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Fixing a Dented Filter Ring: The Poor Man's Guide

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Thread started 08 Oct 2010 (Friday) 13:31   
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Paul ­ Tinworth
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FOR YOUR LEISURELY PERUSAL
THE IDIOT WITH ACCESS TO A GARAGE PRESENTS

How to Fix a Dented Filter Ring on a Lens
FOR THOSE WITH A RATHER LIMITED FAITH IN THEIR WALLET
AND AN OVER-WHELMING DESIRE FOR HITTING THINGS REPEATEDLY


Oi oi! How goes it? :D

A little while ago I was a complete twat and pranged my 24-70L. I don't even know how I managed it, but I had dented the outer portion of the lens filter thread.

"Gosh-darnit," I said in my best Deep South accent learnt from watching the American documentaries True Blood and Deadwood, "I'm not going to spend my easily-spent money on repairing this expensive thingy!"

And thus I set about finding a hammer.

Exhibit #1:

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4154/5062166141_76a93e8cdf_b.jpg

First off, I found some soft wood. I'm not very scientific, so I can't tell you what sort it is - all I know is that I was able to mark it purely by pressing a thumbnail against it. The relevance of this is so that when you place the wood against the filter thread and apply pressure that it will [hopefully] mould against the metal thread instead of misshaping it.

Ideally, this soft wood needs to be circular in shape, with at least one flat side so as to be flush against the front element. I don't have much patience for inanimate things, so I used whatever I could find; if you're meticulous/sensible, cutting a circle with a diameter slightly smaller than the filter thread would be perfect to retain shape.

To add some semblance of protection, I found a soft, cheap dish cloth to place the lens on while it sat on the work-bench. Furthermore, I placed a lens cloth between the soft wood and the filter thread, just for a tiny bit of extra shock absorption and to stop any rough wood rubbing against the front element of the lens. You may wish to use more protective materials such as thick cloth or polystyrene.

Exhibit #2:

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4149/5062197687_05eeb1edb3_b.jpg

With the basic set-up ready, I gave the wood a few taps and determined it was working, albeit very slowly, before realising I was using my hammer (which was a fairly tiny one) a bit too close to the front element. To combat this (and to allow me to hit it harder without risking smashing the glass), I found another wedge of wood (hardness irrelevant, as it was to be placed on the existing wood and not the lens), as shown below.

Exhibit #3:

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4107/5062476349_d670f0a89b_z.jpg

Repeat. And repeat again.

After every half-dozen hits, I'd take the lens away from the bench to look at it. From here it really is all trial and error; I found towards the end that I was risking bending a portion of the thread *outwards*, so I stopped.

With a small application of vaseline, I gently managed to get a 77mm CPL to bite on the thread. Joy! The first time around I got about half a full turn, then undid it a bit, and tried again. At the time of writing, my CPL sits securely on my 24-70L. Not flush, but secure, and able to be removed without any difficulty.

Exhibit #4:

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4151/5063087100_4f3bd3b621_b.jpg

While a lot of this may make some of you DIY buffs smirk or turn your noses up, I hope this tiny bit of stupidity and elbow grease will help someone else avoid a sizeable repair bill!

I'm off to the Algarve for two week's holiday and I fully intend to enjoy using my new CPL on my 24-70L.

Happy shooting! :D

Post #1, Oct 08, 2010 13:31:35


~ Paul
5D Mark II | 40D | 50 f/1.4 EX | 24-70 f/2.8L | 70-200 f/2.8L | 430EX
// kineticvisualsexternal link - Creative Social Photography | Gear-list & feedback

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SiaoP
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Seems feasible as it's only a filter thread. But it will be a pain if the dent went further than just the front thread area.

Post #2, Oct 08, 2010 15:53:46


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rklepper
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I am not sure I would do that with the filter still on the lens. You are a braves soul than I.

Post #3, Oct 08, 2010 17:26:48


Doc Klepper in the USA
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am a photorealist, I like my photos with a touch of what was actually there.
Polite C&C always welcome, Thanks. Gear List

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V-Wiz
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Good job, I may need to try this on my Father Minolta Lens.

Post #4, Oct 08, 2010 17:31:49


Gripped 5D Mark II l 24-105 F/4 L l 70-200 F/4 L l Tokina 12-24 F4 l 50mm 1.8 l Sigma 600 Mirror l B+W KSM CPL l B+W 6stop ND filter l Hitech 0.6 GND l YN-468 Flash l Kenko Pro 300 1.4 TC l Induro Tripod, Vanguard 250 Ballhead.

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TuanTime
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I don't think that was done with the filter on, I think he put the filter on after to show that he can put one on after the fix.

Post #5, Oct 08, 2010 17:46:08 as a reply to V-Wiz's post 14 minutes earlier.




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mjww
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Nice tip! I am sure there are many variations to this trick, but your result seems to be a round as new! Hope you take batter care of the lens the next time! :-)

Post #6, Oct 08, 2010 17:46:19


Equipment list - According to the wife - "how many more lenses do you need? Yet another camera?"  ???

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MR ­ MACHINIST
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Good work and nice tip this is similar to the work I do all day, you know fixing stuff no one else will touch with a 10' pole. How does it look with the filter off?

Post #7, Oct 09, 2010 17:17:16




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mike1187
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This post reminds me of a somewhat similar situation I encountered a while back. I picked up an older 400mm RMC Tokina lens on ebay quite inexpensively. When the box arrived I could hear broken glass rattling around inside.

I opened the box and found the lens rolling around loose in the box, protected by only a single layer of bubble wrap, and the filter that was on the front was shattered... the threads looked similar to your "before" photos. Since I didn't really have anything to loose at that point, I smashed out the rest of the glass filter and was going to leave it like that.. but decided I might as well make it right.

So.. I covered the front element of the lens, and fired up my dremel. I was able to split the filter ring down to where it met the front of the lens, and grab it with a pair of pliers and twist. The filter ring snapped, and peeled out like a snap ring leaving the original threads on the lens un-damaged!

This experience almost made me want to buy some cheap ebay filters, remove the glass and install them on my lenses just to protect the threads.. although I have not done that yet LOL!

Post #8, Oct 10, 2010 00:57:52


Canon T1i / Canon T3i / 18-55mm IS / 55-250mm IS / 50mm 1.8 / Canon 24-105mm F4 L / Sigma 400 5.6 APO
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lettershop
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nice job. quick, put that lens up on EBay, Brand new in Box!!!

Post #9, Oct 10, 2010 06:34:42


1DX, Gripped 60D,10-22mm, 18-135mm, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, 24-70L, TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, 100mm f2.8 Macro, 50mm f/1.4, 60mm 2/2.8 Macro, 580ex, 430EXII, Pocketwizards, Softbox, Tamron 1.4X TC, Canon 2x TC, GT3541LS, BH-55

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MARK1992
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"Set about finding a hammer."

Your name, "Jeremy Clarkson" by any chance? :lol:

Brilliant guide, potentially a lifesaver.

Post #10, Oct 10, 2010 06:51:59




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richardfox
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I've done the same exact process a couple of times. Just about any mechanical problem can be fixed if one is very careful. My best repair/modification was removing the FD mount completely from my 500mm f/8 reflex Canon lens and mounting an EOS flange with a focus confirmation chip. Microsurgery, yes, but it works like a champ and focuses to infinity (actually, well past). Just have to be really careful when drilling mounting holes as you don't want any dust getting into the lens.

Now, why did I do this? The 500mm f/8 is slow, manual focus, but very light and compact. Want a covert long telephoto? A 500mm mirror is the answer if you can live with the donut effect in the bokeh. It's great for long-range candid shots!

Post #11, Oct 10, 2010 08:40:58


Canon 50D gripped, EF 50/1.8, EF-S 10-22, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200 f/2.8L, 100/2.8 macro, 100-400L, 300 2.8L, Canon 500 f8 mirror with chipped EF mount, 580EX, 1.4x and 2x Canon teleconverters, Canon EF Life-Size converter.

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Paul ­ Tinworth
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SiaoP wrote in post #11059948external link
Seems feasible as it's only a filter thread. But it will be a pain if the dent went further than just the front thread area.

Indeed - I was lucky the damage wasn't worse!

rklepper wrote in post #11060403external link
I am not sure I would do that with the filter still on the lens. You are a braves soul than I.

I'd heartily advise against doing so! I went about the steps described without any filter on the lens (not that I could've put one on in the first place). I'm definitely more stupid than I am brave. ;)

MR MACHINIST wrote in post #11065204external link
Good work and nice tip this is similar to the work I do all day, you know fixing stuff no one else will touch with a 10' pole. How does it look with the filter off?

Thanks! It still looks a bit scratched up, but I don't get a sinking feeling at the pit of my stomach when I look at it now. ;)

MARK1992 wrote in post #11067764external link
Your name, "Jeremy Clarkson" by any chance? :lol:

Brilliant guide, potentially a lifesaver.

Nope, but I am a fan! :lol: Thanks for the kind words!

Post #12, Oct 11, 2010 09:38:47 as a reply to richardfox's post 1 day earlier.


~ Paul
5D Mark II | 40D | 50 f/1.4 EX | 24-70 f/2.8L | 70-200 f/2.8L | 430EX
// kineticvisualsexternal link - Creative Social Photography | Gear-list & feedback

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Fixing a Dented Filter Ring: The Poor Man's Guide
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