Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

Submit your Photo
Hall of Fame

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Recently, a camera with lens attached got knocked off a chair and hit the floor (not my gear, fortunately!). Following that, the lens would not focus properly, either with manual focus or auto. The manual focus just couldn't get quite right, and the autofocus wouldn't work at all. The zoom still works.

The camera is the Nikon D40, and the lens is the 18-55mm included with the D40. The lens has the focus mechanism at the front end, and the lens did hit the floor. I'm inclined to think the hard impact may have fouled up the lens focus mechanism.

Is it possible or even likely that the lens is damaged?

share|improve this question
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Yes it's both possible and likely that the focus mechanism is broken! If you can't get a sharp image with manual focus one of the lens elements is probably out of alignment. I would normally suggest sending it to a Nikon authorized service centre for repair (Nikon customer service will be able to tell you where the closest one is, call the number in the manual or search online).

However, as the lens is the kit one the repair + postage might cost more than the lens is worth so it might be time to consider an upgrade!

share|improve this answer
+1 on "just replace it". FWIW, that lens can be had on KEH starting at $76:… (you don't get caps, but you can use the ones on the broken lens) – Reid Nov 6 '10 at 21:12
We had the lens looked at today, and were told it might be repairable, but it would cost more than it was worth. So we picked up the 35mm f1.8 DX lens. Problem solved! – Grant Palin Nov 8 '10 at 5:18
Excellent! Glad you're back shooting, plus the 35 is a great lens. – Matt Grum Nov 8 '10 at 8:53

Yes, absolutely. One or more of the glass elements in your lens has been knocked off kilter. This is exactly why you can't find focus. You can take it to your local camera retailer and they will send it off to Nikon. Be warned though, Nikon repairs can get pricey, so I would get an estimate first (I had to repair a D2X awhile back and they will do estimates) and decide if you want to keep your kit lens or upgrade to some nicer glass.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.