Question about Kodak Easyshare M580 Digital Camera

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Camera fell and the lens won't retract. Camera is still coming on, though. Pics are now being taken blurry.

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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 cameras, 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 Nov 12, 2010

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Related Questions:

1 Answer

Lense will not fully retract or extend pics are blurry


hello.

One of these reasons Causes the Problem:
  • Usually it's sand or grit interfering with the lens extension mechanism.
  • camera's been dropped with the lens extended.
  • he camera has been powered on, but the lens had been blocked preventing its extension.
  • the battery ran down with the lens extended
In Order to do somthing about that read this article.

Do It Yourself Digital Camera Repair: Fixing a Lens Error ona Digital Camera.

Thank you.
Good Luck
.

Nov 03, 2009 | Vivitar ViviCam 5386 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Lens won't retract completely. Picture is blurry.


I wish I could offer some simple solution, but the lens has somehow gotten damaged and is no longer able to focus or withdraw into the camera body. It could be as simple as some sand in the lens, but even that will require a trip to a camera repairman 

Sep 12, 2009 | Kodak EasyShare V803 Digital Camera

2 Answers

Locked up


Try removing your memory card. I had the same problem and this worked. You might need a new card. Good luck.

Oct 01, 2008 | Gateway DC-M42 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Lens wont retract, view lens blurry


Lens motor or lens servo amp is not working properly. Factory service is require. They will replace the circuit boards and or assemblies as required.

Jerry G.

Jul 11, 2008 | Kodak EasyShare V1003 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Pictures are blurry; quality of photos seem compromised


As simple as this may sound, have you cleaned the lens lately? A lot of image quality deterioration comes from a finger print or other smudge on the lens. Digital cameras are succeptable to even the smallest gunk on the lens. Because the lens element is very tiny, use a cotton swab with a drop of lens cleaner (or isopropyl alcohol) to thouroughly clean and dry the lens. If it isn't a dirty lens, check your file-size and flash settings.

May 06, 2008 | Canon PowerShot A95 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens not focusing


I have had to replace the focusing servo motor is these before. The problem of seeking without locking in may mean the same for your lens. Do check for a dirty filter on the front and look to see if the rear optic is dirty or cloudy first. I'm assuming other lenses work fine on your camera.

Jan 05, 2008 | Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Autofocus...

1 Answer

Lcd reads system error


Apparently often related to a lens motor malfunction. My old 4300 just gave this error for the first time today. The lens extended but made a whirring noise before the message popped up. Nothing I tried would fix it - but after I drove home it worked fine again.

I had a similar problem over a year ago after the camera fell out of my backpack (it was in its own bag but not well padded). When I used it the lens stuck and refused to retract, but I don't recall a "System Error" message. After a few tries, the lens went in and it's been fine since, until today.

Make sure there's nothing (dust, dirt) stuck in the lens barrels. Otherwise, just keep turning it on and off and hope it works.

Dec 31, 2007 | Nikon Coolpix 4300 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Action pics with a long lens


What you are experiencing is not blur, its camera shake. You are shooting in low light so the shutter speed is being reduced by the camera's automatic features. Also the longer the lens (the farther you zoom), the higher the shutter speed you need. Even for non moving objects or when panning the shutter speed should be at least one stop above the focal length. ie - 300mm lens = 500 or 1000 shutter AT LEAST! (and don't forget, if its a film lens on your rebel, thats actually 300mm x 1.6 =480mm, so 1000 shutter or higher min.) Moving objects require even faster shutters. Solutions: Get faster (also called brighter) lenses which can be pricey. In low light use higher iso settings in the camera menu. Shoot in either manual or Tv mode and choose the higher shutter speeds while using the light meter to decide aperture. Use wider angle lenses or back off the zoom and move closer. Stabilizers built into the lens can steady the shot by two to four times as well.

Sep 14, 2007 | Canon Rebel XT / EOS 350D Digital Camera

1 Answer

System error


hi the problem that causing this is: there is some pressure to the lens did it fell? probebly there is a fault in the lens sorry cant help good luck

Mar 20, 2006 | Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC43 Digital Camera

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