How to Remove a Stuck Lens Filter

Ever had that sinking feeling when your expensive filter becomes stuck on your even more expensive lens. How are you going to remove the filter without damaging it or the lens. Well, in this short video from Lifehacker we find a remarkably simple and effective solution:

Basically you need a rubber mat of some sort, for example a drawer liner. Place the lens filter side down and gently turn the lens, with a little luck the filter should come off.

stuck lens filter

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9 responses to “How to Remove a Stuck Lens Filter”

  1. Ot Sukardi says:

    Very useful tips. Happened several times to me.

  2. Brian Leng says:

    When that happened to me, I use my wife’s dish washing glove.

  3. Great tip, and I’ll definitely use this for a stuck UV or similar filter, however, I don’t think this technique would work for a difficult circular polarizer because of the outer filter ring that spins separately. For this issue, which seems to happen to me all the time, I simply put a thick rubber band around the filter and that gives me something to grip on to…works every time. And I can conveniently keep the rubber band in my bag or attached to my Rapid Strap.

  4. Gary says:

    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!

    • Matt says:

      Thank you so much for posting this tip Gary. I ha d the exact same. Issue and used a credit card to pop the thread back into place with the rest of the filter!!

    • Andrea says:

      Thank you for the credit card tip! After trying all the other tips out there on the internet, this is the one that actually worked for getting the stuck UV filter from my Sigma lens. Thanks!

  5. Hugh says:

    You can also try chilling the lenses in your fridge or freezer a while then try to remove it. The lens and the filter are usually made from different materials amd temperature changes can tighten or loosen thr connection. Probably wamt to put it in a sealed bag to help prevent moisture contamination.

  6. Dan Derby says:

    Binocular Lens Covers work great. Push down hard while squeezing soft. Best part is you get two when you buy them. Oh yes, they come in all the typical diameters that camera lenses do.

  7. VanWeddings says:

    i had a fader ND stuck on a step up ring. there’s an outer turning ring on the ND, and i ended up using two rubber bands, one on the step up and one on the non-turning part of the ND to get the two separated. it doesn’t take much force, just needs leverage

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