Unlike most of the brands I’ve reviewed, I have had some good experience with Hoya. I used their R72 infrared filter with no problems, and they seem to have a good reputation. I had high hopes going into this review, and OH BOY were they crushed.
As with all the other filters, I am judging it 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)?
How does it stack up? well, I already spoiled my conclusions, but to go into the failure in more detail…
1- The packaging: 3 out of 5.
It’s fine, I guess. Nothing special, but like I said, Hoya seems to have a good reputation, so perhaps their packaging doesn’t need to be as flashy as some cheap brand. As I mentioned in the overview, I don’t really care what the packaging looks like; this is more just a way of laughing at the provably false claims.We’ll get more into that farther along, though.
One thing that stands out is that it says it is a UV(c) filter. From what I saw online, this seems to be a replacement for the earlier(and highly rated) UV(o) filter. What does UV(c) stand for, though? Compact? this lens is supposed to be slimmer than the old ones, but it is still a weird name. UV-C light is a real thing, consisting of light on the wavelengths between 100-290 nm. Why have such a similar name? Maybe it’s implying that the filter can block UV-C light… but so what? Every piece of glass can block it, and that is IF it gets through the atmosphere, which can also block it. From my tests, I’m going to say that the C stands for ‘See-through’. Moving on…
2: Protective Case: 4 out of 5.
The packaging IS the case- it’s fairly compact and would be good protection, but I can’t help but wish that the extra space and hole to attach it to racks were able to be removed. There’s not much else to say about it.
3: Off-colour reflections: 0 out of 5.
The lens is clearly reflecting the (cloudy) sky- it is white, with no discolouration.
4: UV blocking seen through my camera: 1.5 out of 5.
I broke my ‘ Take pictures on a sunny day’ rule here. This was my birthday present(Happy Birthday! Here’s a piece of glass that doesn’t work!)- by the time I recieved it, I only had four days to return it, so I wanted to see if it worked before it was too late. That might even be to its benefit. It seems to block a bit of UV light, but not much. The photos above are faintly darker than the sky around it. I think this might just be the glass itself, but maybe it is blocking a bit more than the other cameras? not much though, especially compared to my control samples. I was going to give it a 2, but that seems a little high for how little it blocks. It is slightly better than the other items, so it gets a 1.5. I am being overly generous.
Now, from later tests, I think the cloudy skies might make the UV filters marginally more effective, but I have no way of proving that was the case here.
On the package, it states that the filter will “absorb almost all range of UV Rays to give clearer and sharper pictures with less haze.” I assume the definition of ‘absorb’ is ‘blocks maybe 5% of the light’, and ‘Almost all Range of UV rays’ is ‘the range(including UV-B and UV-C light) that cannot affect your camera anyways, but not the range close to the visible spectrum’.
I did take photos with my short pass filter, but they were unreadable. As I returned they Hoya filter by then, I can only say that I saw no difference at the time.
5- Blocking other wavelengths: 0 out of 5.
It doesn’t block any visible light…
… and seems transparent for the near-infrared range as well. I’m not annoyed with that, as it isn’t relevant for the tests, but I included the criteria because I’m trying to get a complete idea of the filter’s abilities.
6- Blocking UV florescence: 1 out of 5.
The Hoya filter(top) is very slightly darker than the JYC filter on the bottom left, but does not even compare with my unknown filter. Why can’t I find where THAT filter came from? I WANT THAT FILTER TO FIT MY CAMERA!
Again, I think this is more due to the properties of the glass used as compared to any special coating.
7- Price: 0 out of 5.
I bought this for $32.99 CDN, and it was the most expensive filter I bought for these tests by a large margin. The filter wasn’t worth it.
Twenty one percent. and a half.
Hoya really let me down here. Possibly it is very slightly better at blocking UV than the other filters reviewed, but still well below what I’d consider acceptable, especially for the most expensive filter of the lot.
Hoya? Ho-no! 8th Place!