So, what do ya think this thing may be? It initially reminds me of a cheap man's bathtub drain stopper. Maybe. A mouse pad? Cup coaster for drinks? An oyster shucker? Light bulb remover? Give up, yet?
What is it?
Actually, this device can be use for all the above and a lot more! Used to help remove mouthpieces from trumpets & tubas. Use for extra grip to help remove the oil filter in a car. Placed under a pet's food bowl, it prevents the bowl from "traveling" around the kitchen floor. Holds a cake in place on a counter while frosting. Works great under a cutting board to keep it from slipping when slicing veggies. Place in between iron skillets when storing so they don't rust. Works perfect for holidays when put under your turkey plate when you are carving to keep the platter from sliding around. It gives you a good grip on a screwdriver for removing screws. Place under a throw rug to keep it from sliding on tile. It is especially useful for opening nail polish! But what is it, exactly?
Ok, by now you probably guessed, a rubber jar opener! Ok, yea, those were fantastic uses of a jar opener, but does this have anything to do with photography? Well, as a matter of fact, yes! If you ever had a camera lens filter stuck on a lens and couldn't remove it, I know you have experienced total frustration. Yep, personal experience. I've heard of several suggested ways of removing stuck filter: using tape; heating with a hair dryer; filter wrench; vise grips; and my all time favorite, a metal saw. All "might" work getting it off, but clearly the metal saw will be a tad bit destructive. Not good solution for a $200 filter. Another solution I know one person has tried (you know who you are) and is effective, is placing the lens in a freezer. The cold shrinks the metal and should allow the lens filter to come off much easier. But what if you are rafting down the Colorado River or are on a safari in Africa? Access to a freezer can be somewhat limiting on vacation trips. And, of course, these frustrating situations typically only occur when you least have access to a freezer. That's commonly called Murphy's Law. This technique, however, does concern me about the cold and humidity possibly damaging the internal parts of a lens. But the best and safest solution - USE A JAR OPENER! If you know of more good uses of jar openers, let me know so we can continue this important discussion in the next newsletter.