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Quick Tip: How to Add ND Filters to Curved Wide Angle Lenses

Caleb Ward

Check out how to reduce incoming light with a cheap and easy hack.

ND filters are a super important tool for filmmakers and photographers alike. In short, ND filters allow users to maintain an open aperture when shooting in a location with a lot of light, like outdoors. For photographers this is important because if you simply increased your shutter speed to compensate for bright light than you will not be able to properly use your flash. Videographers don’t normally have the luxury of changing their shutter speed so ND filters are really important for maintaining a shallow depth of field when shooting outside.

Additionally, they help to protect the outside of your lens.

Putting ND filters on a lens is normally easy, as most lenses can take flat twist-on ND filters. But what do you do if the lens bubbles out too far to add a flat ND filter? In the following video tutorial by CheesyCam, we take a look at how to “hack” your wide angle lens to add an ND filter. This video only demonstrates the technique for a micro 4/3 lens but we are interested to see if it works on other popular lens mounts. If you know please share in the comments below.

More of a reader than a watcher? Check out the step by step below. 

1. Buy or find a Rosco Cinegel Swatchbook

Normally used to pick out color filters for future purchases, a swatchbook is a small swing-out book with dozens of filters inside. The Cinegel Swatchbook is only $2.75 on B&H.

2. Cut out a small ND filter

A one inch square will work nicely.

3. Tape the ND filter to the back of your lens

Make sure that the tape and ND filter sit under the Micro 4/3 mount.

4. Shoot

There you have it, an easy way to add ND filters to your wide angle lens. As you can probably tell this is not a permanent solution but it might help if you need a quick fix on location.

Know of any other tips for adding ND filters? Have you tried this technique on a Nikon or Canon lens? Share in the comments below.