Another DIY Fader ND filter


EF50mm

New Member
Sep 1, 2009
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#1
I know this is not something new- Just want to share my experience making one Fader ND filter using 2 CPL filters.

DIY faders are done by reversing the side of one CPL filter and attached it to a normal CPL filter. However, as most CPL filters are quite thick, the resultant "product" will have double the thickness- not suitable for wide angle lenses, even the kit lenses starting from 28mm (35mm eq). I personally have made one with this method.

To reduce the thickness, I made use of a modified "UV filter" to replace the CPL filter nearer to the lens:

Step 1: Buy the filters



I bought the CPL filters and a UV filter (72mm) from eBay. They are very cheap (made in China) but the quality is quite decent:

http://cgi.ebay.com.sg/72mm-CPL-filter-/120723195112?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_216&hash=item1c1ba9c4e8
http://cgi.ebay.com.sg/Kenko-72mm-U...1?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_216&hash=item1c1ba9c4c9

Total cost = $50.17 (with free shipping, received within 3 days), much cheaper than the China made 72mm Fader ND filters.

Step 2: Disassemble the UV filter





This is the most difficult part- I do not have the lens spanner so I have to carefully turn the holder ring anti-clockwise with a small screwdriver. If you are not careful, you might scratch the surface of the filters... OR even worst, hurt your fingers. I was quite lucky :sweat:. Better to get a lens spanner.

We do not need the glass from the UV filter so just keep it aside safely in case you decide to reverse the whole process.
 

Last edited:

EF50mm

New Member
Sep 1, 2009
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#2
Step 3: Disassemble the 1st CPL filter



Same thing here. However, you just need to take note of which side is the front, and which is the back- This is very important.
Two CPL make a Fader ND like this: (Camera)-(Lens)-(Back of 1st CPL-Front of 1st CPL)-(Front of 2nd CPL-Backof 2nd CPL)
Hope this makes sense.

Step 4: Take the CPL (glass) and install it to the UV filter



Front is front, back is back...
 

EF50mm

New Member
Sep 1, 2009
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#3
Step 5: Modify the 2nd CPL

Same thing- Take the 2nd CPL filter apart. However, this time we reverse the glass and assemble it back.



Step 6: Put the two modified filters together!

Screw the 2nd CPL (modified) on top of the "UV" filter (a non-rotatable CPL, actually)....



and DONE!
 

EF50mm

New Member
Sep 1, 2009
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#4
Here's the results:





I am actually quite happy with the image quality of the pictures taken with the DIY Fader ND filter. In fact, I think it is of equivalent quality to many of the Fader ND (of course can't compare to the branded, expensive ones).

Just like many of the Fader ND, it suffers the crossbar effect at very high ND.

 

EF50mm

New Member
Sep 1, 2009
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#5
Another look of the final "product". It's about 2-3mm less thinner than stacking 2 CPL filters (although it is still quite thick). At least it didn't block any of the corners when I used it with my Sigma 18-200mm lens.



.....

Comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Thanks for reading and I hope to share more DIY fun with everyone!
 

rhino123

Moderator
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Sep 1, 2006
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#6
Thanks for the share.
 

Feb 11, 2007
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#7
Thanks for sharing. I will try this out when I have some free time! Great job!
 

Mkx0305

New Member
Jul 17, 2011
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#8
Hi, I am curious on the quality of the image taken by this fader nd, care to share some pictures?
 

Mkx0305

New Member
Jul 17, 2011
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#10
Thanks for the link, I am curious on the results taken with 2 CPL filters.
 

agape01

Senior Member
Feb 13, 2003
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#12
KNS... I went to buy my own Fader variable ND filter. Too bad for me, I didn't read this thread earlier. Oh well, I must as well live with what I have got.
 

Feb 11, 2007
83
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0
#14
I bought 2 CPL and a UV (58mm) from the eBay seller, put them together and it works prefectly on my kit lens!!

Thanks for sharing!
 

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