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A basic UV protective lens filter is the cheapest insurance policy photographers can buy for their valuable lenses, not to mention their eyes. This protective lens filter glass provides basic bottom line protection of lens elements and your eyes from ultra violet (UV) rays, plus protection of lens surfaces from dust, water drops and dirt. The importance of blocking harmful UV rays cannot be stressed enough when your eyes are looking directly through an SLR camera lens.
a)In addition to your own eyes, both the lens optics and camera components in the image path need UV filter protection against these rays.
b) Though providing UV protection is paramount, the easily removable and cleanable UV filter also serves as an direct physical barrier against the dirt, smudges, elements and abrasions that would otherwise fall upon far more expensive and delicate lens glass.
c) Countless lenses have also been saved from accidental bangs and irrepairable impact damage that the economically replaceable UV filter took the hit for instead.