Polarizer filters are a must to many photographers, but are often not in the repertoire of submini enthusiasts. The problem is that many subminiature cameras use special, proprietary snap-on or slip-on filters and the manufacturer never got around to making a polarizer for their cameras.

Fortunately, you can make an PL filter very inexpensively to fit on just about any submini that does not use threaded filters.

First, get a spare slip-on UV or 1A filter for your camera. Measure the diagonal of the filter. On the Minolta 16, for example, it's 20mm. Buy a standard, threaded, circular UV and a linear (not circular) polarizer in the next largest thread size you can find. For the Minolta, this is 24mm -- still made by Hoya. (B+W makes some filters all the way down to 17.5mm.)  You might find these odd-ball filter sizes at a swapmeet, bargain bin or in Shutterbug ads -- these smaller sizes used to be more popular.   Make sure that the polarizer has a "sun mark" on the edge. This is a little mark that allows you to align the polarizer with the sun. Most polarizers have it, but many don't.

With epoxy or other suitable glue, affix the circular UV filter to the front of your slip-on filter. After it dries, take some black paint (or black silicone) and cover up the back edges of the circular UV filter (and the front edges of the slip-on filter, if necessary) to prevent light leaks. When the paint is dry, screw on the polarizer.

When you want to take a picture with a polarizer, just slip on your homemade filter and turn the "sun mark" toward the sun. Remember to "open up" 1 - 1.5 stops to compensate for the filter.

If you're using any Minox from the Riga to the BL and including the C, and can find a set of the filters made for the III/IIIS cameras you will see that one of the snap-on filters is just clear glass, a UV filter to be precise. You can get some sheet polarizing material from Edmund Scientific or another supplier, cut it to fit the outside of the UV filter with a small tab to preview the sky sticking out. One does NOT break out the filter glass but uses the UV filter as it is?  This is esp. necessary for a III/IIIS which does NOT have a built in UV filter. This works just beautifully; I've used it for years, particularly with Minox slides.

This approach allows you to use other special effects filters on your submini that the manufacturer never intended!

If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments about these pages, please contact the Sub Club at the FRONT DESK.

To return to the main index for the Sub Club click here.

COPYRIGHT @ 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 by Joe McGloin. All Rights Reserved.