Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

Started Apr 1, 2016 | Discussions
Der Fotograf
Der Fotograf Forum Member • Posts: 51
Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye
2

I am not sure, if this is the right forum, but I am sure people who are interested, might like to hear. I do a lot of long exposure photography, and I work with various lenses and filters. I have the Lee System, a few B&W's ND10 and most recently purchased of few glorious Neutral Density Filters from Breakthrough Photography. I would recommend everyone these filters, as they are just the best. Anyway, back to what I am trying to share with you. I am thinking about purchasing Canon's 11-24, but one very crucial element is how I could attach filters to that. I think it was even featured here on Dpreview, that Fotodiox have developed an adapter to attach Filters to that particular lens. I had a closer look at that Dpreview post, and wow what a machine of filter attachment that is. It really made me think twice if that is what I want to do. I started looking at alternatives. You might be aware or you might not be, but the 11-24 as well as the 8-15 F4 have a slot for a gel filter in the back. When I started looking into the use of gel filters, all I could find, is posts from people who used a filter sample book from Lee and and then cut those gels to size. These are generally coloured gels, not ND's. Alternatively there are sheet gels used by film makers, but here the issue is that they are only available in 1, 2 and maximum 3 stops (0.3, 0.6, 0.9). Not a solution for me. I am looking for really strong ND's.

There are films available from Kodak (Wratten 2), available as Neutral Density in all stops, including 2, 3, 6, 10 and 13 stops, but they come with a price tag. I think around $200 per gel sheet in 4x4". I didn't know that, and they are even available at B&H, however I found an even better solution. I found this company in the UK, they sell high end filters for medical and scientific applications.(knightoptical.co.uk) Small sheets of 50mm x 50mm Neutral Density gels in 3,6,10 and 13 stops. 25GBP each. I couldn't resist and ordered one of each. I can't wait for them to arrive. Once cut to size, I will stick them into my fisheye. I can't wait to see if this works. Daytime long exposures I am sure are not everyone's cup of tea, but if that is what you are interested in, I think this could be an actual solution. The only concern I have is probably light leakage. The light enters the lens and then all the way down until it hits the ND film. It might be that I end up with a leak down there. No matter what, I am so excited, I give it a try. I haven't found anything on the net about this. If this really works on my Fisheye, I am up for some crazy unique shots. Will share them here, so you get to see the results. And if that really works, you might have an actual solution for your 11-24.

If you have you done something similiar, I would love to hear from you.

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hotdog321
hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,279
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

I'm eager to see some example photos, especially full frame 11mm showing the edges and corners. That is going to be the real acid test for any of these systems or solutions.

Truly an amazing lens, tho!

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Der Fotograf
OP Der Fotograf Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

hotdog321 wrote:

I'm eager to see some example photos, especially full frame 11mm showing the edges and corners. That is going to be the real acid test for any of these systems or solutions.

Truly an amazing lens, tho!

You're a lucky man with that lens in your hand. I will post the results with my Fisheye as soon as I get my hands on the filters. I am sure they will be great, if it works. Why would the corner sharpness or vignetting differ with the gel filters on the 11-24? I would think it's just the same. There is no protruding filter, so no additional vignetting. I think the sharpness overall is the critical point, but I am positive this is going to work.

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wessuggs Junior Member • Posts: 36
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

I too have the 11-24, love it.  Considered using the filter holder at the base of the lens but decided that in the field, removing the lens after setting composition and exposure to install a filter left the camera exposed to the elements.  To me it's not an ideal method for ND exposures. Looking at the Lee and Fododiox systems.....just a lot to deal with, there is no perfect solution

.

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Der Fotograf
OP Der Fotograf Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

wessuggs wrote:

I too have the 11-24, love it. Considered using the filter holder at the base of the lens but decided that in the field, removing the lens after setting composition and exposure to install a filter left the camera exposed to the elements. To me it's not an ideal method for ND exposures. Looking at the Lee and Fododiox systems.....just a lot to deal with, there is no perfect solution

.

I don't have the 11-24...YET.

I realise that having the filter attached to a front holder has it's benefits, however you can compose and focus with the ND attached using live view. I do it like that all the time. I aim to plan my shot in advance and then insert the filter at home. No need to remove in the field.

I decided to give this a gel approach a try, as it will be a 1/10th of the cost, compared to Fotodiox.

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hotdog321
hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,279
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye
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Der Fotograf wrote:

hotdog321 wrote:

I'm eager to see some example photos, especially full frame 11mm showing the edges and corners. That is going to be the real acid test for any of these systems or solutions.

Truly an amazing lens, tho!

You're a lucky man with that lens in your hand. I will post the results with my Fisheye as soon as I get my hands on the filters. I am sure they will be great, if it works. Why would the corner sharpness or vignetting differ with the gel filters on the 11-24? I would think it's just the same. There is no protruding filter, so no additional vignetting. I think the sharpness overall is the critical point, but I am positive this is going to work.

Habit, I guess--you are quite correct! I am so used to examining the corners and edges first as the most critical lens feature that I ran off the rails. The gel on the 11-24 should indeed work well--it's the big front filters that are problematic and I'm looking forward to feedback from users.

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Der Fotograf
OP Der Fotograf Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

An update on stage 2 of my ND-Filter project.
I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of these Neutral Density Filters I have found at Knight Optical from the UK. Feeling like a like a scientist, I followed the parcel all the way from the UK, until they finally arrived today. These little beauties were packed like a treasure, and I was careful not scratch the films when unpacking them. Have a look for yourself. Here we have the 3, 6, 10 and 13-Stop films in 50mm x 50mm. I haven't cut them to size yet, but they will need to be cut down to 30mm x 30mm to fit the rear gel filter holder. This will be done as soon as I can, but for the moment, I am showing you what arrived today.

Next they will go under the knife, and I will take some beautiful shots with them, which I will show you in my next update here.

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parkylondon New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

I'm arriving late to this conversation and wondered if the Knight Optics gels worked out in the Canon 11-24?

I'm fairly heavily vested in F-H 100x150 and Firecrest 100's but would like to go wider than the 16-35 on long exposure with the 11-24.
Did they work out?

Thanks

Der Fotograf
OP Der Fotograf Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

parkylondon wrote:

I'm arriving late to this conversation and wondered if the Knight Optics gels worked out in the Canon 11-24?

I'm fairly heavily vested in F-H 100x150 and Firecrest 100's but would like to go wider than the 16-35 on long exposure with the 11-24.
Did they work out?

Thanks

I haven't bought the the 11-24 yet, however I tried them on the rear filter holder on the 8-15mm Fisheye. I have to say that I was very impressed with the quality and sharpness on the images, and these filter gels work perfectly. You have to cut them to size, and you need to give it rounded corners on one end so they fit into the holder. There are no light leaks, nothing. I tried all strengths of filters and one of them had a slight magenta cast. I guess that can easily be fixed in post. I will be buying the 11-24 and I think that this DIY solution is the best application considering cost for alternative solutions.

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Parakyl New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

I haven't bought the the 11-24 yet, however I tried them on the rear filter holder on the 8-15mm Fisheye. I have to say that I was very impressed with the quality and sharpness on the images, and these filter gels work perfectly. You have to cut them to size, and you need to give it rounded corners on one end so they fit into the holder. There are no light leaks, nothing. I tried all strengths of filters and one of them had a slight magenta cast. I guess that can easily be fixed in post. I will be buying the 11-24 and I think that this DIY solution is the best application considering cost for alternative solutions.

This is exactly the solution we need for sunny day HDRI panos for CGI, to expose for the sun using a fish eye lens. We need at least an ND filter with 10 more stops to get the sun to be a clean edged disc in the sky. I hunted through the site you mentioned but once I found the ND filters, the numbers mean nothing to me...

https://www.knightoptical.com/stock/optical-components/uvvisnir-optics/filters/neutral-density-filters/gelatine-neutral-density-filters/

Which one is the 13 stop you mentioned?

Der Fotograf
OP Der Fotograf Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

Parakyl wrote:

I haven't bought the the 11-24 yet, however I tried them on the rear filter holder on the 8-15mm Fisheye. I have to say that I was very impressed with the quality and sharpness on the images, and these filter gels work perfectly. You have to cut them to size, and you need to give it rounded corners on one end so they fit into the holder. There are no light leaks, nothing. I tried all strengths of filters and one of them had a slight magenta cast. I guess that can easily be fixed in post. I will be buying the 11-24 and I think that this DIY solution is the best application considering cost for alternative solutions.

This is exactly the solution we need for sunny day HDRI panos for CGI, to expose for the sun using a fish eye lens. We need at least an ND filter with 10 more stops to get the sun to be a clean edged disc in the sky. I hunted through the site you mentioned but once I found the ND filters, the numbers mean nothing to me...

https://www.knightoptical.com/stock/optical-components/uvvisnir-optics/filters/neutral-density-filters/gelatine-neutral-density-filters/

Which one is the 13 stop you mentioned?

0.3 of Optical Density represents 1 F-stop. In the images I have posted you will see the filter with an Optical Density (OD) of 4.0, which represents an F-stop value between 13 and 14 stops. If you purchase these filters please be aware that they need to be cut to fit the insert on the lens. I will post an image of that tomorrow, just so you have better feel for it

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Der Fotograf
OP Der Fotograf Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

This is showing how the filter is cut to size

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Der Fotograf
OP Der Fotograf Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye
2

I have tried the 13-stop gel filter for the first time on my 11-24 F4. The images show an exposure of 25 seconds at F4/ISO100. This solution works, and you could expose up to a few minutes during the day if needed. I can see myself using this setup in many architectural shots. No need to spend a fortune on a Fotodiox setup. This works perfectly.

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hotdog321
hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,279
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye
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These look great--thanks for the post! What filter did you use--Kodak Wratten Gel or something else?

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Der Fotograf
OP Der Fotograf Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

These filters are from Knight Optical in the UK. All the info is at the start of the forum post.

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hotdog321
hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,279
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

Der Fotograf wrote:

These filters are from Knight Optical in the UK. All the info is at the start of the forum post.

Thanks! I didn't read far enough back.

I think the rear-mounted filters are the way to go with this lens for both optical reasons and to avoid flare--and platter-sized front filters.

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Jericho7Films New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye
1

Hello. I have appreciated this thread so much I also ordered the "Big Stopper" from Knight Optical and was so excited that, after cutting it to size, accidentally dropped in my office trash can where it landed on glue and ruined it.  I'm likely going to order again and am debating weather or not to order the set of of few of them like you did.  Do you have any updates on using them?  Also, any advice on how to store them when not in use to avoid clumsy mistakes like I made?  Thanks!

Jericho7Films New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye
1

Hello. I have appreciated this thread so much I also ordered the "Big Stopper" from Knight Optical and was so excited that, after cutting it to size, accidentally dropped in my office trash can where it landed on glue and ruined it. I'm likely going to order again and am debating weather or not to order the set of of few of them like you did. Do you have any updates on using them? Also, any advice on how to store them when not in use to avoid clumsy mistakes like I made? Thanks!

Der Fotograf
OP Der Fotograf Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

Jericho7Films wrote:

Hello. I have appreciated this thread so much I also ordered the "Big Stopper" from Knight Optical and was so excited that, after cutting it to size, accidentally dropped in my office trash can where it landed on glue and ruined it. I'm likely going to order again and am debating weather or not to order the set of of few of them like you did. Do you have any updates on using them? Also, any advice on how to store them when not in use to avoid clumsy mistakes like I made? Thanks!

Jericho7Films wrote:

I am sorry that you have gone through all of this and then all the hard work is ruined. Did you get to try it once at least?

I can only recommend going for the full set of filters. I do a lot of long exposures and depending on what I am shooting I use the 3 and 6 stops a lot. Most often it's nice to capture the movement in the water, and that is only possible with 3 and 6 stops. In really dim conditions I wouldn't even need a filter. The 3,6 and 10 stops have less colour cast.
Good point on storage.
I slide the filter cut-outs into film slide/negative pocket strips made from this shiny paper, and I applied them with film onto 5cm x 5cm plastic sheets to prevent them from bending. I store all 4 of these sheets in one filter case for my normal screw-on filters. I also put a little rubber finger cap into that box, so I don't need to touch the filters when removing or placing them in the lens. It's a flimsy exercise and I don't change filters outdoors.
Looking forward to hear from your experiences in the future. I should post a few images with the various filters.

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Jericho7Films New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Solution for ND-Filters on Canon's 11-24 F4/Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye

Hello and thank you for your thorough reply. My apologies for not replying sooner as I have been busy and am just now reading this. Yes, I would love to see more of your photos with the filters. I made a video for a local store recently and used my 11-24 for some of the shots. I think it will be obvious which ones. (www.jericho7films.com Parlor Blow Dry Bar video).

No, I have not yet ordered a new set but a representative from Knight Optical has reached out to me, which I thought was a nice touch. I will follow your advice and order the set, as well as plan better this time on how to handle them.

Happy shooting my friend!
Joshua

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