Planning on photographing the eclipse on August 21st? Your camera will need protection before and after totality. You can build a DIY solar filter to hold your solar film.
Required DIY Solar Filter Supplies
To make your solar filter holder, you’ll need:
- Solar Film – Available from Thousand Oaks Optics, Baader, and others.
- Foam Core and Poster Board – Available at your local craft or general store.
- Tape – I use Vinyl Mounting Tape
- Craft Tools: Craft Knife (Xacto Knife), Scissors, Compass, Pencil, Cutting Board, Straight Edge or Ruler.
Assembling the Solar Filter
The process is simple.
- Cut 2 squares of foam core that are approximately 1 to 2 inches larger than the diameter of of your lens.
- Find the center by drawing diagonal lines from corner to corner.
- Us a compass to draw a circle the same radius as your front element or filter threads on each square of foam core.
- Carefully cut out the circles.
- Cut a square of solar film that is 1″ wider and taller than the diameter of the circle.
- Tape the solar film to one of the foam core squares. Tape each of the 4 edges. For large sizes (>3″) also tape each corner.
- Lay the other foam core square over the top and tape the two together along each edge.
- Cut a strip of poster board about 3″ wide.
- Using your lens as a guide, mark the strip of poster board so it raps around the lens and overlaps about 1.5″.
- Cut off the excess.
- Mark a line about 1/2″ from the bottom edge of the poster board strip.
- Cut the 1/2″ edge so that it is split into tabs.
- Wrap the poster board around the front of your lens so it is snug but not to tight to slide.
- Align so it is a cylinder and not a cone and then tap the wider part (not the part you cut in step 12).
- Side off the lens and bend the tabs cut in step 12 outward.
- Set the foam core filter completed in 7 on the table with the camera side of the film up. See the documentation for your film for which side this is.
- Center the tube over the opening and tape the tabs down all the way around.
If any of this text is to complicated, just watch the video. It’s way harder to write than to do.
Andrew is a self taught experiential learner who is addicted to the possibilities that new (to him) gear open up. He loves to share the things he has worked out. Andrew started with a passion for landscape and night photography and quickly branched out to work in just about every form of photography.