REMOVING A STUCK LENS FILTER
Help, my lens filter is stuck!
Fear not. You are not alone, and this has been a common pain among photographers since the ancient days. To help you remove a stuck lens filter, I have compiled a few methods on how to remove stuck lens filter in this guide.
Some of them I have tried and worked really well… and a few of them are just plain dumb. Try it at your own risk. 😛
Before we start with the methods officially, I have a confession to make. Brace yourselves : I will make recommendations to buy certain tools in this guide, and they are affiliate links. Read my disclosure message here… if you want to.
METHODS THAT WORK
METHOD 1) RUBBER MAT
This is one of the easiest and most efficient method that I have used. Be it a filter stuck to a lens, or 2 filters stuck together. All you will need is a simple rubber mat – a mouse pad, or one of those cheap anti-slip pad you use in cars.
Press the filter down against the rubber mat, and give it a twist. The filter should come off pretty easily. But do note that this method will not work if you have a stuck circular polarizer… the filter will just turn along as you twist.
METHOD 2) FILTER WRENCH
TOOLS REQUIRED : Pair of filter wrench.
The next best method that I know of, and it will require a very affordable filter wrench. Very easy to use too. Just grab the lens with one wrench, grab the filter with another, then screw them apart (Turn only the wrench holding the filter).
METHODS THAT SOMEHOW WORK
METHOD 3) USE ANOTHER FILTER
How do you a stuck filter out without using any tools? Screw another filter on top of it. The idea is to increase the surface area you can grab, and thus making it easier to unscrew. But the problem with this method – you might get 2 stuck filters instead. Which, you can might be able to unstuck with a rubber mat.
If you do not want to risk another filter getting stuck, you can use a step down ring instead.
METHOD 4) RUBBER BAND
TOOLS REQUIRED : Rubber band, or resistance loop band
This method only applies to the circular polarizer or similar “spinning” filters. It only worked for me after struggling for a few minutes, but it’s still worth a try. Simply strap a thick rubber band on the filter. Grab the part that does not move, and try to unscrew it. The rubber band should give you more grip, more area, and thus more turning force to release the stuck.
METHOD 5) FREEZE IT!
TOOLS REQUIRED : Ziploc bag, silica gel
The “mythical science” method is what I call this. Tried it once, did not work, and will never try this method again. You can try this out of desperation if you want to. Put the stuck filter into a ziploc bag along with some silica gel (or a piece of bread if you don’t have silica gel), and let them sit in the freezer for 30 mins. Take out the stuck filter and try to unscrew them.
The silica gel (or piece of bread) is supposedly used to absorb moisture to prevent a wet lens, and the sudden change from cold to warm will supposedly help to loose the filter with contraction/expansion… supposedly. Well, this method did not work for me, but who knows?
METHOD 6) SAW IT
TOOLS REQUIRED : Clamp, saw
When the “soft methods” don’t work, it’s time for the heavy duty tools. Use a hacksaw to partially cut the filter, then use a file to turn it like a screwdriver. This will potentially destroy your filter, and your entire lens if you are not careful. Obviously.
METHOD 7) USE THE HAMMER
TOOLS REQUIRED : Hammer, pilers
When everything else fails, it’s time for the ultimate solution. Smash the filter, break the ring and save the lens. Read this – The Canon Way to remove a stuck filter.
DID IT WORK?
Hope this guide helped you to get out of the sticky situation. Which method worked for you, and do you have better ways to remove a stuck filter? Share them in the comments below.