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Old May 22, 2013, 1:56 PM   #1
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Default Lost then Found Success Story

I just have to share this story with someone, and since it is photography related, it seems appropriate to tell it here.

Right after I bought the FA 31, I decided to buy a circular polarizer to use on it. I had previously bought a large B+W circular polarizer, my first filter purchase since going digital. I was never entirely happy with it - it smudged easily and was hard to clean. So I went into my local camera store to ask their advice. The salesman took one look at the lens and brought out what I suspect was their most expensive filter - a Heliopan. Since I had such a lovely lens, I decided to splurge and get it. I immediately loved it, it didn't smudge and was much easier to clean. I happily used it often.

Fast forward several months or maybe a year later. One fall day I was using it but taking it off and putting it back on. I remember taking it off and carefully putting it somewhere, and later i recalled thinking I was going to regret it since I'd probably forget where it was. Sure enough, the next time I wanted to use it, I couldn't find it. I searched through every pocket of every shirt and jacket I own, thinking I had been wearing something I normally didn't, but never found it.

As time passed, I kept thinking about it and discovering situations I really wished I had it. Several times I almost bought a replacement, but it was an expensive filter and the budget just never quite stretched to buying a replacement. I don't remember if I lost it last fall or the previous year. It seems like it was well over a year ago.

This year, unlike most previous years, I decided to try clearing my yard myself. I've been taking my time with the weed-whacking and I'm also making a point to rake it up, rather than leaving it all to someone else who didn't often rake very well. I've found a few things buried in the weeds that were blown there or dropped by someone, or left by a not-very-careful contractor who did some work on the house two years ago. As I was raking, I dislodged something round, looked like a pipe ring or something along those lines. Then I noticed that the center dirt moved with the object and realized that I was looking at my lost, expensive filter.

I'm now sorry I didn't take a picture of it's condition when I found it - it was coated with mud and plant gunk. I took it inside, assuming it wasn't worth saving, but rinsed it off anyway. Left it in some soapy water for a while and worked it around a bit since there was obviously dirt in the grooves that it rotates on.

When I took it out, it rotated reasonably smoothly and I couldn't tell if it had a couple of scratches or if what I was seeing was stubborn muck. A little time spent with some lens cleaner (ROR - residual oil remover) and a couple of Q tips (glad I didn't toss them out when the dog who used to get ear infections died 6 or 7 years ago), and there's now only one tiny spot that might be scratched. Went outside to see if it would work, and here are the results:

My nice clean car, with the polarizer rotated so it had no effect:

And with the polarizer rotated to cut out most of the reflected light:

A neighbor's tree with it rotated to not have much effect:

And with it rotated to have some effect:

I can't tell you how surprised I was that the filter had survived at least a winter and possibly over a year outside in the rain and snow, with winds that blow dust around occasionally, and with grass and weeds growing around it. It was worth the money I paid for it, and is much tougher than I would have expected. I'll definitely buy Heliopan filters in the future for any needs I have. The grin on my face right now is HUGE!

P.S. The pictures have minimal processing, I can see now that I should have adjusted the exposure on them a bit. But they aren't great photos, just test pictures.
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Old May 22, 2013, 4:20 PM   #2
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G'day Mtngal

Nice story - great result

Has Lumix mirrorless & superzoom cameras and loves their amazing capabilities
Spends 8-9 months each year travelling Australia
Recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/
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Old May 22, 2013, 7:42 PM   #3
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What a tough little filter!! Glad it was found, and that it survived so well!
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Old May 22, 2013, 10:09 PM   #4
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What a nice story. It seems to work very well, after its year long misadventure.
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Old May 22, 2013, 10:52 PM   #5
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I knew you all would appreciate my story and joy at finding it still in good condition. Now I need to find a reason to use it for real, I always liked it so much better than the B+W I have.
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