It’s one of those debates that’s been going on since the dawn of digital photography. To use UV filters or not? In the film days, a UV filter was often a wise choice, depending on what film stock you were using. In the days of digital, it didn’t really offer the advantage it once did. But, many still choose to use them. The common reason is for “protection”. In the event that something bangs into it, or the lens is dropped “I’d rather replace a UV filter than a front element”.
But just how tough are front elements, really? And just how strong are the UV filters? Are they really protecting the element from impact as much as most people think? That’s something YouTuber Vaes Joren wanted to find out. After his Nikon 18-55mm kit lens broke, he decided to shoot both it and a UV filter with an airsoft rifle to see just what would happen.