by ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq

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I would rather not buy a $100 ND400 filter that I may or may not use multiple times. To get a taste for the options, I want to see if it is possible to create one inexpensively. I am not looking for the highest quality(i.e. Lee or Singh-Ray), but acceptable would be nice. What material would get me somewhere in the neighborhood of ND400 or so, and be easy enough to mount to a 77mm filter thread?

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Welding glass is the place to start. – John Cavan Aug 13 '12 at 17:15
Good one! I was at a hardware store yesterday and wondered whether some of the rubber plumbing fittings could be fitted with glass and slid on the lens or hood. @John - do you have any experience with the welding glass? From the articles I've read about it it seems that the results are strongly tinted (blue or green) and need to be corrected in post. Is this true? – Jakub Aug 13 '12 at 17:52
@Jakub - You'd need to colour correct for the cast, but that's no different then correcting for other forms of colour casting. – John Cavan Aug 13 '12 at 21:11
up vote 4 down vote accepted

This post on illustrates using a #12 welding glass as a ND filter. Indeed the filter is green in color, but the author is able to correct with whitebalance. Note that welding glass is available in 'strengths' from 1- 14. 14 is dark enough that folks use it to watch solar eclipses.

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The welding glass used in that tutorial is only $8USD on Amazon! Awesome thanks cmason! – dpollitt Aug 13 '12 at 22:45
I have an old CPL filter that I smashed, I'm thinking I can just bust out the rest of the CPL, and glue the welding glass to the front of it. Should really limit any light leaks or need for a cloth. – dpollitt Aug 13 '12 at 23:08

Take a look at this video that a guy shows how to make ND fader filter using two circular polarizers. I havent tryed it yet and probably if it really works, maybe something will have do be done on post processing.

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