Question about Nikon COOLPIX L20 Digital Camera

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When i turn on my nikon l20, the lens opens and then closes after a few seconds and then there's the word LENS ERROR.

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  • Nikon Master
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Try the procedures in this tip.

Posted on Jun 03, 2012

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 11967 Answers

SOURCE: I have a Nikon Coolpix L20. And I keep getting the

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 Jan 03, 2010

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Nikon S200 Lens stuck inside

I had the same issue with my S210, so after reading other people's advice to send it in to Nikon and since that was going to probably cost me as much as the camera itself I figured it wouldn't hurt to try a little something. The lens on mine was a hair off center or had been pushed in on one side (barely - looking at yours you may be able to tell which side) - mine was in my purse also. So, I took my handy dandy skinny prying instrument (normal kitchen butter knife) took the battery out to make it try to open again, then when I popped the battery in as the lens tried to push out I pried the side I thought was a little lower back towards center...I heard a little pop and it worked! The lens came all of the way out and it's all good.

So, use gentle hands and try if you want, but don't think I warranty this!

Posted on Mar 07, 2009

  • 102366 Answers

SOURCE: lens error for nikon L20

From the manual: "Turn camera off and then on again. If error persists, contact retailer or Nikon-authorized service representative."

Posted on Dec 28, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: I was using a Coolpix L20 when the lens stuck open

I have a coolpix l20 the lens is stuck Iam looking for a repair manual? Would like to fix it my-self

Posted on Feb 06, 2010

  • 11967 Answers

SOURCE: camera's lens is stuck

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.
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 Apr 23, 2010

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1 Answer

My lens won't close and when I turn camera on it says lens error


Here are some troubleshooting steps that you can try that may (or may not) correct your problem. 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. Some of the later steps do involve some risk to the camera, so carefully weigh your options before deciding to conduct them:
And here's a video summary of the steps:

Dec 24, 2011 | Nikon COOLPIX L20 Digital Camera

2 Answers

I have nikon L20 and because of some reason the lens has stuck out , its not going in at all and an error message is shown on the screen "lens error". I am from a small town I got this digi cam...


The lens error is due to failure of the lens control system. You can remove battery and card replace battery and while switching on tap the lens hood on your hands so as to disengage any dirt or mechanism being struck.
Use some air to blow between the lens to dislodge any sand particles struck inside. If none of these works then you can think of taking consensus with the service centre.
get estimate before you decide. It will be good to have it checked at the Nikon service as you do not have to run around for spares.

May 11, 2011 | Nikon COOLPIX L20 Digital Camera

1 Answer

I dropped my Nikon COOLPIX L20 camera. After that the shutter didn't open or close well. I need to help it manually. any advice?


This is probably THE most common failure among digital cameras. There's a halfway chance of fixing it yourself, described here: http://camerarepair.blogspot.com/2007/12/fixing-lens-error-on-digital-camera.html

Feb 01, 2010 | Nikon COOLPIX L20 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Lens error for nikon L20


From the manual: "Turn camera off and then on again. If error persists, contact retailer or Nikon-authorized service representative."

Nov 24, 2009 | Nikon COOLPIX L20 Digital Camera

1 Answer

I was using a Coolpix L20 when the lens stuck open and I got a Lens Error. The lens won't close and the camera won't work. Please advise.


I have a coolpix l20 the lens is stuck Iam looking for a repair manual? Would like to fix it my-self

Aug 19, 2009 | Nikon Cameras

1 Answer

I got sand in the lens of my Nikon Coolpix L14


Take it in to be serviced. Or junk it and get a new L20 or something similar.

Jul 07, 2009 | Nikon Coolpix L14 Digital Camera

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