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What are physical filters used for and when should you use them.

(Topic created on: 02-03-2022 12:59 AM)
Samsung Members Star ★★★

Hello everybody, 

There is a subject that I have never discussed because it is not about Samsung products. I realized by seeing the posts of the last few days that I should have done it since I myself use it on some of my cameras. 

There are dozens of kinds of filters, whether graduated filters or specific filters, we will look in this article what these filters are for and when we should use them.

Be aware that there are companies specializing in all these kinds of physical filters to adapt them to your smartphone.

Knowing that no smartphone has the same configuration with regard to the location of the photo lenses, the MOMENT Company sells specific hulls/cases that adapt correctly regardless of the model or brand of your smartphone.

These shells are equipped with a thread allowing you to screw the filter of your choice on certain lenses.

Here you have examples of the 2 main filters that all amateur and/or experienced photographers always have in their possession. Note that it is, in my opinion, better to have a Moment case and their specialized filters/lenses than this kind of universal clips. But this is up to you, especially if you have several smartphones. 

French video  with examples

It also allows you to attach certain very specific lenses such as a macro lens to the lens of your device. Here is the case for my Galaxy Note10plus . Here is a good example of the Macro lens Moment :


As you can see, there are threads for 2 of my camera lenses.

Filters are the secret sauce for cinematic footage and sharper photos... 


Diffusing filters

Diffusion filters have been helping filmmakers create their look for generations.  These filters can be used to increase contrast and also create halo or glow effects on specular light sources in a scene.


K&F black soft filter with and without filter

In simpler terms, a diffusion filter is used to diffuse the light forming the image - and defocus it to achieve a dreamy, hazy glow in the image.  When a strong light is used with a diffusion filter, it gives a nice hazy effect around the light source while softening the details of the subject.


Here is one of the most beautiful photos I have seen taken with a diffuser

A diffusion filter has an etched filter surface that would distribute the light through the tiny patterns to get the nice haze in the image.  While diffusion filters help achieve soft focus, the images themselves still retain sharpness and contrast.  Moreover, all the details would still be visible - and it doesn't matter if they are individual hairs of a human subject.  Details won't be lost here, making using this filter so much fun in real-life scenarios.


PLC filters

A CPL filter, or circular polarizer/linear filter, is a type of glass that can minimize glare from reflected surfaces.  Although there are many models on the market, the circular model is the most common, in part because it easily fits on the end of virtually any camera lens.

Meaning circular/linear polarizer, a  CPL filter  is a glass accessory that is primarily used to reduce glare from reflective surfaces.

How does he do this exactly?  It works by absorbing scattered light, which is often caused by reflections and when sunlight collides with molecules floating in the air.  So whether you're dealing with windows or water, CPL filters are ideal for reducing light reflections in your images that deflect or obscure important landscape details and/or prevent you from seeing below the surface. some water.


Photo 1 without polarizing filter. Photo 2 with polarizing filter.

Look at the colors that are more vivid and the detailed sky that shows us what the eye could not see and this thanks to the circular polarizing filter*.

*In addition to being round, Circular means that you can turn the filter 360 degrees in order to find the best possible polarization and to have the best polarization, it is better to be at 90 degrees in relation to the sun (perpendicular ).

In this video, you can see all the filters i'm talking about in actions !  ◀️◀️Just click on this link.

ND filters

Neutral Density (ND) fi lters play an important role for filmmakers and photographers as they allow you to precisely control the amount of light passing through the lens for greater creative control over your exposure whether it is for your phone, camera camera or drone.


Example of photo took with an ND variable filter.  Look how Soft is the water !

As an example, let's take these photos taken in broad daylight. We can clearly see that the photographer made a long exposure otherwise we would have clean waves and not Soft (smooth) waves. Looking in the corners of the photos, we see that the filter was not really made for the chosen lens and we see that it is visible despite an attempt by the author to crop it.


VIgnetage ? only @GusB  can tell us

We use this kind of filter when we want to reduce the light entering the sensor to allow us to do long exposures when the sky or the place where we want to do the exposure is really too bright and does not allow us to make long exposures allowing us to smooth the waves and/or create the photo according to our degree of creativity, otherwise the photos would be burnt out (over-exposed).

The ND filter reduces the amount of light entering the lens, thereby decreasing the camera's shutter speed for your images.  Useful in situations where motion blur needs to be created (rivers, waterfalls, moving people) or when large apertures need to be used with flash to avoid overexposure.

Hard Edge Graduated ND Filter (GND)

Hard edge GND filters are mainly used in high contrast situations, where the sky is much brighter than the foreground and the horizon is flat: as an example: Sea vs Sky.

 These filters are always rectangular (giving the possibility of moving them in all directions) and are generally used with filter holders. 



Soft Edge Graduated ND Filter (GND)

Soft-edge GND filters are also used in situations with high contrast, but where the horizon is not necessarily flat.  The soft edge allows for smoother transitions, making the use of filterless obvious.  Soft-edged GND filters are also rectangular and are normally used with filter holders.



Variable ND filter


This ND 2-2000 filter is suitable for all situations and unless you are professionals, it is the one I prefer because it allows me to do several shots without costing me a fortune. (Note however that I did not take the cheapest at the expense of quality)


Inverted ND filter 


Reverse GND is a specialized filter used by landscape photographers when shooting against the sun as it gets closer to the horizon.  While a normal GND filter gradually fades from dark to light towards the center, the inverse GND filter fades from dark to less dark from the center to the edge.

This filter   has a specific use for shooting at the light source where the light is harshest at the horizon and narrows towards the sky. This type of filter is most appropriate for scenes that have a sudden transition from foreground to sky with the brightest part of the scene near the horizon. It can effectively darken bright skies, especially at sunrise or sunset, while allowing normal exposure unaffected in other image regions.

UV filters

Protects the front element of a lens from dust, dirt, moisture and potential scratches. High quality UV filters can be permanently fitted to lenses with minimal impact on image quality. In fact, this filter is made to protect the 1st lens of your lens and many do not put it on tele-lenses equipped with a sun visor because each lens added to a lens can bring unwanted reflections to the photo.

Color filters

Typically used to change the camera's white balance. Corrects colors, causing the camera's white balance to change. Some color filters can subtract colors, blocking out one type of color and letting other colors through. These types of filters were popular for film. They are rarely used in digital photography because their effects can be easily applied in post-processing.

Pictures to come



( Source Moment )

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I don't see that case on the site? Not for the S22 anyway. Maybe it will come later. Filters are a great way to totally enhance your pictures/movies.
I am a photographer and use them; especially for my drone photography.
Good article and advice. 👍🏻
Samsung Members Star ★
Really enjoyed the article. Its great how filters can just give enough to turn a good photo into a great one
Samsung Members Star ★★★

Hi @Saxy 

If you don't find your case because it's too old or too new, you can buy the following adapter , it's good for smartphones or tablets.


This is a note about this adapter from Moment :

Disclaimer: For devices released from 2017 or later, we recommend using M-series lenses and a Moment Case (Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Note, Google Pixel, OnePlus). The combination of case and lens yields the highest image quality on these new phones with larger image sensors. If we do not offer a Moment Case for a device, we then recommend the M-Series Lens Mount and M-Series lenses.

They should make a case for S22* devices soon.

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Thanks 👍🏻