Tiffen Digital HT Ultra Clear filter review: high performance and protection?

Protect your lens without affecting image quality with this High Transmission, multi-coated filter, surpassing even military specifications

5 Star Rating
Tiffen Digital HT Ultra Clear filter review
(Image: © Kim Bunermann/ Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Tiffen Digital HT Ultra Clear filter is a reliable and high-quality accessory that provides excellent results without compromising image quality or detail. Due to its superior Water White Glass, it can be easily combined with other filters. Its durability, scratch resistance, and ease of cleaning make it an ideal choice for professional photographers and amateurs alike.

Pros

  • +

    No compromising on image quality

  • +

    Pairs with other filters

  • +

    Protects your lens

Cons

  • -

    Not the cheapest

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Clear filters are a valuable tool for photographers working in harsh environments and are a wise addition to any photographer's kit. Positioned in front of the lens, they provide an extra layer of protection against dust, fingerprints, and other elements that could potentially damage an expensive lens and leave it scratch-free. 

Moisture in particular is one of the biggest threats to lenses and can be difficult to stop once it permeates the lens. Moisture infiltrate the lens not only in rainy conditions but also when transitioning from cold to warm environments.

The main challenge when searching for a clear filter is finding one that doesn't affect the image quality in terms of details, sharpness, exposure, colors, and contrast. In this review, we tested the Tiffen Digital HT Ultra Clear filter, which promises a lot with its exceptional sounding Hi Transmission technology and multi-coated surface.

(Image credit: Kim Bunermann/ Future)

Specifications

Filter type: Clear protection filter
Mount: Screw-in 
Thread diameter range (mm): 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72, 77, 82
Filter material: Water White optical glass, ColorCore Glass technology
Frame material: Titanium finish
Thickness: 6 mm

Build & Handling

Digital HT Digital Ultra Clear filter is packaged within a lined nylon pouch, which distinguishes it from non-coated Tiffen filters that are typically presented within compact plastic containers without pouches. The filter ring is finished in titanium, which accentuates its high quality and surpasses even military specifications. While the Ultra Clear filter is slightly heavier than Tiffen's aluminum filters, it is nonetheless comfortable to hold, and attaching and detaching it from the lens-milled front edge is straightforward. 

Tiffen employed its award-winning ColorCore technology to create the filter's glass, using Water White optical glass. This involved laminating the filter substrate between two pieces of optical glass and then grinding the glass flat with a precision tolerance of 1/10,000th of an inch. This level of precision is impressive. 

The High Transmission filter is multi-coated to provide increased strength, durability, optical clarity, greater light transmission, and protection against scratches. Through the low-profile titanium finish ring and anti-reflective black lock ring, Tiffen promises that this filter does not cause physical vignetting, even when used in combination with ultra-wide-angle lenses. Tiffen offers a 10-year warranty on all their products, which speaks to their commitment to quality.

(Image credit: Kim Bunermann/ Future)

Performance

The Tiffen Digital HT Ultra Clear filter delivers exceptional results by maintaining high image quality and preserving fine details. When capturing photos with the filter attached, images retain their original quality even when zoomed in to 100% on the camera's display. When reviewing the images on a laptop, the details remain sharp and there are no visible differences in terms of light, color, or contrast. 

The filter's multi-coating ensures that moisture, dust, and fingerprints do not enter the lens's actual surface. Additionally, the filter is scratch-resistant and easy to clean, providing long-lasting and high protection for your lens.

There were no issues with focus, whether the autofocus or manual focus was used. This is not surprising as Tiffen filters rarely have focus issues and because the Water White Glass construction is optically pure. Since the Clear filter produced sharp images without affecting image color or contrast, it can be combined with other filters. During the test, I attached the Digital HT Ultra Clear filter with Tiffen's Circular Polarizer filter and there was no difference in the results compared to using only the Polarizer.

Before: Captured with a Sony A7III, Sony 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 lens, 1/60sec, f/5.6, ISO400 (Image credit: Kim Bunermann/ Future)

After: Captured with a Sony A7III, Sony 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 lens, 1/60sec, f/5.6, ISO400 and Tiffen Digital HT Ultra Clear filter (Image credit: Kim Bunermann/ Future)

Tiffen's double-sided titanium multi-coating offers a higher level of light transmission than other brands. You can find a detailed document on Tiffen's website about the light transmission and the Anti-Reflective characteristics. The Titanium coating technology reflects less than 1% of the photo light hitting the front surface of the filter while transmitting nearly 99%. This sets Tiffen apart from its competitors.

Verdict

If the price suits your budget the Tiffen Digital HT Ultra Clear filter is an ideal choice for professional photographers and amateurs who want to protect their lenses and maintain high image quality. Its superior Water White Glass construction ensures that images retain their original quality even when zoomed in to 100%. Details remain sharp and there are no visible differences in terms of light, color, or contrast. 

The filter's multi-coating also prevents moisture, dust, and fingerprints from entering the lens surface, making it scratch-resistant and easy to clean. However, proper care and maintenance of filters and lenses are essential to ensure their longevity and optimal performance. A lens cleaner or microfiber cloth should be used to clean filters and lenses regularly.

As the Tiffen Digital HT Ultra Clear filter does not affect any image color or contrast, it can be combined with other filters without affecting image color or contrast. Its double-sided titanium multi-coating technology offers a higher level of light transmission than other brands, reflecting less than 1% of the photo light hitting the front surface of the filter while transmitting nearly 99%. 

Although this filter comes with a price tag, it is built to last and comes with a 10-year warranty. Its high-quality materials, transmission technology, glass, and coating make it an accessory you can use for years.

(Image credit: Kim Bunermann/ Future)

Alternatives

Tiffen's UV Protector filter

Are you a beginner in photography or searching for a budget-friendly solution? Tiffen's UV Protector filter is an excellent alternative to the Digital HT Ultra Clear filter. It effectively reduces the impact of UV light and provides reliable protection for your lens - but without any multi-coated surfaces or a hefty price tag.

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Kim Bunermann
Technique Editor

Kim is the Technique Editor of Digital Photographer Magazine. She specializes in architecture, still life and product photography and has a Master's degree in Photography and Media with a distinction from the FH Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in Germany. While studying, Kim came to the UK for an exchange term at the London College of Communication. She settled in the UK and began her career path by joining Future. Kim focuses on tutorials and creative techniques, and particularly enjoys interviewing inspiring photographers who concentrate on a range of fascinating subjects including women in photography, the climate crisis; the planet, its precious creatures and the environment.