Help! Stuck Filter...

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Vincent Peri, Feb 18, 2021.

  1. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    I have a filter that just won't come off my Nikkor 50mm AIS lens. I tried a filter wrench to no avail, and I put the lens in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, but that didn't help either.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Sheet rubber jar opener? Some claim a reversed Mouse pad - foam side up. will work. For sure, put it aside before you get frustrated. Filter wrenches have usually worked for me!
  3. I bought an Olympus 17mm f2.8, with a 'protection' filter.

    It won't come off.

    Tried a pair of filter wrenches, one on the filter, the other on the lens barrel (it will just fit an closest focus), nothing.

    Given up now as I'm too afraid of breaking the AF mechanism on this mostly plastic lens.

    I think it's been on there since new. Maybe it's glued on?
  4. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

  5. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    With some filters, the glass is held in place by a threaded retaining ring. If this is the case, you could try to remove this, thus at least ensuring the filter does not shatter and spread broken glass over the place. Then, with a pair of needle nosed pliers, try to grip the filter mount and turn it gently. If all else fails, the filter mount can be used to attach other filters.
  6. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Hmm... where's my crow-
    PapaTango likes this.
  7. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Unfortunately, on Nikon lenses at least, the retaining ring is on the underside of the filter. Rats.
  8. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Can't think it would do harm, ex the use of too much force. Nikon filters, when facing the lens, unscrew in a counter clockwise direction. Wrap Gorilla Tape twice around just the edge of the filter in the same direction, leaving a couple of inches extra to fold and make a handle. Hold the lens firmly and apply reasonable pulling force. Worst case you might need a touch of lighter fluid or Goo Gone to clean off residue.
  9. SCL


    You could try gently heating the metal edge the filter is screwed into - with a hair dryer
  10. If you have a small soldering iron you can try heating the metal ring of the filter and then try turn the filter. You could also try a drop of penetrating oil on the joint between the filter and the lens. Let it sit overnight. Do not use too much or it may get where you donโ€™t want it to get and make a mess. One or two drops at the most.
  11. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Heating generally makes things expand. If there is an adhesive substance on the filter or the mount, possibly, otherwise, to reverse Robert Frost, ice would be better than fire.
  12. I've had the most luck with a short, thick, wide rubber band around the filter, a firm grip, a steady twist. Mimics a strap wrench. Say no to heat and cold.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
  13. If you still haven't got the darn thing off yet Vincent, try hitting it!

    Seriously. Get a stout bit of wood about 12" long and gently tap the filter rim in the direction of 'unscrew'. The vibration and repeated pressure usually knocks the threads out of lock.... eventually.

    Try unscrewing the filter by hand every few taps and rotate the point on the rim where you're tapping the filter.

    When you do get it loose, and assuming the filter's still useable, rub some candle wax into the threads to stop it sticking again.

    Oh, and there's a lot to be said for 'cheap' plastic filter surrounds! Shame that so many people are snobby about them and hence manufacturers avoid them.
    PapaTango likes this.
  14. True, but to go the other direction there's a lot to be said for real brass filter rings (as on B+W filters) instead of aluminum. :p

    It's already been suggested, sort of, but I still have the best luck with nesting the lens upright on something that won't damage the lens, taking one of the rubber 'top' openers, and pressing down hard vertically with the palm while twisting in the off direction.
  15. As a very last resort I have been known to break the filter glass and remove all the bits, then using a junior hacksaw cut a slot in the ring as deeply as possible without cutting into the lens ring. It's possible then to twist it off with a pair of long nose pliers or similar. Alternatively leave the filter ring on and screw other filters on to it, this should not cause vignetting with a standard lens.

    The more lightly built and plasticky the lens, the more chance there is of causing damage with any kind of excessive force.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  16. Is it a Nikon branded filter? I have bought several lenses with stuck filters, but the filters have always very cheap and rough along the thread. I have used Nikon and B&W filters for decades but have never experienced them getting stuck.
  17. Most of the above methods are too drastic and risk damage. Try a few drops of isopropanol alcohol into the threads. It often provides enough lubrication to get things unscrewed, then evaporates harmlessly. This is not a force problem; anything that even slightly distorts the ring while trying to get it off, will just jam it tighter. Use flat friction surfaces from the front.
  18. It is also possible for a broken filter to stick not only to the lens, but also to the lens cap. How do I know?

    But some filters do protect the lens at great sacrifice and still come off easily
    Actina SUPER-SCRU filter.JPG
    The "Actina Super-Scru" and the glass is still intact too. Was ever a brand name more appropriate?
    Just foolin' around from boredom after the main posts are apparently winding down/
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  19. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    I've tried everything at least twice to remove the filter, to no avail. Guess I'll just have to buy another Nikkor 50mm 1.4 AIS lens:eek:

    Hmm... anyone wanna buy
    a used lens and L37c filter...?
  20. Except for my suggestion, apparently.
    ajkocu likes this.

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