To the left, Exposal HMC UV filter, 350 RMB 67mm
To the right, cheapest shit you can find, 80 RMB 52mm
2 years ago I broke my first UV filter and before that I had only been buying second hand lenses, which all came with one. So I knew squat about these filters. At the shop I asked to look at all the different kinds and I wondered why the hell a UV filter would cost 800 freaking RMB. To be fair, it was a big one. 82mm for a Sigma 24-70mm. This was in Malian Dao Camera Market. Same filter at that size goes for 650 in Wukesong. Just saying.
Now all of my lenses has this filter, because it turns out that the expensive one does some pretty cool things.
Now, to show you the surface difference of them, I flung some water at them with my fingertips. The way you would when your hands are wet and you cant dry them on your clothes because you’re dressed too fancy. Then I put them in my lightbox and angled a light directly at them. See the difference? Now, which one do you think handles a back lit person the best? Or a shoot in the rain?
The Exposal HMC UV filter divided big spots of water into small ones, and holds on to them like glue. And look at the reflection! Oh oops, there is no such thing.
At the bottom of the other filter, the red cloth is has a big blob of water on it, because the glass did not hold on to nor divide it.
How does this matter in the end?
It doesn’t really… Not for anybody uninterested in exploring the possibilities this filter provides. See, I love the rain, so I wanna walk around in it with my camera. The D700 is supposed to be robust enough to even handle being submerged, so I am not afraid to whip it out even in heavy rains. It gets a bit slow for a day, then its back on track again.
When the guy in Maliandao showed me the surface difference using water, I started thinking about what else I could put on them and shoot through. Different colored water drops? Coffee? Different cooking oils? How about pure paints? To satisfy those thoughts I needed the filter at home. And like many others, I wanna minimize all reflections and glare to keep my images overall feeling: clean. Strip down all chaos I possibly can, then add and arrange it myself.