Far from being extra accessories, lens filters are a crucial tool in any photographer's bag. Filters can perform many jobs before the picture is even taken, from protecting the lens itself to drawing out specific elements and colors within the image. Appropriate use of filters with regard to the lens you are using, especially a multi-use lens like the Tamron 18-270 VC, is an important skill for photographers of all skill levels.
Most photographers use an ultraviolet filter, also called a UV or haze filter, on all their lenses. These inexpensive, lightweight lenses do little to affect most images under ordinary circumstances, though they do help to cut through the haze of an overcast day by reducing the amount of UV light reaching the image. Though this light is invisible to the human eye, it can impact your pictures, and having a layer of glass between your camera lens and the outside world helps keep the lens's valuable innards safe from debris and damage. After all, it's much cheaper to replace a UV filter than your Tamron 18-270. For your lens, you'll need a 72mm filter size, which will screw on to the front of the lens.
Because the Tamron 18-270 VC is designed for use with digital cameras, it is unlikely that you would use many colored filters with it. These filters were developed to work with film cameras, and many are designed to adjust the color cast of the light to make it compatible with the type of film being used. Digital technology has released the photographer of this responsibility, but warming and cooling filters can still be used to manipulate the color of the image before you see it on your computer, allowing you to apply color effects without adjusting the image and inevitably losing some image fidelity.
Much like colored filters, effects filters have gone the way of the dinosaurs since the reign of digital imaging began. Your Tamron lens is designed for these newer cameras, but that doesn't mean you can't employ some old-school techniques. Using your lens with colored effects filters, such as filters that offer color gradients or unique casts, like red and green, can punch up your images, while soft-focus and star filters can get you in-camera effects that would be difficult to achieve otherwise--even with today's powerful image editing tools. Furthermore, using colored filters with black-and-white digital images can punch up the contrast, creating images that hark back to the days of Tri-X and the smell of fixer.
Unlike the filters listed in Section 1 to 3, your Tamron 18-270 VC could see quite a bit of use with a polarizing filter. Designed to cut down on reflections and glare, polarizing filters are heavy and expensive, but well worth it. These filters also help to create contrast in a cloudy sky. A common application of these filters is to cut down on reflections when shooting against a large pane of glass, allowing you to see through to what's behind the glass instead of what's simply reflected off it. Again, get a filter with a 72mm thread size to match your Tamron lens.
- "View Camera Technique"; Leslie Stroebel; 1999
- Amazon.com: Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical IF Macro Zoom Lens
- Ken Rockwell: How to Use Filters
How to Fix a Tamron Lens
Tamron is one of the oldest third-party lens makers with products on the market. The company makes lenses for most of the...