I have a Nikon D3100. The zoom ring on the lens that came with the camera is stuck. The lens is a AF-S NIKKOR DX, 18-55mm. Is is broken, or just stuck and is there anything I can do "unstick" it. Wondering if somehow it is locked.

  • 4
    Those lenses don't lock. I would not try and force it. Get a quote for having it investigated and repaired, and compare that to the cost of getting a new, better lens (the 18-55 isn't terrible, but nor is it fantastic). Jun 20, 2013 at 8:48
  • My 18-55 jammed as well (my guess is that I had kept it loosely in a regularly carried camera bag), so I tried tried forcing it (a repair would cost more than a new lens) to no avail. With nothing left to do I decided to investigate the problem, and as far as I can tell, the two metal rails that allow the rear element to slide were bent to each of their respective rights. They are stuck on the rear element carriage with no apparent fix. I think I will simply replace the already well-used lens with the 35mm AF-S.
    – user40316
    Jun 4, 2015 at 20:07
  • I have cannon sx40hs. While using its high zooming it fell down and its zooming cylender got struck. It was not going inside. Lol. I thought it would cost me very dearly. I thought to put little force to get it in right position but very cautiously. I excercise a force and to my wonder it came back to its normal position. I think my sharing would help. Mar 17, 2019 at 14:51

6 Answers 6


Best option : Get it serviced from an expert.

Risky option :

I had a similar experience with my Nikon D3100. The camera fell slightly. The zoom was stuck about mid-way. I could not zoom any further. After having a heart ache, I held the lens and slowly turned, did not work. Then held tightly and it worked. I dont know what had happened, but things came back to normal. I have been using it in that condition for past 6 months and am careful not to do things v fast. Zoom works good, focus is good.

I think, in my case, the issue is, the fall broke one of the gear teeth and when I give it a little push, the gear continues its motion.


This is probably not going to be of any assistance any more, but I experienced this issue and found that black plastic the connection rail that adjusts the aperture at longer focal lengths was snapped. This means there is no longer a linkage between the aperture adjustment arm and the lens module so the aperture closed as soon as the lens was extended beyond 18mm. I'm unsure of any repair capability but that may well be what has happened. If you remove the lens, and adjust the aperture adjustment arm when the lens is extended, check that the aperture blades move accordingly. If they don't, this is probably the issue.


Not sure whether this is still of use to anyone - but my lens also got stuck in the middle of its focal length. It was a spare lens so I decided to take her apart!

Inside the lens there are these two metal rails that the smaller lens slide in between. If these two metal rails bend, they cause the lens to lock. I took both rails out and bent them back straight again, put everything back together and it works fine again, although a bit tighter. As it's a spare and just used for playing around, I think its still perfect. Whenever it does it again, I will know how to fix it again. Just take care of the lenses and they will be fine. I bought this with a used D3100 for about $20 (yes, with the camera haha)


I also had the same problem. My camera fell on a hard ground, and the zoom was also stuck.

I opted for the risky option, forced it... and I somehow managed to unlock it. This might not work for your lens though... It could break it as well.

I am not sure if it's related, but I noticed afterwards that some of the blades were separated from the diaphragm, and free. I changed my lens soon after. Besides, I remember that the zoom was a bit harder than it used to be, sometimes getting stuck, and I was feeling some kind of resistance as I was zooming.


I took mine to the beach for several days, and took very good care of it, however after a few days, it locked up and wouldn't extend. I asked several camera experts w/ no avail. I finally used a little "elbow grease" and took the risk and it freed right up!! Very finikcy....keep it clean!!


After bumping my d610 around on the streets of Paris I've got my Nikkor 28-300 stuck just behind the 70mm mark.

I tried forcing it to no avail. I was resigned to shoot the rest of my trip with a lens limited to one quarter of its maximum focal length.

Here is what fixed my issue. I detached the lens from the camera body, I turn the zoom ring up to the stuck point and then apply some force , but this time with a microfiber cloth on my finger I also pushed the lens rear element . Voila ! , the extra push from the back of the lens unstuck the zoom and the lens finally extended to its full length. After that the lens performed fine for the rest of the trip. Good luck.

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