Operation successful, patient mangled

Recently, I came into possession of a camera (and a lens) I borrowed almost fifteen years ago, used for a while, and returned to the owner – my cousin. The last time I used it, apparently, I screwed a 55-62mm step-up adapter into the lens front. What I missed was the fact that the filter thread was slightly bent and damaged, and screwing the adapter made it skip a thread and get stuck firmly. It looks awkward, now I have more filters in 55mm size, and I want it off.

The filter size adapter is screwed in just like a filter, but it’s usually made out of slightly softer metal, so it will deform when confronted with serious force. It did just that when screwed over the bent thread, making the situation worse.


Now, I can accept the fact that now I have a lens that needs 62mm filters and caps, and just accepting that would be a perfectly sane solution. Nothing changes, just live on, the lens cap is already there, and zero effort is needed, cool.

But, the adapter is screwed in at an angle! Annoying as heck, I can’t leave it like that!

My first idea was to 3D print a stuck filter puller – a piece of plastic that grips the circumference of a filter, can be held tightly, and turned to unscrew it. It works perfectly fine with adapters, as well, I’ve used them for some other stuck filters, although in smaller sizes.

Unfortunately, that didn’t work, the adapter didn’t bulge.

Okay, let’s try locking pliers, vice grips! Again, I had no success – grips dug into the metal, alright, but I couldn’t unscrew the adapter. Using two pliers, one for the adapter, and the other for the lens was never an option – I’m trying to save the lens, not destroy it.

That lead me to the idea of contracting the adapter a bit, either by chilling it, somehow, or by sawing it over. Again, I’m trying to save the lens, I’d like to use it afterwards, heating the lens is not the best option, just like sawing through the filter thread, either.

In the end, I decided to try to destroy the adapter ring by drilling a few small holes, breaking the circle, and pulling it inside of itself with pliers.


I’ve used a small, 1.5mm diameter drill for metal to drill a few holes through the adapter. Thad made it possible to break the wider part off with pliers. In turn, that enabled me to drill through the inner, narrower part, and finally weaken the ring’s structural integrity to break it with pliers. And that trick worked as expected – after drilling a tightly spaced row of five small holes through the narrower part of the ring, and applying some force, the adapter ring finally caved in and fell off the lens. Hurray!

One 55-62mm filter adapter down, one lens free of its oppressor up!