Need to clean
This is a lens assembly mechanism problem. It is a delicate part of any camera. Altrought some people may sugest you to use a compressed air spray to remove the sand in the inner lens by blowing it out i don't recomand that because sand particles can be pushed out even further in the lens and could be causing even more damage. The lens assembly is composed of several servomotors, coils, some sensors and the actual lens. It does the following jobs:
it extends the lens back and forth
achieves focus by moving the lens
zooms the lens by rotating them in the same time as the whole objective is moved back and forth
Each of these operations is controlled by some servomotors who actually move these parts and are also connected to some sensors that pass the readings back to a main processing unit. When you open the camera this processing unit will check to see if the lens assembly is able to do all of these 3 things. Failure to comply with even one of them will result in some error (lens error) or simply having the camera not opening. "Lens error" or "zoom error" is a generic message, doesn't mean that the lens itself are damaged, could be the connector to their servomotors, sensor failure, some coils that are out of position and things like that. In your case the sand particles are preventing the servomotors to properly align the lens. They are all related to the lens assembly. Because this is a VERY fragile part of any camera I don't suggest you to try a DiY repair because you can damage the lens even further. Even service centers have problems repairing this, most time it is done under a microscope and some times it simply can't be fixed.
This problems occur most of the time in corelation with the camera being dropped or received some shocks but even some small particles or sand in your case, can cause this problems as you can see.
I would recomand you to go to a service center. Try not the big ones that represent large corporations (because they are expensive), instead look for a smaller one. Tell them you have a lens assembly problem, also tell them that it's caused by sand, ask them to make you a diagnostic and then ask for a cost estimate BEFORE they actually repair the camera. If the lens assembly is damaged beyound repair it will need to be changed as a whole, including all connectors, CCD sensor and so on. This could cost from $70 - $200 excluding labor parts that can be about $100. Therefore you should ask them a cost estimate.
I'm sorry for not being able to provide a DiY solution but like i've said, i don't recomand one. In the future try not to expose the camera to any shock, sand or excesive dust and temperature variation. These are all known to give a great deal of trouble with digital cameras. If you need more info please post back. Good luck.
Apr 02, 2007 |
Olympus SP-310 Digital Camera