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Hoya UV Filters, A vital accessory for your lenses
on 11 March 2009
Ultra violet filters are probably one of the least glamorous and most mundane photographic accessories around, yet they are an essential part of of your system, and practically all photographers fit them to the front of their lenses and leave them there.
So who makes them?, what are they?, what do they do? and why would you want one? I will try and answer these questions below.
Firstly who makes them?.......
There are several companies that make filters for camera lenses, but Hoya, "the subject of this review", are one of the biggest and well known brands of filter around.
Hoya was founded in Japan in 1941 and have their headquarters in Shinjuku, Tokyo, they manufacture optical products ranging from laser equipment and photographic equipment to contact lenses, and they are one of the world's leading manufacturers of photographic filters.
In 2007 they announced that they were to merge with the well known Japanese camera manufacturer Pentax, in 2008 they announced that they would keep the Pentax name for their camera and lens division.
What are they?.......
Quite simply, they are a flat and optically correct glass filter in a metal mount, that can be screwed to the front of your lens, they have a large veriety of uses and come in many colours for use in special effects and colour corrections, including the UV correction filters discussed here.
What do they do?......
The ultra violet rays that are produced by the sun, strike tiny dust particles and water vapour in our atmosphere and are scattered about causing that bluish haze that you can see, especially on warm sunny days, these filters are designed to filter out these UV rays eliminating this bluish haze, making distant subjects clearer and more distinct on your photos with better colour saturation.
Why would you want one?.......
Apart from the benefits above, they also provide another essential function, that is to protect the most vulnerable part of your lens, "the front element" as they can be left permenantly attached to your lens, so if you scratch or break the front of your lens, it is the filter that you damage, not your lens, and it is far cheaper to replace a filter, than it is to replace a lens that can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
These filters are relatively cheap to buy, they will improve your picture quality, and they can save you a lot of money in damaged lenses.
Hoya filters are world renowned for their quality and value, So if you have not got one of these filters fitted to the front of all your lenses, then go ahead and get some, you will never regret it, and in the case of damage you'll be really glad that you did.
They are availlable in a wide veriety of sizes and will fit almost any lens on the market, and you can fit them and forget them.
All my lenses have got one of these filters fitted as a matter of course, it makes sense to have them.
Please note, most compact cameras do not have a screw mount, for attaching filters, these filters are mainly intended to be used on SLR/DSLR lenses, and some bridge type cameras that are designed to accept filters and other lens accessories.
This review can also be seen on Ciao! under the name of Markh5682