3D printed filter holder for the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens

3D printed filter holder for the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens
3D printed filter holder for the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens
3D printed filter holder for the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens
My name is Patrick, I’m a blogger and Nikon shooter for several years. The 14-24mm was always one of my favorite lenses but I never found a good and favorable solution to put a filter in front of it. As most of you know, Lee has a solution that works, but is very expensive.

I met Christian from Logodeckel (German for Logo-lens-cap) first when he printed some lens caps with my logo for me. A nice gadget for guys like me 😉 At that time I had the idea to use his 3D printer to create a filterholder for the 14-24mm lens that holds a 150 x 150 mm square filter like the one from Haida, Lee or Lensinghouse. I told Christian about the idea …

Let me head over to him. He will tell you a bit about construction and printing of the 3D model.

My name is Christian, I´m an architect, engineer and photographer. My jobs and my passion led me to my new hobby, 3D-Printing. Using my skills from the engineering and my needs and thoughts from the photo-part, I constructed several parts for older cameras. 
When Patrick told me about his thoughts to create a filter holder, I immediately had several ideas to print such a thing. But having an idea and printing this idea with a 3D-printer isn’t that easy as most people think. 
First of all you need a CAD-software which is able to produce 3D-data. Sure, there are lots of (free) products on the market, but the results in the output differ. Then you need to know what your printer needs. I construct my designs exactly for my printer. The shell, the overhang of parts, the layer height… everything is important to get a good result of your printer. And last, you need to handle your printer. Every printer has different settings of temperature, speed and other things. There is no formula to get a good result right from the start.

Back to the filter holder. 
Since I am a Canon-shooter I did not have the dimensions of the lens and the lens hood. So Patrick had to do a complete measurement. He sent me the dimensions and I did the first design, which turned out to be too complicated. So I reworked it and printed another construction. I sent this first prototype to Patrick to test it on his lens.
 It turned out to be too small to put it exactly on the lens hood and the construction did not consider the vignette in the corners.
 I had to rework the design completely. Not just once. Overall I spent over 50 hours of constructing time in this filter holder, printed 15 prototypes and wrote hundreds of messages with Patrick, who tested the prototypes again and again.

Another big problem was the dimensional tolerance of the 14-24mm lens hood. A second tester reported a different measurement of the hood which led to a more variable mount to respond to this tolerance.
The result is a filter holder for up to 2 filters, which also can be sliding gradient filters. The holder design is variable (with removable clips) to hold these different filters in the way you want. The clips and the ground plate have got sunk-in foamed rubber to hold the filter tight and safe. The mount on the lens hood is also protected with foamed rubber.

As you can see, every filter holder includes not only about 10 hours of printing time and manual assembly of additional parts but also much of drafting, printing, testing, drafting, printing, testing, …

Back to Patrick …

After a couple of different versions with various enhancements I finally tested the holder now. It fits perfectly on the lens and my Haida 1000x ND filter fits perfectly in the holder. You have to push the holder back until the glass hits the lens hood to have nearly no vignette. At 14mm there is only minimum vignetting in the image. The following picture is without any correction:

With some lens correction:

Looks pretty good to me. No big vignetting. I took another picture and over-processed it. That sometimes makes it easier to see problems. No lens correction here, which would lead to cropping some areas at the edges and corners:

The filter holder itself does a perfect job. It fits very well on the lens and holds the glass firmly. I have not experienced any light leeks so far. Yes, it is big, but lightweight and costs only a fraction of the Lee solution.

The actual image quality depends more on the filter. In this case I can just tell that I’m very satisfied with the Haida, which just costs 80$ on Amazon (around EUR 80 on Amazon DE).

I have also tried the Big Stopper from Lee and was very disappointed with a heavy blue color cast in the pictures. A good alternative is the Lensinghouse, which I use for my Olympus OM-D. But that one was not in stock in 150mm. The cheap Haida does not seem to be the worst choice.

I’m pretty happy now with the holder. Actually I wonder what the next useful development in 3D print is for the photo enthusiast. Maybe some of the readers will have few good idea 😉

Two more images I took with the 14-24mm and Christian’s filter holder:

This one was made with the D810 (f/13, ISO 64 30 sec. @14mm).

The second one is a panorama stitched out of two images @14mm. f/16, 122 sec, ISO 64.

Thanks to Peter for the opportunity to place a guest post here. My blog is in German, you can also follow me on Facebook. Christian’s page is also in German, but you can send him an email to get in contact on Facebook or trough his website.

If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

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