Question about Nikon Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX (silver) Lens

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My Nikon D-40 has a Nikkor 18-55mm lens is jammed and inside there is a loose piece of black plastic that extends through the bottom of the lens opening. I can move it around with my finger but it is too big to come out. This part is a ring shape and It looks like a smaller piece may have broken off one edge, but there doesn't seem to be any other part loose in there. Can you tell me what can be done to fix it?

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If you are experienced or brave enough, dismantle the lens from the rear until you can recover the loose piece. You will probably find that the rear cluster of lenses has fallen off the other end of the helical cam tracks on which it travels. This happens because the two steel strips have got bent. They should run exactly parallel to the axis of the tube. Remove the two strips (4 screws) and straighten them carefully. Reassembling this lot is difficult. Engage the lens cluster on its tracks--it will fit 3 ways and only one is correct. The loose piece is a light baffle which engages with the back of the lens cluster and again will fit two wrong ways and one correct. It has a projecting lug which travels down a groove in the tube. When I had reassembled mine it still felt stiff and about to seize again and I am sure that excessive friction causes so much force that the steel strips bend and lead to it all falling to pieces. I greased the moving parts with silicone grease (from a plumbers merchant!) --most other lubricants either harden up or damage the plastic. I managed to break the wires to the auto-manual switch but they were easily resoldered. The lens now zooms smoothly and takes good pictures. But take care--it is easy to create more faults as you go.

Posted on Nov 06, 2010

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