Saturday, July 22, 2017

TWIP Creating A Solar Filter DIY

I looked on line for solar filters for the upcoming eclipse and they were either top of the line filters that I would probably only use once in my lifetime or super cheap that got horrible reviews.  So, I started looking around at DIY possibilities.  I came across a guy that had built his own using a pair of UV filters and an order of solar paper.  He actually cut the paper and stuck it in between two UV filters, no glue.  (That could work, but I didn't want Vignette, but in hind sight, probably wouldn't have matter as it is going to be crazy dark anyway.)  I looked online and located a sheet of solar paper that was made by the same brand as a lot of the filters out there and decided to give it a go myself with a slightly modified idea.

Here is what you need:
I'll put a link to where I got these at the bottom of the post. If you get the 6x6 should be around $22.

Sheet of solar filter paper - I purchased the 12x12 sheet, however, I am planning on making three of these so I needed extra space.  

Step up filter ring - My lens has a front element of 77mm.  I decided to get the biggest step up I could find to have ample space for miscues.  I haven't been in kindergarten for a while and haven't practiced cutting with scissors in some time.  

Super Glue - preferably one with the little paint brush inside so you can just paint on the glue to the extra space of the ring.  

Now time to spend the 5 minutes and make one.

Do not take your filter paper out of the cardboard.  If you do, it is going to suck.  


The filter paper is neatly placed inside of two pieces of cardboard and you are going to use that to hold the paper in place as you cut.  It will make it easier and you will not fingerprint the heck out of the paper.  Finger prints are really hard to get off solar paper without causing other damage.


How I made mine.  

I took the step up filter and drew a circle around the filter on the cardboard as a cut out guide.  When you cut around the filter, be sure that the papers doesn't sneak out of the cardboard.  You also want to cut inside your circle a little ways as remember, you are putting it inside that circle.  

Next, take you put on some gloves or use a piece of lens cloth to remove the filter from the cardboard.  Place it in the filter to make sure that it is still not too big.  If so, trim accordingly.    Now that you have your paper and filter ready to go, it is time to start the gluing process.

I spaced my glue around the filter and didn't do a continuous path.  Not sure if that was the right route, but it is the one I took.  Now time to place the paper on the filter.  Make sure that the mirror side of the paper is facing out.  It will be the side that faces the sun.  Place the paper into the step up ring and let it dry for 10 or 15 minutes.  Please keep in mind that if you don't get the paper flat and smooth before it drys, you can take if back off and try again.  It comes off pretty easy.  Once dry, screw it onto your camera and go give it a shot.

Short story.  I attempted to wipe off the fingerprints while it was on the filter and it buckled which is why it looks like a bubble on the front of the filter.  Don't do that.  Use the lens cloth as instructed and you should be good.  Also, be careful with the filter as you can move, pop off, or smudge the paper.  The glue doesn't hold super strong.