Photography Gear Masquerading as Everyday Tools: Save Money, Space, and Time

Frustrating, isn’t it? You’ve tried turning it lightly, firmly, squeezing it, swearing at it, invoking the Benevolent Photography Fairies* for help, all to no avail. That ?#&%*! filter is still stubbornly jammed on your lens for eternity, and no amount of forehead sweat is going to loosen it.

Calm down. There is help, and it’s closer than you think.

I’m sure the inexpensive filter wrenches from B&H work just fine, but they are specific to the size of the filter, so they are one-trick ponies. You’d better have the right size wrench in-house because you want that thing off NOW, don’t you? (Before you judge me for incorrectly screwing on a filter or buying the wrong one in the first place, I’m  not the only one who has had this happen or they wouldn’t make filter wrenches. So there.)

Enter…The Garage. No, really. Go into the garage.

You may not have an arsenal of mysteriously appearing This Old House implements like rubber strap wrenches hanging around collecting cobwebs, but for some reason I do. When and why I bought them (yeah, there’s two), who can say? But today…light bulb moment! I used the small one to loosen and remove the jammed UV filter that’s been living on my Canon 50mm 1.8 for the past five years. I wrapped it around the filter edge, adjusted it to fit, and Boom. It took two seconds and minimal effort to do what previous years of abject failure could not. Probably any decent length strip of rubber and a torquing stick would work. Check your junk drawer(s) or ask your favorite DIY neighbor.

IMG_7127The handle and locking mechanism did the trick. It’s all about leverage, baby, leverage. PVC pipes, pickle jars, lens filters–there are many jobs for this little guy. He needs to come and live with me in the big house in a place of honor: Le Junque Drawer.

What everyday items have you engaged or re-purposed as photography tools or accessories, either in a pinch or as a frugal stroke of genius? Please leave a comment and share. Do-it-yourselfers would love to know.

Happy defiltering.

*These are the same Fairies who get you to snap the shutter at exactly the right moment to capture that perfect shot. Clap your hands if you believe. Do not clap your hands if one of the fairies is between them.

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