The Tokina Rain Dispersion Filter Has No Problem Keeping Water off Your Lens

For those people who are fed up with constantly wiping water drops off of their lens when shooting in rainy weather, Tokina has a pretty ingenious solution for you: a hydrophilic “rain dispersion filter.”

The demo video above comes from this year’s International Broadcasting Convention, where News Shooter‘s technical editor spoke with Tokina about the new filter.

The filter was created by Tokina in cooperation with Japanese broadcasting corporation NHK, and as you can see from the demo, any water that is sprayed onto the filter spreads evenly across the entire surface before flowing off, leaving no droplets that might obscure the view.


Even more impressive is the view from the other side of the viewfinder. Although from the front it looks like the lens would still be obscured some, the water that is being sprayed onto the filter hardly shows up at all, and then only for a split second.

According to Tokina employee Chris, the filter should be available starting early next year in a variety of circular sizes as well as square. If these types of filters become popular, it’ll be interesting to see if lens makers begin applying similar coatings to the lenses themselves.

(via The Phoblographer)

  • magamago

    mmmmm SONY NEX FF is better

  • louisleblanc

    Anyone ever tried putting RainX windshield washer fluid on a lens filter? It has a similar effect as that filter on car windshields, it could be useful for people in a pinch.

  • Stephan Zielinski

    It’s not hydrophobic. It’s hydrophilic. Watch the video again; both the interviewer and the interviewee very carefully say “hydrophilic.” And look at what the water does on the plate; it doesn’t bead up, which is what water does when sprayed onto something hydrophobic such as wax. Instead, it smears out. This means that it’s totally UN-like hydrophobic coatings such as NeverWet.

  • Johannes Rebling

    Sorry, but I assume you guys missed the point a little bit. They say in the video that it is a hydrophilic filter, that means it attracts water. The exact opposite is hydrophobic, which means it repels water, like the NeverWet system. And while I haven’t seen the filter in action myself, from the video it seems pretty clear that it does in fact attract water. So instead of forming little drops that would run down and distort the image, this filter forms a homogeneous water film. And since it is not in the focus of the lens, it will have some influence on the image quality but there won’t be any visible drops or blurry spots.

    Maybe you can check that? Regs, Joe

  • SiriusPhotog

    The demo in this video didn’t appear to be dispersing the water that well when shown from the front but looking at the live view it seemed to work great.

  • Joe Tepper

    shouldn’t it be called hydrophobic, not philic?

  • Dave

    Hydrophillic attracts the water into a very thin film that is uniform across the filter.
    Hydrophobic would create beads of water that would roll of the filter. These would have more effect to the image than the thin film.

  • Dover

    I shoot mostly underwater where a lot of the time I try to shoot half out and half in the water (Over/under or split shot). Photographers have tried everything to keep water droplets off the dome optic in the upper or air side of the image. Rainex is an ok solution but the problem is it only makes water bead, not sheet off of the optic. If you carry a can of air (that stuff you clean the dust off of computers) you can give it a short burst and all the water will fly off the dome, but it is cumbersome to carry a lot of extra gear.

  • Richard Polhill

    Oh I see. I wondered that. Thanks.

  • Foren

    Can anyone tell me what rain cover that is?

  • FalconST

    RainX WILL pit plastic, be careful where you use it.

  • rho

    What a great discover…. You can achieve the same effect with an ordinary nanotechnology rainscreen thing used on windcreen instead of car wipers

  • Chive Awesomeness

    Because I use Pentax, I really only need the Tokina glass, even without it, I usually just wipe down the drops when I need a key shot.


    Pentax ships their DSLR’s and lenses with weather sealing.

    I’ve tested this firsthand by sitting in the splash zone at Sea World (sidenote, washing a DSLR in the sink gets you some very weird looks)

    I’ve also walked through waterfalls with this camera and 3+ hours in the rain in Venice Italy.

    Everything is working 100% and the lenses are crystal clear! No water leaks anywhere!

  • Colin Mattson

    RainX is loaded with potent solvents. I wouldn’t put it on anything you aren’t absolutely sure is (a) glass and (b) completely uncoated.

  • Sahaja

    Hydrophobia is also another name for rabies – so not a good name for a product.