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I am currently on a trip and I brought an 18-135mm lens and a 35mm prime as my two lenses for the trip. When I took my zoom out of my backpack off the plane and put it on my camera, I immediately noticed that all the pictures were overexposed.

I finally figured out that the aperture isn't closing. I took the lens off my camera and used my finger to manually push the aperture lever, and I found it did nothing. The aperture blades do not move.

I don't know how to fix this issue, and it's frustrating because I now don't have a zoom lens on my trip. Is there any way I can fix it myself without taking it to a camera guy?

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    Likely there's no way to fix it yourself, but I wouldn't say the lens is useless. It just means you have to keep the camera in Aperture or Manual mode and leave the aperture setting at its widest. – DHall Aug 4 '14 at 16:27
  • If you didn't spend that much on the lens\don't really care about it you could attempt a self-repair; however, you will mess up the first few lenses you learn with. – SailorCire May 6 '15 at 13:48
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You could, in a REALLY amateur method pick up black paperboard and precisely cut out a circle in the center to obtain a smaller aperture, but of course this is a really rough way and no high quality at all can be expected.

The cut paperboard, if it is thin enough and the outer circle is cutt precisely, can be placed inside the bottom of the lens between the lens and the body still allowing the lens to mount to the body.

No disassembly is needed. Of course the paperboard must be made precisely enough to avoid giant artifacts or shadows on the sensor.

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I disassembled once a 18-105 lens to replace broken bayonet. I could say it's a kind of a fine work but it can easily go in a wrong way and you will make the lens useless at least until you reach repairing workshop.

Take a look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd6pvvQ1_So

It can probably give you an imagination how to take yourself to the diaphragm lever and will give you some useful hints. Probably you will find that the lever is banded inside the lens and you will fix it.

However I think that setting up you camera for use open aperture (as @DHall have recommended you in a comment) is a best thing that you can do as you're on a trip: 18-135 lens working fine while not stopped down. Probably it's a good reason to learn yourself to use A exposure mode which is for my opinion is best mode (unless you're not in studio).

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