Lens filters

I’ve been looking at lens filters for the Mavic Pro. Can anyone tell me what all the numbers mean and what is cpl?
I have been using a uv filter on my Nikon for years, mainly just to protect the lens.
Anyway who uses them on their bird and do they make a difference?

CPL is a polarised filter.

ND4, 8, 12 etc is a neural density filter. The number is the amount of light it blocks. An ND2 stops it down by 1, ND4 by 2, ND8 by 3 etc etc.

ND4PL etc. This is a neutral density filter which is also polarised.

Reason for using ND filters on mavic is because it has no aperture control. They are just blocking out light to achieve a slower shutter speed.

They do work but by how much is subjective. Video is smoother from frame to frame and you get some pleasing motion blur on moving objects like cars or water.
Motion blur can also be an issue though as you need to YAW much more slowly otherwise it looks terrible.

I also find the polarised filters makes colours pop a bit more. Polarised are also good for cutting though haze under certain conditions. Thanks to @OzoneVibe For that tip, has worked well for me.

Basically they do have a place but don’t expect a dramatic change.

A set containing ND4, ND8, ND16 and ND32 would be a good start.

I use the polar pro cinema series.


Cheers and thanks again @callum

1 Like

@callum what is your “go to” filter?

My ND8 probably gets most use. That and ND4PL.

1 Like

Thanks again @callum

1 Like

One thing to note mate.
I did most of my flying in winter and spring. With this bright and warm weather an ND 16 would probably be more suitable than the ND8.

If I could choose only 3 filters it would be a ND8, ND16 and a PL filter.

Think of the ND filters as sunglasses for your drone, reducing the amount of light getting to the sensor means you can lower the shutter speed.

Ideally for the ‘cinemagraphic’ look the shutter speed needs to be double the frame rate so if you’re shooting 30fps then the shutter ideally needs to be 60th of a second.

It’s what majority of movies are shot in as it’s the most natural for our eyes and brain to take in, examples already given highlight this, if your shutter is 800th of a second running water and most moving objects look ‘artificial’ have a look on YouTube there are loads of videos that explain it really well with examples.

Thanks guys I’ve ordered a polar pro set of 3 to start with. ND8 ND16 and CPL. I will build on them as I need to.

1 Like

Just a heads up to everyone buying filters, I bought a set and taking off the original lens barrel was a nightmare so here’s a tip for anyone struggling. Use the flat usb cable which in my case came with the mavic air, make a loop and use that around the barrel with 3 fingers and it came off quite easily. Just remember to keep the gimble secure with the other hand.

1 Like

Which drone was this? My filters grip on over the MP barrel.

i got the neweer set from amazon they clip over the exsisting lense on my MP:grinning:

1 Like

mines a mavic air, I didn’t even know you could get ones that clip over, doh! with mine they screw on but you have to take off the barrel part.

1 Like

Ah - OK - yes, I did see somewhere that the Air has ones that screw on. Seems strange. Perhaps clip-ons are available?

Is the camera barrel the Same diameter on the air and the MP?

From what I remember the cameras are completely different, so filters for the Pro won’t fit on the Air.


I bought a Polarpro set from a local photographic shop where my mate works, got me a great discount too. CP, ND8 and ND16.

Using the ND16, ISO100 I got it down to a nice 1/50 second shutter speed, which for those who don’t know is perfect for 25 fps (PAL) mode. Makes the video very smooth indeed!

I did accidentally save the finished video at a different FPS and it was awful. I re-saved it at 25fps and the difference was amazing!

The Polarpro set I got was £49.99 list price, and so worth it…