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How to remove broken UV filter ring?

Egdares Futch , Apr 13, 2008; 02:19 a.m.

Hi, I recently had an "accident", breaking the UV filter on my lens. At least I got the protection it was supposed to give, but anyways, I have removed the shards of glass, but the ring is stuck hard. Does anybody have any suggestion on how to remove the ring, without damaging the autofocus or any other mechanism inside the lens?

The lens is the Rebel XT standard 18-55.


Egdares Futch Tegucigalpa, Honduras


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Ronald Moravec , Apr 13, 2008; 02:39 a.m.

Considering it a plastic lens, be very careful.

Grab in one location with a thumb and one finger and try to turn.

Or put it face down on some rubber or sand paper and turn the lens.

There are filter wrenches that grab all the way around.

In the end, if the rim has been dented and will not turn, then you have to cut it with a Moto tool or other hand grinder. It may reguire more than one cut to accomplish. And do not cut into the lens. Stop short and finish by bending the ring inward. Cut so the debris goes out, not over the glass which needs to be protected in any case.

Tommy Lee , Apr 13, 2008; 03:12 a.m.

Zoom to 18mm or 55mm so that the focus bellow (ring) stick out as far as you can. Grab the plastic of the focus ring with you left hand tight. use a pier on your right grabing the rim of the broken filter. Turn counter clockwise while the left hand hanging on to the focus ring preventing it from getting damage by excessive force from the ring. Don't worry, the kit lens worth ~$50,

Michael Darnton , Apr 13, 2008; 06:08 a.m.

Just to make sure you understand in case you missed it, something Ronald definitely said, and Tommy may have been saying: you shouldn't hold the ring the natural way, across it's diameter, when trying to loosen it. Pressure that way turns the ring into an oval, and it sticks harder, especially without the glass in it. Grab only one single spot on the edge (from the front, not the side) and crank the filter off.

David Johanson , Apr 13, 2008; 07:32 a.m.

I had to cut one off my sisters 70-300mmIS lens. We tried everything to unscrew it and it just wouldn't budge.

I carefully sawed through most of the exposed ring with a mall hacksaw then inserted a screwdriver into the slot and twisted. The ring snapped at the cut and popped right out of the threads. Didn't leave a mark on the lens and the threads worked perfectly afterwards.

Cutting into the filter ring is not for the faint of heart though. Work slowly if this is needed.

Ken Schwarz , Apr 13, 2008; 09:26 a.m.

The trick to removing stuck filters is to apply even and moderate pressure around the perimeter when you grip it. Your usual instinct to get a stuck filter off is to grip it hard between the thumb and the inside of the index finger, but this will deform the filter and make it bind. Try using all fingers, and use a towel to grip the ring. Commercially-available filter removers work well, but I've never had one handy when I needed one. If the filter ring is already bent (unlikely, since it was screwed onto the lens and protected from that kind of damage I think) then cutting it off might be your only option...yikes.

Bob O'Sullivan , Apr 13, 2008; 11:10 a.m.

If the glass is already out, you could just take needle nose pliers and twist the threads inwards towards the center. Be careful not to scratch the front elements. Once you get the outward pressure off, it will come of easily.

Jeff Owen , Apr 13, 2008; 11:50 a.m.

This happened to me on the first day of my vacation when I dropped my 20D with my 17-85mm attached. I tried to do it manually at first but although I could grip the lens barrel firmly I could not twist the filter ring. Eventually I borrowed the largest wrench I had ever seen, and being very careful to grasp the barrel directly beside the filter ring (had to zoom out) It eventual came free. What was most surprising was that the camera, the IS lens and the lens thread were all fine and I was able to continue to take photos on the rest of the vacation having bought a new filter locally.

damaged filter

Giampi . , Apr 13, 2008; 12:37 p.m.

You can use pliers for grabbing the filter ring and carefully turn it as you hold the lens. Also, a cold bag over the ring should make the metal filter ring retract a bit and could help.

Geoff Foale , Apr 13, 2008; 02:08 p.m.

If it doesn't unscrew easily there is a risk that the rim of the lens is distorted or the filter threads are damaged. So, unless you are familar with fiddley engineering work I would advise taking it to a proper camera repairer; otherwise you may totally ruin your lens.

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