DIY filter carrier from step-up rings.

Mack

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The 37mm filter size on the (and new to me) Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 intrigued me to try something with some free "Lee Filters Designers Edition" assortment from a stage lighting shop.

Instead of buying an $8 filter sheet to experiment on the lights, thought it might be easier to view them from camera position (I'm not concerned about image sharpness at this point.) using the free filters as they cover the entire rainbow of color, as well as some neutral densities and diffusions thrown in.

I took a 37-46mm step-up ring and 'J-B Welded' (or glued) it onto a 46-49mm step-up ring. Doing so gave me enough metal "meat" to hold it all together and provide enough coverage to cover the hole through the middle of the 37mm step-up ring with a filter from the Lee assortment package. I made a couple of slits, and wide enough for the filter to slide into, on each the side of the 37mm ring where it meets the 46mm ring with an X-acto hobby saw. The saw blade is 0.010" thick and the filters are ~0.005" so plenty of room for them to slide into. I can still use the two rings as a 37mm to 49mm step up ring too as the fine saw did little damage to the threads at the union of the rings.

Below is finished holder with a filter slid into it. I'll get rid of the plastic rivet holding the fitlers together and replace it with a small ball-chain that will give me some freedom to use individual filters while l still have their info sheet attached behind them. Maybe an 18" chain.

Filter-Carrier-from-Step-Rings.jpg
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Petrochemist

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Where do you get the "free" Lee Filters pad?
They are usually available from stage lighting shops - but as I don't have one handy I made use of e-bay instead & got a Rosco set for a few quid. (Effectively the same as postage.)
I've been intending to make a similar frame for my gels, but other things keep distracting me.
 

Mack

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Lucky there is a stage and industrial lighting shop nearby that I get them from. They are on their counter in a large bowl and customers just help themselves to them. Occasionally I see a Rosco set in the bunch but rarely as it seems that Lee updates their colors and data sheet more often so their stock rotates. I've also used them over speedlights as they fit most generic ones with a bit of tape. Can't beat free!

Below is the jig I used to saw the two opposing slits in the step-up rings and not make a mess doing so. Couple of wooden blocks (Soft wood so as to not mess up the threads.) to clamp the joined step-up ring, and a saw guide from some 1/8" aluminum for the X-acto saw blade. I cut the semi-circle out of it about the same size as the step-up rings with a hole saw.

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Mack

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Nice! Looks like we have the same cross-vice. I would not have a drill press without one! Turns it into a poor-man's vertical mill!
Yep. Very handy thing to have on a drill press. :thumbup:

Got if when I was making circuit boards and had to drill all those little holes for the various integrated circuit pins. Lot of fun in those days making film positives on Kodalith film and exposing the copper-clad plates and etching them. The CAD layout work for the Kodalith film positives was interesting too where I had to do the pass-throughs for the aircraft digital airspeed computer (below) back when the transition was from old analog gauges to digital airspeed indicators using pressure sensors.

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Mack

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Here is the completed step-up ring filter holder with a Lee "Primary Red #106" slipped into it on the E-M1 with the Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens. Filter covers the entire hole area of the 37mm step-up ring through the slit I cut into it with the X-acto hobby razor saw. I did pull out the plastic rivet that held the filer pack together and replaced it with a ball-chain and coupler from a local craft store (JoAnn's Fabrics) found in their jewelry section.

Given the Lee filter samples show the light spectrum it passes, it could be used with a full-spectrum camera (The E-M1 shown is a full-spectrum Lifepixel conversion.) to sort through a proper filter for IR shooting or some false color images. Actually, it works quite well for a DIY project and not too expensive.

E-M1-with-Filter-Holder-and-Lee-Sample-Pack.jpg
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Filter covers the entire hole area of the 37mm step-up ring through the slit I cut into it with the X-acto hobby razor saw.
AWESOME!

Do you have any techniques to share? I assume you clamped it in a vice? How did you de-burr the cut, to keep the rough edges from scratching the gels?

I love to see hacks like this! Too bad it's limited to 37mm.

I've been working on reverse-engineering a model for 3D-printing a rear-mount filter holder for the Olympus OM Zuiko 350/2.8 and 250/2. They need a 46mm filter. It would be so cool to somehow adapt this to use cheap/free filter samples!
Trial 3, 24 segments.png
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Mack

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AWESOME!

Do you have any techniques to share? I assume you clamped it in a vice? How did you de-burr the cut, to keep the rough edges from scratching the gels?

I love to see hacks like this! Too bad it's limited to 37mm.

I've been working on reverse-engineering a model for 3D-printing a rear-mount filter holder for the Olympus OM Zuiko 350/2.8 and 250/2. They need a 46mm filter. It would be so cool to somehow adapt this to use cheap/free filter samples!
View attachment 894642

Nothing special other than the wooden clamp and aluminum guide as shown above to guide the X-acto saw through. I did deburring with edge of knife, fingernail, toothbrush, and filled in the aluminum slot in the ring with a fine-point black 'Sharpie' pen. The subsequent two slots are very thin and people I've handed it to have a hard time even seeing and finding them.

The "free" Lee filter sample pack filters measure 39mm in width (Also about 90mm long including the rivet's hole.) so your holder would be too large at 45mm. Might be able to make or buy a hole punch for the larger Lee filter sheets that sell for about $8 each. McMaster-Carr sells a 45mm punch but it costs $172 too. https://www.mcmaster.com/hole-punches/for-hole-diameter~45mm/ I've made some using pipe and a file and/or grinder for single punch jobs.

Maybe make the thing more oval to accommodate the width of the 39mm 'free filters' and live with any vignetting? Might make it as a sandwich where you could slip them in from the top (Shim in middle part?) as they are long enough, but you'd need to round the ends of the filters somehow (maybe?).
 

PakkyT

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Petrochemist

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Here is the completed step-up ring filter holder with a Lee "Primary Red #106" slipped into it on the E-M1 with the Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens. Filter covers the entire hole area of the 37mm step-up ring through the slit I cut into it with the X-acto hobby razor saw. I did pull out the plastic rivet that held the filer pack together and replaced it with a ball-chain and coupler from a local craft store (JoAnn's Fabrics) found in their jewelry section.

Given the Lee filter samples show the light spectrum it passes, it could be used with a full-spectrum camera (The E-M1 shown is a full-spectrum Lifepixel conversion.) to sort through a proper filter for IR shooting or some false color images. Actually, it works quite well for a DIY project and not too expensive.

View attachment 894610
I suspect that works considerably better than my current solution of just holding the gel in front of the lens. I may have to make something similar. :2thumbs:
 
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Petrochemist

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Any chance you could teach me to finish off some of the ancient ones?
Boast about the wonderful, original, innovative project you're going to do "Any Day Now™" until someone else gets enthused enough about it so they offer to help. Uh-oh. Rubber, meet road.

Either that, or keep accumulating materials for the project until Spousal Unit starts complaining about all the space the project is taking up. That has caused me to start maintaining mechanical watches — or, at least, making project plans and buying parts for them. But I can hide those parts easier than hiding camera parts, or electric vehicle conversion parts.
 

Mack

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Playing with this "Creation," I took a 77mm ExpoDisc and step-ringed it onto the slotted 37>46mm and 46>49mm step-up rings above.

Since the E-M1 Mark I I have is a "Full Spectrum" camera courtesy of Lifepixel, I began playing with the "Lee Designer Filters" between the camera and the ExpoDisc to set the White Balance in the camera since it has four storage places for manual WB. I just faced the assembly at a 5,500K print viewing light which approximates daylight.

I used a Tiffen #25 Red and a 720nm IR filter to decide which Lee filter colors I liked best for the WB setting. I thought maybe using a less red than typical IR might provide me with a bit more image color to help with my final WB color filter decision. I may revisit this with a darker Tiffen #29 Red later.

For some reason, the camera hated the "Primary Red" filter and would throw up a "WB N/G" (No Good) message no matter how I altered the exposure. I moved from Primary Red to Amber and it liked it a bit more with a slight exposure adjustment and would register the WB. Other colors it also accepted like Blues and Greens.

I ended up putting a "Gray Card" (ExpoDisc without a filter facing into the 5,500K light I was using.) for WB#1. For WB#2 I used a Lee #121 Lee Green. WB#3 I used a Lee #068 Sky Blue. For WB#4 I used a Lee #773 Cardbox Amber. I'll probably buy the three sheets this week and cut them out to a 68mm diameter so they could be put into the ExpoDisc and carried with its case.

Lee has their filter spectrum curves here and most are in their filter assortment too. One can dig through the curves and see what color they want to pass at the spectrum spikes or block. I believe it might be best with IR to allow some colors to pass along with the spike instead of fully blocking surrounding colors. End results are always personal choices though with IR and any subsequent false colors.
 
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Petrochemist

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Lee has their filter spectrum curves here and most are in their filter assortment too. One can dig through the curves and see what color they want to pass at the spectrum spikes or block.
Thanks a useful reference I'd not seen before. It's a shame they don't show the IR portion as well but that's not unusual. Nearly all gels seem to pass considerable IR, but there are some differences.
 

Mack

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Thanks a useful reference I'd not seen before. It's a shame they don't show the IR portion as well but that's not unusual. Nearly all gels seem to pass considerable IR, but there are some differences.
No problem. Their spectrum charts are interesting and more so if one plays with the WB with some filters and seeing their effect on the camera's LCD.

I first thought the primary colors might be a good place to start (I gave up on Red since my camera absolutely hated that color for a WB.), but they cut the spectrum of other colors so much you get a sort of solarized image using them to set the WB. The Lee #139 Primary Green produces a wild red solarized image on the LCD if used for WB that was starting, but I found later much could be resolved once the RAW/ORF file was processed, but it took more time to do so. Seems best to use a filter that passes a bit more color than entirely blocking much of the surrounding spectrum. Some show more IR passage above 700nm in the charts in the free "Lee Filters Designers Edition" sample pack.

The comparison part I used ON1 Photo RAW 2020 and made a Preset which helped me to sort through various WB made from different filter colors. Not exact, but close enough to determine what I think might work best for me, and a bit faster than editing each IR photo.

I'm sure their are a lot of other colors in that Lee filter assortment that one may find useful for an IR camera's WB. Just takes time to dig through them all. I put four different greens into the four WB memory locations in the E-M1 and settled on what I thought looked good for me and somewhat easy to post process. I did the Ambers given it didn't like Red, and might try the Yellows and Purples next. Some of the Blues produce a really striking contrast too.

Given I live in the desert climate with little greenery at times (Like now when it's 110F outside!), the Lee #121 'Lee Green' seemed a good choice for the foliage WB that many seem to use.
 

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