Tiffen or Hoya

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Chino Cherokee, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. I'd like to buy a new set of sky/uv filters for my lenses. I currently have
    a hodge-podge of used filters. Mostly Tiffen and Hoya, but a couple of
    Nikon filters, etc.

    I'm looking for 52 mm round.

    From what I've seen/read/heard, I'd rank the 'optical quality' of filters:
    (Best to worst)

    1. Singh-Ray

    2. B & W

    3. Hoya

    4. Tiffen

    Am I close?

    Chino Cherokee, Jul 21, 2003
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  2. Chino Cherokee

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes
    Hoya makes 3 different grades of filters--from "Green Glass" ("cheap!") to
    SMC filters. You need to be aware of this when purchasing. All Hoya
    filters are not the same.

    B+W is generally acknowledged as the best. Heliopan has comparable quality
    at a lesser price.

    If I were in the market for a filter, I'd check eBay for a nice Heliopan. I
    use Pentax lenses, and I have standardized on Pentax filters, rather than
    Hoya, Tiffen or the numerous other third-party brands. Buying a used filter
    is a relatively risk-free proposition. With no moving parts, filters don't
    suffer from over-use. Just check to be sure there are no scratches or
    cleaning marks.

    I have read much about the image distortion that filters can
    introduce--especially cheap filters. I have not noticed any of this
    distortion in my own experience, however. Erwin Puts, in his Leica FAQ,
    states that the use of a good filter decreases image quality by no more than
    2%, as opposed to much more image degradation caused by unsteady
    hand-holding (I think he estimated that to be around 30%).

    I would urge you to use a lens hood at every opportunity. I have noticed
    decreased contrast on shots where the filter was exposed to direct sunlight.
    The use of the lens hood has made a discernable degree of improvement in
    this regard.
    Jeremy, Jul 21, 2003
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  3. I have heard of those but can't say anything of their quality,
    however, everywhere *I* looked Heliopan is usually graded above
    B+W. Nikon is also considered a very good brand.

    Singh-Ray's neutral density are praised as the most neutral of
    them all. Somebody must have a really good eye...
    It's actually B+W. B&W is a type of film and paper (or chemistry).
    Well... First of all, Tiffen is definitely not the "worst". You
    can get much worse than Tiffen. Plenty of bottle glass filters
    from some obscure manufacturers. Second of all, can you really
    tell the difference between something shot with a Singh-Ray neutral
    density (or grad) and, say, B+W? Some claim they can. I haven't
    seen any material proof of that. Or, maybe, my eyes are not that

    Out of those that you named, Tiffen is the least expensive. Is
    that the indicator of its quality? I doubt it. If you read what
    Photo.net subscribers say, Tiffen is just as good as any other
    brand. If you are bothered by the "cheapest" filter on your lens,
    get Hoya SMC. It's not going to be any different in optical quality
    but you will fill better.

    Victor Bazarov, Jul 21, 2003
  4. If you're using Nikon cameras and lenses and need 52mm filters, I
    recommend Nikon filters.
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 21, 2003
  5. I would rate the first three (plus Nikkor) about the same, with the
    Tiffen well below the others...
    David Ruether, Jul 21, 2003
  6. Chino Cherokee

    PSsquare Guest

    Bob replied:
    It evades my understanding why Nikon filters would be better on Nikon lenses
    than other top rated filters. Why?

    PSsquare, Jul 21, 2003

  7. If you line up the word 'NIKON' on the lens with the word 'NIKON' on the
    filter, it looks cool:



    I actually liked his suggestion and am currently looking for a good used
    NIKON 52mm cir polarizing filter.

    Chino Cherokee, Jul 21, 2003
  8. Current Nikon filters don't really match the blackness of
    manual focus lenses.

    But what I really don't like about Nikon filters is:
    (a) the loose glass -- even if it is by design, once
    moisture or dirt gets between the filter frame and the
    glass, it's hard to get rid of; and
    (b) the multi-coating on Nikon filters doesn't hold up well
    to some lens cleaners.

    I much prefer the ruggedness of B+W filters with the MRC
    Michael Moore, Jul 22, 2003
  9. Chino Cherokee

    T P Guest

    Nikon filters are up there with the best. I use Nikon filters on
    Leica, Hasselblad and Pentax gear, along with B+W and Heliopan.

    I buy either B+W or Heliopan filters because they are available from
    Germany at prices much lower than Nikon filters, and because they
    offer the Kaesemann polarisers which are far more durable than any
    other type. But I am still very happy to use my Nikon filters, which
    incidentally also have narrower rings than many other brands.

    This makes them particularly suitable for wide angle use - on any
    brand of lens, not just Nikon!
    T P, Jul 22, 2003
  10. Chino Cherokee

    T P Guest

    No, it isn't. I rinse my filters under running water (from a
    household tap/faucet) and it easily removes the salt spray and sand
    that I frequently encounter when shooting coastal landscapes. The
    fact that there is a gap means that the dirt can easily be rinsed out,
    and any residual moisture will quickly evaporate.
    Change your lens cleaner. I use running water and household detergent
    (a.k.a. "washing-up liquid") and have never had the slightest problem
    with Nikon filters, nor B+W, nor Heliopan. But as for HOYA ....

    <fx:LOUD SCREAM>
    T P, Jul 22, 2003
  11. Chino Cherokee

    T P Guest

    More nonsense from Jeremy, who has no opinions or knowledge of his own
    but believes (and repeats on here) almost any crap "advice" he reads.
    T P, Jul 22, 2003
  12. Glass under tension distorts the image. Top-grade filters are loose.
    Use ones that don't mar the coatings.
    B+W are excellent too, but the camera mfr's filters are often the best
    available for your camera.
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 22, 2003
  13. Chino Cherokee

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes

    I, too, use filters with my camera manufacturer's name engraved on them, but
    I have never seen any empirical evidence to support the claim that they are,
    somehow, best.

    How would, say, a B+W or Heliopan filter compare unfavorably with a fliter
    marked Nikon, or Pentax, or Leica?

    If I, a Pentax user, were to fit a Nikon filter on my lens, would that be a
    worse choice for me than if I were to have used an Asahi Pentax filter
    instead? If so, how?
    Jeremy, Jul 22, 2003
  14. Chino Cherokee

    DJA Guest

    This comes down to what you can afford and also the law of diminishing

    To use the example of an $89 filter vs. a $20 filter; it's hard to imagine
    the more expensive filter always producing an image of 4.5 times higher
    quality. There are no doubt some situations where a "better" filter will be
    beneficial, but in most cases there will be little noticeable difference in
    the final image. (unless you're using real junk)

    Some people simply want, and can afford, the best for those situations when
    the best is needed. Others simply want good value and don't perceive the
    difference. Personally, I'm closer to the latter mindset and don't have the
    need for the absolute best.

    If you don't think you need an $89 filter, you probably don't.

    DJA, Jul 22, 2003
  15. Chino Cherokee

    Mark M Guest

    Little flat pieces of colored glass? No.
    You simply want the best flat colored/coated/polarized/graduated, etc. piece
    of glass you can get.
    Mark M, Jul 22, 2003
  16. Not really...;-)
    BTW, it is not the optical deficiencies I complain about
    with Tiffen (though I've heard many are uncoated - and they
    do "self-fog", turning them into diffusion filters unless cleaned
    occasionally...), it is their thick, crude rims (and the fogging...;-).
    I think the latter - though there can be perceived (if not really
    present in practice...;-) advantages/disadvantages to either...;-)
    This is not strange at all, since photo magazines are part of
    the mfgr's marketing, and "reviews" are ads in disguise (ever
    see a bad camera or lens reviewed? ;-). The magazine publishers
    have no intention of telling Schneider, for instance, that its full-page
    ad touting the wonders of German Schott glass and spiffy rims
    is hooey in terms of practical reality - and the publishers do have
    a vested interest in keeping us all wondering (and insecure) about
    relative filter quality, instead of doing a simple comparative test
    report which could kill continued interest in expensive filters...;-).
    David Ruether, Jul 22, 2003
  17. What lens is it going in front of? I use Leica, and I use only Leica
    filters. A filter cannot improve, only worsen the image quality. The
    LESS it does, the better. The very best filters are made by the camera
    mfrs and perhaps B+W. I would never use Tiffen or other mass-market

    They're crap.
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 23, 2003
  18. Chino Cherokee

    Dallas D Guest

    What a liar. You posted 68 messages in 6 days, most of which are insults.
    Photographer my ass.

    The only filter you own is the one you use to make your wife/bosses tea
    Dallas D, Jul 23, 2003
  19. Then, this would mean that B+W filters are not top grade? (I.e. B+W
    filters are not loose.)

    Even Kodak lens fluid is a problem. While there probably are liquid
    cleaners that are no problem (e.g. Formula MC), it could be that their
    ability as cleaners is limited.

    Michael Moore, Jul 23, 2003
  20. Chino Cherokee

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes
    That doesn't really tell us anything. Are Leica filters measurably better?
    Have you ever seen any test results? Or are you just repeating the
    often-heard claim that , if it carries the Leica name, it somehow MUST be
    better? Are your Leica filters actually manufactured by Leica, or are they,
    like certain of their bodies and lenses, actually made by Minolta and

    The very best filters are made by the camera mfrs and perhaps B+W.

    Can you offer any empirical evidence to support that, or are you simply
    stating an unqualified opinion? Which camera manufacturers actually make
    their own filters? And, which manufacturers make only certain filters, and
    resell others' with their name on them?

    These are some of the best-kept secrets in the camera industry. Your
    sweeping generalizations, unsupported by facts, really don't sound like thay
    are based on facts, but, rather, emotion.

    I would never use Tiffen or other mass-market
    Jeremy, Jul 23, 2003
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