Remembering The Star Filter

If you’re an old film shooter like me, You’ll probably remember them: Star Filters!  When I got my first SLR in the early 70s’ (A Minolta SR7) , Star Filters were all the rage.  My wife put one in my stocking that first Christmas I had my camera.  It was fun.  Point the camera at a light source, snap the shutter and bingo: a perfect star.  I think my first shot was of our Christmas tree that year.  A tree of a zillion stars.  Soon though, the novelty wore off and the  Star Filter was relegated to the back of the camera bag.

Along with the digital age, came a new word for starbursts: Flares. I see them quite a bit on flickr particularly in HDR Pictures.  I’ve often wondered if the shooter is using a ahem….“Star Filter”.   You can still buy them but its not necessary.  Just shoot at your smallest f stop.

This was shot at f/22.  The only problem I’ve had with this trick is controlling blown out light.  One way is to cut the light reaching your camera via camera position.  Using a leaf on a tree to partially block the rising sun,    for example.   A foggy morning helps a lot as it surely did with the above shot.

The shot below is of the sunset in what I call Twilight Field on the farm.  Also shot at f/22,  waiting until the Sun was just dipping below the horizon took care of blown out light.

Sure, you could screw a star filter on the lens but why bother.

See you next time on most of this same blo

One thought on “Remembering The Star Filter

  1. My Dad used a Nikon, and had a star filter for it…I still have that star filter, but have never used it…I think I’ll keep it for a keepsake, try an f22 setting instead…Thank you for the tip! Your stars are awesome and so our your photographs…

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