I already covered Bower in my original review… in fact, it was what started this whole project, so if you don’t like my results, blame them, not me.
However, I am trying to do this more objectively, and not just as an angry rant. Who knows? Perhaps Bower, given a more objective review, will show hidden depths and get a more positive review. Spoiler: It doesn’t, but it was a possibility.
Double spoiler: it was never realistically a possibility.
As in my overview, I am judging by seven criteria:
1- How is the packaging design(0% of total score)?
2: How is the protective case size & durability(5% of total score)?
3- Do the reflections off the glass look off-colour(5% of the total score)?
4- Does it block UV light for my full-spectrum camera(35% of total score)?
5: Does it block any light for my full spectrum camera(10% of total score)?
6: does it block any UV fluorescence from a black light(35% of total score)?
7: How reasonable is the price(10% of the total score)?
I had a bit of a moral issue here- I don’t have any problem returning items if they don’t live up to reasonable expectations- that’s why I haven’t paid any money for any of these ‘filters’. However, I already returned my Bower filter- At this point, I already know it is a failure. I decided that buying another one isn’t fair to the store; I’m not going to buy something with the knowledge that I’m absoluely going to return it. I am instead using my original tests and information I can find online. I’m mostly going to be parroting my original review, so
If anyone argues that this makes the test flawed…it probably does, but I did my best to be objective in my tests before, and I don’t think a second test is going to change my mind.
Bower… prepare for Judgement.
1: Attractiveness of the Packaging: 0 out of 5.
This is getting the lowest score for packaging. If I could, I’d give it a negative number…. and I can!
revised score: -5 out of 5.
It’s not that I don’t think the packaging looks bad; it looks pretty good, and it has photos of a place I visited in real life, which should give it an extra point or two. However, there is one thing that makes me angry… this package lies to me.
The pictures seem to exagerate how much even a good UV filter could improve a photo, but that’s not my issue. It’s also not the text(well, it is the text, but every other filter I tested lies to me on that as well). It’s that small clear window into the filter. My third criteria for judging is “Do the reflections off the glass look off-colour(5% of the total score)?”. All the working UV filters I’ve tested have discoloured reflctions, ans some have what is almost like an oily sheen to the reflected light. The Bower lens does not have that. The cheap plastic backing behind it, however, does.
With a quick glance, it would seem like the lens has the reflective signature of a good UV filter, but it is all the packaging.
2: The protective case– 1 out of 5.
I didn’t take a photo of the lens in the case. The case is hard plastic, it opens quickly, and it is sturdy. It gets a point for that. However, there is a little design flaw. Can you see it?
It doesn’t fit the lens! The case is massive, larger than the size of my palm. A 52mm filter is less than 2/3 the size of the case, so it is free to rattle around inside it. If they had even bothered to add a cheap foam insert to hold the filter in place, It might get an extra point, but I guess that was too much effort.
Even if it did add an insert, it wouldn’t get a great score, because the size is ridiculous. You could probably fit one in a pocket, but not two. It is bulky, awkward, and not very portable. I assume it was too much effort to source smaller cases, and Bower instead bought a ‘one size fits all’ case. failure again.
3: The reflections on the glass– 0 out of 5.
I already got into this above, but again, it looks shimmery when in the packaging, but that is just the packaging. The filter itself?
4- Blocks UV from my full spectrum camera: 0 out of 5.
It is supposed to be dark inside that circle… it it worked as advertised, it would be. I’m not going to rant again about this, as I’ve looked at so many scam filters by now that I can’t bring myself to get upset.
I can plan to get revenge though… that’s what this blog is for.
5: Blocks other wavelengths from my full spectrum camera: n/a out of 5.
I didn’t test this, so can’t review it. Maybe it excels a blocking the infrared range of light. Almost certainly not, but I can’t, in all fairness, disprove it. It gets a N/A, which means that I’ll treat it as a 2.5.
6: Blocking black light florescence: 0 out of 5.
Again, I didn’t test this myself. This guy did, though. The review is ten years old, and maybe they redesigned the filter since then. I can’t find any evidence of that, and no more recent reviews, so I’m going to trust Youtube’s Bob0rama, because he has such a trustworthy name.
7: Price– 3 out of 5.
Normally $20 CDN, but I bought mine on sale at $10 CDN. Either way, it isn’t worth it. None of the actual UV filters are worth it. As a result, I’m introducing a sliding scale. My JYC filter was just as good at blocking UV light(ie not at all), but was a quarter the price. Most filters were above $20 CDN, so because I got the Bower on sale, I’ll give it a 3, the highest mark it received all review.
Seven percent. Maybe a little higher, as I couldn’t test categories 3 or 6 for myself, but I doubt it would be much higher. In fact, I’m fairly sure the score would be about the same.
Bower does not have the power. It is a complete failure at blocking UV light, but was cheaper than most of the other complete failures. It still gets last place.