Is there a difference between multi-coated and regular?

Started Apr 14, 2004 | Discussions
Adam Mendonsa Regular Member • Posts: 126
Is there a difference between multi-coated and regular?

I am also looking at HOYA UV and polarizer filters and wanted to know if there is a noticeable difference between the multi-coated and regular, high quality filters?
Thanks for your help.
ADAM

Mike Fitzgerald Veteran Member • Posts: 9,542
Re: Is there a difference between multi-coated and regular?

Two parts to that: coated versus uncoated, and coated versus multi-coated. Actually, coatings are used for several quite different purposes (scratch resistance, glare reduction -- prescription sunglasses), and here we're talking specifically about anti-reflection coatings.

The purpose of the coating in question is to reduce reflections from the surfaces of the filter, thereby increasing its light transmission. Reflection losses can be up to around 4% per surface boundary for uncoated glass, adding up to a substantial total.

More significantly for photography, uncoated filters are more likely to set up lens flare, starting via multiple reflections between the rear surface of the filter and the front surface of the camera lens.

Multi-coating is just a more sophisticated version, providing further enhanced transmission characteristics, and is in common use today for eyeglasses. My guess is that most filters in the major brands that are coated at all will probably be multi-coated.

Avoid uncoated filters where possible. That goes especially for a polariser which you're more likely to find yourself using without a lens hood for ease of adjustment, and which is therefore more likely to end up with direct sunlight on it.

It's generally accepted, BTW, that the only reason for a UV filter on a digital camera is for protection. Any filter at all has to theoretically degrade things to some extent, and many people don't use one for that reason.

Mike

Adam Mendonsa wrote:

I am also looking at HOYA UV and polarizer filters and wanted to
know if there is a noticeable difference between the multi-coated
and regular, high quality filters?
Thanks for your help.
ADAM

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