Tiffen UV Protector filter review: top quality for a small price?

Equip yourself with a clear filter to absorb UV light and avoid a blue tint spoiling your daylight shots, let's see what this one can do

Tiffen UV Protector Filter
(Image: © Kim Bunermann/ Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Tiffen UV Protector filter is an excellent choice for entry-level photographers who are looking for a budget-friendly filter option that reduces the blue-ish cast of daylight UV light without introducing any additional color or contrast while protecting the lens. Its build quality and 10-year quality warranty make it a reliable and long-lasting addition to any kit. While the lack of coating may result in lens flare, this is a reasonable trade-off considering its price. The filter benefits from the ColorCore technology and does not compromise the quality of photographs.

Pros

  • +

    Budget-friendly price

  • +

    Pairs with other filters

  • +

    Impressive range of sizes

Cons

  • -

    No coating

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    Can cause lens flare

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Photographers of all genres debate the use of ultraviolet (UV) filters, which serve the dual purpose of absorbing UV light that can cause a bluish cast in daylight and providing additional protection to expensive lenses. This accessory is particularly useful when shooting in harsh environments such as beaches or water, as the filter prevents sand, salt, and water from entering the camera lens and causing scratches or fungi that can damage the lens irreparably.

UV filters are ubiquitous among professional photographers, with every reputable filter brand offering at least one version of the clear filter. One such brand, Tiffen, has established a strong reputation, especially in North American and European markets for producing high-quality and affordable filters like the UV Protector over many years. The Tiffen UV Protector filter is a classic piece of equipment that can be used in any weather conditions and prevents UV light or haze from reaching the camera's sensor with the aim of creating sharper images. 

(Image credit: Kim Bunermann/ Future)

Specifications

Filter type: Circular UV Protector
Mount: Screw-in
Thread diameter range (mm): 25, 27, 28, 30, 30.5, 34, 37, 39, 40.5, 43, 46, 49, 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72,  77, 82, 86, 94, 95, 105, 127
Construction: ColorCore Glass
Frame material: Aluminum
Thickness: 2.5cm

Build & Handling

The Tiffen UV Protector filter is packaged in a compact plastic container, requiring two-handed effort to open. This feature enhances its portability, as it can be conveniently carried in a kitbag or pocket without the risk of accidental opening. The filter comes with a protective shield that safeguards the glass from damage resulting from contact with the plastic packaging. However, there is room for improvement as the shield is only provided at the back, necessitating an additional one to secure the filter between both shields. Notably, the likelihood of photographers leaving the UV filter on their lenses for extended periods is high, rendering the storage protection less critical for some users.

The Tiffen UV Protector filter is built to last, with a sturdy and durable design. The build quality is robust, and the filter is easy to attach and detach using the grippy ring. The glass in Tiffen filters is produced using ColorCore technology, a process that involves laminating the filter substrate between two pieces of optical glass. The glass is then ground flat to a tolerance of 1/10,000th of an inch before being mounted to precision metal rings. 

(Image credit: Kim Bunermann/ Future)

Performance

The Tiffen UV Protector filter reduces the blue-ish cast of daylight UV light while not adding any extra color or contrast. This feature enables the filter to be easily combined with other filters if needed and incorporated into a filter setup. 

Some photographers believe that the use of a UV filter can reduce the quality of their shots. However, during the testing, I found that the Tiffen UV Protector filter did not compromise the sharpness of the shots. The autofocus system was reliable even when capturing the subject in slight movement due to windy conditions.

Aside from its filtering capabilities, the Tiffen UV Protector filter is also a reliable tool for protecting your lens. During my tests, water droplets remained on the filter's surface, preventing them from entering and damaging the lens. Past customers have also shared their experiences online, reporting that the filter saved their lens during an incident.

However, it should be not forgotten that the Tiffen UV Protector is not coated. When photographing against the sun or a strong light source, it may cause a flare, which can be prevented by using a lens hood. Although this is a small disadvantage, it is reasonable given the price of the filter.

Verdict

The Tiffen UV Protector filter is an excellent option for those looking to reduce the blue-ish cast of daylight UV light without adding any additional color or contrast. It is a budget-friendly filter that is ideal for entry-level photographers who are just starting to build their kit.

The high build quality of the filter ensures that it lasts for a long time. Additionally, the Tiffen 10-year quality warranty speaks for their belief in their product quality. The filter is packaged well and was created with ColorCore technology, making it a valuable addition to any kit. 

However, it is worth noting that the filter is not coated, which can result in lens flare when photographing against the sun or a bright light source (which can be prevented with a lens shield). Nevertheless, this is a reasonable trade-off when considering the filter's price. More crucially, the filter does not diminish the quality of your shots. 

If you want to take your photography to the next level and are willing to invest more, the Tiffen HT UV Protection filters may be more suitable for your photographic objectives. Compared to the Tiffen UV Protector, the multi-coating of this filter improves the performance further, and it is crafted to be more robust and sturdy, increasing its resilience to punishment.

(Image credit: Kim Bunermann/ Future)

You might also like...

Hoya HD nano Mk II UV filter

If you want advanced nano-structure coatings, be prepared to spend more money. The Hoya HD nano Mk II UV filter is a no-go area for unwanted ultraviolet light and has other hidden strengths too. However, it is priced over four times higher than the Tiffen UV Protection filter.

Are you having trouble selecting the right UV filter for your lens at the right price without compromising quality? Explore our handpicked selection of the best filters to find the best choice for you. 

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Kim Bunermann
Technique Editor

Kim is the Technique Editor of Digital Photographer Magazine. She specializes in architecture, still life and product photography and has a Master's degree in Photography and Media with a distinction from the FH Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in Germany. While studying, Kim came to the UK for an exchange term at the London College of Communication. She settled in the UK and began her career path by joining Future. Kim focuses on tutorials and creative techniques, and particularly enjoys interviewing inspiring photographers who concentrate on a range of fascinating subjects including women in photography, the climate crisis; the planet, its precious creatures and the environment.