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I went for a lovely wander around Bosham yesterday, first thing in the morning, looking for a few seaside photographs, and generally enjoying a really pleasant day. I finished off a couple of rolls of film and looking at the negs of one roll I’ve developed already, got some decent shots. However, a couple of things did sour the experience slightly.

Firstly I seem to have lost my hot shoe spirit level. I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere in the churchyard as I had it when I was just outside, and I didn’t when I looked for it inside the churchyard. Despite about half an hour retracing my steps and poking through undergrowth, I couldn’t find it. Ah well – it came free with a magazine, so no big loss, just inconvenience.

Secondly, and at the time at least what I thought was worse, was dropping my infrared filter. It is a 77mm Hoya R72 and, unlike the spirit level, not a cheap item to replace. I was packing up after finishing the roll of IR film I’d been shooting, and as I unscrewed it from the lens it slipped out of my hand and landed on its edge on a stone path. There was a loud PING and the filter glass and the metal surround went rolling in separate directions across the churchyard. Luckily the glass seemed to have escaped unscathed, aside from needing a good clean. Also fortunate was that I spotted where the retaining spring pinged off to after the impact so I grabbed that, packed up, and headed back home.

After a spot of lunch I inspected the damage. There was a nasty dent in the thread of the filter ring, that would prevent it being usable, and the spring too was a little bent. However the glass was fine, no chips or cracks, so I figured if necessary I could sacrifice a 77mm skylight 1A or something similarly cheap if I had to. But first I thought I should at least try and repair the dent. I grabbed a small length of pine dowelling and lined it up on the dent, then gave a few sharp taps with a small hammer, until it straightened out. Then I used the tip of a small penknife to clear out the thread a little, and gave it a brush to remove any debris. A quick test showed that it now screwed onto a lens again with no apparent problem. So I fit the filter glass back in place and popped the spring in position, and it is almost as good as new. Phew!