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Today i'm taking a look at Sigma's 72mm UV filter - it's a product that I didn't start using until recently, as I normally opt for Hoya's Pro1 variety which was out of stock the last time I visited my local camera shop.
A filter explained
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If you're unaware of what a filter is, or indeed what it does - it's simply a thin glass disc which screws onto the front of your camera's lens and offers protection combined with whatever is the filter's speciality. In this case it's a UV (ultra-violet) model which reduces ultra-violet light, and ultimately removes haze in your photos where the sun is prominant.
It's important to note that you'll need to purchase the correct size filter depending on the thread on your lens - this particular review focusses on the 72mm variety which has a current amazon price of £29.70. Compared to the Hoya Pro1 filter, the Sigma is very similar in terms of cost - but which is the better performer?
Advice and Performance
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If you're using a decent UV filter, you can leave it on your camera at all times - this gives you the extra peace of mind that your valuable lens won't get scratched - would you rather damage a £25 piece of glass (the filter), or a £500 piece of glass (the lens)?
With a solid construction, i've found that the Sigma screws smoothly onto my lens and remains firmly in place. Photos taken using the filter are clear and without any degradation from the product's use. Haze is visibly reduced, and I can see no real difference between the Sigma and the Hoya in terms of performance. The only qualm I have is the fact that it scratches a little easily - don't get me wrong, i've subjected this filter to a lot of rough treatment when my camera has been resting against fence posts / trees etc - it's just that that the Hoya filter seems a little more resilient, and i've used both products for the same amount of time.
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Overall, the Sigma's 72mm UV filter is a decent product which does exactly what it is supposed to do - but would I buy it again? To be honest the answer is "probably not"; i'll revert back to the Hoya Pro1 when this needs replacing - it simply feels like it's a little more likely to get damaged over an extended period of time.