Removing a Stuck Lens Filter Using a Method That's Both Effective And Terrifying

Ready your hacksaw, pliers, and hammer — we've got a filter to free

broken filter

broken filter

Many photographers keep some sort of filter on their lenses at all times — even if it's just a UV filter to stop the glass from getting scratched. But what do you do when a filter gets hopelessly stuck? Photographer Craig Pulsifer was faced with exactly that problem, and the method he says was advised by a Canon Professional Service technician is more than a little scary.

In order to protect the delicate inner threads of the lens, he had to carefully destroy the filter so that he could unmount it. Here's the steps:

Use hacksaw to cut rim of the filter down to the glass on 4 ‘sides’. Use Ballpein hammer to strike filter glass in progressively harder taps until filter glass breaks. Pick out shattered glass of filter Blow off glass/metal bits, then using pliers, bend/peel edges of filter rim into the centre of the filter to pull pressure off of inner threads of lens Again, blow off glass/metal bits, and replace with new filter

This is very definitely a last resort maneuver, only to be attempted when nothing else works. I'd be terrified of even getting vaguely near a nice piece of L glass like that with a hacksaw and ball-pein hammer, for fear of destroying thousands of dollars worth of gear. Could you bring yourself to do it?