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?


2 Answers 2


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!

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 on "just replace it". FWIW, that lens can be had on KEH starting at $76: keh.com/camera/Nikon-Digital-Zoom-Lenses/1/… (you don't get caps, but you can use the ones on the broken lens) \$\endgroup\$
    – Reid
    Nov 6, 2010 at 21:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ 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! \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8, 2010 at 5:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Excellent! Glad you're back shooting, plus the 35 is a great lens. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Grum
    Nov 8, 2010 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.


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