15 years ago, on a whale-watching trip off the coast of Massachusetts, the rocking sea caused my father's camera to roll off of a table and hit the floor lense-first. Although the lense looked ok, the filter glass was shattered and the ring was bent out of shape. It was impossible remove it and it was also hard to tell if there was any damage to the lense barrel it's self.
It stayed that way until I inherited it a few days ago and figured, I could try and remove it my self. I had nothing to loose. As it turns out, with a little patience, it's actually quite easy.
Step 1: Get your equipment ready
All you need is different sizes of plyers. I used a paire of long nose plyers and a pair of spoke wheel plyers. Most importantly you need safety goggles.
Step 2: Remove the glass gently
Remember to wear your safety goggles at this point, for some reason flying glass always ends up in your eyes or so I learned.
Using the long nose pliers, gently remove the glass from the filter ring.
Step 3: Bend the filter-ring back into shape.
Using the spoke wheel pliers make sure you have a good grip (on the filter ring only) and gently bend the filter ring back into shape. By doing this you’ll most likely bend other parts of the ring inwards. That’s okay since were trying to fatigue the metal slightly.
Go around the filter and keep bending the filter back into shape until it actually loosens and it becomes possible to unscrew it.
Step 4: Clean your lense and you're done!
Do what you usually do to clean your lenses. I’d recommend using the blower to remove most of the glass fragments.
The entire thing took me little more than 15min and I ended up with minor scratches on the lense barrel but nothing seems bent and I’m sure that a new filter ring would fit perfectly on that lense.
Note, this wasn’t tested on plastic lenses. I’d be interested in hearing your comments.
Have a look at my flickr page