Interested in solar photography? Then you are already aware that proper gear is absolutely necessary for high-quality images. In order to get the most out of the experience and capture some stunning shots, you need quality solar filters that will protect your equipment.
Luckily for photographers, both amateur and professionals, the choice of solar filters is vast, and there are plenty of options to consider. In this post, we are going to focus on the best solar filters for cameras you can find today.
1. Threaded Black Polymer Solar Filter for Cameras, 77mm (Overall Winner)
Thousand Oaks Optical has been manufacturing safe solar filters for more than 35 years. According to the official website of the company their filters were used by NASA aboard the space shuttle as well as other professional users. Their threaded black polymer solar filter fits cameras lenses with a 77mm diameter and is CE & ISO approved.
The black polymer is the most frequently used material for filtering. It allows users to observe sunspots and granulation through their cameras. The threaded black polymer solar filter by Thousand Oaks Optical has an optical density of five and it also effectively blocks IR light.
2. 4”x4” Solar Filter Sheet for Telescopes, Binoculars, and Cameras (Budget Winner)
If you are looking for an affordable solar filter for your camera, then this sheet can be a great choice. This sheet allows users to make their own solar filter and save a lot of money. This solar filter sheet by Thousand Oaks Optical is ISO approved and easy to use. The sheet is easily attached to an inexpensive UV lens filter in order to make the design more durable and professional.
All that’s necessary is to cut the solar filter sheet into a small circle and place it into the glass filter. This requires unscrewing the threaded inner metal assembly that presses the glass against the outer diameter metal collar. Then, just place the sheet in and screw the assembly back together. While it may seem complicated at first glance, the whole process takes 15 minutes or less.
Just like items mentioned above, the SL58-T threaded solar lens filter was made by Thousand Oaks Optical. These specialized SolarLite films have the optical quality of glass with advantages of impregnated polymer i.e., the black polymer. Sun will appear yellow in images captured with this filter. In addition to the filter itself, buyers also get a small, tubular plastic storage case.
To make sure the 58mm solar filter fits various camera models, Thousand Oaks Optical made sure it is mounted with universal camera threads. According to some users, due to the fact the SL58-T is dark, it won’t work with autofocus.
Marumi’s 77mm neutral density solar filter has a 92,000x filter factor that provides 16.5 stop exposure reduction. The 16.5 stop exposure reduction enables users to control depth of field and convey movement more easily.
Made in Japan, Marumi’s solar filter has 5.0 density, which creates a darkening of the whole photo, meaning it’s a great tool for solar eclipse photography. Optical glass was used to manufacture the Marumi DHG solar filter in order to allow users to achieve clarity and color fidelity. The aluminum-alloy filter ring allows the filter to remain lightweight and durable at the same time.
Neutral density solar filters allow photographers to capture photos with using a longer shutter speed or wider aperture than normally required. Due to the fact it is multicoated, this solar filter doesn’t cause reflections or internal ghosting. For optimal results, it is advised to take photos using a tripod.
Solar filters come at different prices that allow people to get the best item for their budget. If your goal is to find a solar filter that does its job at a reasonable price, then the universal 70mm lens filter from DailyStar Filters is a good choice.
This solar filter utilizes an ingenious spring-folded assembly design that holds it securely in place while you are capturing amazing shots of the sun or solar eclipse. It’s useful to mention that DailyStar Filters created this item to work on telescopes as well.
This universal lens filter is made of 12312-2 ISO-certified SOLARLITE film which blocks 100% of UV and IR radiation as well as 99.999% of intense light. That way, the filter reveals super granules and sunspots on the solar surface and allows you to capture stunning shots.
Bear in mind that the filter has a clear aperture of 70mm and vignetting may occur when it is used on lenses and optics that approach the maximum recommended diameter. Users report the universe solar lens filter works great, and it’s easy to remove without disturbing the camera.
Hoya’s Pro ND 77mm solar filter was specifically created to allow users to shoot solar eclipses, but also lets users dive into the solar photography world. This solar filter has a 100,000x filter factor and 16.5 stop exposure reduction. Thanks to the 5.0 density, the Hoya solar filter creates a darkening of the image.
With this solar filter, you can easily take photos with a wide aperture and long exposure, but it also allows reduced shutter speed. Vapor-deposited optical glass was used for the manufacturing of this solar filter. As a result, the filter forms a consistent layer and enhances the quality of the photo you take.
Hoya’s Pro solar filter doesn’t add or alter colors; it provides an accurate, neutral color rendition without any noticeable color-cast to the images.
Seymour Solar is a well-known name in the solar photography equipment business. All their products meet the ISO 12312-2 requirements. This particular solar filter is specifically made to thread into a 67mm camera lens.
Seymour Solar used .002” thick Helios Solar Film to make the filtering materials in the aperture of the filter. It is important to mention that Helios Solar Film is strong, durable, and has a one-layer design with absorptive filtering material spread across the substrate.
Helios Solar Glass and Helios Solar Film block IR and UV rays which are harmful and also block out 99.999% of all light. The sun appears yellow-orange when shot with this filter. Durability and strength of Seymour Solar 67mm Helios Solar Film camera filter are ensured through the sturdy aluminum cell.
The Seymour Solar threaded camera filter gives clear pictures of the sun, and it secures onto lens securely, meaning you don’t have to worry it will fall off. A limited lifetime warranty is provided with this solar filter, and it comes with a protective case where you can store the filter when you aren’t using it.
This second solar filter from Hoya provides exceptional quality photos at a reasonable price. The HMC NDX400 screw-in filter has coatings applied to both surfaces in order to suppress reflection and increase light transmission. The neutral density filter reduces the amount of visible light that enters the lens, thus allowing users to opt for wider apertures or slower shutter speeds, especially in bright conditions.
It’s worth mentioning that the Hoya 52mm HMC NDX400 screw-in filter decreases light values by nine stops to less than 1/500th of the original intensity for additional safety. Due to the fact the brand multicoated the filter, you can avoid common pitfalls such as ghosting.
Keep in mind that the objects shot through this filter have incredible details, so the filter doesn’t actually degrade the images at all. Besides the sun you can also take photos of nature and landscapes.
Choosing Solar Filters
The popularity of solar photography keeps growing, and if you want to try it out, then getting the best solar filters for your lenses is the first step you need to take. Solar filters allow you to protect the camera and its lens but also enable users to take high-quality photos of the sun without altering the color, clarity, and other common problems.
Most solar filters are threaded but easy to use, but solar filter sheets are also a viable and inexpensive option to consider. Just make sure you choose the right filter for your camera in order to get the most out of this experience.