Long Exposures with a 10 stop ND the DIY way

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Ryan, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Ryan

    Ryan Mu-43 Regular

    40
    Jul 21, 2011
    Getting into long exposure photography is really fun, but also pretty costly when buying some 10 stop filters from brands such as Hoya ,Cokin, B&W and Lee, etc.

    Me along with a friend of mine decided to venture into this when he heard of a solution using welding helmet glass. So we started doing some research.

    Welding glass come in many shades. Shades are pretty close to "stops" so using a shade 10 is like using a 10 stop filter from the famous brands.

    The catch to using welding glass is it is tinted green in most cases, so doing anything but b&w long exposures you will get a green cast on the entire image, which is removable by messing with the white balance, i have not personally done this as I shoot b/w 95% the time.


    I bought my glass from ebay for 5 dollars in a 4x5 inch shape, dimensions vary from company to company. I hotglued a old 52mm lens hood to the glass so all i need is to use a stepup ring for whatever lens I have to 52mm thread, in this case a 37mm-52 and a 40.5-52. You can hotglue it to a step up ring if you like it does not matter much. the entire setup cost me 10 dollars, and the photos come plenty sharp through the glass, of course theirs a learning curve but its pretty small.

    I use this setup on my om-d not the e-pl1 as pictured.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryansilva/8058234673/" title="_A053891 by Ryan Silva, on Flickr"> View attachment 234476 "640" height="512" alt="_A053891"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryansilva/8058234917/" title="_A053886 by Ryan Silva, on Flickr"> View attachment 234477 "640" height="512" alt="_A053886"></a>

    Green cast

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryansilva/8058234994/" title="_A053868 by Ryan Silva, on Flickr"> View attachment 234478 "513" height="640" alt="_A053868"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryansilva/8058234802/" title="_A053868-Edit by Ryan Silva, on Flickr"> View attachment 234479 "512" height="640" alt="_A053868-Edit"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryansilva/8058236167/" title="_9293765-Edit by Ryan Silva, on Flickr"> View attachment 234480 "640" height="427" alt="_9293765-Edit"></a>
     
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  2. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    A nice, creative solution. Do you get the same effect on B&W that you would using a green filter? Î wonder what that would do to landscapes as opposed to water?
     
  3. Ryan

    Ryan Mu-43 Regular

    40
    Jul 21, 2011
    Thanks Bob! The green cast goes away immediately when converting to black and white, i dont think it affected tone either.
     
  4. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Interesting! I only mentioned the green effect because programs such as NIK allow you to use various color filters to alter B&W. Of course, these allow you to remove a certain color such as green or red or blue - I wasn't sure what effect adding color might have.
    You also reminded me that I have a set of rectangular Cokin style filter that I need to try with my E-P3. :cool: 
     
  5. Ryan

    Ryan Mu-43 Regular

    40
    Jul 21, 2011
    Gotcha, much like the red filters and yellows etc from the film days. I havent noticed a change in tone but it will be interesting to see if it really does, i'll take note of it!
     
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  6. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Those are some awesome tones that you've got going on! (Nice DIY too!) :2thumbs:
     
  7. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012
    You can actually buy welding glass that is (I think) already the correct size to fit in a Cokin style plastic holder - you can get Cokin holders (well knock off copies) on ebay for a few pounds/dollars and the welding glass also on ebay or on amazon for £2 delivered. As you can see from the customer reviews quite a few people have been using them for this non originally intended purpose :smile:
    Welding Glass 4 x 3 Replacement lens Shade 9 - Cheap Postage: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools Welding Glass 4 x 3 Replacement lens Shade 10 - Cheap Postage: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools

    When someone posted this idea on a UK photo forum complete with an ebay link to the £1 glass, the seller went from a couple of orders a week to hundreds in a few days. He wondered what on earth was going on and why welding had suddenly become so popular until he asked one of the buyers and they gave him a link to the forum, which solved the mystery. :biggrin:
     
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  8. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Clever!

    So is this the same thing?



    Though it occurs to me that I have an unopened b&w 10 stop ND filter so I don't need to DIY lol.
     
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