The use of filters is an essential part of my photography, be it a polarizer for controlling reflections, a neutral density (ND) filter for extending the exposure time, or a ND graduated filter for balancing the dynamic range of an image. Thereby, I decided to go for a filter system with slot-in filters, which suits my needs best. Here, the vital piece of equipment is a filter holder, in my case the Lee Foundation Kit*, which is attached to the lenses through different adapter rings. The mount between Lee filter holder and adaptor ring is made through a spring and provides a very sturdy and reliable connection – under normal circumstances!
However, unusual situations like hecticness, working with gloves in cold weather, or storm can occur where you touch the filter holder accidentally and in an inauspicious way, which might cause the filter holder to detach itself from the lens and – in worst case – to fall down. I myself have experienced this two or three times and I have always been lucky enough to catch the filter holder early enough. I know other photographers, though, who havn’t been that lucky and broke their filters or even lost their holders and filters in a gorge or river. Everybody who owns filters and filter holder knows how annoying this must be, not only because are not able to use your equipment any longer, but also because of the price: Filter holder, 105mm polarizer and ND graduated filters or ND filters can sum up to several hundred of euros…
Reason enough to think about a way to secure the filter holder in order to prevent it from falling down, especially regarding the upcoming trip… My first trial was to contact Lee filters and to ask whether the know or offer anything useful for that. The response came very quickly and I was offered to send in my filter holder for an inspection. After I declined this offer, because I don’t think that it is a problem of the holder’s tolerances itself, but more a problem of accident mixed with bad luck, Lee sent me some screws so that could try to find a solution. Of course, a simple cord might do an already good job, but I hoped for a more sophisticated way ;-)
Therefore, I bought a key reel* which I can attach to my tripod on the one side. At the end of the cord, it has a clip which can be connected with a loop screw or something of that ilk. Compared to a simple cord, this reel has the advantage that the surplus cord is drawn-in and tightened, which might reduce susceptibility to wind. The next point was the mounting of a loop on the filterholder. At first I thought of a loop screw, but thanks to the screw thread used on the filter holder (the imperial standard 8BA), I was not able to find a suitable one. Then I had the idea to try those little triangle ring hangers you normally use to hang up pictures, and look, it works! I just had to file off a little bit to avoid that the hanger overlaps the area where the adaptor ring fits in and that’s all. No drilling into the filter holder or other complicated things! Alltogether it costed less than ten euro, which is really nothing compared to the value of the holder and filters…
I am very curious about how it will work in practice, but at the moment I am very happy that I found a simple solution for securing my filter holder, even if it might not be the most beautiful one… If you are interested in a more elaborate solution, you can also have a look at Evelyn Hatt’s blog (in German), who developed a little turned piece where you can attach a rope. What about you? Do you secure your filter holder? I would be very interested in your thoughts about my solution or your own experiences!
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