Clip-In Filters?

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    Topic: Clip-In Filters? Read 73 Times
  • John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Silver Member
    Posts: 169
    Cameras, Lenses and Shooting Gear
    on: August 1, 2021 at 9:07 am

    Does anybody have any thoughts, pro or con, on clip-in filters.  These are filters that clip in the body of the mirrorless camera just on top of the sensor.  Their apparent advantages include that they are truly one-size-fits-all – that is, one filter for ALL lenses, and there is no vignetting.  You won’t get an adjustable gradient filter, but these appear to be a great solution if you are just looking for neutral density filters.  Any thoughts?  Is anybody using these?

    A PhotoPXL forum search on “clip-in filters” turned up one post by Jonathan Sacks, 5/20/2020, who pointed out that if you do an IR conversion on an old camera, you can then buy a clip-in IR filter to recover the IR filter.  Interesting.

    JSS

    Jonathan Sachs
    Jonathan Sachs
    Participant
    Posts: 3
    Re: Clip-In Filters?
    Reply #1 on: August 1, 2021 at 10:28 am

    As you mentioned, I do use an STC clip-in filter for IR — the advantages are pretty obvious in that you don’t need to get filters for all your lenses. There are a few disadvantages to this approach, however, if you plan to switch filters with any frequency.

    1) Clip-in filters are tricky to remove, store and replace — my hands are not particularly large, but I find it difficult to insert and remove the filters without touching the surface. Changing filters in the field risks dropping the filter and is generally awkward.

    2) Dust can and eventually will get behind the clip-in filter — at least on my A7RII which is a dust magnet — and so cleaning the sensor has an extra step. I had hoped the clip-in filter would keep dust off the sensor, and perhaps it reduces it a little, but it’s still a problem. Cleaning the sensor off in the field with a blower becomes a lot harder since you need to remove and replace the filter. For the most part, I just keep my 24-105 on my IR-converted body and leave the filter in all the time except for the occasional cleaning. It is nice, however, to know I could remove or replace the filter with one that has a different cutoff wavelength if I want to in the future.

    Jonathan Sachs
    Digital Light & Color
    www.dl-c.com

    John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Silver Member
    Posts: 169
    Re: Clip-In Filters?
    Reply #2 on: August 1, 2021 at 10:55 am

    Thanks, Jonathan!  I was also thinking these filters might protect the sensor from dust – but apparently not so much.  The difficulting of inserting and removing it in the field also seems problematic.  I may still try out a neutral density filter.

    JSS

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