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Elastic bands with filter wrenches?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by ChrisNewman, Apr 16, 2019 at 4:59 PM.

  1. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member


    A month or so ago I bought a set of four pairs of filter wrenches covering a range of sizes, from Neewer. The wrenches arrived, and are fine, but each pair of wrenches was packed with two broad elastic bands only about ¾″ diameter.

    I have no idea what the purpose of these bands is.

    I asked Neewer through their website, but have had no reply.

    Can anyone suggest what these broad elastic bands are intended for?

    With thanks in advance,
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Not the foggiest, except that wrapping a rubber band around a screw top to get a better grip is an old trick. You shouldn't need to tighten filters beyond light finger pressure. If you need a filter wrench to get them off they are over-tight.
  3. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    The filter I change regularly, and have problems with, is my polarizer. I only screw it up very loosely, and then try to remember to rotate the polarization in the right direction so that I don’t accidentally unscrew it. But sometimes when I want to remove it, it’s stuck fast. (I guess this is due to differential expansion of the materials during changes of temperature, but I haven’t found a temperature regime that can free it at home if I didn’t manage to do so in the field.)

    I used rubber bands to try to loosen the filter before I bought filter wrenches. But the black bands supplied by Neewer are far too broad, and small in diameter, for that. This is actually my 2nd set of filter wrenches; I lost one of a pair of not very effective lightweight plastic ones. I also had to replace my polarizer recently, when the rotating element fell out of its holder, perhaps as a result of the strains of being removed from the lens.

  4. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    When I used filters I employed an old fine pointed brush to put the faintest trace of sewing machine oil on the threads. I treated the lens threads the same way. My filters never suffered from binding.

    BUT do remember you want only the thinnest layer on each surface and make damned sure the oil goes nowhere else.
  5. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the suggestion. But a few months ago I tried a little silicone grease on the same principle. I think it helped a little, but the sticking seems such a random event that it’s hard to be sure. It certainly wasn’t the complete cure I’d hoped for. I suspect the lubricant helps it screw up a little tighter in whatever conditions allow the filter to screw in further, so when the conditions change, it’s clamped in even tighter although the threads can slide more easily.

  6. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    All I can say is try the oil. It worked for me.
  7. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Synthetic graphite powder is an excellent lubricant.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 5:01 AM
    Terrywoodenpic likes this.
  8. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Perhaps they are for holding the handles of the wrenches together when not in use.
    Learning likes this.
  9. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I was thinking something similar, it makes sense.
  10. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the suggestion, but if lubricant was going to stop my filter sticking, I think silicone grease or light oil would be good enough, while I’d be wary of using a powder on components for a camera with a digital sensor.

  11. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I did experiment that way when they arrived. But, firstly, the wrenches are very springy, so a non-stretch plastic or fabric band would be more effective, and wouldn’t perish after a few years. And secondly, I’d want to band the pair of wrenches together, so I’d only need one band.

  12. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

  13. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Attractive price, and might be useful for some. But my polarizer that sticks periodically is 82mm, and it sticks to the clear protective filter below. So a pair of those would be far too wide, and I assume, too small in diameter, for me. Anyway, I’ve no reason yet to be dissatisfied with the Neewer filter wrenches - they seem much better than the plastic pair I used until I lost one. But I assume they included those elastic bands for some reason, and it irritates me that I can’t find out what they’re supposed to be for.

  14. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I am sure you realise that stacking filters degrades the image, either by the extra air/glass interfaces or by shading the corners of the image. Personally, I would remove the protective filter before fitting the polariser.
  15. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Yes, I’m well aware that an extra pair of glass interfaces will degrade image quality to some extent, and that the use of protective filters is a contentious subject. Vignetting is a straightforward issue, easily spotted; I did notice the extreme corners were dark with my previous, Tamron 24-70mm at 24mm with both protective and polarizing filters, but my current Nikkor 24-70mm seems OK. As for extra glass interfaces, current lenses have so many elements, with high-quality lenses having several more than “consumer” ones, that I’m sure the effect of one protective filter is trivial. My intention is to keep the front element of a lens permanently covered and pristine, so that I only ever risk accidentally scratching or otherwise damaging the filter (for example when cleaning), which I could replace at moderate cost. But that plan fails if my filters lock up in the field, and when I eventually get one to shift, both the protective filter and polarizer come off the lens together.

  16. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    That was actually the point, if you have only one filter fitted I suspect the sticking problem would disappear. Large filter rings are actually rather flexible, polarisers somewhat less so than others, and I suspect your "protector" is flexing which is why they are hard to separate.

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