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Drastic DIY: How to Get a Broken Filter off Your Lens, Mythbuster Style
We don’t usually recommend taking a band saw to your $2,000 lens… in fact, we still don’t recommend it. But that’s what it took for nerd hero of Mythbusters fame Adam Savage to get a broken filter off of his friend’s Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II lens.
The story was shared earlier this month on Savage’s podcast “Still Untitled,” but it’s a perfect scary story for photographers. In fact, it’s downright terrifying.
While walking into a cave, Adam’s friend and co-host Norman Chan snagged his hand on a wall and dropped his brand new Canon 5D Mark IV … on the ground … lens first. Cue dilated pupils followed by sharply indrawn break and horrified shriek.
Upon inspection, Chan saw that the filter on the front of his lens was shattered, but he couldn’t tell if the front lens element itself was damaged and the filter was now stuck. So he gave it to Adam, who (after trying all of the usual, safer methods) got … creative about it.
First, he took a little hammer and some jeweler’s pliers to the filter and removed the shattered glass. Then, when the filter ring still wouldn’t budge, he took the lens over to his band saw and ever so carefully carved notches into the solid brass ring.
From that point, the rest was a simple. He just wedged a piece of aluminum into the two notches, attached it to a vice, grabbed the lens with both hands, and used all of his strength to free the lens.
You can hear the whole story in the video above (it’s already set to skip to the right piece of the podcast), but maybe you should save this one for Halloween night. Forget ghosts, putting a $2,000 Canon lens up to a band saw is WAY scarier.