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FX Sponge Holder 5000


I was robbed in San Pedro, Costa Rica at Casa Yoses Hostel. My gear was stolen from their security room by one of their employees – the cops didn’t do anything to recover the gear.
Their website is:

For those of you visiting to see how I made my filter holder I’d like to mention that I was robbed of nearly all my camera gear…. about $15,000 worth. Insurance didn’t cover it so I am trying to raise funds to buy new gear.











After the theft:

If you like to contribute you can purchase a postcard bundle here:

I wrote about it here:
The police report is here with all the serial numbers
(It is in Spanish):

The Police Report

You’ll see they cleaned house – leaving only my 50mm lens and hard drive – $400 worth of gear they apparently didn’t want. They also stole my computer with all the photos I took while I was there.

I want to buy another D3x and lenses.
Any contributions are greatly appreciated.


The good news is they didn’t steal my FX Sponge Holder 5000! Not only is it inexpensive to manufacture but thieves don’t want to steal it.

I’ll send off with a post on my new product,  The FX Sponge Filter Holder 5000″. After reading countless articles on filter holders for the Nikon 14-24mm I finally plunged on my buys, purchasing a Cokin Z-Pro holder and 3 4×4 Neutral Density filters. I also snagged a 4×6 .6 ND grad – shown in the pictures.

One thing I should mention is that Nikon, for whatever reason completely failed on providing any method for attaching filters to the 14-24mm lens, a $1,700 lens that is primarily geared at the landscape photography market, a market which is deeply trenched into the filters. You would think after spending that kind of money it would come with its own filters.

Long story short ALL the articles I read were from people shooting the 14-24 off a DX camera, and they failed to mention that. The DX cameras for those of you that don’t know have a 1.5x zoom as compared to an FX body. This means that when you shoot FX with a 4×4 filter it doesn’t come even close to covering the full frame at 14mm. Major fail.

The next fail comes from the fact that if you want extremely large format filters you are stuck with cokin, and their filters are trash. The very small niche you are left in is the 4×5 and 4×6 market. Luckily two brands make them – Lee and Tiffen. Unfortunately you have to PAY for them… in the $300 range for each filter $500 for the glass ND grads from Tiffen. I have yet to find the solid ND’s I am after… although I know they are out there, the .3 .6 and .9 in 4×6 format.

In order to use those filters you need a holder… and NO one makes one.

So I did.

Introducing The FX Sponge Filter Holder 5000 as used on the D3X FX body.

The FX Sponge Filter Holder 5000

This is the first pass using a $1.50 All Purpose Sponge from Ace. Dimensions 7 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/8 .
It’s durable and stays soft – even the package says it.

The FX Sponge Filter Holder 5000

It mounts snuggly onto the lens, I cut the hole a little small just to make sure it wouldn’t fall off.

The FX Sponge Filter Holder 5000

You can see that I cut away the sides on the inside, if you don’t do this you’ll get some sponge in your picture.

The FX Sponge Filter Holder 5000

This particular model comes with custom side grips that provide a fierce hold on your valuable filters. It also prevents the scratching you get from the Cokin mounts.

The FX Sponge Filter Holder 5000

You’ll notice in the picture there is an issue with sponge reflection. So I fixed it. This is shot at 14mm on the D3X.

Nikon Dx3 14-24mm 4x5 4x6 Sponge Filter Holder

Straight custom black interior. I used 3 types of black – A sharpy, Acrylic black paint, and finally black spray paint. This kind of sponge doesn’t corrode from spray paint – a major + as the spray paint did a real good job.

Nikon Dx3 14-24mm 4x5 4x6 Sponge Filter Holder

As seen without the camera body.

Nikon Dx3 14-24mm 4x5 4x6 Sponge Filter Holder

I didn’t bother painting the back – no point really other then asthetics, and this is  “The FX Sponge Filter Holder 5000″ so it already has the cool factor without more paint.

Nikon Dx3 14-24mm 4x5 4x6 Sponge Filter Holder

And the final result. Nikon D3X 14bit RAW shot out of the Nikon 14-24mm at 14mm using The FX Sponge Filter Holder 5000 and a Lee 4×6 Neutral Density soft Grad.

Let the games being.


Nikon Dx3 14-24mm without filter

While this image isn’t totally fair due to the different lighting scenario – it is shot to show the shot without the ND Grad

Nikon Dx3 14-24mm Cokin Z-Pro Fail Picture

Here is the complete fail that is known as the Cokin Z-Pro 100mmx100mm filter adapter. You will notice the entire holder just about shows at the edges. This is with the holder sitting flush with the hood. Once again this is shot off the Nikon D3x using the 14-24mm. I should also mention that this bit of fail costed $62.

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