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Taping ND filters to lens


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#1 joshua gallegos

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:16 PM

Hello, for those who cannot afford a matte box; has anyone ever taped some ND filters on their lenses, and if so, were there any problems you faced when doing so. I plan on using painter's tape, so that there's no residue on the lens itself. I am filming with a Canon DSLR with some EF lenses. I already ordered some ND9 and ND6 full sheets from Lee Filters, and I planned on using an ND9 or ND6 depending on what works better. Also, could I add a Polarizer  over the taped ND filter if I needed to?


Edited by joshua gallegos, 14 October 2013 - 08:17 PM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:30 PM

ND lighting gels are not optically clear enough to use as camera filters unless you want some mild loss of sharpness.  You can tape an ND camera filter to a lens of course, it's just more time-consuming to switch filters and you don't have the benefit of a sunshade unless you make one out of blackwrap and tape that on too.


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#3 joshua gallegos

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:36 PM

Can I tape it over the lens hood? the lenses come with lens hoods, I think I could live with the loss of sharpness and be able to stop down a bit, but then again the only scene I'm filming in daylight is a monologue which ends the movie; I guess I could look into Tiffen NDs that you can screw on, but last time I used a Tiffen UV filter I got a terrible ghosting effect that wasn't noticeable until I played the video on my computer. 


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:52 PM

You didn't say whether you mean using ND lighting gels or ND filters, but either way, the farther you tape it from the lens, the more reflection and flare problems you might have and the more the surface may come into focus, showing dust problems, etc.  Sort of depends on the focal length of the lens also.


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#5 joshua gallegos

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 09:09 PM

I'm using Lee filters http://www.leefilter...l#210&filter=tf

 

The single full sheets are very affordable, just under 7 dollars. I'm using a 24mm f/1.4 EF lens and a 50mm f/1.2 .

I guess I could simply tape them on the lens itself. Since I 'm filming in the daylight, I will have to stop down to f/11 maybe, since it will be a partly cloudy day, which won't look very sharp if I don't use them... is there a difference between an ND gel or filter? the gel is for lighting fixtures and the filter is strictly for placing on the tray that fits the matte box, yes?


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 09:49 PM

That's a lighting gel, it's not designed to be optically clear enough to use as a camera filter. You should get a camera filter.

You could put it in front of a digital still camera and take a picture with and without the gel and compare the details in Photoshop by enlarging part of the frame.
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#7 Alan Rencher

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:00 PM

That seems like a waste when you can get an ND filter for as little as $12.

 

Here's an example: http://www.bhphotovi...Density_ND.html


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#8 joshua gallegos

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:15 PM

The lenses use 72 and 77mm Tiffen filters which would amount to 50 dollars plus shipping, I guess I could just get one and film primarily with the 24mm lens, since I like it better than the 50mm.

 

Thanks everyone, good thing I asked! The wonders of the internet.


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#9 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:39 PM

 

The lenses use 72 and 77mm Tiffen filters ......


I have quite a few 72mm screw on filters that I was going to sell quite cheap. I also have a series 9 (round) filter holder for a 72mm thread, and a few series 9 filters. What do you need?

Taping a filter onto the front of a lens, and hopefully making an improvised sunshade (black cardboard can do it) is something to pull out of the hat for unusual lenses that you don't often need. One can buy a really cheap second hand Chinese or Indian matte box and find cheap second hand filters, often Tiffen 4x4. 3x3 and series rounds are very cheap on eBay. Be optimistic.
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#10 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:47 PM

I wanted to add.......

Re tape. I am out of date, but there used to be a black camera tape that we used to seal mags with (I used Scotch). Looks like black masking tape. This is what would ideal if sticking filters to lenses, making cardboard sunshades etc. It never left residue after being removed, even after 15 years, having been carelessly left on.
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#11 joshua gallegos

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:54 PM

I needed them in 4 days, since you live in New Zealand, I don't think i'll get them on time, plus eBay's  international shipping is quite expensive. I'll be looking into photography rental houses instead, they should have those specific filters for the EF lenses. 

 

Thanks everyone, I would've messed up my whole scene had I taped an ND gel.


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#12 Alan Rencher

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:03 PM

You can always by the larger diameter filter, and use a step down ring on the smaller diameter lenses.
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