Want an unbreakable UV or polarizing filter? California based company Aurora Aperture just posted a new Kickstarter campaign aimed to fund two supposedly non-destructive filters based on the same Gorilla Glass 3 technology found in many advanced smartphones but adapted for the high quality optical world.
Earlier this year we published a review of the Aurora Aperture Power XND 2000 Variable Neutral Density filter which offers 11 stops of light reduction capability (officially, in our test it showed about 8.5 stops which is still impressive the category). Now the company is doing it again on Kickstarter with another set of innovative products – Gorilla Glass based UV/CPL filters.
So why would you need such a strong filters? well some people claim that you do not and you better leave the front of your lens clean (at least when it comes to UV filters), we actually do feel more secure with a UV filter and at any event a CPL filter is required on some situations and you will not be able to recreate the effect it makes by post processing means and if you would like to protect your lens while using it a strong CPL might be a good idea.
To be fair both Hoya (HD Protector) and Sigma (Sigma Ceramic) filters offer high level of impact protection but according to Aurora Aperture, their filters are stronger – able to withstand an impact of a 56 gram metal ball falling down (you can see the height from which the test was done in the video above) while both the Sigma and Hoya failed.
Some other advantages of the Gorilla Glass Based Aurora UV and CPL filters include high resistance to scratches and also the ability to repel water, oil, and dust as well as to clean. contaminants from the filters easily.
Another interesting feature is the design which is thin yet has a larger ring which should help prevent the very common problem of a stuck filter (which is very common with thin filters).
As for pricing – depending on the size of the filter and the number of filters you are going to order you are looking at anything from as low as $22 and up to $127 (for a huge 105mm PowerUV filter) with a combo of UV and CPL filters (72mm) for $128 (all on the project Kickstarter page).
We are going to look at the two new filters in the not too distant feature so stay tuned for that test as well.
Update: Aurora Aperture wanted to clarify that they are actually not the first manufacturer to be using Gorilla Glass for filters. Cokin has been using it for a few years but they use it differently. Cokin’s PURE Hormonie filters are designed to be extremely thin (0.6mm) and not as tough (in the test Aurora Aperture ran they smashed under a 16g ball). Aurora Aperture went in the other direction and used the regular thickness of the Gorilla Glass to create a super strong filter which is several times stronger than normal glass filters.