How to Remove a Smashed Filter That’s Stuck on a Lens

Using a filter is a great way to protect your lens from damage, but if you accidentally drop your camera and smash the filter, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to remove the filter from your lens’ threads. Here’s a quick video that shows how you can remove a stuck filter — all you need is a strong pair of pliers.

(via ISO 1200)

  • Matthew Lit

    I use a smaller pair of pliers and hold the camera so the lens is facing down. This helps keep glass from falling down into the lens. 

  • Michael Thompson

    I just buy a new lens.

  • sharpie

    oh, just buy a new lens huh? you’ll just casually give up a $2000+ lens and wander into a shop and grab another. Money grows on trees for you does it?

  • Jonny

    I think he is joking …

  • Crisderaud

    Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Just a pair a Vise Grips and a little patience.

    I’ll take the old lens if you don’t want it anymore.

  • Florin

    I think there were better options.
    The guy performing the operation doesn’t act like a photographer, he acts more like a construction worker.

  • kendon

    uhm, a “how-to” to show how you pry something off something else with pure force? lazy day, ey?

  • Incredulous

    Did that really need an instructional video?

  • Blueeyedpop

    WD-40 applied with a tooth pick to the threads
    A little time
    A strap wrench made with a piece of rubberized appliance power cord

  • Anonymous

    Unlike in the video, the first thing to do is remove the lens from the camera.  Then put a piece of fabric backed tape like duck/duct/gorilla tape on the glass of the filter so if or when it breaks it will minimize the chance that the broken filter glass will scratch the lens surface.

  • Craig

    Better yet is to have a second person hold the camera/lens and use TWO small pairs of pliers on opposite sides of the filter ring – and it will come right off easily.

    Using force from only point on the circumference of the ring is just making it harder and risking damage to the threads by bending things out of shape.

  • K Weng

    That doesn’t work if the lens itself is bent too.  You can no longer rotate and unscrew with any pair of pliers — sadly I know from experience.   However,  after the glass is gone, the remaining filter does act as a bit of protection like a low-profile sunshade….

  • Luke Katz

    If the filter rings on the lens aren’t badly dinged up, just take any old shoe, press it firmly onto the filter, then turn. A decade working in camera stores proved that worked on every camera that came in (except those that had badly damaged threads on the lens).

  • Frankenstein

    I find that a rubber band works great. I’m not sure I’d want to use a dirty ol shoe to get a stuck filter off!