Ideally, use a filter wrench or maybe one of the kitchen implements for opening stiff jar screw tops.

The reason it is hard to get jammed filters off is that as you grip them to try to turn them, you deform them and make the jam worse. A filter wrench grips all the way round equally so there is no deformation.

Sometimes you can get a filter off by pressing something flat, but a bit sticky, against the end – the underside of a mouse mat works well – and turning using that. Again the trick is to make sure that the pressure is even all the way round so press in towards the lens rather than squeezing sideways.

If all else fails – for example if the filter has been dropped and bent – it’s always possible to remove the filter using a hacksaw to cut a slot in it that can be used to turn it, but that’s very much a last resort and may well wreck the filter.

Richard Chapman

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