Question about Canon EF-S 17-85MM F/4-5.6 IS USM Lens

3 Answers

17-85MM IS - mechanically stuck at 17mm - will not zoom -

Hello - My EFS17-85 IS USM has zoom ring stuck at 17mm setting.

I can move the zoom ring a little bit only - say about 2mm of travel.
On camera, lens focuses in manual and auto, and IS seems to work also.

Nothing rattles. No loose parts, it seems.

It definitely feels like some sort of mechanical problem, and I am comfortable taking gadgets apart, but I need guidance. The fee from Canon is a little hard to choke down.

I really appreciate any assistance.

Best Regards,

Posted by on

  • 3 more comments 
  • aralani Sep 05, 2008

    I have the same issue--stuck at 17mm. I don't mind taking it apart, but I don't want to turn a $100 fix bill into a new lens bill. Any help would be appreciated!

  • wobra Oct 02, 2008

    I have the same problem an no solution now. I opened the lens myself but without a result.

  • niels_orskov Nov 01, 2008

    Hi I have the same problem - It started during my vacation in Peru - where I really needed the camera. Canon in Lima ficed it, but now, I am home, it is stuck again.

    Is this a general problem with this lens??

    Basically i expext a robust quality from Canon - that doesent let me down, when I need it.

    I used to have a Nikon F - a very robust thing. I whish for something like that

  • Anonymous Nov 03, 2008

    I have the same problem I have taken it apart, took some time to get the connector out of the top ring, the black center piece have to come out first, then connector "falls" out, and the rest is just traigt forward, taking it apart bit by bit, but I havent been able to disasamble the zoom ring, have to let it rest for a few days before i give it a go again.

    Mr Andersson

  • martalongopr Nov 08, 2008

    Same problem you all have!!! New 17 - 85mm EFS and mechanically stuck at 17. I thought the kids may have done something to it, but it looks like it's a design glitch. Please help. I guess the warantee should cover this, but holidays are coming up and I don't want to send the camera in.


3 Answers

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Hi all,

I've had the same problem. So I decided to give it a try because I didn't find any solutions on the net. Unfortunately you have to pay pretty much for a Canon lens while the internal quality is pretty cheap, the whole mechanism is of plastic and this is also the problem. And after a while some screws will vibrate loose from the plastic components and canon could have done this better.

Probably within your lens is now one of the three zoom mechanism screws complete removed and you will notice that there is some abnormal movement in the zoom part. Unfortunately these screws are deeply mounted inside the lens and you need a lots of skill and patience to get it fixed.

First you need to completely disassemble the lens, and please make a picture of your lens after every step you make because I had to disassemble my lens 4 times! Because some of the elements was not right in place.

I will try to place a more complete description later today including some pictures.

Regards Gert

Posted on Dec 04, 2008

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  • Gertus Dec 04, 2008

    Hi all,

    I wanted to edit my unfinished answer above but unfortunately I’m not able to edit my own solution. I asked the support of FixYa to remove it. But I’m also not able to post a complete manual on the crappy website because I’m exceeding the message limit. But I really would like to inform you that there is a possibility to fix it your self.

    So I’ve written a manual and posted it on a free file share website.

    This is the issue with the stuck of the zoom ring: The Canon lens is an expensive lens but build with cheap plastic materials. And due to the frequently use of the zoom mechanism the screws will become loose from the plastiic and at a certain moment the screw will completely be removed out of its position and will stuck somewhere in the lens. This causes that your zoom will lock.

    To solve this you will have to completely disassemble the lens which is pretty hard because the real zoom mechanism is deeply inside the lens.

    With the link below you can download my solution. Hopefully you’re also able to fix the lens.

    Best Regards

    Gert Jan,

    Link : Repairmanual Canon 17-85mm zoomlens

  • Gertus Dec 04, 2008

    Picture where the screw is missing

    Parts to be removed

  • Gertus Dec 04, 2008

    I would advise you to make good close-up pictures of every step you make. Because I had to

    disassemble my lens 3 times! Because I didn’t know the right position for some elements mostly in

    the focus ring. But I think you could leave the three metal rings from the focus area in place, this

    will save you a lot of precious work and time.

    Also use a screwdriver which exactly fits, otherwise you’ll damage the screwheads.

    For the steps below see the numbered image at the bottom of this document

    • Remove the aluminium ring at the back, (1)

    • Remove the two little screws in the connector

    • Tilt the ring a little and push with your thumb the black plastic inner part from inside to outside (2)

    • Remove the plastic housing and while removing use a little screwdriver to remove the cable rom the print (3)

    • Remove the cables from the print, one screw, and remove the print (4)

    • Remove the plastic part (5)

    • Remove the focus ring (6) but you probably can leave the metal rings in place (6a)

    • Remove the ring sticker at the front (7)

    • Remove the three screws and the front lens (8)

    • Use a little screwdriver to remove the rubber zoom band (9)

    • Remove the three screws inside the zoom unit (10)

    • Remove the three screws/rings at the side of the second zoom part (11)

    • Now you should be able to take out the inner lens-unit (12)

    Hopefully you’ll have the same problem and is there only a screw missing in the zoom-part. Return

    the screw at the original position and use loctite or something like nail polish to prevent the

    problem for the future. Now put everything back in the reverse order.

  • longy77 Aug 20, 2011

    Hey Gertus. great manual on fixing the zoom problem. I have a 17-55 f2.8 IS USM Canon Lens that I dropped and the zoom ring would zoom out but not in. I followed your manual to take the lens apart and even tho they are not the same it helped a lot. The only thing I didnt read was your do's and donts and I have removed the focus ring. Now I put it back together and the focus doesn't work. Did you have a similar problem and if so what did you do to fix it.??? Any help would be great. Cheers Bud.

  • longy77 Aug 20, 2011

    All sorted. I read a little further and found out I didnt have the clip in place when I reinstalled. If anyone knows of a site to pick up parts for canon lens please let me know. cheers

  • Papparazzi
    Papparazzi Oct 25, 2013

    Hoping that this will work...... there is a great place near by....... but they must be busy...... I thougth that I would attempt myself.. trying to fid the 3 d specs for dissambly on line.. nothing. I will youtube it, just in case it is successful..


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I have just followed Gertus' instructions, it worked great! Some additional points:
- "print" = printed circuit board.
- There is a third screw attached to part (1) : it stops the lens from swinging around too far when attached to your camera body. I lost it - oops!
- Part (2) has four clips inside that hold it in place, I broke one off but things still hold.
- I concur with the comments on parts (6a) : they do not need to be removed.
- To remove part (12) there are three screws on the back, there are about 10 different ways you can reattach them, so TAKE A PHOTO!
- When reassembling make sure you feed the two ribbon cables from the zoom mechanism (12) through the main lens body - I forgot the first time and had to pull it apart and try again.
- When putting the zoom mechanism back in place, be very careful of the delicite wipers that slide along the small PCB - these are sensors for the focal length (captured in EXIF headers)
- When placing the zoom mechanism (12) back inside the main lens body a black plastic tab needs to run between two silver metal guides. If you do not, the lens will go back together but the focus will be WAY off.


Posted on Feb 22, 2010

  • Papparazzi
    Papparazzi Oct 25, 2013

    I am attempting this tomorrow......... think that I will Youtuve it..... just in case it is successful..


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Check out this website for a step by step breakdown of how to fix it.

Posted on Dec 21, 2012

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