How to Remove Stuck Lens Filter – Best Effective Ways

Removing a stuck lens filter not easy. Although in an ideal world when filters are regularly mounted on and off, they should not get stuck, but weather and especially cold weather can play spoil sport at times. Cold weather is known to make filters get stuck on to the lens. It can be frustrating at times and a terrible waste of good shooting opportunities when you are trying to unscrew the UV filter to screw in another one. At times when you don’t take them off for several days (such as those shooting for long assignments outside and need to have the filter on for days) it can get stuck. An innocuous looking rubber band can be life saver at certain times. Here are some quick and effective tips to remove the stuck lens filter off your lens and save yourself from some blemishes.

1. Using a rubber surface to unstuck a filter – this is my favorite. This method is all about getting the right amount of grip using a rubber surface (for example: floor mats, kitchen mats, car mats or a shoe). Make sure that you slip in a piece of smooth paper under the front element of the lens where it touches the rubber surface. While pressing the lens against the rubber surface to get a grip, one has to turn the whole camera body. This should get the filter unscrewed.

2. Using a rubber band – rubber bands are not only good for wrapping packets or stuffs around, but are also suitable for the purpose of getting a good strong grip around a stuck lens filter. Often sweaty hands (or even the lack of grip that your hands can get) can make it difficult for you to unscrew the filter. In such situation simply wrap a rubber band around the stuck lens filter and then use the additional leverage to unscrew it. It works most of the times and saves you from buying additional equipment.

3. Using a lens wrench or Lens Repair Silicone Rubber Tool – probably a bit more scientific and techie (if I am allowed to use that word) to remove a stuck lens filter. There are lens wrenches available in various sizes. Choose one that is perfect for your lens diameter. How they work? Simple, just slip the wrench in position around the lens filter (careful don’t grip the lens itself, as you can damage it when applying pressure, especially if it is of a cheaper quality), apply a bit of pressure and then turn it to unscrew the filter. This method is especially useful when you need more pressure and grip than the first method explained above. Above all they are cheap too! Check here  & here

Lens Filter Wrench

Lens Filter Wrench

4. Jar Opener – You may also try a jar opener to unstuck a lens filter like this one here. By applying same principles as above.

jar opener

Some radical methods include using pliers and jewelers’ screwdrivers. These are suitable only as long as you are sure that the filter that is stuck cannot be unscrewed and you need to pry and take it off somehow. It is strongly recommended that you don’t apply these tools to take the filter off unless you have first covered the lens (once the outer turning ring of the filter and the glass comes off) with a cloth before you move to remove the remaining part of the filer. At any situation if you are not comfortable to do this on your own, try taking professional help.

0 thoughts on “How to Remove Stuck Lens Filter – Best Effective Ways

  1. Robert Lurye

    Thanks Marcio and Gary, after trying to remove a UV filter from my 85mm 1.2 lens several times over the past few years I was going to send it to Canon to get it removed. But I decided to search for the answer on line and after reading your posts, I gently pressed a knife inside the space between the filter and lens 360 degrees around. I then grabbed and turned it with a flat rubber lid opener and it came off first time! I thank you a million!

  2. Amanda Johnson

    Thank goodness you mentioned the credit card my camera dropped out of the backseat today and it jammed my filter and cracked the glass only on the filter thankfully, but I used a giftcard it destroyed it but popped the filter lose then unscrewed easily I was panicked as it was my 30mm sigma lens which is my favorite.. Thanks so much for sharing..

  3. Gary Boggess

    FINALLY… I got the filter that was stuck onto my Canon 18-135mm lens off!!! I tried everything… no dice. I tried many times for months!!! Today, I had the idea of running a credit card around the gap between the lens and the filter… when I got to the bent area, it made a crack sound like the threads being forced back into place. After trying to UNSCREW it, I concluded that all that did was help it get BACK off the threads in the area it was obviously bent. So, I used the card ONE more time, and AND LEFT IT JAMMED in that area where it made the thread cracking sound, I then tapped it several times fairly hard with a large wrench using the rubber coated handle end. This bent the filter frame a little and stopped it from going OFF track/threads. It screwed right off!