Question about Nikon COOLPIX L18 Digital Camera
This is the third coolpix that I've had to either repair or replace in the past two years. The first time, Nikon told me that there was nothing they could do to repair the lens and suggested that while the camera was under warranty, to replace it for a whopping $95. That was (at the time) almost 3/5 the cost of the camera itself. But I did it, because my son was due any day, and I needed a camera.
The second camera I replaced, had the same exact problem as before, only I listened to someone at the repair shop, who told me to try to press the lens back in myself, gently. I was skeptical (with good reason), but I did it anyway, and the worst thing imaginable happened: the entire lens popped out! I DEFINITELY DO NOT RECOMMEND pushing the lens back in yourself to anyone who has a jammed lens. The repair man blamed me, and tried to nearly triple the first repair quote he gave me! I said screw it, and just bought a new one. I had to change model numbers, because the department store I went to didn't carry that model number anymore. So I got the next one up, and that was just in September of 2008.
In May of 2009, the lens jammed again! And this was with a different model number and everything. I didn't even touch it this time! I was being extra careful with this one, keeping it very safely tucked away in a case that only left the top of my computer desk when the camera was being used. I took the camera out on a day in May, and I turned it on. The lens unfolded half way, and then stopped, tried to retract itself, then unfold again, but it was stuck. Then the whole screen read "Lens Error!".
If you really want advice on how to repair your lens error, I've got a simple suggestion for you: DON'T BUY COOLPIX ANYMORE! Nikon needs to rethink how to put together a durable lens, or at least one that doesn't break randomly, after only a few months of use, for their CoolPix models. For the price they give, you would think that you're going to get at least a few years out of the camera...wrong! So just save yourself some money in repairs and replacements, and get a different brand, or at least a different model than CoolPix.
Posted on Jul 18, 2009
It is a pretty major problem for the Coolpix it seems. The internal coupling of the zoom lens is somewhat fragile, and a slight tap at the wrong time can mess up the system. It could have been something as small as a bump while it was being carried in your pocket. The problem is that you'll have to pay for repairs on it since technically it's not a camera error but something that Nikon says happened during usage. Some owners seem to have been able to solve the problem with a gentle bump to the side of the camera, or some gentle twisting on the lens itself. I don't necessarily recommend that- or, at least I would call Nikon first and see what they have to say about cost of repairs. Other people say that once you do get it fixed, put the camera in Playback mode before you switch it off so that the problem doesn't happen again. Good luck.
Posted on Jun 13, 2009
I have a friend who is a photographer and has worked in a camera shop for years. I dropped my camera (1.5 feet, lens extended) and like everyone says, it doesn't retract completely and says "lens error!"
My friend told me it'll cost about $150 to repair, which is more than the camera cost. There is no way around this.
My advice to everyone: instead of repairing the camera, buy a new model (possibly for less than the repair cost). And always use the wrist strap!
Posted on Sep 20, 2010
You have to push the lens back in.
Posted on Nov 07, 2008
SOURCE: lens error message on nikon
When system control does not get lens initialize signal while extending it, then it try again by folding it and extending and still no required initialize signal then generate error and stop further functions.
Please remove battery and open camera and remove flexible wire of lens mechanism from connector, there would be lock that needs to release to remove flexible wire. Clean wire terminals with alcohol, let it dry and put back flexible wire in connector and lock it. Now put battery and power camera up, hopefully lens will work properly.
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Posted on May 01, 2009
OK, this is lens mechanism failuer due to water damage. the core micro board will start to malfunction in time. this repair will need to be initiated by a Nikon tech. you will need to contact the manufacture for a repair ticket and the nearest location of a repair terminal as well. the actual lens mechanism you will need is not available to the public and, the board as well.
Posted on May 27, 2009
SOURCE: nikon coolpix l18 keeps syaing
i have no idea.. mines is doing the same thing cause i was making a video and i dropped it and its new i only had it for 6 months all i could say is retun the thing
Posted on Jun 10, 2009
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 Aug 13, 2010
Posted on Sep 15, 2010
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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