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Hoya UV & IR Cut Filter review

Hoya UV & IR Cut Filter review - We test the 67mm version of the Hoya UV & IR Cut filter.

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Category : Filters
Product : Hoya UV&IR Cut
Price : £71
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Features
Handling and Performance
Verdict
Specification

In recognition that digital camera sensors are sometimes affected by stray infrared light that the eye cannot see, Hoya have added a UV & IR Cut filter to their range. This specialist filter blocks unwanted infrared and ultraviolet rays from reaching the sensor so the resulting photographs could have slightly more clarity.

UV&IR Cut

Hoya UV & IR Cut Filter Features

The Hoya UV & IR Cut filter looks like any normal UV filter when you hold it up to your eye and look through, but the magic is in the coating which becomes apparent when you angle the filter and it catches the light. The filter has a Greeny blue colour when held at one angle and a vivid red at another. These coatings block UV sources with wavelengths below 320nm and infrared rays that appear from 780nm.

Hoya UV & IR Cut Filter In Hand

The glass filter is in an ultra slim metal mount so is fine for use on wider angle lenses where a deep mount would cause vignetting. It's also light weight - the 67mm weighs just 22grams.

Hoya UV & IR Cut Filter Compared with normal UV
Hoya UV & IR Cut Filter (left) compared with normal Hoya Multi-coated UV (right)

Hoya UV & IR Cut Filter Handling & Performance

One of the main uses of a UV filter is to protect the lens. The glass is clear so doesn't have any affect on colour balance or exposure, but will stop dust or fingerprints appearing on your lens' front element. And its other job is to block UV rays that can reduce quality of photos by adding a slight haze on distant scenes.

The UV & IR Cut takes this a stage further by blocking out the IR spectrum too and this is clearly seen when pointing a TV remote control at the camera and pressing any button.
This video explains all...




Most digital cameras these days have filters over the sensor to block IR light so the filter will have little effect when used with them, but some are better than others. And older digital cameras, notibly models from the Nikon Coolpix range and Rioch models, had poor infrared blocks so this filter will improve photos taken using that type of camera. And although we didn't have a Leica M8 to hand, it's well reported that the camera produces slight pinkish blacks when photographing in certain lighting conditions, so the filter will prevent those colour issues. Astronomy photographers should find the filter gives more clarity.

The comparision below is a distant scene taken using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 9-18mm set at 18mm. Exposure was 1/640sec at f/6.3 and ISO400.

Distant landscape without filter | 1/640 sec | f/6.3 | 18.0 mm | ISO 400
Without filter
Distant landscape with Hoya UV filter | 1/640 sec | f/6.3 | 18.0 mm | ISO 400
With Hoya HMC UV filter
Distant landscape with Hoya UV & IR Cut filter | 1/640 sec | f/6.3 | 18.0 mm | ISO 400
With Hoya UV & IR Cut filter

Here's a closer scene with areas in light and shade using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 9-18mm set at 9mm and an exposure of 1/30 sec at f/8 and ISO 200.

Filter Compared - scene taken without a filter | 1/30 sec | f/8.0 | 9.0 mm | ISO 200
Without filter
Filter Compared - scene taken with Hoya UV Filter  | 1/25 sec | f/8.0 | 9.0 mm | ISO 200
With Hoya HMC UV filter
Filters Compared - scene taken with Hoya UV & IR Cut Filter | 1/25 sec | f/8.0 | 9.0 mm | ISO 200
With Hoya UV & IR Cut filter

And a scene that includes brickwork and high contrast using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 9-18mm set at 9mm and an exposure of 1/30 sec at f/10 and ISO 200.

Filter Compared - scene taken without a filter | 1/30 sec | f/10.0 | 9.0 mm | ISO 200
Without filter
Filter Compared - scene taken with Hoya UV Filter | 1/30 sec | f/10.0 | 9.0 mm | ISO 200
With Hoya HMC UV filter
Filter Compared - scene taken with Hoya UV & IR Cut Filter | 1/30 sec | f/10.0 | 9.0 mm | ISO 200
With Hoya UV & IR Cut filter

It's dificult to see much difference with the above three comparision sets because the camera is already doing a pretty good job of filtering out IR wavelength, so for cameras of this kind there's not a great advantage in paying extra for the IR Block aspect and a normal UV will suit as a lens protector. 

Another use is for owners of cameras that have been converted to infrared. The camera can be partially returned to a black & white recording model by adding the filter as I found out here when trying the filter on a lens fitted to an infrared converted Pentax *ist D.

Infrared converted *ist D portrait without filter | 1/500 sec | f/6.7 | 45.0 mm | ISO 400 Infrared converted *ist D portrait with UV & IR Cut filter | 1/180 sec | f/6.7 | 45.0 mm | ISO 400
Above left is a photo taken with the infrared converted *ist D at ISO400 without filter attached - 1/500 sec at f/6.7 and right is with the filter attached - 1/180 sec at f/6.7.

This increases the scope for such cameras, but does also increase the exposure time required by up to three stops, depending on light conditions.

In one into the sun shot I found the filter caused serious flare halo when used with the Pentax infrared camera - result below. The originals have been included with two quickly processed versions. This shape didn't appear on any other photo. The filtered exposure needed  more exposure compensation to compare correctly.

Unprocessed Infrared converted *ist D landscape without filter | 0.5 sec | f/8.0 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Unprocessed Infrared converted *ist D landscape without filter | 0.5sec | f/8 | 16mm
Unprocessed Infrared converted *ist D landscape with UV & IR Cut filter | 1.5 sec | f/8.0 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Unprocessed Infrared converted *ist D landscape with UV & IR Cut filter | 1.5sec | f/8 | 16mm
Prrocessed Infrared converted *ist D landscape without filter | 0.5 sec | f/8.0 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Prrocessed Infrared converted *ist D landscape without filter | 0.5sec | f/8 | 16mm
Processed Infrared converted *ist D landscape with UV & IR Cut filter | 1.5 sec | f/8.0 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Processed Infrared converted *ist D landscape with UV & IR Cut filter | 1.5sec | f/8 | 16mm

Value For Money

The IR Cut aspect makes this filter quite a costly item. A normal Hoya 67mm HMC UV is £18 compared to £145 for this Hoya 67mm UV & IR Cut one. The German brand, B+W, is better value at £113 B+W 67mm MRC UV/IR but the mount is thicker so you may see vignetting on wide angles. 

Hoya UV & IR Cut Filter Verdict

An expensive filter for specialist applications, but you can be sure that with the Hoya brand you're buying one of the best. If astronomy is your subject, or you have a camera / camcorder without an IR filter and want better results, or you want to pull back a full range of tones on your converted infrared camera this filter will deliver and the slim mount won't restrict you when shooting with wider angles.

Hoya UV & IR Cut Filter Pros

Slim mount
Blocking qualities
Good for astronomy
Adds versatility to your infared converted digital camera

Hoya UV & IR Cut Filter Cons

Cost
Hard to see benefits for normal photographic applications

FEATURES    
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

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Comments


JJGEE 9 6.2k 18 England
10 Oct 2012 8:20AM
Good review, especially the video clip with the TV Remote Control demonstrating it's effectiveness in certain conditions.

It appears though that it is not really for " general " use with a " normal " UV filter being sufficient for blocking out the UV wavelengths.

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Pete e2
13 18.4k 96 England
11 Oct 2012 3:57PM
It's can be used for general use, but has no real advantage over a normal UV (unless your camera is one with a poor infrared blocking filter - and you can test that using the remote control) The light weight and slim mount may also appeal but Hoya do slim standard UVs too.
IR cut filters are very useful in combination with heavy neutral density filtration in videography. If you want to maintain 1/48th shutter speed (common technique to mimic filmic movement) with large apertures in very bright light, you need to use ND filters. Because regular ND's only blocks visible light, it leads to infrared pollution especially in dark areas, resulting in purple color cast. IR cut filter prevents this phenomenon.
25 Aug 2013 7:22AM
Unless the Hoya IR-cut (Interference) filters are different beasts all together, the comparable filters from B+W, Rocolax etc. all have a disclaimer that this filter cannot/should not be used with lenses wider than 60. They tend to cause a blue color cast towards the edges of the frame on wider lenses.

Maybe they are not as effective at 62 either, the angle of the lens you used for the testing.
But the lack of performance is more likely due to the time of day and cloudcover when the images were taken. Non of the images from the landscape to the bridge are really high IR light situations. I expect them to work as advertised by the manufacturers in high IR environments like mountains or seaside during the brightest sunshine hours of a day.

Also there are differences in the coating techniques between the manufacturers. One filter brand may work better for your specific sensor and lens.
Still, I also tried the UV-IR CUT filter, the brand is ROCOLAX, which is lower price than HOAY, bought it in uvircut.com
And still in good quality and almost same quality with B+w one.

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