How To – Universal DIY ND Filter Holder for Wide Angle Lenses

When i'm in a bind and need an ND filter to fit over my wide angle lenses, here's a little tip on how I make a custom Wide Angle filter adapter. Most people will just tape an ND directly to a lens, but this method allows you to put one on and take it off just as quick. It a simple process that works with basic card stock formed into a cylinder and cut to size. [The firmer the card stock the better..]

Now what you want to make sure you do before starting this project is test the filter that you plan on using. These wide angle lenses must use oversized filters, and for my Panasonic 7-14mm i'm using an 86mm Variable ND. If you have to go bigger than this, Fotodiox makes ND Filter sizes up 145mm (found here).

Normally we've gone as far as 3D Printed adapters, but when you're pressed for time this works all the same. This trick works on just about any wide angle or fisheye lens so long as you have an oversized filter. You can use this method to hold circular or square filteres. It will also work on many Cinema Prime lenses that don't have front threads.

If you really want to get creative, you can make one of these attached to a step up filter ring (instead of directly to a filter). Now that you have a filter ring, you can swap the front filter with different types (polarizers, different density static NDs, gradients, etc).

Sorry again for the weird audio, shot this with an iphone in hand as one of those spontaneous things. Hope the tip helps, leave some comments.


8 thoughts on “How To – Universal DIY ND Filter Holder for Wide Angle Lenses

  1. Scott M.

    Hi, what kind of ND filter are you using? It appears to have a "lip" that you're taping the "arms" into, or is it a filter and an adapter/step ring? Please share exactly the part or other similar arrangements, I'd love to build one of these!


  2. Micehl Rivest

    Hi. Any chance that you can improve this DIY ? You mentioned that you would normaly 3D print this. Any chance that you can do it and show us afterward how it went ?

    Thanks to answer & keep up the good work

  3. Carter

    A workable solution but I'm on a search for something a bit more stable/semi-permanent. Is there anything out there that uses a rubber tube to do this?

    I've also seen the behind the lens variable nd filters being made, but so far I can only find versions that are part of an adapter to E mount or MFT, nothing for a canon EF to canon EF.

    This is for a canon 5d on a gimbal so I can't use my matte box version.
    Any suggestions anyone?

  4. Pat Lam

    Thank CheesyCam

    That is the most simple way to make a filter on, Thanks again for sharing..
    Really appreciated..

  5. Post author

    @Pat Lam - There is no crop or black corners if you use an oversized filter. Even the links you shared here says that 77mm may cause vignette unless you go to maybe 82mm. Here i'm using an 86mm ND filter.

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