Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to to Repair lens on Digital Cameras?

Lens cover issues are generally caused by some sort of shock to the camera, such as dropping it or it getting hit against a surface. It doesn't need to be with any amount of real force: cameras are very delicate pieces of equipment, and a surprisingly small level is required to cause an automatic lens cover error. This will either short the lens cover, causing it to be stuck, or jamming or misplacing the guide pins of the lens cover. The other major cause is some sort of particulate getting trapped in the lens cover mechanism. If you dropped your camera with the lens extended, or did not take the proper precautions to prevent dirt from entering the lens barrel, it is possible that there is some sort of obstruction that is prohibiting the lens mechanism from functioning properly. Carefully inspect the camera lens and lens barrel for any sand, dirt, etc. If you are having problems with your Digital Camera and the lens not working properly then here are some things that you can try that may help you get it working again. These problems can include: The camera not starting up, the zoom function not working properly, The focus function not working properly, and the lens not retracting when the camera is shutoff.

Keep in mind as you try these things that realistically you have about a 50-50 chance of fixing many of these problems, and the further down the list you go the more chance there is that the fix may break your camera, but they, it isn't working now, so what do you have to loose? Just remember that IF your camera is still covered under a warranty, it will be better for you to return it and get a new one then to try and fix it yourself.
The first thing to make sure of is that you have fresh, working batteries in your camera. If your batteries are over a year old they are not putting out full power anymore and you may just need to replace them with new ones. I have seen some batteries die in months. Some will fail very quickly, so never assume that a battery is good. Try a new one! Also try holding the function or OK button while you start up the camera. This will keep some of the other functions from working and give you more power on the start-up.
Next, remove the memory card and try to start the camera without the memory card installed. This will cause some cameras to reset. Then turn the camera off and insert the memory card. Again restart the camera and see if it works
If your digital camera has an AV cable, inset that and try to start it up. This also will shut down some of the other functions and give it more power for the start-up. It also may be a good idea to keep it plugged in if you need to try some of the later fixes.
Now try to lay the camera flat on it's back. Push the shutter button in as you turn the camera on. The camera will then try to auto focus as it is starting up. The combination of the focus and the start-up may free the lens.
Now comes the parts that can be a bit more risky.
Using compressed air, like the cans that you blow your keyboard out with or a regular air compressor and nozzle, blow air around the rings of the lens. This may dislodge the dirt that is hindering the lens from moving. Another way also is to use a shop vac. Hold the nozzle over the lens with it sucking air over the lens as you start the camera up. Be-careful that the air does not pull too hard on the lens and cause more damage. In some cases though, the gentle pulling will help to extend the lens.
If that does not help, using a thin piece of paper, you can slide it into the gap around the lens barrel, or use a needle to dislodge dirt if you can see it. Just be careful not to slide anything in too deep and ruin the dust gasket around the lens. Also be careful not to scratch the lens.
Now we will start to get desperate. Take the camera and tap it gently on a table top or other hard surface. The cover for the USB cable is a good place to tap on. This is often rubber and will cushion the blow a bit. Slapping the camera on your hand or the inside of your thigh may also work. Oh, and make sure to unhook that AV cable when doing this. Also be aware that this may cause the internal components such as the ribbon cables or wiring to come unhooked and cause other problems. Very hard banging, can also cause the LCD screen to crack.
Now, if you have dropped your camera with the lens extended, and the lens is obviously crooked, then you will need to tap it straight. To do this use something softer, but with a bit of weight. A pencil or a hair brush may work well. Tap the lens in such a way as to knock it straight. In other words the opposite way that it is pointing crooked. Do this while trying to turn it on and off. Tapping it on a table top may also work.
Now the really desperate fix. If everything else has not worked, then you are left with no options. Forcing the lens is now your only choice.
Gently as possible take the lens and with a pulling, twisting, rotating motion, pull and turn the lens at the same time. Also attempt to straighten the lens while doing this. You can then push it back gently and try a few times, but do not push the lens all the way back in or you will not be able to grab it anymore. If you are doing this and you feel a click, then stop and try the camera, as the guide pins may have clicked back in place and you are good. It is also possible that the click is the guide pins breaking, which of course is bad news.
If you are successful in getting the lens to go in and out freely again, you may then have to turn the digital camera on and off a few times, push the shutter button part way in to activate the auto focus, a few times, to get the camera to recalibrate the auto focus again. Doing this should help to get it to work again. Resting the camera may also help to get it to focus properly again.

If your camera is still under warranty when your lens becomes jammed, you should first call the manufacturer of your digital camera to see if lens repair is covered under the warranty. If you try to repair your camera lens on your own while your digital camera is under warranty, the manufacturer may be able to void your entire warranty. Unfortunately, in most cases, lens repair is not covered under a basic warranty anyway. The cost of having the lens professionally repaired may cost more than the digital camera is actually worth, so be sure to ask for an exact quote before sending your digital camera out for repair.


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