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Gradual ND filtering for Zenmuse X5 class camera
655 13 2017-2-24
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Dobmatt
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Neutral density filtering is a necessity for all of us involved in video making for reasons well known. However, it is also a very popular trick among landscape photographers, particularly when water of all kinds is in the frame. This is not our field anyway since they're using tripods and minutes long exposures. For aerial photography one of the most promising techniques employs so called grad filter, applying gradually weakening ND filtering from top of the frame where usually the light is strongest. This will accentuate features of the sky without overexposing, leaving the landscape below properly exposed. Unfortunately all of the gazillions filter holding attachments on the market are designed for handheld DSLR cameras. Some manufacturers are offering circular grad filters, but the sizes available are way too big for our needs.

Here is my modification for Zenmuse X5 class camera, employing Olympus LH-48 lens hood and Hitech 67 resin grad filter. Naturally it can be used in conjunction with typical round ND or pola filter mounted behind. Custom balancing on the back of camera is required to avoid excessive gimbal abuse, resulting in total 77 grams of extra payload.


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2017-2-24
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Donnie Stugots
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You are the Cats Pajamas  Dobie ! I love it when members get down and dirty with Home brew stuff.

You da man !!

donnie
2017-2-25
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RichJ53
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Great stuff ! That's thinking outside the box

Thank you for sharing

Rich
2017-2-25
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Dobmatt
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Thank you, Donnie and Rich ... You're the Gentleman and only a few of us is left here ... :-)
2017-2-25
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RichJ53
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Dobmatt Posted at 2017-2-25 14:18
Thank you, Donnie and Rich ... You're the Gentleman and only a few of us is left here ... :-)

Right back at you Dob !!  

All the best sir
Rich
2017-2-25
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Henry M.Y.
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Hi Matthew,

Your craftsmanship is excellent. The curved edge of the aluminum angle, and the small piece of aluminum receiving the bolts behind the grad filter, are perfectly shaped!

Would like to see the photos taken through this grad filter. Please share some when you have time.

Henry

2017-2-25
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Dobmatt
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Henry M.Y. Posted at 2017-2-25 23:44
Hi Matthew,

Your craftsmanship is excellent. The curved edge of the aluminum angle, and the small piece of aluminum receiving the bolts behind the grad filter, are perfectly shaped!

Thank you, Henry. You're the member of  "Les Trois Mousquetaires" of this forum and your opinion I value a lot
I didn't took any pictures yet with this attachment since the weather here doesn't cooperate. Will share my findings ASAP.  
2017-2-26
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Henry M.Y.
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Ha ha ha. I've just expressed my humble view, Matthew.

Beware of the gimbal dance. Depending on the FW version on your X5, you may need to stack up another set, or sets, of landing gear risers!

Henry
2017-2-26
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Dobmatt
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Henry M.Y. Posted at 2017-2-26 03:23
Ha ha ha. I've just expressed my humble view, Matthew.

Beware of the gimbal dance. Depending on the FW version on your X5, you may need to stack up another set, or sets, of landing gear risers!

The filter plate is installed and adjusted AFTER the initialization dance of the gimbal ... Gotcha!
2017-2-26
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JonCahillPhoto
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That's awesome right there!
2017-3-3
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Henry M.Y.
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Dobmatt Posted at 2017-2-26 13:01
The filter plate is installed and adjusted AFTER the initialization dance of the gimbal ... Gotcha!

Oops! I see.

Was the weather better in the past few days?

We are keen to see how the X5 goes with the gradual ND filter, and how the dynamic range of the X5 will apparently be increased.

Looking forward to seeing the findings.

Henry


2017-3-3
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Dobmatt
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Henry M.Y. Posted at 2017-3-3 08:22
Oops! I see.

Was the weather better in the past few days?

Henry, I'll do my best to display some sample images here ASAP. Just waiting for a good combination of weather, lighting and well featured sky to use all advantages of such setup. Hold your horses ...
2017-3-3
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fanscb179702
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Dobmatt Posted at 2017-3-3 11:58
Henry, I'll do my best to display some sample images here ASAP. Just waiting for a good combination of weather, lighting and well featured sky to use all advantages of such setup. Hold your horses ...

Very nice work. How are the aerodynamics affected by the large flat square in the front of the craft?
2017-3-3
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Dobmatt
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fanscb179702 Posted at 2017-3-3 12:11
Very nice work. How are the aerodynamics affected by the large flat square in the front of the craft?

Thank you. Didn't noticed any problems so far, but I don't fly too fast anyway ...
2017-3-3
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