I've read reviews of the Hoya HD line of lens filters that say they're the best filters on earth.

I've read reviews of the B+W XS-Pro line that say the exact same thing.

How do these filter lines actually compare? There seems to be about a 10-30% premium price on the B+W XS-Pro line versus Hoya. Is this extra money actually buying me anything?

  • \$\begingroup\$ What type of filter are you looking at? What lens and or body are you planning on using this with? \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Jun 16, 2011 at 13:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Hoya HD are the best filters I have ever tried and clearly superior to the B+W SMC filters. Unfortunately, I cannot answer your question since I did not try an XS-Pro. However, I can say that I have no issue at all with the Hoya HDs. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Jun 16, 2011 at 13:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dpollit: I'm looking for a full range of filters. UV, ND, GND, polarizing, etc. If the quality is different between the two brands for different filter types, that's a valid answer, too. I'll be using it with my Canon XSi. I have a 50mm f/1.4 lens, and a 70-300mm IS on order (both 58mm threads). I may want a GND for my 10-22mm UW Sigma lens as well (77mm threads). \$\endgroup\$
    – Flimzy
    Jun 16, 2011 at 20:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ kenrockwell.com/hoya/hd-filters.htm I think Ken clearly prefer the Hoya HD filers. \$\endgroup\$
    – user24388
    Nov 27, 2013 at 3:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Among the "mechanical" people (machinists, etc.), brass is often referred to as being "self lubricated" - that is, it is very much less susceptible to binding, particularly when used in a situation where you are having threads on the material. While it is tempting to go with a much cheaper alternative for filter rings, you only have to be unable to get your filters unscrewed once to appreciate brass. If you can afford it, avoid aluminum as a filter ring material. \$\endgroup\$
    – user27072
    Mar 27, 2014 at 17:55

2 Answers 2


B+W filters use brass rings, vs Hoya, which uses aluminum rings. Now, I will preface this that I am not sure about Hoya HD, as its new and there is no info on the Hoya website. However the Pro1 line is aluminum.

B+W uses brass because it is less susceptible to shrinking/growing in cold/hot weather, and won't bind to filter threads on a lens. This means that even if you put your filter on in a warm room and shoot in freezing temps, you can easily remove the filter when needed.

As for glass, B+W uses Schott glass, some of the best optical glass in the world. Is it better than Hoya? Who knows. Use the filter that works for you, that you can trust.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Hoya says that, in case of collision, brass is more susceptible to pass more force to the lens element as it is harder than aluminum. I found it interesting as it is very simple concept from Physics. :) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1, 2012 at 21:20

I have used both and know for fact that the HOYA will bind readily to other filter you stack it on. You will find yourself spending time trying to separate them every time you use it. Very annoying factor. I am tired of having to carry those wrenches to unbind them. B+W lines made off brass and just won't bind. Those XS-Pro filters are even thinner than the HOYA HD. I love them. They are all with MRC some with Nano technology and it is worth it.


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