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Can you tell the difference between these two filters? (Answer: Fake: Left, Real: Right)
Recently HOYA has noticed that a number of counterfeit filters are available online, often for a much lower price. These products perform worse than genuine HOYA filters, often dramatically reducing image quality, meaning you'd be better off without using the filter.
How can you tell the difference between them?
Fake: Left, Real: Right
The biggest and most obvious difference is the price. The Hoya Pro1 from Amazon Direct is priced at £31 (reduced from £62 RRP), while counterfeit versions can cost as little as £10. The level of anti-reflective coating can be very minimal, as the counterfeit item on the left (above) clearly shows. The real HOYA filter, on the right, is allowing much more light through.
Real: Left, Fake: Right
Subtle differences in the packaging are also noticeable with the genuine item having a gold filter size sticker that is square, while the counterfeit uses a silver oval sticker. The text written on the side of the filter can be greatly different as shown below, with the 'Made in Japan' having a different font for the letter d on the fake item. On the rear of the genuine item the barcode will be a sticker, whereas the counterfeit item has the same barcode on every product regardless of filter size.
Fake on top
Another difference is that the genuine HOYA filter features a bumped edge to aid fitting and removal of the filter from the camera.
Example PhotosHere we've taken a number of photos, first without the filter, then with the HOYA filter and finally with the counterfeit filter.
HOYA 72mm Pro1 Digital UV Filter Sample Photos
No filter | 1/640 sec | f/8.0 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200
Real HOYA | 1/640 sec | f/9.0 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200
Fake HOYA | 1/500 sec | f/8.0 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200
No filter | 1/1000 sec | f/10.0 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200
Real HOYA | 1/1000 sec | f/11.0 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200
Fake HOYA | 1/1000 sec | f/10.0 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200
In the first set of images the fake HOYA filter gives a noticeable yellow / brown cast to the image while the second set of images show a high level of lens flare. This means you would be better off shooting without a filter, rather than buying a fake.
What to do if you buy a fake / counterfiet product:These are the steps recommended by the Citizens Advice Bureau if you buy a counterfeit product:
- Apply for a refund from the seller - if bought from eBay, then report the issue to eBay/PayPal
- Report the trader to trading standards
What are HOYA doing to combat the issue?Hoya has been in touch with Trading Standards who are investigating the issue which has recently cropped up on the Pro1 Digital range of Hoya filters.
Do HOYA / Intro2020 provide a list of fake sellers?Hoya's website and Intro2020 are able to supply a list of dealers who are selling genuine products.
Another concern with trying to save money by buying through eBay is the potential for the seller to list the item, but simply use a photo of a genuine product and then send the counterfeit.
Are they the same fakes as 2009?
The new counterfeits are different to previous fake HOYA filters, which were the cheaper models in the range, and now it seems as though counterfitters are replicating the Pro1 range to maximise profits.If you require any additional information or wish to report counterfit items, please contact Intro2020 or for a list of dealers, please visit HOYA's website.