7 Ways To Remove A Stuck Lens Filter

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INTRODUCTION
REMOVING A STUCK LENS FILTER

Have a stuck lens filter? 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 a stuck lens filter in this guide.

I have personally tried some of these methods, and they worked really well… While a few of these might just be plain dumb “Internet remedies”. Try at your own risk. 😛

 

CONFESSION
AN HONEST DISCLOSURE

Quick, hide your wallets! I am an affiliate partner of Google, eBay, Adobe, Bluehost, and more. There are affiliate links and advertisements on this page. Whenever you buy things from the evil links that I recommend, I will make a commission.

Nah. These are just things to keep the blog going, and allows me to give more good stuff to you guys - for free. So thank you if you decide to pick up my recommendations!

 

 

NAVIGATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section A
Methods that work

Section B
Somehow works

Section C
What!?

Closing
Did it work?

 

 

SECTION A
METHODS THAT WORK

These are the methods that I have personally tried, tested, and proven to be working… Or at least they worked for me 99 out of 100 times. With these methods, you will probably have a good chance to un-stuck your filters.

 

METHOD 1) RUBBER MAT

TOOLS REQUIRED: Rubber mouse pad or anti-slip pad.

This is one of the easiest and most efficient methods 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 pads 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.

Press the stuck filter down against a rubber mat and turn. I have hairy hands.

 

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 the wrench holding the filter).

Hold the lens with one wrench, turn the filter with another wrench.

 

 

SECTION B
METHODS THAT SOMEHOW WORK

These methods, they work… somehow. Sometimes they work really well, sometimes nothing much happens except for frustration. Just don’t count on these methods too much. It’s 50-50.

 

METHOD 3) USE ANOTHER FILTER

TOOLS REQUIRED: A cheap UV filter, or step down ring.

How do you get 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 there is a problem with this method – you might get 2 stuck filters instead. Which, you might be able to unstuck with a rubber mat.

Quick note: If you do not want to risk getting another filter stuck, you can use a step-down ring instead.

Filter stacking… literally.

 

METHOD 4) RUBBER BAND

TOOLS REQUIRED: Rubberband, 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.

Quick note: You can also use a piece of rough textured cloth, or anything that can help you get more grip.

Rubber miracle?

 

SECTION C
WTF METHODS

When all else fails, we turn to the filter gods and start praying. The methods described in this section are rather dangerous… but desperate times call for desperate measures. Just don’t ever attempt to do these otherwise.

 

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 use 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. Then, take the lens out from the freezer 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 release the filter with contraction/expansion… supposedly. Well, this method did not work for me, but who knows?

Quick note: This might help if you can freeze the filter only, causing it to contract and thus, easier to remove.

An expensive lens and stuck filter in a bag.

METHOD 6) SAW AND SCREW

TOOLS REQUIRED: Clamp, saw, straight file

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.

 

METHOD 7) HULK SMASH

TOOLS REQUIRED: Hammer, pliers

When everything else fails, it’s time for the ultimate solution. Smash the filter, break the ring and save the lens. Just be very careful with this one… and tape the filter before smashing it.

 

CLOSING
DID IT WORK?

We have come to the end of this guide, and I hope one of these seven methods 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? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Infographic – 7 ways to remove a stuck lens filter

 

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One Thought to “7 Ways To Remove A Stuck Lens Filter”

  1. Sherwood Botsford

    The freezer method won’t work, as you are cooling both the filter and the lens threads. You want to cool just the filter. soak a pad of paper towels in alcohol, and freeze. Place the cold pad on the table, put the filter against the cold pad, and twist.

    You can also try penetrating oil on the joint.

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