More Hoya filter comparison tests!


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Oct 26, 2003
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Brisbane, Australia
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Updated 23/06/08

Hot on the heals of Sabbath999's thread where he showed the nastyness of the Hoya HMC UV(0) filter on his 70-200 f/2.8, it got me thinking about sthe quality of my filters. Fortunately I have one of every filter Hoya makes with exception of their snake oil based "digital Pro1" filter which they can shov...

Anyway so I decided to do a test of not only sharpness but also flare issues. Unfortunately my Hoya HMC is on a lens which I left at a friends. But fortunately Sabbath999 already covered that filter in his thread linked above, and I still have a Hoya standard and a Hoya SuperHMC filter to play with. Unfortunately they all go on different lenses So:

Assumptions and Method:
All photos were taken on a tripod with mirror lockup. All photos were taken at the maximum sharpness of each lens, determined to be f/5.6 on the Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 at 80mm, and also f/5.6 on the Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 at 18mm. The 18-70mm is less sharp giving the Hoya standard filter a bit of an advantage seeing how poor quality would be harder to see. Nevertheless the results are still rather conclusive.
Sharpness photos were taken outside in the sun photographing gravel. The lens hood was on, and the camera was in the shade to prevent the results being biased by light hitting the element.
Contrast photos were taken inside against a black bed photographing into a wirelessly triggered SB-800 set to 1/64th power.

Hoya Pro1D Protector Sharpness 80-200mm f/2.8 @ 80mm f/5.6: No filter VS Filter:

Hoya SuperHMC UV(0) Sharpness 80-200mm f/2.8 @ 80mm f/5.6: No filter VS Filter:

Hoya Standard UV(0) Sharpness 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm f/5.6: No filter VS filter:

Hoya Pro1D Protector Contrast 80-200mm f/2.8 @ 80mm f/5.6: No filter VS Filter:

Hoya SuperHMC UV(0) Contrast 80-200mm f/2.8 @ 80mm f/5.6: No filter VS filter:

Hoya Standard UV(0) Contrast 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm f/5.6: No filter VS filter:

Well as can be seen the Hoya Standard filter shows a visible difference even on a standard kit lens. This is the cheapest in Hoya's lineup and has no coating on the glass. You can easily see your own reflection when looking into the lens. This of course causes it's massive flare problems too, extending all the way to a loss of contrast. I won't be buying this filter again.

The Hoya HMC filter is absent from this test but Sabbath999 showed it makes a visible difference with a very good lens. How this filter would affect a cheap kit lens is unknown. The MultiCoat on the glass would also give it better contrast and flare performance than the Hoya Standard filter too but this is as yet un tested.

The Hoya SuperHMC is the cheapest in their professional lineup that comes in a black case with gold writing so it must be good right? Well it worked pretty well. Sharpness wise there doesn't appear to be a problem and the 80-200mm f/2.8 is a very sharp lens to begin with. I have no reservations about keeping this on my lens all the time. The contrast is excellent and there is no visible flare. There is a ghosting artefact, which would still mean removing the filter when shooting into the sun or other light source. They are also cheaper than B+W filters so I think I'll only be buying this type from this point forward.

New filter
The Hoya Pro1D is the flagship filter in the Hoya lineup and comes at a flagship price. This filter is unfortunately the result of much marketing fluff and as can be seen above hows no improvement over the SHMC results. That didn't stop the filter from costing significantly more. It still ghosts, while controlling flare worse than the SHMC did. How did I reach this conclusion? The colour of the flare has moved up towards the green part of the spectrum. Ideally the closer to UV the further it should be from the visible spectrum and the better. Please note compared to the other tests the exposure is slightly lower. Sharpness wise this filter is also fine, but again no improvement over the cheaper SHMC. What is really saddening is the website. While the SHMC section at least had the decency to show some graphs, data, and give actual information, the Pro1D section is full of lovely big colourful graphics claiming superior performance suited to digital cameras (like this makes a difference), along with other fancy details like thinner glass (sounds more fragile), a black matte internal frame to reduce inner glass reflection (what?, but my Hoya standard filter fell apart the other day and had a black matte frame too), and no data or explanation of why this is good at all. The only benefit is the frame is about 0.8mm thinner which may help if you suffer from vignetting with thicker filters like polarisers. Overall I can not recommend this filter given its increased price over the Hoya SHMC.
No worries. I was bored and intrigued. I've always been a proponent of cheap filters but now I think I will stick to recomending midrange filters for expensive glass and maybe Hoya HMC for cheaper lenses.
Much appreciated. Often little real life gems of info like this is never done... good to know.

There is a noticeable difference in sharpness on the vertical lines on the gray part of the building.
AHHHH so sorry I didn't notice this mistake. I had the images for the flare test backwards. The Standard UV filter is the one that flared up, not the SuperHMC. :irked:

jwkwd there's a noticeable difference in the texture of the wood too.
Btw all of these images were centre crops using in theory the best part of the lens. The edges would probably be worse still.
Kewl test! There's an extra lens reflection element in each one of the images on the right for the lower two examples too. A blue one for the MC filter and a white one on the pillow for the uncoated filter. :) The uncoated filter also streaked. :(

I knew there was a reason I don't own any uncoated glass.
Excellent test, and much appreciated. It would be interesting to do a similar test (if one could afford to) with, say, Heliopans instead of the Hoyas and see what, if any, differences were noted.
Thanks for reviving this thread. I've been meaning to add the Hoya Pro1D to the list to the list.

Nothing gets afforded here. I do these tests for personal reasons and decided to publish the results for all to see. If I buy a Heliopan one day I would add it to the list, but given that Hoya is one of the cheaper consumer oriented companies I would expect some of the more prestigious filter manufacturers to produce Hoya SHMC like performance at the least.
Hey Gabz, thanks I remember when you and sabbath originally posted these, but now that you posted about the Pro 1D(that model number seems to work for canon:mrgreen: ) I filled up my B&H shopping cart with SHMC filters! Thanks
Nice test! It was interesting to see just how much of a difference each lens made. I could see the slight detirioration in image quality with the standard filter, but not all that much (apart from the flare, of course). It certainly wouldn't put me off printing a photo with one of those attached.
Thanks for the 2007 test Garbz. In the meantime, unfortunately Sabbath999's test photos have disappeared from the post you reference.

More than two years on and Hoya's website still doesn't satisfactorily clarify the differences between their UV filter models, other than by annoying TLAs.

So here's some more test results: UV filters test - Introduction - I just discovered them and thought it would be useful to cross reference them here.

It covers the following UV filters:
B+W 72mm 010M UV-Haze MRC
B+W 72mm 010M UV-Haze MRC Slim
B+W 72mm 010 UV-Haze
B+W 72mm 010 UV-Haze Slim
Hama 72mm UV 390 (0-Haze)
Hama 72mm UV HTMC 390 (0-Haze)
Heliopan ES 72mm UV-0
Heliopan ES 72mm UV-0 SH-PMC
Hoya 72 mm UV G - Series
Hoya 72 mm UV-0 - Standard
Hoya 72 mm HMC UV-0
Hoya 72 mm HMC Super UV-0
Hoya 72 mm Pro1 Digital MC UV-0
Kenko 67 mm Pro1 Digital
King 72 mm UV
Marumi 72 mm UV
Marumi 72 mm MC UV
Marumi 77 mm WPC UV
Sigma 72mm DG UV
Tiffen 72mm UV
Excellent post I have been on the fence about what filter to purchase as well. Thank you.:thumbup:
Thanks for sharing hairykiwi. Spectral sensitivity is one thing my tests have never taken into account.
One thing from the conclusion is missing though, and that is build quality. The B+W filter rated 3rd but I wonder if taking into account the strong heavy brass filter ring vs the loose crap aluminium hoya filters would change their conclusion. One thing I noticed is that half of my hoyas rattle, but none of my B+W filters do.
Good post! :thumbup:

I have been using the PRO1D series of filters since they first came out and I have noticed a significant difference especially with the UV filter. I hardly ever see any ghosting. Although I do recommend the SUPER HMC filter OVER the pro1d filter TBH.

Any chance on making a comparison test with images for the PRO1d, super hmc and the standard filters? I'd also love to see a test comparing other brands such as B+W.

On another note, i've always bought my filters from BH but found a new site based on CA that is worth checking out... glassmatters. just google 'em. good prices and no tax.

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