Center spot filter

Center spot filter DEFAULT

Homemade Center Spot Filter

Center Spot Filter is a filter that helps you create an extraordinary effect on your photos, namely Center Spot Filter leaves the central area of ​​the image untouched, and the edges of the frame make it more soft and blurry. The filter is very useful for creating portraits.

Homemade Center Spot Filter

Homemade Center Spot Filter

I tried to make such a filter myself, for this I used a regular film. Since I should have shoot outdoors in winter, I decided to make not just a Center Spot filter, but Cold Center Spot Filter, but because he took the blue film, which gives cold shade on photos. The filter is called 'Center Spot' because 'Central PointThe lens usually does not distort the image that the lens gives.

Homemade Center Spot Filter

Normal left protective filter 67mm diameter, on the right is a circle cut out of film.

I just cut out a circle in the center of the film, and then cut out the very inside with the circle, I made the radius of the outer circle equal to the diameter of the lens filter on which I planned to use this Center Spot filter.

Homemade Center Spot Filter

Homemade Center Spot Filter on Tamron 17-55 F2.8 Lens

Then I put the cut piece of film on the lens of the lens and fixed the film with protective filter as shown in the photo above.

Features of such a device:

  1. The center of the photo remains sharp as it would be without using the Center Spot filter. The narrower the diameter of the transparent hole of the Center Spot filter, the larger the blur area will be in the photo. I used the Center Spot filter's clear hole diameter about 3 times smaller than the lens filter diameter.
  2. The softest effect is only available when photographing on open apertures. The stronger the aperture is closed, the more noticeable transition from film to an empty central area.
  3. White balance when working with mine Cold center spot the filter constantly made the central region of the image warmer, thus creating a good contrast of the central and lateral parts of the frame.
  4. Normal focusing is only available with center focus points.
  5. The cost of such a filter is minimal, but the effect is very strong.
  6. Instead of a film, you can use gauze, transparent fabric, even a regular plastic bag. If not protective filter to fix the spot filter, you can stick it with tape. Previously, this effect was made even easier - by smearing the edge of the front lens of the objective with ordinary Vaseline.

Sample photos:

All shot with a lens Tamron AF 17-50mm f / 2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) for Nikon using the Spot Filter shown in the photo in this article. For the test I used a camera Nikon D80:

Personal experience

Spot filter is a very interesting toy, with its help you can get very unusual photographs that give off vintage and mysteriousness. With the help of such a Spot filter, you can get something mysterious from the simplest lens, and the picture itself becomes like a picture from extraordinary lenses, for example, such as Helios-40-2... I also recommend my entry about 'homemade bokeh'.


With the homemade Spot filter, you can easily get a soft picture in the photo, the filter can be used for portraits or any other artistic intent.

↓↓↓ Like the idea :) ↓↓↓ Thank you for your attention. Arkady Shapoval.


Pancro Mirrors INC.

ND Center Spot  Camera Filter


The ND Center Spot is often used to focus attention on a person or scene in the center, as seen in flashback and dream sequences. Used exclusively recently on commercials.  Spots can be 1/2", 1", 2" & 3".


The ND Center Spot Filter consist of a clear, round or oval center, with edges that blend softly outward with a 1/4" graduation to full-ND.


Similar to the round NDCenter Spot is the NDOval Spot with a clear Center.  This filter spot is available in various oval sizes with the minor axis of the ellipse

( width ) of 1/2",1", 1 1/2", 2", 2 1/2" and 3".  Most popular is the 2  1/2" ( width )

for the 4 x 5.650 filter size and the 6.6 x 6.6 or 5.650 sq. size.


For use of this filter, check out Recent Work of Jordan Levy, D.P.




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Center spot filters are variations of Diffusion Filters. The center of a center spot filter is either a hole or a flat and clear glass, while the outer "ring" is diffuse and sometimes colored. Therefore, the center produces a clear image and the outer ring blurs the detail. As a result, the emphasis is the center. Unfortunately, most manufacturers only produce center spot filters of 46mm or higher. A larger center spot filter has a larger central clear area, which could be as large as the lens opening of the on-camera lens (of 950, 990 and 995, of course). If this happens, center spot filters are no more center spot. They become another glass in front of the on-camera lens. This could reduce image quality. Moreover, when zooming in the on-camera lens, the center spot could also become too large and cover the whole image area.

Although the outer ring is diffused, it is in general different from a diffusion filter. Some center spot filters are actually diopters with a hole at the center (e.g., Hoya's above), while for some others the center part is simply a clear glass (i.e., the second image above). For this type of center spot filters, the outer ring of the diopter just blurs the image. If you look at the larger image of the second filter, you should be able to see a clear spot while the outer ring blurs the background. There are soft spot filters with a clear center and soft-focus ring. The third image above shows a Tiffen's center spot filter. Hoya and other filter manufacturers have similar products. Thus, this type of center spot filters are diffusion filters with a clear center. One of the most interesting is Cokin's Radial Zoom which replaces the diffusion part by a set of densely arranged concentric circles. These circles spread the incoming light into a trace of light. Cokin's Radial Zoom is shown in the fourth image above.

Note that Hoya's and Tiffen's 49mm center spot filters have a center spot of diameter about 15mm, while Cokin's Radial Zoom has a clear center of diameter 9mm. Consequently, Cokin's will generate a more noticeable effect. Moreover, because the filter is mounted using one or two step-up rings which push the filter farther away from the on-camera lens, sometimes it is possible that the "ring" of the center spot is visible clearly, especially when facing light sources. In close-up, the on-camera lens may "focus" on the boundary of the clear spot and the soft ring!

In general, larger aperture and longer focal length will make the use of center spot filters a more discreet and delicate result. Unfortunately, while we can choose a larger aperture on a 950/990/995, it is difficult to use longer focal length because once we do it, as mentioned above, the center of the filter could cover the the lens opening completely. Hence, using this type of filters with care.

The Effects of Center Spot Filters

Let us take a look at the differences of these filters. This comparison includes two parts. In part 1, we take a look at the effects of non-uniform illumination. Part 2 will compare the effects under a reasonably uniform illumination. The following images were taken using a 990 under the aperture-priority mode with an aperture value F2.7, the largest available for this particular setting (i.e., focal length 10.7, 35mm equivalent 58mm). This focal length was used because the center spot has to be in the image.

One of the most obvious problem with the Hoya is the "ring" that is the image of the edge of the hole! The image is blurred outside of the hole; but, the "ring" is definitely very distracting. One can carefully position of the camera to eliminate this "ring", but it could be a time consuming and tedious task. The image taken with a diopter type center spot filter shares a similar effect. More precisely, the out-of-focus effect caused by the diopter's outer ring is apparent. Tiffen's effect is not very clear in a small image. In a large image (i.e., 800×600), we can see some blurred part around the border; but, because it is of soft-focus type, the effect is not very clear. The image taken with Cokin Radial Zoom obviously matches its name. Since the diameter of the clear spot of Cokin's is smaller than those of Hoya's and Tiffen's, we have more control over which part should have a zooming effect. Because the background has a lot of different elements, the trace effect is very noticeable.

The following images were taken with a uniform illumination. The "ring" is still visible in the image taken with Hoya's center spot filter (the right-most image on the first row); however, if lens shade is used to block some damaging incoming light, it disappears and the result is a good one. But, double images (or glowing) occurs. This also happens to the other diopter type center spot filter. The Tiffen has a not so strong, but more pleasant, result. Again, Cokin's Radial Zoom generates a very interesting image.

Clear Center

As mentioned earlier, it is difficult to use the diopter type of center spot filters. Moreover, because step-up rings are used which push the filter farther away from the front of the on-camera lens, it is possible that the lens may focus on the "ring" when doing close-up work. On the other hand, if positioned carefully, the "glowing" effect can create interesting and pleasant images. The following shows a few examples taken with center spot filters. Please keep in mind that a larger aperture should be used.

The following are examples that show you the differences of these filters used on a 35mm SLR. They were taken using a Nikon F5 with a 60mm Micro lens under the aperture priority mode. Then, they were scanned into image files using a Nikon LS-2000 with all default settings. As you can see, these center spot filters have a much better effect with a 35mm SLR film than those with a 950/990/995.

Radial Zoom

To use the radial zoom filter, please keep the following in mind: Use a focal length in the range of 35mm and 50mm (35mm equivalent). That is, the first quarter of the on-camera zoom lens scale (on the LCD monitor). Use an average or slightly larger aperture. Make sure the background has multiple elements to get the "zooming" effect. Because this filter has a diameter at least 49mm with a center spot of 9mm, you have to carefully position your camera and set proper focal length to get better shots. So, use the LCD monitor for your final decision. The following are shots taken with this Radial Zoom filter. It is clear that the center part is sharp and the surrounding ring has a zooming effect. The right-most image shows a very interesting shot. The lens zoomed all the way out and the sun light came in from the upper-left corner. The result is that the concentric circles on the filters are clearly seen and flare is visible.

When illumination and background are reasonably uniform, a Radial Zoom filter can create an effect that is similar to that of a diffusion filter. The following are examples. All were taken with a Radial Zoom filter; however the left one looks better than the right one because of a uniform background. Moreover, the "ring" effect is visible in the right image.

Crazy Visuals with DIY Lens Filters


Filter center spot


Diffusion Filter Comparison - Photography Tutorial


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