Back in December 2015, Sigma announced the world’s first protective lens filters made of ceramic — filters that it claims are 10x stronger than traditional filters and 3x stronger than chemically strengthened filters.
Sigma has just published pricing and availability info for the new filters, as well as the above video, which demonstrates the filter’s strength through a ball drop shatter test.
Using a standard shatter test using a 49-gram metal ball, Sigma tested its new filter against a traditional glass filter and 2 different chemically hardened filters made by other companies. The test shows that Sigma’s filter emerges unscathed while the other 3 filters instantly shatter to pieces.
“The test proved the excellent shock resistance of SIGMA WR CERAMIC PROTECTOR compared to conventional protectors,” Sigma says.
The new filters are resistant to water, scratches, and oil, and will be available in sizes ranging from 67mm to 105mm in diameter.
The 67mm costs $130, the 72mm costs $151, the 77mm costs $165, the 82mm costs $203, the 86mm costs $282, the 95mm costs $346, and the 105mm costs $441. The filters are available starting now from retail outlets such as B&H, and the actual on-shelf price are lower than the MSRP prices quoted by Sigma.
Photographer Steve Perry did an interesting shatter test himself last year to see if UV filters actually do anything to protect your lens. He found that with even the best filters available at the time, the filter always shatters on impacts that wouldn’t cause any damage to the front element of lenses, so they may not actually provide any additional protection. It would be interesting to see that test redone with these new ceramic filters.