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| EF 28mm f1.8 USM | EF 50mm f1.4 USM | EF 100mm f2.8 Macro USM |

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| EF 300mm f4L IS | EF 300mm f4L IS + EF 1.4X II | EF 300mm f4L IS + EF 2X II | EF 300mm f4L IS + EF 1.4X II + EF 2X II |

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Flare Tests

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| EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM | EF 17-40 f4L USM | EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM | Brand/Grade Test | Filter Data | Protective Filter FAQ |

Comparison of Some Filters

Myself I now use Hoya S-HMC filters, these seem to now be marketed as Hoya S-HMC Pro1 Digital. In the 1980's I used Hoya HMC filters.

Filter Tests: Flare, AF and Sharpness

Anti-Reflection Coating Theory

Below is a comparison of the key manufactures data with some notes from me where relevant.

Make

Type

B+W

 Std

B+W

MRC

Hoya

 Std

Hoya

 HMC

Hoya

 SHMC & SHMC/SMC Pro1 

[6] [7]

Hoya

 MC Pro1 Digital tbc

 [6] [7]

Heliopan

 Std

Heliopan 

SH-PMC

Glass Type [5] Schott Optical Schott Optical Hoya Optical Glass Hoya Optical Glass Hoya Optical Glass Hoya Optical Glass Schott Optical Schott Optical
Coating Single Layer Both Surfaces Multicoated Both Surfaces Single Layer Both Surfaces 3 layer Multicoated Both Surfaces 5 layer Multicoated + 1 Layer easy-clean Both Surfaces 3 layer Multicoated  Both Surfaces Single Layer Both Surfaces 8 layer Multicoated Both Surfaces
Transmittance 97% 99.5% 95-96% 98-99% 99.7% 98% 95% 99.6%
Reflectance [8] 3% 0.5% 4-5% 1-2% 0.3% ~2% 5% [2] 0.4% [2]
Reflectance (stops) [8] -5.1 -7.6 ~-4.5 ~-6.1 -8.4 -5.6 -4.3 -8.0

Mount Type

Matt

 Black

 Brass

 [1]

Matt 

Black

 Brass 

[1]

Matt

 Black Aluminum

Matt 

Black

 Aluminum

Matt 

Black

 Aluminum

Matt 

Black

 Aluminum

Matt

 Black

 Brass 

[1]

Matt

 Black

 Brass 

[1]

Mount Finish Black chrome Black chrome anodized TBC [4]

anodized

TBC [4]

Black matte aluminum satin finish Almite (anodized) [4] Black matte aluminum satin finish Almite (anodized) [4] Anodized Anodized
Other   water- and dirt repel-ling [3]     Slimline Pro1 Filters Available

S-HMC and Digital Pro 1 Seem to have identical coatings.

transparent easy-clean top coat [3]

    Dust and moisture repellent top coating on each side. [3]
Ref B+W Ref B+W Ref

Hoya Ref

Hoya Brochure

Hoya Ref

Hoya Brochure

Hoya Ref-1

Hoya Ref-2

Hoya Brochure

Hoya Ref-1

Hoya Ref-2

Hoya Brochure

Heliopan Ref-1

Ref-2

Heliopan Ref-1

Ref-2

Cost B&H Spring O7 for 58mm UV Filter $46 $80 $13 $21 $54-60   $24 $46

All data from manufactures webs.

[1] B+W and Heliopan promote the use of brass on the basis it reduces filter sticking. There does not seem to be any materials science quoted to justify this on B+W's or  and Heliopan's web sites or generally within the community although many photographers seem to feel the effect is real. I can say I have had aluminum filters (mostly Hoya HMC) on my Canon FD lenses since the early 1980s; these filters can still be removed with no difficulty. Separating polarizing filters from a lens or indeed another filter can be tricky but this seems to mostly be down to the mechanics. Unofficial suggestions are that ware of the oxide causes problems. However is is clear that two brass filters can get stuck as is seen in this forum thread. Additionally Hoya filters are anodized so this should not be an issue.

[2] Heliopan quote 2.5% per side of the filter for standard filters and a little later 0.2% SH-PMC filters. It is assumed this value is also per side of glass.

[3] Not tried this but I have never had any problems cleaning filters. Just huff some breath on and wipe with a microfiber cloth. This might be significant if you regularly work in very dirty environments.

[4] Almite is a Japanese term [1] [2] for a method of anodizing aluminum. Also refer to US Patent 3634208 and [3]. Hoya only use this term for the Pro 1 Filters but checking some 25 years old HMC filters they have a similar very hard black finish that also looks anodized.

[5] B+W and Heliopan make a big deal out of using Schott optical glass, however the standard formula optical glass manufacture is a well developed process with all manufactures using essentially the same formula and processes. The top 5 manufactures in the world are in order Schott, Corning , Pilkington, Hoya, Ohara all using a process essentially unchanged since pre-war. So it seems to be fair comment that singling out Schott glass is more a marketing gimmick.

[6] It seems from reports in emails the Hoya and Kenko Pro 1 Digital filters are the same in all but name, the Kenko name being used for Japan. However see [7] below.

[7] Evidence from emails and telephone calls from Hoya is begining to accumulate to show that SHMC Pro1 or SMC Pro 1 is not the same coating used on the more recent Pro 1 Digital filters which Hoya makes no published claims for. 

There are a number of statements emerging that are not entirely self consistant:

Forum posting of an Hoya Email [A] "The Pro 1 SMC filters were thin filters (designed to avoid vignetting on wide angle lenses) with an average light transmission of 99.7%, and front filter threads (so you could use a standard lens cap). The multi-coatings on the Pro 1 Digital filters have been redesigned to perform better with the sensors on todays DSLR cameras, are thin filters to avoid vignetting, and still have the front filter threads, so you cna use a standardlens cap. They give you an average light transmission of approximately 98%."

Summary of Telephone call with customer support Warehouse Express [B] 

"1. SHMC Pro 1 Filters are 99.7% transmission with 3 (sic) coatings [Comment: Hoya's own documentation specifies 5 layer Multicoated + 1 Layer easy-clean), straight SHMC is meant to be 5 layers] These are now discontinued but the straight SHMC are still available.

2. Pro 1 Digital filter are 98% transmission with 3 coatings, this is the same as the standard HMC 3 layer 

[8] If only transmission is quoted it is assumed the worse case reflectance is 1-transmitance.

 

Last Updated 25/06/2008

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