Back in December of 2017, I had received a Nikkor 24mm f2.8 AIS lens as a Christmas gift from my grandmother. A manual-focus lens, I was quick to attach this lens to my camera and begin creating new images with it. The only problem with this lens, however, was that I did not have any filters that would fit on it. And, as a landscape photographer, I rely rather heavily on my 10-stop neutral density and circular polarizing filters. So I went ahead and bought ones from Formatt Hitech, a brand I have had good luck with, with my last two filters for my Nikkor 35mm f1.8G lens.
They came in rather quick from B&H – a photographer’s paradise of a store – but it was not until later in January of 2018 that I was able to test them out. Or maybe it was February…
Regardless, I went ahead and twisted the filter onto my lens, hoping to cut some of the glare from the waterfall. But when I went to twist the polarizer to cut some of the glare, it was far too stiff; in order for me to move it at all, I had to twist hard enough to unscrew the filter. Irritated, I took the filter off and put it back in my bag.
Later the next week, I emailed Formatt Hitech, but in order for me to get it replaced, I had to send the one I had back to them. I just did not have that kind of time, needing the filter, so I began to look online for any sort of solutions. Some people on a forum had said about using Isopropyl alcohol but as I had none of that, I decided to try this…
What you will need:
- Stiff Filter
- Old Rag/Towel
What you need to do:
As I have used WD-40 for cleaning my tripod, I had some lying around and figured I would give it a shot. Worst case scenario, I would simply send the filter off to Formatt Hitech and hope that they would replace it. If not, I was out about $50, which would suck.
I went ahead and grabbed the can along with an old towel and sat down to get to work. Using the nozzle, I sprayed a bit of the solution onto the gripped ring – as seen below – and used the towel to spread it all around the filter where the two rings come together.
I then set the filter aside to allow the solution to do its job and dry a bit. The last thing that I wanted was for the solution to not be able to dry and clog the filter up even more.
The end result:
As I was finishing up with my spring semester of college, I was not able to go out and test if my DIY job had worked. About a week or two after trying this, I was able to find a free day to head over to Rickett’s Glen in western Pennsylvania. Although the sun was high in the sky and the filter did not do much, I knew I needed to try it out, so I screwed it onto my lens and twisted. It worked.
While it was – is? – not as smooth turning as the CP I have for the 35mm lens, it still turns just fine for me. So, the next time you get a filter that is a little stiff, grab that WD-40 and spray some on!