Author Topic: Don't know what to do with crappy filters? Turn them into something cool!  (Read 242 times)

Zang

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 554
  • You ARE NikonGear
I have acquired quite a bit of cheap lenses and they often come with cheap filters. For the last few years, I have collected a full stack of cheap filters. So today, I decided to make use of them. I sanded off the frame to have brush aluminum look. Then I replaced the filter glass with a piece of exotic wood, also fine sanded and finished with polyurethane. At the end, the filter turned into a cool looking screw-in lens cap :D

Akira

  • Homo jezoensis
  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 11754
  • Tokyo, Japan
Nice idea, Zang!

I typically remove the glasses of cheapo filters and use the remaining rings as stackable/adjustable unobtrusive lens hood.  Sometimes I attach one ring to the filter thread of the lens to protect the front element so that I can attach the lens cap nonchalantly.  :P
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

Roland Vink

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1422
  • Nikon Nerd from New Zealand
    • Nikon Database
I typically remove the glasses of cheapo filters and use the remaining rings as stackable/adjustable unobtrusive lens hood.  Sometimes I attach one ring to the filter thread of the lens to protect the front element so that I can attach the lens cap nonchalantly.  :P
I have done the same with a filter that was cracked - I pushed the broken glass out and use the empty filter ring a mini hood. A hood that is only ~4mm deep doesn't seem to offer much protection, but it's a useful "bumper" on the front of the lens. It protects the lens filter thread from knocks, especially modern lenses which have plastic filter threads which are easily damaged. The aluminium alloy filter ring of older lenses is stronger but still benefits from some protection, and helps to keep your valuable lens in good condition. It doesn't provide much shade, but is often the difference between your fingers touching the front element or not. Plus it is very compact so hardly takes any extra room in your camera bag, and normal lens caps fit over the top - very convenient!

Nasos Kosmas

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 854
  • Athens, Greece
Very nice cups :)
I like exotic woods, good idea :)

Zang

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 554
  • You ARE NikonGear
Thanks Akira, Roland, Nasos...

@Akira, Roland, the hood is a good idea indeed! Again, I like the brushed aluminum a lot so I have sanded a couple more rings and made a small hood. Thanks for throwing the idea!

Hugh_3170

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1855
  • Back in Melbourne!
I have one older lens whose metal filter threads have been damaged and straightened with only partial success.  I found an old filter with a pretty tough brass filter ring, removed the filter glass and permanently mounted just the brass ring on the lens itself as a replacement thread for attaching accessories & filters. 

This is not my idea - I don't quite know where I came upon it, but it works like a charm and it is actually tougher than the original thread on the lens itself.

I have done the same with a filter that was cracked - I pushed the broken glass out and use the empty filter ring a mini hood. A hood that is only ~4mm deep doesn't seem to offer much protection, but it's a useful "bumper" on the front of the lens. It protects the lens filter thread from knocks, especially modern lenses which have plastic filter threads which are easily damaged. The aluminium alloy filter ring of older lenses is stronger but still benefits from some protection, and helps to keep your valuable lens in good condition. It doesn't provide much shade, but is often the difference between your fingers touching the front element or not. Plus it is very compact so hardly takes any extra room in your camera bag, and normal lens caps fit over the top - very convenient!
Hugh Gunn

Akira

  • Homo jezoensis
  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 11754
  • Tokyo, Japan
Thanks Akira, Roland, Nasos...

@Akira, Roland, the hood is a good idea indeed! Again, I like the brushed aluminum a lot so I have sanded a couple more rings and made a small hood. Thanks for throwing the idea!

Zang, you seem to have removed the paint neatly!  Looks nice!


I have one older lens whose metal filter threads have been damaged and straightened with only partial success.  I found an old filter with a pretty tough brass filter ring, removed the filter glass and permanently mounted just the brass ring on the lens itself as a replacement thread for attaching accessories & filters. 

This is not my idea - I don't quite know where I came upon it, but it works like a charm and it is actually tougher than the original thread on the lens itself.


Hugh, your post reminded me of doing the same thing to Nikkor 28/3.5 that had a bit deformed filter thread but functioned flawlessly.  I used the lens for the IR photography and needed to attach Nikon AF-1 gel filter holder.
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

Nasos Kosmas

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 854
  • Athens, Greece

Hugh, your post reminded me of doing the same thing to Nikkor 28/3.5 that had a bit deformed filter thread but functioned flawlessly.
I have the same lens with the same issue  ;D
I permanently attached a filter not to remind me that bad moment, I thing it’s time to remove the filter glass 8)

Akira

  • Homo jezoensis
  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 11754
  • Tokyo, Japan
I have the same lens with the same issue  ;D

 ;D ;D ;D
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

Zang

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 554
  • You ARE NikonGear
Thanks Akira. I figured out, putting a read wire between the rings give the hood an luxury touch :D

Ann

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 604
  • You ARE NikonGear
    • Photographs by Ann Shelbourne
What a great idea!
Thank you Zang for your excellent suggestion.

Hugh_3170

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1855
  • Back in Melbourne!
The red wire stripe is a nice finishing touch - it goes well with the red index mark on the Minolta lens and the bare aluminium of the old filter ring.
Hugh Gunn