The Hoyarex Skylight 1B filter – cat number 011 – is one of the most valuable filters in the Hoyarex range, yet is often overlooked, because its not a special effect filter.
But this underused filter will do two things to ensure your photography improves.
Firstly, and most importantly, the filter is a lens protector. The Hoyarex system is made so that when a filter is placed in the back slot it removes any possibility of dust reaching the lens. So if the holder is left on with a filter inserted the lens wont get dust falling on the surface or scratches. The skylight is the obvious choice as it has no special effect value. It’s also one of the few filters in the Hoyarex range that’s made from glass so optically very good.
But the filter has another use. A skylight filter has a very slight pink tint that has a warming effect when shooting in hazy days, so landscapes can be photographed with slightly more clarity.
Using the filter in the back slot near the lens means there still another slot free for a special effect filter when you want to add a graduated effect, sepia tone or spot for example. Photographyattic has the Hoyarex 011 Skylight 1B glass filter for sale here
Hoyarex filters were arguably the best filter system made. Optically superb, several made from glass, solid filter holder, brilliant adjustable rubber hood for wide or super telephoto, and a useful range of filters.
Hoyarex was a filter system developed by Hoya. Hoya was the big name in optical filters and then French manufacturer Cokin appeared with a system that would revolutionise the filter world.
Hoya reacted fast but not fast enough. Cokin had soon taken hold of the filter market with serious and special effect filters. Photographers were no longer buying one or two filters they were investing in cases full.
The Hoyarex system emulated what Cokin had done, but in our opinion did it better, some filters were glass, others had frames around them so handling was better. The holder was more flexible and had a more versatile lens hood. The filters slotted in more comfortably and the adaptors clipped in easier.
But they were too late and Cokin won the battle. Hoyarex disappeared as quick as they came.
You can still find remnants of the system sold in the second-hand sections of various photographic retailers, and there are many here on PhotographyAttic.
The illustration above shows the filter holder with an adaptor ring (available in sizes from 43mm up to 77mm) and the wonderful rubber Pro hood that clipped on the holder and had a variable extension.
Two filter holder can be clipped together and rotated when special effect filters were inserted.
Here in numeric order is the entire range with links to buy individual used filters at photographyattic.com
The Multi-purpose UV is similar to the skylight, absorbing the ultraviolet rays which often make scenic shots hazy and indistinct. Moreover, the UV, especially when used with black & white film, increases contrast, reduces haze and generally improves the “sharpness” of your photographs
Many photographers buy a UV filter for each lens and leave them screwed on to protect the lenses’ front elements.
UV filters are available in round type that screw into the lens in ever size imaginable.
UV Filters available here
They were also made by Hoyarex for their square filter system.
Links to buy
Hoyarex 021 Filter
The top ten filters you should own will obviously vary from person to person and is dependent on the subjects you photograph. Our choice is most definitely the following:
- Circular Polariser (glare reduction and colour saturation)
Great for landscapes, still lifes and architectural photography
- Grey Grad 4x (balance sky brightness)
Great for landscapes
- Skylight (protects lens)
All purpose photography
- Neutral Density x4 (reduces overall exposure)
All purpose photography
- 81A (warms up skin tones)
Perfect for portraits but also useful for landscapes
- Close up +4 (for the macro shots)
Ideal for nature also good for still lifes
- Grey Grad 2x (a weaker variation on 2)
Great for landscapes
- Neutral Density x8 (a stronger variation on 4)
All purpose photography but idea for blurry waterfalls
- Softar style diffuser (best softener for when you cant be bothered doing it in Photoshop)
Perfect for wedding and portraits
- Star 8 (Adds star burst)
Great for jewellery, also interesting for landscapes
Good selection? Let us know your favourite filters and what you use them for
Load of camera filters for sale
The Skylight filter has been around for decades and is one of the most popular filters. It has a slight pink tint which is used to reduce blue haze in colour photography.
When taking colour photographs in bright sunlight, especially by the sea or in the mountains, ultra-violet rays and the brightness of the sky throw out the picture’s overall colour balance.
Removing any excess bluish tone, improves the overall clarity of the photograph. They also keeps skin tones free of colour reflections from nearby objects such as tree shade. With older film cameras this was very important as it helped restore the film’s natural colour balance. It’s less of an issue with digital as colour casts can be eliminated quite easily in post processing using an image editing program.
The Skylight filter does not affect exposure, so some photographers screw one on the front of each of their lenses as protection for the front element.
There are some photographers who counter this action, suggesting that the filter will degrade quality. And it’s true if you put on a cheapy plastic option, but adding a high quality Japanese multi-coated filter will give minimal degradation to the image. Any change will certainly not be noticeable to the naked eye. And the advantage of having a skylight filter (or UV) is you maintain a clean lens which would cost much more to replace than a scratched filter.
If you use a skylight filter you can keep it attached all the time, but be careful if you add other filters as the extended depth could cause vignetting on wide angle lenses. Some manufacturers such as Hoya make slim versions to prevent this.
Skylight filters are available in two strengths 1A and 1B, the latter being a slightly stronger pink colour.
Skylight filters are available in round type that screw into the lens in ever size imaginable.
Round screw in filters available here
They are also made by Cokin for the square filter system in A and P sizes, and Hoyarex and the likes used to make them for their systems.
Hoyarex 011 Filter