I have a Panasonic Lumix GF1 with the kit 20mm f/1.7 lens. I put a UV filter on it (this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004ZCJE/ref=oss_product), simply as protection for the glass. I'm doing lots of theatrical shooting (bright lights, etc.) and I'm getting lots of lens flare in my shots. Here's an example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schof/5006914162/

If I remove the filter, the flare goes away. Since I'm just using the filter to keep the lens glass clean and protected, is there another type of filter I should be using (or another brand of UV filter) to avoid this lens flare?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Schof, welcome to photo.SE! \$\endgroup\$
    – Reid
    Commented Nov 8, 2010 at 1:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Its far easier to clean a lens than an image... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 9:54

4 Answers 4


Thats actually a UV filter not an ND filter, very different filters :) Anyway, lower quality filters flare more, if you want to continue to use a UV filter consider a multi-coated filter. It seems other people who bought that same filter had similar complaints, see the 1st review:

"However, I had to return this item since they DON'T contain any anti-glare/reflective coating on them"

Se a similar post here re: UV filters:

Where to buy cheap UV filters online?

My advice though would be to just not use a filter, shooting directly at light sources like that is going to cause enough problems as is with flaring.

  • 10
    \$\begingroup\$ Absolutely agree. The rule is to use a UV filter ONLY when the lens is in eminent danger. Near salt-water or a sand-storm counts as danger. If you are worried about impact on the front-element, then even just a simple hard lens hood will help. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Nov 8, 2010 at 1:03
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 on using a hood, that'll save the element from all but the most determined projectile :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Shizam
    Commented Nov 8, 2010 at 1:20
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ +1. I don't buy into the filter as protection either. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Commented Nov 8, 2010 at 2:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 I have a GH1 and when it gets dark, I start seeing odd reflections in my images too. I'm using a Tiffen 46mm filter on the same Panny 20mm f/1.7 lens. I've been unable to determine whether it has reflective coating on it as there are no markings on it. Simplest solution: remove the filter if you get these at dark. Some images e.g. night sky shots are no problem at all, it seems there have to be bright light sources to get these. \$\endgroup\$
    – timbo
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 8:36

The scene you were shooting (bright spot light + darkness) is actually one that's most prone to flares. This happens will all filters, but some have less flare because they have better coating. Lens construction and coating of its elements also matters.

A simple comparison:

no filter

better filter (Marumi DHG Lens Protect)

worse filter (Hama UV 0-HAZE M77)

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Great examples. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shizam
    Commented Nov 8, 2010 at 1:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much for posting image examples. (Though, perhaps you could inline them?) Great example. \$\endgroup\$
    – lindes
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 0:13

I use an expensive multicoated B+W UV filter and it causes flare too. I'm thinking of removing the UV filters from all of my lenses. The Panasonic prime lenses are good, but not very expensive and in the end it's all about the image quality. I seldom shoot near salt water, at great hights or in dusty environments and I have lens hoods on most lenses.


For protection purposes, I use a convex clock glass in a filter holder. It eliminates the ghosts at the expense of a slight loss of quality. I seem to remember in the good old 1960s you could buy convex 1A (uv) filters, or did I imagine it. Or remove filter and risk your lens!


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