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Which UV Filter Should You Buy? I Compare the $5 Zeikos Filter to an $38 HOYA Filter to No Filter

Which UV Filter Should You Buy?  I Compare the $5 Zeikos Filter to an $38 HOYA Filter to No Filter

Anytime I purchase a lens that will accept a filter I immediately purchase a protective UV filter for the front glass as a low-cost investment. The filters I have been using have been HOYA filters, which seemed to be a decent filter at a competitive price. Recently, I noticed a small white nick in one of my filters so I headed over to Amazon.com to find a replacement.

While looking for the HOYA filters I noticed a very inexpensive ($5) Zeikos digital multi-coated UV protective filter and I thought it would be an interesting test to see how it compares to the HOYA I have been using. As you'll see in this video, the Zeikos filter does not seem to have any anti-reflective properties when compared to the relatively inexpensive Hoya MC UV Filter ($38). However, on the camera there really wasn't much of a difference between filters.This test, while not scientific by any means, was designed to test for glare, flare, haze, and tint.   Some of the scenes were shot with the sun at about a 45-degree angle above and in front of the camere, while other scenes were shot directly into the hazy sunshine. 

The images that were shot with a filter seemed to exhibit slightly less contrast and color saturation, but for video the difference in sharpness was barely noticeable even when magnified at 200%. Today wasn't a perfect day to test for lens flare, but I did notice a hint of lens flare with both the Zeikos and HOYA filter, but in different scenes.    This leads me to believe that under the sunniest conditions it's possible that lens flare will be a problem with the Zeikos filters, even moreso than with the Hoya - but this test didn't show that to be the case.

What I did find interesting was that neither of the two filters degraded the image quality of the video to a point of appreciable difference.  With high-megapixel still photography this may not be the case, but for a relatively low-resolution 1080p HD video image you probably don't need to spend more on a superior grade filter.  If you want the ultimate in quality don't put a filter on the lens, but the difference with or without is so small, I think it's worth having a protective filter.




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