This is part of a larger series; I’d recommend that everyone read the overview first.
TechPro. Well, the name sounds promising, at least. Techpro was the one filter I got to test twice- a friend owned a 58mm filter, and I had ‘borrowed’ a 52mm filter. By borrowed, I mean that I legitimately bought it with the hopes of using it, but it failed my tests, so I returned it. I could post photos of both filters, but… why would I do that? They performed identically in my tests, so I’m just using whichever photo looked better.
The seven criteria that I’m judging by:
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)?
There’s not much else to say, so lets get this over with!
1- The packaging: 3 out of 5.
It isn’t ugly, but it is kind of bland. The photo of the filter in the centre obscures most of view of the the actual filter- only the edges of it are visible. If I was feeling uncharitable, I’d say that maybe they don’t want to show that the filter doesn’t reflect light in the way ‘real’ UV filters reflect it. Even if that isn’t the case, it seems strange to have a window to see the filter, but only show a small ‘C-shaped’ portion of it.
It could be a good packaging for a professional, I guess; it doesn’t rely on flashy marking and pretty pictures, but rather the reputation of the brand. The problem with that is that the brand has to have a good reputation to start with. Does Techpro? Well, to put it this way, I googled Techpro:
The first page of results had one relevant entry for the filters, and that was a link to the London Drugs department store website. The microphone might be from the same company, if it is a company and not just a brand name.
TechPro is a common name, apparently. It’s generic enough it could be used by a lot of different businesses for ‘technical’ equipment. I could start reviewing Techpro Auto tools, and probably have a lot more fun, but for now I’m going to stay on track. When I narrowed the search down to ‘ TechPro filters’ most of the search results were links to different third-party websites where I could buy the brand.
However, the third search result was a message board post from a year ago with the question “Does anyone know who makes the Techpro DS filters? ” and no answer, and results #4, #6, #8 and #9 were variations of the theme ‘don’t buy a cheap UV filter!’.
For the record, I searched for ‘filters’ and not ‘UV filters’ because I didn’t know if they might have made other filter types. It seems that Techpo also makes polarizing filters, but most of these results are related to their UV filter range.
TechPro either doesn’t have a website of its own, or it is so obscure that it isn’t part of the search results. If it is part of a larger company, I don’t see that information on the packaging, and I can’t be bothered to look it up any farther.
So, if TechPro is relying on their reputation for sales… perhaps now might be a good time for them to change their strategy.
2- The protective case: 3 out of 5.
The packaging is the case- it isn’t in a larger box. The case is small and portable, and would probably protect the filter from a drop. The case is slightly too big for the filter, but unlike another filter I tested, there is a foam insert to hold the TechPro filter in position:
The plastic might not be quite as sturdy as some other filters, but I’m not docking it points for that. I will dock points for the foam insert, though. While the filter is closed, it does a good job of holding the filter in position, but it is annoying to deal with when using the lens.
The insert comes in two parts: a solid piece below the filter, and a thin ring of foam to go around it, and the two pieces are not attached together. When trying to remove the filter, I usually had to remove the foam ring as well, and when the case was open, a strong wind was enough to blow the ring onto the ground. It just seemed unnecessarily fiddly to use.
3- Reflections off the glass: 0 out of 5.
There is no discolourations to the reflections off the filter, which isn’t a good sign.
4- Blocking UV light from my camera: 0 out of 5.
I think I might be giving my reviewed filters too much credit by testing them with the short band pass filter. None of them show any difference in these wavelengths, as most of the light is still in the visible spectrum It is with the full UV filter combo(The BG40 and UG11 filters combined) that they can really show what they can do!
The answer is: not much. I’m sure the glass is still inside the ring, but it doesn’t look like it. The yard and sky are exactly the same shade inside the ring and outside it. Looking at the ‘Live View’ in the camera screen, it might have been very faintly darker inside the filter, and if I played around with the exposure, I might have been able to show that in a photo. Again, why would I do that? If I have to fiddle around with my camera to see if it blocks any light, it has already failed. I’m not testing if it blocks ANY ultraviolet light, I’m testing if it blocks enough to matter, and it quite clearly does not.
The packaging claims that this filter ‘cuts UV rays’. I don’t think that ‘cuts’ is the correct word. Maybe ‘ignores’?
4- Blocking other wavelengths: 0 out of 5.
It is completely transparent in the visible spectrum, which isn’t a bad thing for anyone who just wants it as a lens protector… although I didn’t review it as a shield for the lens, so it might fail at that too.
It also fails at blocking any near-infrared light.
Again, I’m not really expecting any of them to do it; this is just a side experiment. If they did block any infrared light, I’m sure they would highlight that on the package.
6- Blocking UV florescence: 1 out of 5.
I’m comparing the filter to the unknown filter I have(ie my only ‘real’ UV filter) and the JYC filter. TechPro is slightly darker than the surrounding paper or the paper seen through the JYC filter, but not by much. I keep mentioning this, but ordinary glass does block some UV light, and I think that the only reason these filters get any points is because of that fact. Because they are slightly darker, they get the benefit of the doubt(the benefit of the doubt is worth one point).
However, if they worked as advertised, they should be looking like the filter in the top right. They aren’t, so they still fail.
7-Price: 1 out of 5.
$23.99 CDN. Not the most expensive, but not the cheapest either. Still, it blocks UV light at the same amount or maybe a bit worse than the other filters being reviewed, so if you want to block UV light, go for the $2.00 cheap filters found on Ebay. Neither works, but you could have ten useless filters instead of one.
Technically, that’s twelve percent! 7th place!
TechPro, your product is neither technical nor professional, so I won’t be either: This filter costs too much, and if it cost quarter of the price it would still be a ripoff.