Podcast - Adam Savage Project

Savage Lens Repair – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 10/4/16

This week, we discuss public speaking, mispronunciation of words, and the new show Atlanta. Adam also tells the story of how he recently fixed Norm’s broken camera lens with some unorthodox problem solving. Plus, a new book recommendation!

Comments (31)

31 thoughts on “Savage Lens Repair – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 10/4/16

  1. What a great story. I’m also interested to know if there is a proper way to remove stuck or damaged filter rings, because it has to be a very common problem that camera repair techs deal with all the time.

  2. Thanks again fellows for another wonderful, wide-ranging discussion. As a former full-time teacher, I still live in fear of mangling words, especially a person’s name and thus I appreciated your talking about mispronounced words, public speaking and stage presence. I must admit, however, that I do have a strong personal pet peeve regarding when people add an “h” sound to the word “height”, mispronouncing it as “heighth”. My rational mind can totally understand why it happens – it seems that just about all of our other dimensional nouns end in “h” – length, width, depth, breadth – however, for whatever reason that I cannot identify, my emotional mind equates it with fingernails on a blackboard!

    Please people, for heaven’s sake – “height” is the exception! Get it straight!! 🙂

    EDIT: Actually, “weight” would be another exception to that rule… Oh NO! Now I’ve become “that guy!” 🙂

  3. *A I have a filter wrench, which is very similar to a strap wrench. So as you squeeze it bites into the teeth on the filter more. If you filters are threaded on both sides for stack, You can also screw into the threads and back a big nut into the filter so it holds it tight and remove it that way.

    You can generally 3d print filter wrenches that squeeze the outside. Since they are small they should easily fit in your camera bag :D.

  4. I’d love to hear all of your thoughts on the “Westworld” premier on HBO! It seems like it would be right up your alleys!

  5. Actually… Adam pronounced “New Orleans” correctly the first time. Locals say “New Or-lins”. It’s not “New Or-leens” (except in songs, because it’s easier to rhyme) and it’s never, ever the embarrassingly provincial “Nawlins” except for in cheesy movies and for tourists who don’t know any better.

    Also, you’d be hard pressed to find a single soul in the city of New Orleans who calls anyone “Cher” in daily conversation. “Cher” is used exclusively by Cajuns in areas of Louisiana further south and west than New Orleans, like Lafayette (and it’s fading away even in that culture.) We certainly have some local dialects here in New Orleans (our “Yat” accent sounds very Brooklyn-esque, due to similar port-city immigration histories) but nobody from New Orleans has a Cajun accent (again, except in Hollywood.)

  6. Hey Norm, if you like You’re The Worst please check out Schitt’s Creek (Amazon Prime). Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, their characters are the worst (on the show) and so funny.

  7. I like the double meaning in the title of this one. The “repair” of the lens was unsettling but very fun to hear. I am incredibly curious what kind of tool is meant to remove solidly stuck lenses.

    Talking about speech quirks starts that sort of metacognition in everyone to over-analyze what they’re saying. Whether you mean it kindly or not, it always subtly messes people up.

    Please, please, talk about Kubo and the Two Strings! I adored that movie!

  8. I loved it, and I’m excited to see where they go with it. I guarantee that viewer empathy will shift more and more to the side of the hosts with the humans acting as the antagonists. Once it gets to the point of a host revolt, I think we’ll be firmly on their side. I love the idea that the Yul Brynner stand-in is a psychopathic human who has grown weary with playing God for 30 years of visiting the park. I love the idea that Anthony Hopkins seems to be purposely facilitating the evolution of what he sees as humanity’s inheritors. Lots to explore from a narrative level…

  9. I have to agree with your comments wholeheartedly. I was in the Camera Biz for many years and those thin little filter wrenches were wonderful. They apply even pressure to the entire ring and it was a vary rare occasion where we couldn’t remove a filter with one. We sometimes had to add a second filter on top of the damaged one for a little more grip area. We even removed a filter from a lens camera combo that tumbled off the roof of a car when the driver drove off with his camera sitting there and took the dive when he hit around 25 mph.

  10. The bandsaw sounded a little excessive, i certainly wouldn’t even attempt something like that without the years of experience Adam has.

    I dropped my 5D recently (well by drop read belt holster failed) and had the same thing happen, I removed the glass and then used a small hacksaw to carefully cut down through the filter stopping then i reached the lens, then i used my trusty leatherman and was able to pull the filter rim inwards away from the thread and to remove it, all told it only took about 30 mins and after i was able to fit a replacement filter with no problems (this was a 16-35 f2.8 LII lens)

    Just goes to show that filters are worth the investment, far better to replace a £20 filter than a £1200 lens!

  11. after careful consideration I have decided NOT to take my next camera problem to the Adam Savage Camera Repair Shop.

  12. I find it completely changes my perspective if I have someone looking over my shoulder at a thing. For example, editing a movie together, it may look fine to me, but bring someone else in to watch it and I suddenly see the same cut different — as though through their eyes. A scene nows feels long, plodding to me that before was fine.

    I don’t know, I’m just sort of riffing on your comments about watching yourself from a recording….

  13. Just finished Death’s End (The last book in the Three Body Problem series) – is easily the best book I have ever read. Can’t wait to get your take on it!

  14. I had the exact same issue with my brand new 70D a few months back. I was tired and hold on to the strap I had just removed instead of the camera itself…

    After trying pliers and scared myself to death when they slipped, then trying to use them backwards with the rubber handles gripping the filter (and failing too), I finally placed the pliers flat on a table, pressed down the filter teeth on the rubber handles and turned the lens. It took less force than I thought and the filter came off easily.

  15. Talking of watching oneself on video – when I was training to be a speech-language therapist my sessions were taped and I had to watch and analyse them. It was a very useful learning experience, and after a while I got to the point where I could ‘watch’ myself while I was in the session – catching my mistakes just before they happened, or soon enough after that I could recover and repair the conversation. It really helped my public speaking too.

  16. Will mentioned The West Wing. Best show ever, of course. Have you guys checked out the ‘The West Wing Weekly’ podcast? It’s brilliant!


    I was born and raised in Schenectady, NY and I can tell you a trick of how to say it properly which you did not 😉 Say these Three Simple Words in Order –

    Skin – Neck -Titty

    That is how you say Schenectady

  18. One of my favorites so I wanted so share… If you’re in Houston and come across Kuykendahl Road it’s pronounced “Kirk-en-doll”.

    -Former Houston Area Native

  19. I was the NYU Film & TV repair tech for 12 years so I had to do a lot of these. First try was to use something like a grippy jar opener. Second was to put lens face down on a rubber mat and turn the whole lens. Third try was a ‘lens vise’ http://www.micro-tools.com/product.htm?pid=204777&cat=14016 which can put it back in round. Also good for putting damaged lens threads back in round. Fourth try was to cut a slit using Dremel or hacksaw then pliers to bend the ring inwards. Also used these rubber grips a lot which were good for stuck filters: http://www.micro-tools.com/subgrouping.htm?cat=14016&searcht=&results=15&type=&&orderfield=prsdesc&sort=&mid=0&ofcomp=IC&n=1

  20. I grew up before words started to be pronounced ‘nationally correct.’ That’s why a small cubbyhole is a ‘niche,’ (pronounced niTch). And do you remember that automobile from the 1950-60s– the Renault? (that’s Renawlt). They got the name of the car right when the ads started pushing “Renault le Car.” (Renoh)

    Words that get mis-used- using SO to start a sentence! SO is a comparative word– “We were getting hungry and the refrigerator was empty SO we went shopping.” I confess to one (probable) mis-use of “so–” when meeting someone I haven’t seen for a while I’ll say “So– what have you been up to?”

    And another city that has multiple pronunciations: Louisville, KY. Looeyville. Lewisville. Lewville. And more. They all used to be on the window at the convention center.

    –Paul E Musselman

  21. I was wondering how you were coming along with “Death’s End”. Because of you guys I got into the series and was at the edge of my seat waiting for it to be released and picked it up the day it came out. Almost 29 hours in audio book form. Very nice to lose yourself in your work when listening to a good book.

    I love the idea of learning about physics in storybook form. I believe books like this could be required reading in school and help spark a young person’s inspiration into learning more.

  22. Hotglue.

    I think the easiest way to grip a Filter is: Stick it on a pice of wood with hotglue. After you unscrew the filter, the hotglue can even be cleanly removed with a few drops of Isopropyl-Alcohol.

  23. I have been a photographer for many years and once upon a time I worked in a small town camera shop. I asked someone in the repair department what one of the tools was for and it was a lens vise as @Countspatula mentioned. There was also a tool to repair the shape and threading for the lens once the filter has been removed. I love instances where you are in an environment that has such specific and unique. tools.

  24. So, as a somewhat clumsy photographer, I’ve been in this situation myself, and there’s a simpler method to extract the filter, no special wrenches or bandsaw necessary. Extract the glass, gently, until there’s just metal (some filter rings are aluminum, some steel, and some brass, but it doesn’t matter). Then, instead of trying to turn the filter outside, just grab one edge with either channellocks or vice grips, and twist parallel to the outside of the lens, such that the filter ring is bent in. That should make the whole ring small enough to extract. You could achieve the same affect with a center punch, hitting the outside of the filter ring to notch it in, but I’ve never been comfortable swinging hammers near my lenses.

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