Fitting Filters Onto DSLRs

We provide original Magic filters and the Greenwater Magic in a number sizes to accommodate the popular wide angle lenses used on digital SLRs.

Magic filters were originally designed as rear mounted filters because many wide angle lenses have specific filter slots on them for gel filters. A few wide angle zooms do not have these filter holders so we also produce the Magic Filter as a 77mm diameter front of lens filter. In blue waters, an alternative to the M77 is the AMS-77, which is a solid filter using the Auto-Magic formula. We do not make a solid filter for green waters.

The big exception is the popular Tokina 10-17mm wide angle zoom, which requires different solutions for both the Canon and Nikon versions of this lens. In both cases the filter should be mounted on the rear of the lens and held in place with tape. There are further details here. This solution is usually best for any other tricky lens.

When sliding a rear filter into the holder, only handle it by the edges to avoid getting fingerprints on the centre (see below, left). The filter holders are designed for gel filters and will hold the filter securely in place. On some lenses you can make this a little easier by trimming the corners of the leading edge of the filter, so it slots in more easily. The Nikon 16mm Fisheye lens is unusual and the MagicM16N should be placed in the removable bayonet filter holder, on the back of the lens (below, right).


The Magic M77 is the exception for DLSR filters as it fits on the front of the lens. This filter should be placed between your dioptre lens and the front element of the lens (below left). If you do not use a dioptre then the M77 can be held in place with a standard UV filter. Alternately you can mount the dioptre is an empty filter mount (below, right). We now have a stock of some secondhand empty 77mm filter mounts available and we can send you one with your filters if you need it.


If you have another sized lens on your DSLR, or you want to experiment with filter photography for macro etc (we always encourage Magic photographers to experiment) then it is best to buy the Magic M77 and cut it down to size. You can download a stencil to make it easier to cut the filter to the appropriate size on the download page.

Cutting the filters is simple. Just fold the stencil over the filter and while holding securely, cut round the correct size for your housing. You may want to practice with just cutting one of the stencils provided without the filter first, to make sure you have the correct size. Curved nail scissors are useful for cutting circular filters.

You can download a stencil for DSLR lenses here.
You can download a stencil specific for the Canon 16-35mm Mk2 here.