How to Take Apart a Nikon Zoom Lens

Updated February 21, 2017

Camera lenses are complex devices that contain circuits, lenses and delicate parts such as the aperture and drive mechanism. When disassembling any camera lens, take care not to damage any of these parts and to keep the environment as free from dust and dirt as possible. Nikon zoom lenses are similar in construction to other brands of lenses, so these instructions will work for any type of zoom or standard lens.

Remove the rear lens cover and locate the small screws on the bayonet mount. Remove the screws and lift the bayonet ring, taking care not to damage the circuit board under it.

Pry the connectors free from the circuit board using the flathead screwdriver. Remove the three screws on the rear element using a Philips-head screwdriver and carefully remove the rear element.

Disconnect the circuit board and gently remove it. Set it aside in a place where it will not be damaged.

Remove the rear lens element carefully and set it aside.

Remove the remaining screws using the Philips-head screwdriver. Separate the outer and inner tubes, pulling them apart gently.

Disconnect the wiring harness from the drive and pull it apart from the front lens element and focus ring. Use the microfiber cloth to clean the lens elements before reassembling the lens.


Place the screws in the small container as you remove them so they are not lost. Gloves will help prevent dust and fingerprints from soiling the lens components.


Everything should be removed gently. If something needs to be forced, make sure all the screws and connections are removed first. Forcing anything can irreparably damage the lens. Dust and moisture can find their way into the lens while it is apart. Repairs or cleanings that require disassembling the lens are best done by professionals.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips head micro-screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Container for loose screws
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About the Author

Mike Goldstein has been writing since 2005 and has been published in "Science" and Boston College's "Intellectual Property and Technology Forum Law Review." He studied Shakespeare at Rutgers University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English literature. Music and photography are two of his specialties.