A few years ago, photographer Samuel Chapman of The Rocket Factory found himself with an annoying problem on his hands. After purchasing a number of neutral density filters for his DSLR, he found that Nikon’s $2,000 14-24mm lens didn’t have any good way of being used with a filter.
He had already paid hundreds of dollars each for his fancy filters, so he decided to make a makeshift adapter for the 14-24mm lens… using a sponge. The result is a product Chapman calls the “FX Sponge Filter Holder 5000.”
Basically, Chapman purchased a $1.50 all purpose sponge from his local hardware store and cut out a hole in the back for the lens and a square chunk in the front for the filters.
He cut the lens hole a little smaller than the actual size of the lens in order to ensure a snug fit.
On the filter side of the holder, he sliced into the walls in order to create grooves for the filters to rest in.
After doing some initial tests outdoors, he found that the yellow color of the sponge caused reflections in his photographs. To fix this, he coated the inside of the filter holder with black. A total of three coats were used: a permanent marker, acrylic black paint, and then black spray paint.
Here’s a before and after comparison showing how the coated interior cancels out any stray reflections you might have:
So there you have it: a DIY filter holder that you can make for most camera lenses that will only cost you a few dollars and some time.
Image credits: Photographs by Samuel Chapman and used with permission