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Hoya S-HMC vs. S-HMC Pro1

Jeremy Turner , May 24, 2004; 03:48 a.m.


Does anyone have hands-on experience with these filters, particularly the circular polarizers? How does the Pro1 version compare with the S- HMC? Also, how does the Pro1 (or the S-HMC) polarizer compare with B+W's MRC filters?

Any thoughts on this would be most welcome before I take the plunge.




David Choo , May 24, 2004; 05:17 a.m.

When comparing Hoya S-HMC vs S-HMC Pro 1, in terms of image quality, you will find absolutely no difference.

If you use super wide angle lenses, the Pro 1's might be a good investment. Althought I never vignette with the non Pro 1's at 16mm. I think this has more to do with construction of the lens by the manufacturer you use.

I personally don't use more then 1 filter at a time, unless its some type of color correction filter with a ND grad like the Lee system, in which case, the regular S-HMC are just fine, even at 16mm.

In terms of polarizers, I do believe a slim line version is well worth the investment.

B+W MRC filter quality is the same as the Hoya. You'll be hard pressed to find any difference. I use both and have never found a difference in quality between the two.

The two differences I found which can be incredible important are the fact that B+W uses brass rings. (Not everyone needs this) And B+W usually has less of a f-stop loss as compared to other manufacturers.

Hope this helps.

Daniel Taylor , May 24, 2004; 05:29 a.m.

The "Pro" filters are just thinner. You would use them on wide angle and zoom lenses where vignetting might be a problem. Otherwise the S-HMC filters are optically the same.

I've been quite happy with my S-HMC UV filters. On numerous occasions I've shot identical scenes with and without them, and I have yet to notice any difference between shots. They do not seem to introduce any additional flare. Now I just leave them on at all times to protect my lenses.

I've never compared them to B+W.

David Lau , May 24, 2004; 06:32 a.m.

While I am very satisfy with the optical quality and the thicknesss (very thin) of my Pro 1 CPL filter, I don't like the lens cap that come with it. Since Pro 1 is very thin, the clip on cap that comes with the lens does not fit onto it. Hoya provides a push on one with the filter but after some use it tends to become too loose and falls out easily. I have 3 Pro 1 filters and all of them have the same problem.

I am now looking at buying 3rd party cap that can secure onto the filter and the lens.

Bryce JFG , May 25, 2004; 06:24 p.m.

Having recently completed some very serious filter shopping... and becoming very confused, I think many would find this website very helpful:

Robin Kantra Photographic Supply

Unfortunately, they don't carry B+W, so they don't have any info to clarify the oh-so-subtle and obscure descriptions, but very un-subtle price differences between the varieties of B+W filters; but they do have very clear descriptions about Hoya's variations.

The descriptions and information is refreshingly honest too!

They carry Heliopan, instead of B+W as their top-of-the-line. I have no personal experience with Heliopan, but I would note that you might want to do a search on Photo.Net and read what others have said before buying.

Jeremy Turner , May 30, 2004; 08:14 p.m.

Thanks everyone for your replies. I've decided to go with the Pro1 versions, because of their thickness, as I do a lot of very wide angle shooting.



Landscape Photography by Jeremy Turner

David Henderson , May 30, 2004; 08:40 p.m.

I think you've made the right decision. I have two B+W polarisers and the Hoya super Pro 1 . After using the B+W for years - and indeed I also had their "slim " MC product until I dropped it - I now use the Hoya every time I polarise. I just find it has a cleaner look than I was getting with B+W and the combination of a very slim filter with a front thread is unusual and useful. No doubt the mount is flimsier and lighter than the B+W equivalent. But optically i think its better and gives truer colour.

Paul Calamai , Oct 31, 2007; 12:54 p.m.

According to my sources (i.e. Hoya) the Pro 1 Digital and the S-HMC circular polarizers are both the exact same thickness, namely 5mm. The difference is that the S-HMC has 7 layers of coating compared to the 3 on the Pro 1 but the Pro 1 has double treading whereas the S- HMC doesn't. As well, the Pro 1 has "digital" multicoating (whatever that means), a black almite frame (reduces reflections), and black rimmed glass (ditto). Oh, and the Pro 1 Digital package is blue whereas the S-HMC package is black.

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