Nikon telephoto lens zoom ring turns but will not extend lens but will retract it if I manually extend the lens! What is causing this and is it something that I can fix myself?


1 Answer 1


is it something that I can fix myself?

The answer to that is almost certainly "if you have to ask the question, the answer is no". For a bit more detail, have a look at this teardown of a zoom lens by Lens Rentals - if that looks like the kind of thing you'd be happy to try, you might get lucky and be able to spot an obvious problem in the lens which you can fix. If like the vast majority of us that looks incredibly scary, then no, you definitely can't fix it.

Assuming you're not going to fix it yourself, you have two options:

  1. Get it repaired by a professional
  2. Junk it and get a new lens

Expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars for a repair; unless it's under warranty or is a top of the range lens, it's almost certainly not worth it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Step 437: Drop all the bits in a bin & buy a new lens. ;) Boy, but that's complex. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 28, 2022 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Honestly, if the expectation is that the lens will be replaced, may as well tear into it to see if you can fix it. It won't end up any more broken than it already is, you'll learn something in the process, and you may just end up being able to fix it after all! \$\endgroup\$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 28, 2022 at 16:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @FreeMan You're assuming it's a cheap lens. A high end lens would be worth paying to have fixed. Tear it down first and most repair shops won't even attempt to fix it. If they do, they'll charge twice as much. Not to mention that one can do a lot of damage to things like flexes and position sensors (touch them with your uncovered finger and they're usually toast) without even realizing it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Mar 28, 2022 at 21:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelC that's why I said "If the expectation is to replace the lens..." If you're going to have it serviced professionally, then your point is very true. \$\endgroup\$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 28, 2022 at 23:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tetsujin But at least you don't have that nagging feeling that it might still be salvageable. You know where you are standing now. And the bits and pieces won't get you a restraining order. And you learnt a lesson. \$\endgroup\$
    – user102869
    Commented Mar 30, 2022 at 16:38

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