DIY solar filters for the great American eclipse

Aug 11, 2017

Matthew Kuhns

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DIY solar filters for the great American eclipse

Aug 11, 2017

Matthew Kuhns

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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With the Great American Eclipse on Aug 21 only a few weeks away, I decided to put together some solar filters.  With the high travel costs to get to the eclipse from Southern California, I saved some money through purchasing the solar filter sheets instead of the pre-made filters.  To facilitate a fast detachment during totality, compared to a screw on filter, I made some cardboard holders that fit into my Lee filter holder.

Solar Filter Sheet from Thousand Oaks Optical: $15 vs the $150 Lee solar filter.

Step 1: Get a filter sheet

Step 2: Measure (100mm square) or trace out the shape for the stiff backing material. I used part of an old box.

Step 3: Cut a hole for the filter, for the size I used the filter holder as a template and an knife to make the opening, cutting on scrap cardboard so as to not damage the table.

Step 4: Cut another cardboard sheet for the other side, I used a thinner material so it fit snugly in the Lee filter holder.

Step 5: Tape together

Step 6: Enjoy the eclipse!

Remember, never look at the sun without a filter (except during totality).

Some other great resources for the upcoming eclipse

2014 Partial Eclipse
2012 Partial Eclipse of the Eastern Sierra’s.

About the Author

Matthew Kuhns is an award winning California-based landscape photographer. He travels around the world seeking the perfect light, and his photos have been featured in many publications such as National Geographic, Microsoft, Sunset Magazine, Popular Photography and PDN, to name a few.

You can see more of his work on his website, Facebook page and 500px. Also, make sure to check out his SkyFire app, which helps you find the best light wherever you are. This article was also published here and shared with permission.

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3 responses to “DIY solar filters for the great American eclipse”

  1. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    I got one of these solar filters in fact and they clearly state that you can just place it on your lens and fix it with a rubber band and you’re done.

  2. Judi Raiser Avatar
    Judi Raiser

    This has suggestions

  3. Brian Anstee Avatar
    Brian Anstee

    This is a photo of a partial solar eclipse I got in Queensland Australia , cloud cover aided by 6 stop ND filter.