How to Choose Your First Filters (and Which Systems to Use)

Deciding which filter system and filters to start with is certainly not an easy task. I remember how confused I was when acquiring my first filter years ago as well.

Hopefully, this will make it easier to choose your first filters:

The Filter Systems

Before you start deciding on which filters you’re going to choose, you’ll need to choose between square and screw-in filter systems. We’ve written more extensively about them before, for example in our Introduction to Neutral Density Filters, but let’s quickly summarize the options:

Screw-in Filters

The most common option amongst aspiring photographers are the screw-in filters. While there are high-quality (and expensive) brands, it’s more likely that you find an affordable screw-in filter than a square filter.

Since the filters are screwed directly onto the lens, Graduated ND Filters aren’t ideal for this system. Regular ND Filters, Polarizers and other filters, however, work just as well.

It’s also less likely that you’ll encounter issues such as light leak with this alternative.

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