Introduction: Nokia Lumia 1020 Filter Mount

If you love creating, then you have come to the right place. This instructable is made for Nokia Lumia 1020 owners & Smart Phone photographers everywhere!

First things first, having a Nokia Lumia 1020 alone is not enough for this Instructable. You will also need the Camera Grip for Nokia Lumia 1020 , I bought mine on eBay.
The perks of this device are the 55 minutes extra battery time (give or take), the tripod mount and the opportunity to attempt this instructable.

After doing a lot of research online about imaging with the Nokia Lumia 1020, and my own interest in time-lapse photography, I read how neutral density (ND) filters can make the motion-blur between each image in the lapse look smoother. ND filters can do a lot of cool things, of course, and after ordering a ND filter, I wanted to do it all. The only issue was getting the ND filter to stay attached to the grip while shooting.
Looking around online I found a couple of cool things. This instructable is the result of those things and I am glad I can share this with you! The Nokia Lumia 1020 Filter Mount allowing you to detach and reattach different filters, or to even take it one step further!

Step 1: Attaching Loops

To get started you will need a few things:

  • Camera grip for Lumia 1020
  • 55mm - 58mm stepping ring (my filter is 58mm but 55mm is enough)
  • Velcro (make sure adhesive is on the back)
  • X-Acto knife (or something like it)
  • Scissors
  • Marker

** Note: The reason why Velcro is used rather than just gluing the ring directly to the grip is because the grip will need room to flex for the phone to easily be placed and removed from the grip; using glue alone will not be enough to keep the ring in place.

Outline your stepping ring on your Velcro (loop side) but give plenty of room in width (I used 3/4" Velcro but the wider the better).
Next, cut the outline with the X-Acto (I used 3 & 1/4 pieces of Velcro for wrap grip opening - this amount will be different if you have something larger than 3/4" Velcro).
One at a time, remove adhesive tape and place around the outside of the grip opening. There may be some stray loops from velcro left around opening, be sure to clean it up before moving forward.

Step 2: Ring Hooks

My particular stepping ring has two levels, you can get rings that are leveled off too, you just want to make sure the opposing side has threads to attach your filter on to.

A magnifying glass will help in cutting the Velcro hooks into strips. Each one of these strips will fit on both levels of the ring.
This step is time consuming and I suggest you take your time in cutting the strips so that no hooks are damaged on each strip.** Tip: ordinarily using scissors, you cut with blades facing away from you, well in this case, face the blades towards you while looking down each row of hooks on Velcro while cutting. It will help!

Step 3: Attaching Hooks

If you have two levels, like I do, apply each strip to both levels of the ring. The thinner cut strips should attach to the higher level of the ring and the somewhat wider cut strips should go on to the lower level.
I took 9 strips and literally 2 hooks from a strip on the lower level (see aerial images 2 & 3 before and after) and 8 -1/4 strips on higher level.

The adhesive on the velcro works perfectly and still can me molded while being stuck into place.

Step 4: Finishing and Attaching

Once you completed the placing of Velcro on both levels of the stepping ring and feel that they are adequately placed, then you can attach the ring to the camera grip BUT place the writing on the ring at the top (12 o'clock location) so that It can be read while placed on tripod. Because of that, the ND filter fader stop markings fit perfect in-line with the ring markings allowing you to adjust the filter very easily while shooting.

** I suggest getting a ND filter fader that is adjustable, mine is NDx2 - NDx400! Why? Instead of attaching many different ND filters you just have one with multiple stops in one filter.

If you want to know more about ND filters click here "The Unltimate Guide To Neutral Density Filters" by Peter Hill.

If you have any questions about this instructable or where I purchased the items shoot me an email !

Step 5: Examples

Here are a few examples (more to come)

**Advice: For best results, go to your camera settings and change your capture mode to "JPEG(5 MP) + DNG (34 MP)" The reason we want the Digital Negative files for stills are obviously for quality and for post-production editing. Using Camera Raw or other DNG editing software is good practice for photography like this. I only suggest these capture mode settings for those invested photographers, I assume if you have made it this far then your invested.
**Heads up, these are LARGE files, I wouldn't advise long time lapses with these settings. You will start using gigs quick!

  • Image of flower is a great example of JPEG image vs. DNG. The JEPG image above is opened directly in Photoshop and not edited while the DNG image is automatically opened in Camera Raw and was only edited in CR, then is opened in photoshop -no editing. Using CR is important because it is non-destructive editing before it even hits Photoshop. This gives you much more control and options than jumping around in PS adjustments. Its control like you would have in a dark room, somewhat.... Basically what im trying to say is take advantage of DNG settings when you can!

For more info on DNG files see Windows Phone Central "Shooting in RAW with your Lumia PureView camera

Here is another good link regarding DNG: Digital Photography Review Connect "Shooting in RAW with the Nokia Lumia PureView camera"

On another note!
For Mac users, like myself, download Nokia Photo Transfer and you can easily access the files to save and edit.

7-22 update: Be aware the Nokia grip battery tends to get pretty warm, plus the already higher temperatures of the phone can sometimes be too much for the camera to handle, especially in extreme conditions.

I had my phone overheat a few times the other day taking a time lapse of ice melting in the 90° heat. I anticipated the heat so I shaded the phone from sun and also interimittently fan the phone in between timed shots

What I finally shot and used was about 35 mins worth of time but I had been in and out of the heat for over an hour and a half, dealing with phone issues. Going inside and cooling down then returning for hopes of single consecutive series of shots aiming at about 40 minutes.

Once the battery grip was depleted, things started to cool down a bit, maybe only 40% but still noteworthy to mention. Some times its no always as important to keep the grip charged…. this overheating happened once before in less extreme conditions but with battery full charged.
A fast cool down and a shut down/restart of the phone is necessary, a hard reset of the phone isn't a bad idea occasionally (hard reset can be accomplished by holding all three buttons on the right side of the phone together for around 10 seconds)…regardless, the phone bounced back quickly and was ready to shoot again.

Also, this is a great example for the filter mount! Due to the brightness of the sun and contrast of white ice and shadows in the background, I was using the ND filter. It was really key in capturing these series of images shot because let me tell you the sun was a lot brighter than that of the images you see.

For any questions, of course, just message me.


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