by Colin William Tyler
Filters are a simple and relatively inexpensive means to enhance your images, though it can also be one of the best ways to destroy a perfectly good shot. Putting another piece of glass in front of your camera should not be taken lightly. An incorrect or poorly made filter can degrade image quality and cause the opposite of your desired effect. Luckily a German company called Heliopan offers an extensive line of high-quality filters.
Heliopan filters offer some of the most brilliant colour quality, contrast, and sharpness that I have ever encountered. One of the first things that I noticed when I picked up my first Heliopan filter was just the sheer quality of the build. These filters are lightweight yet tough, with brilliantly machined brass and a matte black finish to help further reduce reflection. During my first full day of shooting with them, I removed and replaced the filters on my lens countless times and never had an issue getting them on or off as the screw thread operated very smoothly. The glass quality was also some of the best that I have seen, especially on the UV and polarizing filters, seeing no ghosting and very little, if any, reflection.
With the UV filter in an indoor environment I saw no change in the quality of the image even though I was putting another layer of glass in front of the camera. It performed brilliantly and did not seem to have a negative effect on the colour, contrast or sharpness. In fact, with the UV filter on, it cut down on haze while shooting landscapes and mountain ranges.
The Heliopan polarizing filter provided some amazing results straight out of the camera that not even post-processing using a powerful editing program could reproduce. This filter brought the most out of the colour and contrast of the image, and with its numbered adjustment ring gave me complete control over how I wanted to deal with reflection. The loss of light to the lens was also minimal with a loss well under one and a half stops.
The Heliopan ND filter is also a worthwhile accessory for any photographer looking to create the effect of movement and show the flow of time in their images. Once again, this filter greatly benefits from the high level of build quality that comes with the Heliopan line of filters, keeping a true neutral tone and enhancing rather than inhibiting photographs. For more information visit nadel.ca or thecamerastore.com.