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Thread: Hoya filter problems/filter questions

  1. #1

    Default Hoya filter problems/filter questions

    Recently wanted to get a Hoya HMC UV filter. Upon close inspection, noticed that there were a few small bluish specs in the coating of the glass. These are not fungus, dirt or stains, because even after rubbing with a lint free cloth, and using a lens cleaning pen, it still doesn't come off.

    Also, around the part where the glass meets the mounting ring, there is this strip which I think helps to maintain the glass fixed onto the ring, as well as sealing the gap. This strip was uneven, and had a gap of around 2mm between each end.

    I know Hoya filters are supposed to be good, but with these characteristics?

    Another thing about filters is, if I just want a lens protecting filter, would a cheaper filter like vitacon do just as well? Would the optical quality of the lens be adversely affected by the use of a cheap filter? Even if it's just a UV filter?

    I just got a Sigma 15-30mm (Filter size 82mm) and a Nikkor AFD 80-200mm F2.8 (77mm). I wanted to get Hoyas, UV & CIRC Polars for both lenses. But after seeing the Hoya's problems, I got cheaper vitacons instead.

  2. #2
    Senior Member wormz777's Avatar
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    I have been using Hoya SHMC UV filters for all my lenses. I have come to notice that even brand new, the coating on the filters are not prefect. Like finkster mentioned, there is normally a speck or 2 which can't be cleaned off.

    Its a common knowledge that Hoya multicoat is not as good as b+w's, but i feel these 1 or 2 specks doesn't not affect the quality a bit. For its price, Hoya mutlicoated filters are value for money imo.

    Having a multicoated filter definitely have an advantage over a normal one in terms of better flare control and better contrast. Why spend so much on lens quality and scrim on a little more for the UV. Afterall, its going to be on the lens 95% of the time?

  3. #3

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    Mine has the same problem as well, but I didn't notice any undesirable effects to my shots as a result of those specks.

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    Since early day of photography and I am being using Hoya filter. But for the last few years, their quality from good to bad. For that I have chosen B+W. Brass ring, sturdy build but more expensive.

  5. #5

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    Agree with u wormz, about not saving on the filter. Initially wanted to buy Hoya, and I did not choose vitacon just becos it was cheaper, but it looks more sturdy.

    I'll probably do a test soon, with and without the filter on, just to see if it affects the picture at all (for the UV filter).

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    Originally posted by wormz777
    Its a common knowledge that Hoya multicoat is not as good as b+w's, but i feel these 1 or 2 specks doesn't not affect the quality a bit. For its price, Hoya mutlicoated filters are value for money imo.
    An incorrect assumption on your part Wormz. The Hoya SHMC has the highest light transmission figures of any multicoating used on lens filters. In purely optical terms it's superior to the B+W offering. What it isn't however is pretty to look at. B+W's sole advantage is the use of a brass ring which makes the filter thread easier on and off a lens.
    Last edited by Ian; 7th May 2003 at 09:54 AM.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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    Default Re: Hoya filter problems/filter questions

    Originally posted by finkster
    Recently wanted to get a Hoya HMC UV filter. Upon close inspection, noticed that there were a few small bluish specs in the coating of the glass. These are not fungus, dirt or stains, because even after rubbing with a lint free cloth, and using a lens cleaning pen, it still doesn't come off.
    Coating blemishes are quite common with optics it's usually due to the type of coatings applied and the light and incident angle with which the filter is viewed.

    Probably the all time classis for this are SCT telescopes which often have extremely complex coatings and they look mottled to the naked eye, however they work well and have no inherant optical defect. The same applies to camera filters which are an optically inferor product to a telesccopes optics by the way.

    Originally posted by finkster
    Also, around the part where the glass meets the mounting ring, there is this strip which I think helps to maintain the glass fixed onto the ring, as well as sealing the gap. This strip was uneven, and had a gap of around 2mm between each end.
    Glass in quality filters is 'free floating' that is there is 1-2mm of movement in the glass laterally (side to side) and a slight amount of vertical movement. This is to allow for the expansion and compression of the glass and mounting ring which have different coefficients of expansion. If the glass is rigidly held in the mounting ring it warps at temperature.

    Originally posted by finkster
    I know Hoya filters are supposed to be good, but with these characteristics?
    So far the characteristics you've described seem to be purely inconsequential and of no optical concern.

    Originally posted by finkster
    Another thing about filters is, if I just want a lens protecting filter, would a cheaper filter like vitacon do just as well? Would the optical quality of the lens be adversely affected by the use of a cheap filter? Even if it's just a UV filter?
    You'll often find the cheaper filters in UV and Skylight have lower tolerances to flare and ghosting. It's not always the case (for example Hama, Kenko, Sunpak and some Marumi filters are very flare / ghost resistant). Hoya's cheapest filters the 'green series' use cheap glass as do a lot of the 3rd party filters, while this is fine for casual use by amateurs it can lead to colour shifts in filters such as ND's and Polarizers.

    Most cheap 'coated' filters originating in Japan are OEM'd by either Marumi or Kenko.
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    Senior Member wormz777's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ian
    An incorrect assumption on your part Wormz. The Hoya SHMC has the highest light transmission figures of any multicoating used on lens filters. In purely optical terms it's superior to the B+W offering. What it isn't however is pretty to look at. B+W's sole advantage is the use of a brass ring which makes the filter thread easier on and off a lens.
    Thanks ian for correcting me. I didn't know Hoya SHMC are so good! Anyway, the appearance and the lack of brass ring doesn't disturb me. I think there's quite a debate in the past on whether a brass ring or steel ring is better.

  9. #9

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    Originally posted by wormz777
    Thanks ian for correcting me. I didn't know Hoya SHMC are so good! Anyway, the appearance and the lack of brass ring doesn't disturb me. I think there's quite a debate in the past on whether a brass ring or steel ring is better.
    I dunno how so this is true. Or even if Hoya is superior compared to B+W, is the gain practical and noticeable? That's the whole point. I've usd various filters, hoya and B+W, single or multi coated and shot without filters... All in all, I can't tell the diff which filter has been put on...or off.

    Some people downplay multicoated as a sales gimmick on the filter company. Well I have no comments on that. But seriously, I've used both types and can't tell much of flare or other inconsistencies.

    But B+W is not just tough on the ring, I find the glass is also easier to wipe. For those who own HOya's multi coated or even some normal filters, do you find that the more you clean, the more u want to rub, an then it leaves awful stains on the glass? Some glasses also let out sqeaky sounds when u clean them... freaks u out thinking if u are scratching them.

    For B+W, fantastic wiping of dirts and stains.

    Much said, the more expensive the filter is, the more psychologically at ease we are about its optical properties. Even then, some purists will yell "NO FILTER in front of lens please!"

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    Originally posted by David
    I dunno how so this is true. Or even if Hoya is superior compared to B+W, is the gain practical and noticeable? That's the whole point. I've usd various filters, hoya and B+W, single or multi coated and shot without filters... All in all, I can't tell the diff which filter has been put on...or off.

    Some people downplay multicoated as a sales gimmick on the filter company. Well I have no comments on that. But seriously, I've used both types and can't tell much of flare or other inconsistencies.

    But B+W is not just tough on the ring, I find the glass is also easier to wipe. For those who own HOya's multi coated or even some normal filters, do you find that the more you clean, the more u want to rub, an then it leaves awful stains on the glass? Some glasses also let out sqeaky sounds when u clean them... freaks u out thinking if u are scratching them.

    For B+W, fantastic wiping of dirts and stains.

    Much said, the more expensive the filter is, the more psychologically at ease we are about its optical properties. Even then, some purists will yell "NO FILTER in front of lens please!"
    Agree, I am very pissed by the stain after cleaning coated hoya filters. Since the filter flare anyway with or without the coating, I always try to get the cheapest Hoya UV filter without coating. if not, I would use the Kodak Lens Lotion and get rid of the coating once and for all.

    Same here, I don't see any difference with or without the filter coating, nevertheless, I do see a little better color in my slides taken without filter. However, this minor improvement cannot make me justify the risk of having scratches or oil stains on my $$$$ lens's front element, so a cheap filter is better than no filter for me

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    For myself, typically I just use normal multicoated Hoya filters on my lens. The thing is , either you use a Hoya or B+W, normal coated or super-muliticoated, you can't simply get rid of flare or ghosting. Even when you put on your super-mulitcoated on, what you don't see through the viewfinder doesn't mean it's not there. The flare will still show up on your film, especially on slides. The point is, if you are shooting at a angle which gives you flare, it's not a good angle at all. So put on a hood or just change another angle.

  12. #12

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    Very true on the staining on Hoya HMC filters. While trying to clean it to make sure the bluish blemishes were not dirt, I accidentally left a tiny droplet of water (saliva?) on the glass. Wiping it clean left a streak that could not be removed.

    I am not a filter guy, just want to protect my lens from dirt & straying fingers. So I suppose vitacons would do?

    Besides, filters are the ones doing the job of protecting your lens, in addition to the hood. So if I were to damage the filter, not so heart pain... just throw away and get a new one.

    Unless a test is done to confirm that expensive coated filters do a much better job at controlling flare, it'll largely be a psychological effect on the photographer. Any filter reviews online that we can see?

  13. #13

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    I try not to clean those S-HMC filters... gives a squeaking sound that makes my hair stand

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    On the subject of flare and ghosting

    A filter no matter how good, multicoated etc won't stop the actual lens from flaring or ghosting.

    Lens based flaring and ghosting varies from lens to lens and manufacturer to manufacturer. Some lenses are highly resistant to flaring and ghosting while others ghost or flare (or both) at the drop of a hat.

    With some lenses fitting a filter increases the ghosting and flaring in leaps and bounds, the Nikkor 17-35/2.8 AFS being a prime example. This is due to the extremely esoteric optical design of the lens and there are other lenses from other manufacturers that have similar problems.

    Most people honestly can't tell the difference between brands of UV/Skylight filters if subjected to 'blind' testing. With filters like PL's and ND's it's a different story as I stated previously.

    As for me, I never use UV or Skylight filters unless I'm shooting in horrific conditions (rain, sleet, fog) or conditions where high levels of airborne contaminants (salts, chemicals etc) are encountered that could damage the lens coating or when it is very hazy on the horizon.
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