Well I wanted to do a post on using and selecting filters, but as anyone who watches the Australian weather will tell you, it hasn’t stopped raining for days now, so I’m doing a review on the company I bought them from instead. YOU can visit Citiwide Online by clicking the image below!
If you have ever used a website like Shopbot to look for camera or video supplies and sorted from the lowest to highest price then I am sure you have seen something like this.
Citiwide is a Hong Kong based company that sells anything and practically everything for cameras at VERY low prices. When I first started shopping for the lowest price for a Nikon D60 they had it for around AUD$900 AND it came with an 8GB memory card PLUS a lens cleaning kit and some other stuff. This was a fantastic deal and the best I had seen so far. I didn’t buy it. Why not? Well like many people out there I was nervous about giving my (and by “my” I mean my girlfriends) credit card information to Hong Kong and not receiving my camera. Not only did they ask for my (her) credit card details, but they wanted a scanned copy of my (her) credit card (only showing last 4 digits and name). I had never heard of this before because other than eBay I hadn’t bought much off the net, so I was a little worried about having my (her) information being sold off to Korean gangsters. Were these fears unfounded? I’d say so.
Recently I was looking for a late Christmas present for a friend and I decided on filters. A circular polariser, ND8 filter and another polarizer for me =). I priced these at teds and it would have cost me about AUD$180.00. I like the guy, but I’m poor and self-employed, so I went to my favourite online resource, shopbot! Of course CitiWide popped up as one of the cheapest and I thought now would be the perfect time to give them a try. Well they make their own brand of filters and sure enough, I got all three of them for 20 bucks less than what I would have paid for ONE at teds. Also I got free shipping on two of them, so that was pretty sweet too. Now a lot of professional photographers out there will say “well you might be getting a piece of plastic in the shape of a circle for that price, how will it effect your image quality? Hoya is a well known and respected brand.” While all those are good points, I have three things to say.
- These filters promised everything the Hoya and Kenko ones do.
- This is a blog for amateur photographers who by definition are probably poor.
- It is my own personal opinion that when you buy a product like Hoya from a store like Teds, you are paying mainly for the name from both the product and the store.
I’m sure that if I was getting paid a several hundred dollars for my time as a photographer, I wouldn’t sweat 60 bucks for a filter, but for now I’m happy to keep shopping around for the best deal.
And I believe that’s what I got from CitiWide. This time they didn’t ask for a credit card scan, maybe they only ask for one after a certain price bracket. My Items took about a week and a half to get here, but they arrived on a Monday, so they probably could have gotten here sooner if mail was delivered on the weekend. The package says it contained just two items, which was worrying because I ordered three filters, but they were all inside and Violet thinks it was just a way of getting around paying more for import tax or something. It could have been a typo. And after a fair bit of reading of their terms and conditions I discovered the credit card scan is just a way for them to ensure it’s not someone using stolen credit card details. Which I think is just swell. They also offer what they call a “door2door” warranty. This means that if you order from them and it malfunctions within 12 months, they will send a courier to your door to pick up the item, fix it, then send it back to you free of charge! You can read more about that here.
Inside I noticed that one of the cases was cracked, but the filter inside was fine and the quality of the glass looked great. No scratches, no smudges, very little dust and it screwed in very smoothly. The outer casing is metal and the circular polariser has a little ring that allows you to adjust the amount of filtering going on. This turns easily, but not too loose as to rotate without you wanting it to. Fantastic.
Would I order from them again? Definitely! The shipping can be a bit pricey but more often than not you’re still going to be saving money. Make sure you read all the terms and conditions before you buy, but other than that, happy shopping!