside the frame, you can minimise the effect by shielding the filter.
With screw-in filters you can use a lens hood to do this, but you can also use your hand or a small piece of black card. You need to be careful not to include this in the image, though.
This occurs mainly when shooting with a polariser on a wide-angle lens. It’s visible as a dark band of blue across one section of the sky. The only solution is to avoid using the polariser if you need to use an extreme wide-angle lens for your shot.
The best ND grads for under £100
Lee 0.6 Neutral Density Graduated Soft £80
SRB P-size ND Grad Kit £46
The best polarisers for under £100
Hoya Pro1 Digital Circular Polariser From £50
Kood Circular Polariser From £15
PAGE 1: Best photography accessories: Tripods
PAGE 2: Setting up your tripod & features to look for
PAGE 3: Getting the most from budget flashguns
PAGE 4: Tips for using manual flash
PAGE 5: Using neutral density filters
PAGE 6 – Filter systems explained
PAGE 7 – Using ND grad filters
PAGE 8 – Using polarisers
PAGE 9 – Common problems caused by filters
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