My Lens Filter is Stuck and Won’t Come Off! What Do I Do?

The lens filter is stuck and won’t come off. It’s frustrating, especially when you don’t understand how to solve the problem.

Maybe you screwed it in too tightly, or there might be grit on the filter thread.

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Also, a filter might get stuck because it’s damaged, most likely from some impact.

Because the filter is so thin, it can be challenging to get a proper grip using bare hands. And, of course, you cannot use brutal force because, at best, you risk damaging the filter.

Before you decide you want to remove the filter, first scrutinize the lens to see if it’s damaged or not.

Here are ways you can use to remove the stuck filter.

The Camera Lens Filter is Stuck and Won’t Come Off: How to Remove It

Before trying any of these methods, you need to take caution because you might damage your lens.

Therefore, hold it as close as possible to reduce the twisting force when holding the lens.    

Also, it would be best to remove the lens from the camera to avoid the risk of dropping the camera body. 

Filter Wrench

You need to get yourself a filter wrench if you change filters a lot. It’s a reasonably priced tool you should always carry in your camera bag.

A filter wrench makes removing filters very easy.

They come in various types and sizes, and the rubber-coated type has more grip than the hard plastic type.

Oven Mitt/Mouse Pad/ Anti-slip Mat

The principle applied with this method is using a turning force that doesn’t squish.

Place the filter facing down and, using a silicone oven mitt or a mouse pad, turn it while applying a slight downward force.

If it works well, the lens filter should come off. Also, make sure you’re turning it in the right direction.

Rubber Band

The rubber band method might be a little-known hack, but it works better than you might imagine.

Place the rubber band on the filter while taking care so that you don’t overlap with the lens portion.

This method gives you more gripping ability without requiring you to use too much squeezing force.

Gaffers Tape

Even though this is an excellent method to remove your stuck filter, it may not work well with filters with a small surface area.

Use at least one full wrap of the gaffers tape on the lens filter leaving about 4 inches of the tape at the end.

Firmly hold the lens against a stationary object and give it a small but sharp yank.

Be careful, though, not to pull the lens out of your hands.

Alternatively, you could use the tape to get a better grip on the filter as you loosen it.

Taking to a Camera Store

If there is a local camera store in your area, they’re most likely in a better position to deal with the problem than you would.

They also help you inspect the possible damage to your lens filter.

Therefore, the help of a professional helps you know how to better prevent and deal with the situation in the future.

Use a Different Filter

Ways to remove a jammed filter on lens

Screw a different filter on the stuck filter, but don’t tighten it too much.

After that, use squishing force to widen the second filter.

The squishing force makes the second filter wider, and it causes its threads to stick into the threads of the stuck filter.

Use Both Hands

This method aims to apply balanced force from different directions without the risk of disfiguring the filter.

Hold the filter with four or more fingers and turn it.

It might even be easier if you have someone else holding the lens. If you vary the force between the fingers, it might also help dislodge the filter.

Tap with a Hard Object or Finger

On most occasions, this method works well.

While you apply twisting force with one hand, lightly flick or tap the filter with a semi-hard object or fingernail.

The tapping helps exert light shock on the filter and causes it to turn.

You need to tap gently; otherwise, you risk causing further damage if you do it the wrong way.

The Freezer

There is contraction when you cool metals.

Why?

The threads on the filter are tiny and the filter ring is thin, you need minimal contraction to release pressure on the threads.

This method aims to get the filter back to its standard size if it is expanded due to heat.

Sawing/Filing

Please don’t say that we didn’t warn you, but this method should be considered last.

We recommend that you take the lens to a professional for removal.

Often, a professional has an array of tools they can use and, most of all, the experience to remove the stuck filter safely.  

Final Thoughts

It isn’t funny when the filter is stuck and won’t come off. But hopefully, the above tips help you sort out the problem.

Once you have the tricks up your sleeve, you’ll probably never have to worry about removing a stuck filter again. 

Do you have more tips that we haven’t covered? Leave a comment below.