It’s arguable that camera lens filters are not as commonly thought about as they were in the film days. Since the advent of digital photography and post-editing software, many of the effects created with lens filters can be replicated. But, that doesn’t mean lens filters don’t have a use or relevance today.
This is why we’re bringing you a list of the best 77mm filters. The 77mm filter thread is usually reserved for high-end lenses, with the most common lens filter types being used including ultraviolet (UV) filters, clear filters, and polarizing filters.
The initial use of UV filters was to block out unwanted UV light rays, but in the digital world, they also act as good front lens element protectors, as with the clear filters. While on the other hand, circular polarizing (CPL) filters reduce reflections and increase contrast.
Using a filter as a front lens protector is a great idea as it will stop fingerprints, moisture, and surface scratches on a lens. Plus, it’s better to accidentally smash a lens filter rather than the front element on an expensive lens. There is, of course, the option to experiment with any type of lens filter you like, as there is nothing like the practice of getting an image just right in-camera.
While this list focuses on 77mm filters, it’s worth noting that all these filters are available in a range of thread sizes.
1. B+W 77mm XS-Pro UV Haze MRC-Nano 010M (Overall Winner)
B+W is a renowned filter manufacturer and the B+W 77mm XS-Pro UV Haze MRC-Nano 010M filter represents a nice balance between quality and cost. Plus, as clear or UV filters are the most common types used today, it makes sense to recommend a well-regarded version.
This filter promises 99.8 percent light transmission, with Nano and Multi-Resistant Coatings (MRC) to reduce reflections and keep the glass moisture and stain free. The filter itself is made from Schott glass, with a low-profile brass ring that doesn’t cause any type of vignetting in images.
This filter is slightly more expensive than the majority of filters out there, but you’re paying for high-quality optics. The addition of this filter results in clear and neutral images without the slim profile getting in the way. The B+W 77mm filter is a quality solution that comes with the peace of mind that your front element is protected without degrading the quality of your images.
Another commonly used filter is the CPL filter. This type of filter only allows certain light rays through the lens. This results in reduced reflections, while also increasing saturation and contrast. Arguably, the sky’s the limit with how much you want to spend on a filter, but the Tiffen 77mm Circular Polarizing filter fulfills this role without costing the Earth.
This type of filter is great for shooting landscapes and with its variable and smooth turning circular motion, it’s easy to dial in just the right amount of polarization. There may be more expensive polarizing filters on the market, but the Tiffen represents excellent value and is a great solution if this is your first CPL filter or if you’re on a budget.
The Hoya 77 mm Filter Kit II has a bunch of benefits which include coming from a respected lens filter manufacturer, offering three types of filters, and coming with its own fancy filter pouch.
The filters included in this kit consist of a UV (C) HMC filter, Neutral Density (NDX8) 0.9 filter, and a circular polarizer filter. All the filters have a multilayered coating to increase light transmission, while also increasing image fidelity. The UV filter acts as a great front lens protector, while the circular polarizer works very effectively at reducing reflections.
The neutral density filter has a factor of 0.9 or a reduction of three stops of light, providing a great way to balance the detail and contrast of sky’s as compared to landscape views. In total, the kit represents great value, while also providing quality 77mm filters, all in one package.
The Chiaro Pro 77mm 99-UVBTS Brass UV filter is a great front lens protector that provides 99 percent light transmission and UV filtering from a high-quality product. The filter is made from highly polished Schott glass and features a multi-coating that repels dust and moisture while also being scratch resistant.
The filter feels substantial, being made from brass, while also having a ridged edge for easy gripping. The slimline design means this filter can be used on wide-angle lenses without any vignetting. There is no loss of image quality when using this filter and the multi-coating is excellent at repelling water droplets.
This isn’t the cheapest UV filter on this list, but the optical quality makes it worth every penny. Overall this is an excellent UV filter and front lens protector.
With any filter you attach to the front of an expensive lens, it’s always advisable to buy the highest quality glass. This is where the Hoya 77mm HD3 UV filter comes into play. The filter provides 99.7 percent of light transmission, through 16 layers of anti-reflection nano coatings applied to each side of the filter.
The filter is constructed from chemically-hardened optical glass and features a thin aluminum-alloy filter ring. The filter acts as a wonderful front element protector without displaying signs of ghosting and flaring.
This is an expensive filter, but it also provides peace of mind of high-quality optics. Plus, the filter can reduce general haze in the right circumstances.
6. Tiffen 77mm UV Protector Filter (Budget Winner)
If you’re in the market for a lens protector that doesn’t cost the earth, then the Tiffen 77mm UV Protector filter is a good option. This is a clear filter that also absorbs ultraviolet light and helps to reduce the bluish cast produced by daylight.
Tiffen produces this filter with ColorCore technology, which essentially means laminating the filter between two high-quality pieces of glass. The filter itself doesn’t have the slimmest profile around, but it’s a straightforward UV and protecting filter and does exactly what it says on the tin. Image quality looks very neutral, with just a touch increase in contrast.
As a cost-effective solution, you can’t go wrong with the Tiffen 77mm UV Protector filter.
Summary of 77mm Filters
Lens filters are produced at a wide range of price points, all having their plus and minus points. Generally, the more you pay for a lens filter, the higher the quality of optics. But, that doesn’t mean some of the more cost-effective solutions aren’t up to the task, especially with the simple, clear lens protectors.
As always, if you want full peace of mind, it’s better to pay that bit more for the best quality glass. But, with all the filters mentioned on this list, they provide good quality filtering without breaking the bank.