Quick tip: repurpose an old LCD screen as a polarizer filter

Oct 25, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Quick tip: repurpose an old LCD screen as a polarizer filter

Oct 25, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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Polarizing filters are great, they enhance skies, remove reflections and reduce glare from photos. On the other hand they are usually big and not something you’d haul around for a smartphone. Here is a quick little hack courtesy of the Koldunov Brothers that builds a small and portable polarizer filter for your smart phone.

It turns out that LCD screens are actually made out of polarizing materials. The optical quality is probably not perfect, but for some fun cell phone photography it’s good enough. Here is what two LCDs look like when rotated against each other:

lcd-polerizer-03
Just like a variable ND filter

The idea is to salvage the LCD screen from an old dead cellphone. I strongly recommend covering the edges with some gaff tape to avoid any cuts. Basically this is it. Place the dead LCD over your cellphone lens and presto – instant polarizer. Here is a quick side by side to stress the effect on removing glare:

Oh, there is a bonus, this dead LCD is actually small enough to fit in a small wallet.

I see an polarizer card kickstarter coming in 3…2…1…

[Free polarizing filter | Koldunov Brothers]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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One response to “Quick tip: repurpose an old LCD screen as a polarizer filter”

  1. Louis Joseph Avatar
    Louis Joseph

    Hey Udi, this is a great post, man! What an amazing find, thanks for sharing! First… I guess I didn’t understand how polarizers work lol…. so this post taught me some new things, which is awesome. And, wow, what a great idea to even have on hand for the times you’re shooting and could use the polarizer sheets in a pinch. Thanks again! Lj. http://www.louisjosephphotography.com