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05-12-2016, 09:49 AM   #1
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Stuck filter - and a rookie mistake

I'm thinking of switching out my simple haze filters for circular polarizing filters for an upcoming trip. I've run into one problem - the existing B+W filter on my 18-135 seems stuck. Any suggestions for how to remove it?

I easily swapped the filter on my 55-300 and took my camera on my morning walk to work to experiment with the polarizing filter. I was standing there, in a crowd, twisting the filter to observe its effects - lo and behold, I twisted it right off and it landed on the ground. Luckily for me, it didn't break. Note to self: twist the filter in the same direction all the time, which is the opposite of the direction I twist it to loosen the filter and remove it.

05-12-2016, 10:06 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
I'm thinking of switching out my simple haze filters for circular polarizing filters for an upcoming trip. I've run into one problem - the existing B+W filter on my 18-135 seems stuck. Any suggestions for how to remove it?

I easily swapped the filter on my 55-300 and took my camera on my morning walk to work to experiment with the polarizing filter. I was standing there, in a crowd, twisting the filter to observe its effects - lo and behold, I twisted it right off and it landed on the ground. Luckily for me, it didn't break. Note to self: twist the filter in the same direction all the time, which is the opposite of the direction I twist it to loosen the filter and remove it.
Try putting a thick elastic band around the out side of the filter, this usually helps in loosening it. Otherwise there are specialty tools to remove stuck filters:

https://www.amazon.ca/Camera-Filter-67mm-77mm-Filters-Package/dp/B003TOWNT0


Phil.
05-12-2016, 10:15 AM   #3
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I have had good results removing stuck filters by using a jar lid gripper from the kitchen. Try pressing it on the front of the filter ring with your palm while turning.
05-12-2016, 11:04 AM   #4
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The lens filter wrenches are indispensable and well worth the investment. The take very little effort compared to many of the DIY solutions. Just slip them on the filters, pinch and twist. No grunting, groaning, swearing, grimacing or tongue biting.

These wrenches should be a permanent addition to your camera bag.

05-12-2016, 11:07 AM - 1 Like   #5
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These kinds of tools work for stuck filters:
4 Inch Max Pipe Capacity, 24 Inch Long, 91449512 - MSC

---------- Post added 05-12-16 at 02:10 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
The lens filter wrenches are indispensable and well worth the investment. The take very little effort compared to many of the DIY solutions. Just slip them on the filters, pinch and twist. No grunting, groaning, swearing, grimacing or tongue biting.

These wrenches should be a permanent addition to your camera bag.
I use filters so rarely these days but even in my film days when I had dozens of filters I never got even one stuck. I'm not sure if the quality of the filters or the threads on the lenses have gone down or ? But it seems odd this is a problem that is common enough to warrant a solution like that.
05-12-2016, 11:23 AM - 3 Likes   #6
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I usually run a pencil around the threads on a new filter before I use it, the graphite in the pencil lubricates the threads and makes the filters much easier to remove. It lasts for ages and doesn't cause mess or fogging like othe lubricants can.

Glenn
05-12-2016, 12:18 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by G and T Quote
I usually run a pencil around the threads on a new filter before I use it, the graphite in the pencil lubricates the threads and makes the filters much easier to remove. It lasts for ages and doesn't cause mess or fogging like othe lubricants can.

Glenn
+1

I've never needed to do this for filters directly on the lens, but I do use this approach when using step-up rings between lens and filter. Every step-up ring I've had gets stuck with my filters, and CPLs are the worst to remove! The pencil graphite solution prevents it from happening very well.

I also think that many people over-tighten filters (one friend of mine is particularly vicious with his efforts!!). I only ever gently tighten them onto my lenses with thumb and forefinger - just enough that they won't start to unthread themselves...
05-12-2016, 01:30 PM   #8
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Another trick mechanism that sometimes works is a high-friction rubberized pad, similar to the rubber pads used to prevent area rugs from slipping. They are sometimes sold in small circular pieces about 3~4 inch diameter for removing lids. Lay it flat on a table and press the filter+lens down against it and turn. However, as noted above, plastic* filter wrenches are quite cheap and a worthwhile investment.

*Less likely to scratch than a metal jar lid wrench.

05-12-2016, 01:43 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
.... Lay it flat on a table and press the filter+lens down against it and turn.
A classic method with a smooth piece of leather. Unfortunately it doesn't work with polarizers.
05-13-2016, 06:37 AM   #10
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I recently bought a lens that had a skylight filter installed. The filter was a bit large for my filter wrenches, so I used the sort of grippy pads already mentioned and all of the strength I could muster....several times.... and had absolutely no luck. The one day, looking at how it was attached, and I realized that the filter had been cross-threaded. * * * There was a slightly larger gap between the lens and the filter's metal ring on one side, that was not at all apparent without looking very closely. * * * After noticing that I pushed the filter ring firmly toward the lens right where the gap was, and like magic the filter snapped correctly into the threads. Then it unscrewed easily. Before this little discovery, I thought the filter would be on there permanently, unless I took a plumber's pipe wrench to it!
05-13-2016, 09:40 AM   #11
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Look in the 'kitchenware' section of most stores for a jar opener.
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05-13-2016, 09:54 AM - 4 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by G and T Quote
I usually run a pencil around the threads on a new filter before I use it, the graphite in the pencil lubricates the threads and makes the filters much easier to remove.
This is a trick I use as well, however lead pencil cores are made of a mixture of graphite held together with a clay binder. A common HB pencil has a core that contains far too much clay binder and as a result, this will erode the threads and only provide a minimal amount of lubrication due to the limited amount of graphite. I recommend a 9B pencil - which has a higher amount of graphite, and far less clay and will reduce the chance of your filters getting suck.

Last edited by Digitalis; 07-10-2016 at 03:43 AM.
05-13-2016, 10:10 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
HB pencil has a core that contains far too much clay binder and as a result this will erode the threads and only provide a minimal amount of lubrication from graphite. I recommend a 9B pencil - which has a higher amount of graphite, and far less clay and will reduce the chance of your filters getting suck.
Excellent info. Thanks for this
05-15-2016, 03:02 PM - 1 Like   #14
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While on vacation,with little access to tools,I used the bottom of a rubber,flat sole shoe.Lightly pressed against the filter,which put equal pressure around the edge,it spun right off.It's
what I always use now.Size doesn't matter
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