The E18 error
is an error message
on Canon digital cameras
. The E18 error occurs when anything prevents the zoom lens
from properly extending or retracting.
The error has become notorious in the Canon user community as it can
completely disable the camera, requiring expensive repairs.
A quick internet search for "E18" + "canon" quickly reveals hundreds of similar complaints.
ConsumerAffairs.com reports that the "lens has a feature called
bellows claw, which is a gear that physically extends and retracts the
lens. A piece that holds the lens, the barrier plate, is not large
enough and can sometimes cause the bellows claw to malfunction,
resulting in a stuck lens". The result is a black screen that only
contains the error message, E18. Another problem mentioned on the site
blames a sticky iris in the lens, caused by grease entering inside from
the microphones built into the lens. The buildup freezes up the ability
of the lens to open.