I am seeing back order notices everywhere for solar eclipse filters made by reliable companies. If you want a filter to photograph the solar eclipse, order it now. Here are my recommendations.
This article was posted July 10, 2017 and updated July 14, 2017.
My first choice for a high quality solar eclipse filter that you can screw on the front of your camera lens is from Thousand Oaks Optical. This is as good as it gets. They make filters for NASA to use on the Space Shuttle and also for ABC, BBC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NOVA, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and most major universities and observatories throughout the world. They come in different sizes to match the filter size of your camera lens.
There is a catch. This notice is now on their web site:
NOTICE: Due to the extremely high volume of orders for the August 21st eclipse, orders received after July 9th may not be delivered in time for the eclipse. Orders for filter sheets, glasses, cards and bulk rolls currently have a much better chance to be delivered by August 15th. August 11th will be our last shipping day before this eclipse. We are sorry for the inconvenience. You can place an order subject what is available to ship on or before August 11th and request a refund for any item(s) not shipped.
Another option is to email us noting the item(s) you would like to order. We will contact you when the product is available to ship. You will not lose your place in the queue by waiting to place the order online. We will do everything possible to meet your request.
I just talked to them on the phone. It might be possible to get a filter for you but you need to order ASAP. If they can’t get your order to you in time for the eclipse they will refund your money. As a price example a filter in a 77mm size costs $59.
Order here or better yet call 928-692-8903.
My second choice is a Lee Solar Eclipse Filter. It is a square filter (100mm) designed to fit in a Lee filter holder. The solar Eclipse filter is $150. These are in stock as of today (July 10) at Adorama so don’t wait to order. If you are already using the Lee system, all you need is the solar filter. If you aren’t using the Lee system you will need the basic filter holder which is $80. You will also need an adapter ring to attach the filter holder to the front of your lens which will cost you about $40 – $60 depending on the size you need. Yes, I know, expensive.
The Lee system (like the Cokin system) works like this. The adapter ring screws into the front of your lens. The back of the Lee filter holder attaches to the adapter ring. The filter slides into grooves in the filter holder. Incidentally, other companies, like my favorite filter company, Singh-Ray, make filters that fit the Cokin P series (84mm) and Lee series (100mm) filter holders. See the link below.
You can order the solar eclipse filter here and the filter holder here (make sure you get the basic $80 filter holder without all the extra stuff you may not need or want). You will also need to find a Lee adapter ring to fit the filter size of your camera lens or lenses. If you want to use the Lee system on lenses with more than one filter size, you will need an adapter ring for each different filter size.
Don’t buy a cheap no-name solar filter that will give you lousy images or won’t even let you focus. It is just money wasted. Stick with the top brand filter companies. And be sure to read my safety article Do NOT Look at the Eclipse Through a Solar Eclipse Filter! You Could Go Blind!
For more information on the eclipse, be sure to check out my series of eclipse articles.
The Great American Eclipse Series
“White Light” Solar Eclipse Filters at Thousand Oaks Optical
Lee 100mm Solar Eclipse Filter at Adorama
Lee Filters FK Foundations Filter Holder at Adorama
Lee filter holder adapter rings at Adorama
The Great American Eclipse Series – A series of articles to help you choose a location, view, and photograph the Great American Eclipse. I add to this series on a regular basis.
Singh-Ray does not make solar eclipse filters, but they are my favorite company for neutrality density, graduated neutral density, and polarizing filters. They make filters that fit the Cokin P series, Lee series, and other filter holders.