Image Credit: blackred via iStock
One of the most important photography accessories you can own is a good set of filters.
The operative word here is "good"...
There's lots of dirt cheap filters out there that might entice you with a bargain basement price. However, those filters often use bargain basement materials, too. That's not what you want in front of your lens!
Instead, investing in high-quality filters will get you better results - and more durable filters to boot.
If you're in the market for new photo filters, consider any of the following as a good bet.
Best Lens Filters: NiSi V5-Pro 100mm Advanced Kit
If you're a landscape photographer, there's nothing better than a top-of-the-line filter kit that sets you up with all the goodies you need to create epic images.
NiSi's V5-Pro 100mm Advanced Kit includes a 100mm filter holder, a NiSi 0.9 Soft ND Grad, and three neutral density filters (3-stop, 6-stop, and 1-stop).
Additionally, you get a NiSi Reverse ND filter, a circular polarizer, and multiple adapter rings for fitting the kit to lens threads that run from 67mm up to 82mm.
On top of all that, you also get a cleaning cloth, an air blower, a cleaning eraser, and a carrying case.
It's truly an all-in-one kit that gives you the tools you need to control glare, manage dynamic range during sunrise or sunset, even out bright skies and dark landscapes, and create breathtaking long exposures.
And with NiSi's stellar reputation as one of the top manufacturers of lens filters, you know that with this kit, you'll get high-quality, durable products that will last you for years and years to come.
In that regard, this NiSi filter kit is a long-term investment that will more than pay for itself over the years.
Best Lens Filters: Kenko Professional Variable NDX Filter
Why carry a bunch of different neutral density filters when Kenko has a variable ND that offers you a range of light-stopping power from 1.3-8.5 stops?
Available in 77mm and 82mm sizes, this filter offers a practical use factor range of ND2.5-450, and is extendable to ND1000.
Kenko crafted this filter by taking two pieces of the highest-quality polarizing glass and mounting them opposite each other.
That means that when you turn the filter ring, the filter darkens or lightens as you see fit.
Not only is this kind of filter invaluable for controlling exposure, but it also lets you get beautiful creative blur for long exposure photos.
When maxed out, this filter allows you to utilize a shutter speed that's several seconds long, even when shooting in full sun.
And because Kenko has devised a depolarizing plate that's included in the filter, you get hyper-neutral color balance in the image.
No color shifting, a wide range of light stopping power, and top quality materials make this one of the top lens filters of the year.
Best Lens Filters: Kenko Nyumon Circular Polarizing Filter
If it's a circular polarizer you're after for your kit, the Kenko Nyumon Circular Polarizing Filter should be a top choice for consideration.
These lens filters are the top-selling filters in Japan, and they're now available in the U.S.
They have optical glass that's coated and polished so that they resist environmental conditions like water and oils from your skin.
Additionally, the Nyumon series filters have a SLIM mounting ring to minimize vignetting when using wide-angle lenses.
Available in sizes from 37mm to 82mm, these filters are compatible with a wide range of lenses for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Fuji, Tokina, and many other major brands of lenses.
Better still, these filters are priced very well, so you can get a top-quality filter without breaking the bank.
Best Lens Filters: Formatt Hitech Firecrest 3-Stop ND Filter
With its Firecrest technology, this ND filter from Formatt Hitech offers neutral color rendition across multiple light spectrums including UV, visible, and infrared light.
This Firecrest coating is sandwiched between the layers of filter glass, which gives it the ultimate protection from damage.
And since the filter glass itself is made in the United Kingdom using Schott Superwite glass, you know that it's not just durable and dependable, but is also some of the best optical glass available today.
These 100x100mm filters are compatible with a variety of filter holders, including those from Formatt Hitech, Lee, and NiSi.
And with a range of filters available from 1-stop to 16-stops, there's no shortage of selection for you to get precisely the amount of light-stopping power you need!
Best Lens Filters: B+W Circular ND Filter
If a circular ND filter is more your style, look no further than this model from B+W.
This particular example offers 6-stops of light-stopping power, which means a shutter speed of 1/60 seconds can be extended to a full second.
Because it has a higher transmission of red tones, the filter also has a slightly warming effect on the color of your images.
With a truly neutral gray design, Water-White Schott Glass construction, and brass threads, this little ND filter offers you tons of benefits at a more than reasonable price. There's even multiple sizing options and filter factors as well!
Best Lens Filters: PolarPro Quartzline ND 8/Polarizer Hybrid Filter
What's not to love about this Quartzline filter from PolarPro?
Not only is this filter made of 99.9% pure fused quartz that gives it unrivaled clarity and incredible durability, but it's also a neutral density/polarizing filter hybrid.
That means you get the best of both worlds for extending your shutter speed while also boosting contrast in the sky and managing glare off non-metallic surfaces.
The filter glass has optical coatings that give them hyper-neutral color profiles with enhanced resistance to water and scratches.
What's more, PolarPro has crafted the filter housing out of brass, that way they thread on smoothly while providing the utmost in durability.
In addition to a top-quality filter, you also get a microfiber cloth for cleaning, a soft filter pouch, and a hard filter case for protecting your filter when it's not in use. There's even multiple sizes and ND strengths to choose from as well.
Best Lens Filters: Marumi DHG Super Circular Polarizing Filter
The Marumi DHG Super Circular Polarizing Filter is one of the best available on the market today.
With their high-grade optical glass that improves durability and a satin finish on the filter housing that reduces reflections, you have a filter that's tough, smartly designed, and inexpensive to boot.
The filter has six coatings - including an anti-static layer that prevents dirt and dust from sticking to the glass. There's also an ultra-low reflective layer to minimize reflections.
On top of that, this filter is just 5mm thick, which lessens its profile on the front of your lens. That means less vignetting when shooting with a wide-angle lens and at a wide aperture.
From 37mm up to 105mm, Marumi has a circular polarizer for just about any lens!