Sapphire glass was used by Apple for the iPhone 5 camera, and more recently it has appeared on the screen of the new Apple Watch. It will soon be available for DSLR camera lenses as well. A new company called Novo is getting ready to launch a new line of camera lens filters for photographers. The lineup will include the world’s first filter to use sapphire crystal glass, and other filters will feature Gorilla Glass.
There will be four different filter lines when the line launches: Sapphire UV, Endura UV & Protector, Endura Circular PL, and Endural Vari ND.
The Sapphire UV filter is the one that uses sapphire crystal glass for “incomparable strength and clarity.” Sapphire has a value of 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, so it’s significantly stronger and more scratch-resistant than standard glass filters. It’s also resistant to water and oil.
The glass also has great optical transmission qualities, allowing for 99.9% of light through while blocking 99.95% of UV wavelengths. Dimensions-wise, the Sapphire UV filter has what Novo claims is the world’s slimmest frame, measuring just 2.38mm in width.
The Endura UV & Protector filter is similar to the Sapphire one, except it uses Gorilla Glass instead of Sapphire. It’s other specs and features — including transmittance and UV blocking — are identical to the Sapphire filter.
Finally, the Endura Circular PL and Vari ND filters are made of Japanese AGC glass and feature the world’s slimmest frames for their filter types (3.5mm and 6mm, respectively). The PL filter features 99.5% transmittance and a brass frame, while the ND filter is made with an aluminum frame. Both filters are resistant to water, oil, scratches, and stains.
You’ll be able to purchase these filters later this year at sizes between 40mm and 82mm. Specific pricing has yet to be announced, but the Sapphire UV filters will cost between £60 and £120 (~$88 and $176).