How to Fix a Jammed Nikon Lens

Written by faith alessio
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If the lens on your Nikon digital camera isn't opening when you power up your camera or refuses to retract when you turn the camera off, the lens mechanism in your camera may be jammed or broken in some way. You may also get a "Lens Error" message on the camera's LCD screen accompanied by various lens problems. Often this situation requires you to send your camera in for repair, but there are a couple things you should try first.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Nikon camera battery charger
  • Soft, non-abrasive cloth

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  1. 1

    Turn your camera off and remove the battery. One reason for your camera lens not extending or retracting may be an exhausted battery. Fully charge your camera battery and put it back into your camera. Push the power button, and see if the lens extends. If the lens problem persists, turn your camera off and remove the battery again. Leave the battery out of the camera overnight.

    After making sure that the battery is fully charged, insert it back into the camera. If the lens still will not extend, and the "Lens Error" message persists, you may want to buy a new battery and use that in your camera. If none of these methods fix the lens error, it may not be a problem with the battery.

  2. 2

    Inspect the lens and the front of your camera for any sand or grit that may be obstructing the lens. If you see any, turn your camera on, and, using a dry, non-abrasive cloth, gently wipe the sides of the lens barrel. When you have cleaned off the lens barrel, blow gently on the front of your camera to expel any dust or grit that may have been dislodged by the cloth but wasn't wiped away. It may be best to do this even if you do not happen to see any sand or other obstructing materials, as often the grit is minuscule. Turn your camera off and restart it. If the error message persists, you may repeat this step again if you wish.

  3. 3

    Send your camera in to the company or take it to some other reliable camera repair shop if the lens still refuses to extend or retract. This is probably the most reliable way to fix any lens problem that you may encounter, as the people working on your camera should be experts at the job.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not wish to spend the amount to repair the lens problem, you can try to fix the problem yourself by doing things such as gently twisting the camera lens until your hear a quiet click, meaning that the lens has popped into place. Manually working with a camera like this entirely voids your warranty, as well as involves quite a bit of risk for your camera, so use methods such as these only as a last resort.
  • Many warranties do not cover lens repairs, so sending your camera in for repair may cost a reasonably large amount to fix, sometimes even more than the cost of the camera itself.

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