How do you clean a polarizer filter inside?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Ric Trexell, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    I have some 49mm and a 77mm PL filters and tried to clean one of the insides of the 49mm one day. Well, that did not work. I put a chip on the edge of the glass and still didn't get the thing apart. It didn't have any fungus inside, but I just wanted to see if I could clean it. I figured that if it ever got real bad I would just toss it. Now that I have a 77mm, it is a different situation. Those things cost $60-80 and I can't afford to toss that every so often. So my question is, how do you take one apart to clean it? My guess is that those are put together with one being heated and one cooled, then as the heated one cools it fits the other. Or, they are just pressed together at high pressure. However they are made, I would like to know if there is a tool or some good way to disassemble them. How do you do it? Thanks.
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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    It didn't have any fungus inside, but I just wanted to see if I could clean it.

    Why? Isn't cleaning the outer surfaces enough? Just asking...
     
  3. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Are you trying to remove the glass from the mount, or separate the glass/plastic film sandwich? The sandwich it either glued together, or heat bonded, if you get it apart, you will likely be buying a new filter.
     
  4. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I can't see how a polarizer can get dirty inside, I've been in photography more than fifty years and never heard of anyone trying to clean the inside surfaces.
     
  5. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    That statement did sound a little stupid.

    When I said it didn't have fungus inside but I just wanted to clean it, I think I was just curious as to what you do if it does get fungus inside. If air can get into a PL filter, fungus can get in. I guess by the sounds of the answers it is not something to worry about. I wonder though what would you do if you dropped it on the water? I assume you go down to the local camera store and say I would like to buy a new filter. Thanks. Ric.
     
  6. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Do you ever worry that you worry to much? :D
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    There is no air inside a polarising filter: the polarising film is bonded to the glass.
    I would leave the filter well alone, besides which it is not the done thing to pull them apart out of curiosity.
     
  8. kerne

    kerne Member

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    Both of my polarizers have a retaining ring on the front. One is notched for a lens spanner wrench. The other isn't so would require an appropriate sized circular piece of rubber or soft plastic to remove (see pic). Same as cleaning a lens but simpler.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    There is no air in a polariser. It has two external surfaces for you to clean, and that is all. The rear surface on a CPL is a quarter-wave plate, which tends to be quite delicate, so be nice to it. Don't disassemble anything!
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Polarizing filters are cemented with polarizing foil between two sheets of glass. The cement is probably UV cured. You couldn't take one apart easily without destroying the polarizing material. Reassembly would be another challenge.

    If you were really concerned about haze in your polarizing filter, say if you were shooting in some very hot and humid location for a long time, Kaesemann polarizers have extra edge sealing for this purpose.

    Tiffen filters are also glass-gel sandwiches, incidentally, in general.
     
  11. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Some filters have a wire C retaining ring that can be removed to get one side out n some have a screw in retainer ring to access the inside surfaces.

    .
     
  12. skahde

    skahde Member

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    You'd better worry less, go out and expose some film. :whistling:
     
  13. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    That was the best answer to my question.

    Skahde: I like your answer the best. And I'll take my PL filter along. Ric.