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Lense will not open stays shut when turning on camera

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Fixing a Lens Error on a Digital Camera

This has to be THE most common failure mode for a digital camera. Some common error messages that might show up on the LCD's of cameras with this problem include “E18 lens error”, or “lens error, restart camera”. Some cameras might show nothing at all, but merely make a beeping noise as the lens goes out, then in, then the camera shuts off. Sometimes the lens won't even move.
The problem is actually quite common throughout all camera brands. Usually it's sand or grit interfering with the lens extension mechanism. Or the camera's been dropped with the lens extended. Or the camera has been powered on, but the lens had been blocked preventing its extension. Or the battery ran down with the lens extended. Believe it or not, one BIG contributor to lens errors is using a camera case. Sand, gunk, case fibers, etc... accumulate at the bottom of the case. These materials love to cling to the camera by electrostatic build-up from the camera rubbing against the side of the case (especially those cases with soft fibrous intreriors). Once these materials work their way into the lens mechanism, that's all she wrote. I have many Canon's, and NEVER use a case for this very reason.
A camera owner that suffers this problem may have no recourse for having the camera repaired. Many camera makers will not honor repairing this problem under warranty as they claim it is due to impact damage to the camera, or sand or debris getting into the lens gearing mechanism (neither of which is covered under warranty). The quoted repair cost is usually close to or more than what the camera is actually worth.
Fortunately, about half the cameras that suffer this failure can easily be fixed by one of the following methods. None of these methods involve opening the camera, although some have potential to cause other damage to the camera if excessively done. If the camera is still under warranty, before trying any of these, please please first contact your camera's maker to see if they'll cover the repair, or to determine how much they'll charge for the repair. Who knows, you might get lucky. But if they quote you a number that's higher than the value of your camera, you may want to consider the following methods.
The methods are listed in the order of risk of damaging your camera. Thus make sure you try them in the listed order. And remember, these fixes (especially #6 and 7) should only be considered for a camera that's out of warranty, who's cost of repair would be excessive, and would otherwise be considered for disposal if unrepaired:
Fix #1: Remove the batteries from the camera, wait a few minutes. Put a fresh set of batteries back in (preferably rechargeable NiMH 2500mah or better) and turn the camera on. If that didn't work, try pressing and holding the Function or OK button while turning the camera on.
Fix #2: Remove the batteries, then remove the memory card. Then install new batteries, and turn on the camera. If you get an Error E30, it means you don't have a memory card installed, so turn it off, slip in the memory card and turn it on one last time.
Fix #3: Insert the cameras Audio/Video (AV) cable, and turn the camera on. Inserting this cable ensures that the camera's LCD screen remains off during the start process. Thus extra battery power is available to the camera's lens motor during startup. This extra power can be useful in overcoming grit or sand particals that may be jamming the lens. If the AV cable doesn't fix the lens error by itself, consider keeping this cable installed while trying fixes 4, 5, and 7 as a means to provide extra help to these fixes. But note that I DON'T recommend keeping the cable installed during Fix 6 as you may damage the AV port while tapping the camera. Reinsert the cable only AFTER tapping the camera.
Fix #4: Place the camera flat on its back on a table, pointed at the ceiling. Press and hold the shutter button down, and at the same time press the power-on button. The idea is that the camera will try to autofocus while the lens is extending, hopefully seating the lens barrel guide pins in their slots.
Fix #5: Blow compressed air in the gaps around the lens barrels with the idea of blowing out any sand or grit that may be in there jamming the lens. Other variations include blowing with a hair dryer in “no heat” setting, or sucking the gaps with a vacuum (careful with this one).
Now we're entering into the realm of potentially damaging your camera in conducting the fix. There is definitely some risk here, so take care when conducting the following two fixes.
Fix #6: Repeatedly tap the padded/rubber usb cover on a hard surface with the intent of dislodging any particles that may be jamming the lens. Other variations include hitting a side of the camera against the palm of your hand. A lot of people have reported success with this method. HOWEVER, there is also some potential for damaging or dislodging internal components with this method, such as unseating ribbon cables, or cracking LCD screens.
Fix #7: Try forcing the lens. More people have reported success with this method than with any of the other methods. HOWEVER, there's obviously some potential for damaging your camera by using this method. Variations include gently pulling, rotating, and/or twisting the lens barrel while hitting the power button. Attempt to gently straighten or align the barrel if it's crooked or twisted. Another variation includes looking for uneven gaps around the lens barrel, and then pushing on the side of the lens barrel that has the largest gap (note pushing the lens barrel all the way in is NOT recommended as it may become stuck there). While doing any of the above, listen for a click that indicates that the lens barrel guide pins may have reseated in their guide slots. If you hear this click, immediately stop and try the camera.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010

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1 Answer

When you turn the camera on the lense opens and the camera shuts off with the lense still open. I turn on again and the lense closes and then shuts off.


Unfortunately, many cameras that fall prey to lens error problems can only be corrected by professional repair. But, here are some last resort troubleshooting steps that you can try that may correct it. They only seem to work for less than 40% of the lens errors, but if the camera is out of warranty (or repair cost approaches that of the camera), they're worth that try.

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Lens will not retract on Sanyo VPC-T850, 8.1 megapixel, digital


Did you drop your camera? If yes you either damaged the lense mechanical parts. If some dust or small particle are on the side of the lense, it may prevent the lense from opening up. If the lense opens up and down a little bite try to pull it out by have very softely. If it opened fully, clean up the outside of the lense and turn your camera a few times. If it does not have a mechanical problem, it should be back to normal. If above did not help, the lense has to be taken out and inspect for broken or damaged parts and clean it and put it back on the camera.

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Sony cybershot 7.2 went to shut off camera and lense is still out no power to camera tried to recharge batt. w/no results


Try different batteries. I got the same problem with my cyber-shot. The battery was too low while lense was fully open. I recharged, but the lense would not close. When I turn it on, It would say turn off and on again. I did that for at least 20 times. I finally put another set of batteries and while I turned off the camera, I pressed the lense in very softly. After a couple of times the lense retracted fully. The camera has been working normally ever since.

It is also possible some dirt some how got on the sides of your lense. Try cleaning the sides of the lense.

If you had no luck so far, then your lense may have some mechanical problem. The lense need to be opened and cleaned and put back together.
good luck

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Try camera on stays on for 2 seconds and then shuts off


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I just got a kodak c913 camera yesterday and everytime i switch it on it stays on for seconds and then switches off, help!


My co-worker brought me a C913 with the same problem. I took out the batteries, took out the SD card, played with the buttons... nothing. A web search was unfruitfull. For fun, when I turned it on, I grabbed and held the lens. The camera turned off but the lense stayed out. I turned on the camera, the lense stayed out and the camera WORKED! I turned it off, the lense docked properly. I turned it back on, it worked... Woohoo! Theory: Either the lense was slow at coming (binding) out or was not coming out far enough. The camera shut itself off because it wasn't fully extended in an alloted period of time. Hope it works for you. Glennster™

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switch contact fault. If under warranty - send back to store If out of warranty contact manufacturer Tech help website Also look here http://www.fixya.com/support/p435-nikon_coolpix_5700_digital_camera/solutions

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In the cameras I own, there is a setting where you can adjust the time the camera stays on. It's usually in the set-up screen. Is that setting miss-set?

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