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Accessories for D3200

edited September 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
When I purchased my camera a few years ago, it was suggested by the salesperson that I buy a Platinum 52MM MC UV. What is it, how do I
use it, and did I really need it?


  • edited September 2016
    It sounds as if the salesperson sold you a 52 millimeter UV filter. It would simply screw to the outside of the lens, which, if it is the kit lens, has the correct threads. The lens cap will still install over it. I think Platinum is the Best Buy house brand. A filter of this sort does little if anything for the picture in a digital camera. Film can be sensitive to UV light, and a UV filter can help clear a small amount of haze. Not so digital whose sensors are usually filtered already. Many people recommend a filter as protection for the front element of the lens, but many others regard it as unnecessary. I fall into the latter category. The lens is usually tougher than the filter, and a filter can add to the layers of glass, and thus the flare. I think a good sturdy lens shade is much more useful, both reducing flare and providing some protection.

    One exception to the above would be when you are using the camera in severe conditions. If you're on a beach or an area with strong wind and stuff in the air, put the filter on to prevent the lens from being scratched and sandblasted. Similarly, you might want it on when there's the possibility of spray or the like. It's always handy to have a filter around if you like to take the camera out to the beach, snow capped peaks, freeway shoulders and the like, where stuff can hit the lens.

    I suggest that you put the filter on, and take some pictures in slightly difficult light (such as diagonal sunlight, backlight, and the like) and then take the same pictures with it off. Check carefully for visible flare (bright spots, ghosting, and the like) and for invisible flare, which will show as just areas where brightness is a bit increased and contrast a bit decreased. If you notice a difference, take the filter off. If you don't, there's no harm in leaving it on, and it can help prevent scratching or scuffing of the lens, however unlikely that may be. I'd still take it off whenever you're shooting in conditions where strong reflections and flare are likely, such as oblique sunlight, backlight, strongly lit interiors with point source light, reflective surfaces, and the like.

    Otherwise, and especially if you have gone for some time with the filter off, and not suffered any lens damage, I would leave it off, but carry it in your portable kit so that it is available if you do encounter harsh conditions.

    So all in all, no you didn't really need it, but it's no harm to have it. If you have the D3200 with the standard 18-55mm kit lens, I highly recommend, if you can find one, the screw-in metal hood Nikon originally made for 35mm full frame lenses, the HN-3. It's just right for the 18-55mm in DX format. This can be left on the lens all the time, and the standard Nikon cap will still install inside it. It does not stick out very far, so most camera cases can take it with the hood on. The hood is all metal, helps prevent flare, and also provides a very sturdy protection for the front element. The only drawback is that any useful hood will shade the internal flash, so when using the built in flash for any closeup work you'll have to take it off.
  • Thanks. This makes so much sense!
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