Filter Stuck on a Lens? Hacksaw and Hammer Should Do the Trick According to Canon
Ever had a filter stuck on your DSLR lens? Raise your hand… Mine is very high in the air, because I’ve done this countless times, especially back in the 35mm adapter days when I would attach my Cinevate Brevis to specific cameras with step up or step down rings, and very often they would get stuck. I’ve also had the problem with DSLR lenses, but I’ve never had to do what Canon suggests: a hacksaw and hammer. Don’t believe me? Read on for the full scoop from Photographer Craig Pulsifer and the steps that were suggested by a Canon technician.
When travel photographer Craig Pulsifer accidentally smashed the front of his lens recently and found his lens filter fused firmly to the metal threads, he went to Canon for help. The removal process explained to him by a Canon Professional services technician is probably something most people wouldn’t think to try: use a hammer and hacksaw to surgically remove the stuck filter. Pulsifer followed the advice, and found that it works quite well (though he does warn that it’s “not recommended for the faint of heart”).
The beginning of the terrifying process:
Here are the steps you must take to get the filter off, taken from Craig’s blog:
- Use hacksaw to cut rim of the filter down to the glass on 4 ‘sides’.
- Use Ballpein hammer to strike filter glass in progressively harder taps until filter glass breaks.
- Pick out shattered glass of filter.
- Blow off glass/metal bits, then using pliers, bend/peel edges of filter rim into the centre of the filter to pull pressure off of inner threads of lens.
- Using pliers, bend/peel edges of filter rim into the centre of the filter to pull pressure off of inner threads of lens.
- Again, blow off glass/metal bits, and replace with new filter.
- Praise God that it worked!
It’s a little remarklable to me that this was the procedure described by a professional Canon technician, but I guess it really depends on how stuck the filter actually is. If it is completely bent out of shape, it’s possible that there would be no other way to remove it except by the method above. Whenever I have gotten filters stuck, I have always used a Rubber Strap Wrench (this one is $3 on Amazon):
It’s definitely possible that the filter could be beyond removal in this case, but I know if they aren’t bent too badly, you can usually use the tool above and with a little bit of effort, finally get them off. There are also special gloves that have a tough grip on them that can be used to remove filters. The suggestion above should be a last, last resort at all costs, especially because cutting into the lens body itself would make using any screw-on filters again impossible.
Have you guys ever heard of the method above? How have you removed stuck filters in the past?