Who makes plastic filters? - How to protect a camera mounted in a dangerous location?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by steveash, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. steveash, Sep 27, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014

    steveash macrumors 6502

    steveash

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Doesn't anyone make cheap plastic UV filters anymore? As part of a video project I am working on I am mounting a camera on the front of a car close to the road and want something to give the lens a bit of protection from water, dirt and stones.

    Plastic seems the best material as 2mm of glass is more likely to just shatter and scratch the lens coatings. I have been on Amazon but even the cheapest efforts seem to be glass. On Ebay they rarely mention the material so it would just be a gamble.

    Does anyone have any experience of a brand of plastic lens filters you can recommend?

    Edit: Further information follows on post #11
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #2
    Most of the square filter systems offer resin filters.

    Paul
     
  3. steveash thread starter macrumors 6502

    steveash

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    #3
    I'm not sure I would trust my square filter holder not to fall off. I could slap some gaffer tape around it though. Might be the best option but I was really looking for a cheapo screw-on filter that I could easily remove.
     
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #4
    Used camera store. Or any camera store that takes trade-ins... they often have a drawer full of old filters.

    An an alternative if you have a spare resin square filter duct tape it to a old screw on lense hood (sourced from locations above if necessary).

    Luck
     
  5. ChrisA, Sep 27, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014

    ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #5
    Cokin square filters. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/hands-reviews/cokin-creative-filter-system

    But really for your project. Buy a tiny acrylic aquarium, not the molded kind but one made up from glued panels. Then pack the camera into the aquarium tank using foam packing.

    Stones bounce around and my hit from any angle. Same with water splashes. Place the camera in a tank or maybe a plywood but with a acrylic window. You can attach the window with silicone seal. But aquarium tank come pre-made.

    That said I know some one who does this and just parings backup cameras and accepts that a few will be destroyed. Depends on your budget.
     
  6. steveash thread starter macrumors 6502

    steveash

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    #6
    Thats not a bad idea at all. As long as I can keep the tripod mount available as I'm using that to attach to suction pads. This is a personal project so budget is a bit limited, that said I took the opportunity to buy a cheap EOS M for the job as it is smaller and lighter than a DSLR while cheaper and better quality than a GoPro. Hopefully it will survive to be used on future projects.
     
  7. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #7
    What about an underwater housing? If you are using a small camera like a P&S, maybe there is an optional underwater case for it cheap enough for this?
     
  8. steveash thread starter macrumors 6502

    steveash

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    #8
    Thanks, that's a good point and another avenue to explore.

    Had a quick search for housings for the Canon EOS M I am using but they aren't cheap. It is tempting as the one I found even has tripod mounts but I'm already pushing the budget on a very speculative project.
     
  9. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #9
    You can get a cheapo knock off Cokin mount and a pack of filters for £24 on Amazon...
     
  10. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #10
    May I suggest you expand on what you want to do in this thread? I suspect you'll find a wealth of experience available here? Also - change the title of the thread to match. For example "How I do protect a camera mounted in a dangerous location?".... :)
     
  11. steveash thread starter macrumors 6502

    steveash

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    #11
    I should probably move otto the video section to! I just thought as I'm using a stills camera, here would make sense.

    Here are the full details: The project is really an experiment. I do quite a lot of car photography, quite a lot of video, but as yet no car videos. So I am setting up a project which may lead to future work if I can do a decent job of it. One of the camera angles I am looking at is the classic "C'était un render vous" style with the camera fixed to the front of the car. It may also be fitted to other parts of the car. Due to my budget constraints this will be on public roads so it will need to be discrete and not obstruct other road users. My first thought was a GoPro but I'm not all that impressed with the quality or the lack of control of fairly essential things like focal length. I concluded that the EOS M would be perfect as it ticks all the boxes and can be had cheaply at the moment so less worries about it getting destroyed. I've bought it so don't suggest anything else! I have various clamps and suckers for attaching cameras to cars which attach to the camera by the tripod mount.

    This camera is to be mounted on the front of the car fairly close to the road, potentially at quite high speeds and imperfect roads, at this point it is likely to get flies and stones bouncing off it so I'd like to give it a bit of protection. I thought of using a rubber cover for the camera and a lens hood but thought a plastic screw on filter might just save the lens. Other alternatives are interesting but I don't really want to add too much bulk or weight.
     
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #12
    I have no direct experience with this, so I'm just tossing out ideas... a brainstorming session. Sounds like an intriguing experiment.

    My thoughts are that a screw on filter is not nearly good enough. I rock that hits the edge is going to transmit that force straight back to the lense body, and could potentially damage the threads badly enough to make removal difficult. In this case I do have experience... I had my camera on a tripod sit at the lowest level - about 2ft off the ground - when it tipped forward onto a rocky beach. The filter itself was undamaged, but the edge rim took the impact and deformed. It took me 1/2 hour to get it off ... I needed to borrow some tools to get enough torque on the filter to undo it, and at the same time to hold the lense body immediately behind it still so that the torque didn't damage the lense moving parts. Yikes. I was in the middle of nowhere, really needed to get the filter off, and it was going to be months before I was near a city big enough to have a camera repair shop.

    Filters, whether screw on or square don't protect against dust.

    Back to your topic, though. I like the idea of aquarium. Not only does protect against stones, but also dust. Also... you can put any remote control gizmos in there (if needed). However, make sure it is well well secured. With the bouncing of the car the whole thing is going to experience load levels that far exceed its apparent weight. And after it's all attached to your satisfaction make sure there is a safety chain to keep the whole thing from falling off entirely. It may fall of the rig holding it, but at least it won't fall under the wheels.

    Or... a plywood box with one end made of plexiglass. The advantage of the plywood is that you can mount bolts and things to it with ease, and can made as small as possible instead of needing to work with whatever sized aquarium you can source. The plexi can slide in and out, so that it's easy to change as it gets scratched.

    Luck
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    The tripod mount is just a 1/4 inch nut. You can buy 1/4" thread inserts of t-nuts at the hardware store.
     

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