Hoya has made a big splash with their new HD circular filters, if just for the list price alone (as high as $300). Hoya claims the following:
- 25% higher light transmission than standard film filters (same film used in hi-def LCDs)
- 4X the breakage strength
- 8 layer anti-reflective multi-coating with 99.35% light transmission in the visible spectrum (400nm to 700nm)
When I saw it in person at PhotoPlus Expo last year, I could not believe that it was really a polarizer. Take a look at the below image.
How can something that light be an effective polarizer? I decided to put them to the test. The below images show the same clouds only a few minutes apart with my 40D & 85mm L f/1.2 lens, tripod mounted.
The polarizing effect between the Pro1 and the HD is virtually the same. The BIG difference between the filters was in the light transmission. I was able to get more than 1-stop using the HD filter! In low-light situations, that extra light can be very helpful. But, in bright light situations, you may want the extra filtering power of the Pro1.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Price-controls on Hoya’s new HD filters