September 10, 2013

A Useful Aluminium Filter Wrench from Desmond

Desmond Aluminium Filter Wrench in action
Stuck filters are a cause of frustration especially when you are in the middle of a photo session.
There are various rubber disks, plastic loops and even jar openers that can help you unscrew a stuck filter.
For the record, I have used even mouse pads in the past.

The idea of a loop with handles fitting around a filter is not new, the existing plastic ones tend to break easily. So Desmond decided to introduce a metal Filter Wrench, exploiting the low mass and elastic characteristics of Aluminium.

The Filter Wrench
The Desmond Filter Wrench is cut in shape from a 3 mm thick sheet of Aluminium with a certain elasticity which enables it to embrace a variety of lens filter diameters. However, for better fitting it comes in three size versions:
  1. 36 - 58 mm for Lens Filter diameters 37mm 40mm 40.5mm 49mm 52mm and 55mm
  2. 52 - 86 mm for Lens Filter diameters 55mm 58mm 62mm 67mm 72mm 77mm and 82mm
  3. 95 - 112 mm for Lens Filter diameters 105mm
The model numbers declare the minimum and maximum diameter attainable by the wrench perimeter deformation in order to remain elastic and functional.

The version I have got is the 52-86 mm as more appropriate for the range of my filters sizes.

Desmond 52-86 Aluminium Filter Wrench
Manufacturer Specification:
Thickness:3 mm
Loop Width:4 mm
Looo Internal ∅:84 mm
Loop External ∅:92 mm
Handle Length:67 mm
Total Length w/ Handles:151 mm
Weight:19 gr

Its 3 mm thickness ensures it can fit on almost any Lens Filter even on thin CPL filters without problem. However, this feature makes it prone to bending if mishandled, therefore it would be wise to pack it between flat objects in your bag in order to avoid deformation. It can be brought back in shape very easily but avoiding frustration is better. :)

Using the Wrench
The application is simple and straightforward. I have chosen a UV 77mm Filter attached on a Canon EF 100-400 L IS USM zoom lens for the illustration as it proved a more steady "model" posing for me.

Desmond 52-86 Aluminium Filter Wrench on UV 77mm filter open
Fitting the Aluminium Filter Wrench around the perimeter of the "stuck" lens filter is the first we need to do. Needless to say that we should take care that the wrench sits only on the filter perimeter in order to perform its task and avoid scratching the lens barrel.
Desmond 52-86 Aluminium Filter Wrench on UV 77mm filter closed
Next, just grab firmly and squeeze the Wrench handles bringing them close together, thus tightening the wrench loop around the filter.
Desmond 52-86 Aluminium Filter Wrench on UV 77mm filter closed and turned
Holding the handles tight, give a counter clockwise push and your filter is unstuck!

Affirmative grip on filters.
Fits on almost all filter thicknesses.
Durable and Inexpensive.

Not serious but needs attention when packing to avoid bending.

As a tool geek myself, I appreciate specialized tools. Having the right tool for the right job is a great relief when you want to fix something, saving you from a lot of frustration.
I stretched, deformed, bent and reformed this little tool and didn't break it. When back to its original shape it performed very well on forced stuck filter threads. So, I can recommend it!

I hope you found the article useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2013 S.C.Vlachos

Price & Availability:
Prices for the Aluminium Filter Wrenches vary between US$ 11.75 to 14.25 according to size and are available from Amazon or from eBay

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