Difference Between UV and Skylight Filters

To capture something in the best possible way, many outside supports are needed. One of those needs is proper lighting.


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And to control the lighting, professional photographers use many filters, UV filters and skylight filters are two such filters that help to control the light while taking photographs.

UV Filters vs Skylight Filters

The difference between UV and skylight filters is that UV filters are meant to eliminate the extra light from the photograph, whereas skylight filters are meant to establish harmony of the colours in a photo. UV light does not contain any added colour, but the skylight filter possesses a hue embedded in it.

UV Filters vs Skylight Filters

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UV filter has existed for a long time now, but it entered the field of photography when digital photography started to become mainstream.

UV filters are plain glass, and it eliminates the extra light while clicking pictures. Mostly for black and white pictures, UV filters get used.

Skylight filters are nothing new but UV filters with a slightly orange coloured lens. These are mainly designed for capturing landscape photos.

It can hold many colours at once, and its tinged glass offers a warm tone in the photographs. It got widely used in the shooting of analogue films.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonUV FiltersSkylight Filters
Objective The aim of the UV filter is to safeguard photos from extra light.Skylight is designed to improve the colour combination in the photographs.
ColourUV filters do not have any colours in them.The skylight filter has a warm hue, a reddish-orange colour.
FormIt is clear glass and nothing else.It is dyed with a tinged colour.
PurposeIt is specifically designed for photography.It was exclusively meant for the shooting of analogue films.
Best suited forFor digital photography, UV filters are ideal.For the analogue shoot, skylight filters are the best suit.

What are UV Filters?

UV filters are made to block UV or ultraviolet light. The most popular use of UV filters can be seen in the making of sunscreens that are meant to protect skin from damaging UV rays of the sun.

However, another very popular use of UV filters can be found in the field of photography. These UV filters came to work after the emergence of the digital camera era.

UV filters get coated on the glass discs, which are supposed to get over the lenses of the camera.

UV filters are plain glass without any colour added. Being free from any added colour, it is open to providing a wide range of the colour spectrum.

As these filters block the UV rays, it is capable of restricting extra light to get captured in the frame. Its use in black and white pictures are very common. Its characteristic of eliminating extra light gives the photograph a proper contrast.

Not only capture the perfect picture lighting, but the UV filters are also capable of protecting the camera lenses from getting distorted and contaminated from the ultraviolet sun rays.

They also take care of shade optical elements. UV filters are getting utilized in photography for the sake of digital photography.

What are Skylight Filters?

A skylight filter is a slightly tinged filter that adds a warm appeal to the photographs. The hue that these filters retain is a kind of orangish.

If you want to give your photographs a warm feel, then this filter is ideal. This filter is a type of UV filter that has a reddish or sort of orange hue.

The main purpose of this filter is to maintain all a colour of a picture. So when you are looking for capturing a very colourful background or landscape, then this filter will help to retain the contrast of all the existing colours.

For landscape photos, a skylight filter should get chosen, but when it comes to portraits, a skylight filter will be a terrible choice. The reflection of this filter on any skin tone is not good at all.

There is a reason behind the warm hue of this filter. With the popularity of colour film and transparency film, photographers came across a problem that is a bluish hue that gave the pictures a cold look.

To get rid of this situation, a reddish filter got made, and that is known as a skylight filter.

Main Differences Between UV and Skylight Filters

  1. UV filter works to stop the excess light of the background from ruining the picture and protects the photo so that it does not get affected by the extra light. On the other hand, skylight filters are designed to correct the colour combination in the photographs.
  2. UV filter retains no colour of its own, but the skylight filter has a warm hue present in it. The colour can be categorized as pinkish-orange.
  3. A UV filter is a clear glass, while a skylight is just a UV filter with the tinged look of dyed colour.
  4. The UV filter is specifically designed for digital photography, whereas skylight filters are exclusively meant for the shooting of analogue films.
  5. UV filters are subjected to get widely used for black and white photographs. As UV filters restrict the light to enter, the contrast of the picture stays balanced. And skylight filters, on the other hand, are able to maintain the colours, so they are best for nature photography.
  1. https://journals.biologists.com/jeb/article-abstract/146/1/63/5373
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/019713689806046156
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