Friday, August 20, 2010

UV and Polarizing Filters Test ... read this before you Buy!

If, you plan to buy UV and Polarizing Filters  for your expensive Lens  ... you should "really" read this FIRST !

Seriously,  if I read this  last year   ... I would not have bought my Expensive Heliopan UV and POL filters.
Particularly on UV, basically you just want it to get out of the way and be thin ... and cheap enough that if anything happens to it , you don't think twice about "just" replacing it.
this UV, Hoya HMC UV-0 gets my vote over the Expensive Hiliopan I currently own. and at LESS than 1/3 the Cost !
But, honestly I would probably buy the more expensive PRO-1 version  ... no Silly, not because it has PRO in the name LOL ...  because it should be more water and dirt resistant , and is THINNER which is important on a  wide.
Hoya Pro1 Digital MC UV-0

9/1/2013 UPDATE  ...  thought I would do a small Update to this blog.
I did buy the Hoya PRO 1 , and the Multi coat "ONLY" lasted me about two months before it was COVERED in Dings.
note: I shoot at golf events that I use a Black Rapid Double Strap with both my cameras hanging Down.
The Dings could NOT be taken out with my FAV   LENS PEN.
imho, it the LENS PEN cannot take it out ... it's gone.

What I will say to Hoya USA credit ...  They let me mail it to them and replaced it with the Newer MORE Durable  Hoya HD UV Line.
And I have been using it for about a year now.
Would say it is about as durable as my Heliopan Multi coat  CIR POL SH-PMC and UV  ... and "that" is saying something.

It's a matter of  Performance/Price/Value
IF, it is sooo close as it almost cannot be measured , or if it is clearly "Better" (which is crazy) ... what would justify the higher cost?  
As you can see by my gear list , I am not afraid of price ... but, there needs to be a "Clear" Performance HIT.

That being said,  it's not that the Heliopan's  (which I own three, from B+H)  are poor performers  ... the question that is debate-able  is ,  Is it worth the Price?   I submit: it is NOT.    
I am not a believer of defending an expensive product, just because I own it. :)

* So, I am hoping these LINKS will help others, make "Better" decisions. *

UV Filters:

Polarizing Filters:

4/27/2009 Reveiw Update:

Bottom line is  ... there is Differances  ... and paying more does NOT mean you get more.
And know, Just like Lens ... there is some "hard" numbers  that  can be comparied between Filters.
It's not just the Coat, or how many. Or the Price.

My Heliopan filters  are great when something splashes on them   ... things just roll off them.
The CIR POL turns very smoothly, and goes on and off easily. and the one I have has numbers markings on it  1 thru 26, which helps you remember where you had it at.
But, the two things I think are most important is. 
1) Light Transmission
2) * Flare Control

On Polarizing filters  add scattering   ... of course there is other stuff :)

And the non-optical part is  ...  I do want "Stuff" not to stick to it.   
* Want Water to roll Off it   .. which the Heliopan "does" do well (talking water splash , and a shake of the lens drops the water off it), 
but ... these test (on the LINKS)  clearly show under performance for these expensive filters, Optically.

So, NO   ...  if I had to do it over again  ...  I would buy another brand, on the TOP of the list.

note: yes, I do realize you should take any test with a grain of salt.
But, there is two things ...  Transmission , which is a measured number, not much room for human error. 
And Flare you can clearly see.
imho, would be easy to compare  ...  Filter OFF vs Filter ON.  :)

So,  learn from my mistake  ... research some tests/reviews ... before you buy.
wow, even on a filter  ...  there are tests out there.

Buyer beware, and read some Tests ... 
* Don't make the mistake I did and just go with a person you "think" knows ... word for it. :)  ... it takes a peson with access to many filters to do a compaire.
Here's another write up on my choice of a  CIR POL  , the Marumi DHG Super Circular P.L.D
And LensTIP:
AND, the cost is no less than 50% cheaper than my Heliopan ES Pol circ. SH-PMC  or a B+W
What's interesting about a TEST that is public ... in writing, on the web ... is that it is up to debate and fact checks.
Not talking "Spell Check/Grammar Check" ... talking  FACT CHECK.   
and you can BET,  that someplace, on a forum somewhere  ... that TEST will be debated and Fact checked. :)      ...  got to love the web!

Hope this helps someone   ...  it should save you a few dollars spent unnecessarily ,   I hope.

Ross Hamamura
" The Tourist of Light "

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ross, I suggest to not trust those tests altough they might looks very scientific. Simply said, my real life experience is different.

If you are looking for the very best UV filter, I suggest Marumi NeoDynamic L400 - if you find some. Otherwise I found Heliopan SH-PMC to be very close.

Much more complicated in case of polarizers. Keep in mind, that there can be differencies during the time (means my B+W KSM from 2007 and 2010 are NOT same) and also sample variations. I currently own following CPL's: Hoya Pro1, Kenko Pro1, Hoya HD, B+W MRC KSM, Heliopan SH-PMC, Marumi SuperDHG. While I can confirm, that Marumi makes very good filters at low price (great value), the very best are Heliopan SH-PMC (bought 2009) and B+W KSM (2010). Both are excellent in everything from build to optics, B+W KSM is maybe just a bit better in flare handling. The worse is Hoya HD - its build really sucks and optics is not good as well (including poor polarizing effect and huge colour shifts) even dirty cheap Kenko Pro1 are clearly better in everything except light lost.

So if you feel unsatisfied with your Heliopan SH-PMC, I suggest B+W KSM, but I will be surpised if you find some significant differencies in comparison ...