Lens wont dismantle from camera

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ofer_brill, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Hello, I have a D800E, a lens got stuck on the camera, the release button does not function so I can not dismantle the lens. I am in Israel, took it to the Nikon dealer which advised me that they will need to send it abroad (they wont say where to) and the cost should be Hundreds of $$. From previous bad experience with them, I'm also looking at many weeks if not months before I'll see the camera and the lens back.
    I plan to be in the US this April. Will be about a week in NYC and a week in the Phoenix area. If anyone knows of a good lab (not necessarily a Nikon lab, any one which is good) in NYC or PHX, please advise, I'll call and see if they can help me while I'm there.
    Thanks in advance, Ofer
  2. Stuck, how well? Did you try to wiggle the lens ccw/cw while pressing the lens release button. This might relieve the pin and allow it to go in, thus allowing the lens to be removed.
    What lens are you trying to remove?
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    When that happens, typically they need to take the camera body apart to fix the lens-release mechanism, usually the locking pin. The issue is the labor cost.
    I think you are better off sending it to repair now. I am not sure Nikon in New York can fix it within a week while you are there. (I am sure it doesn't take a week, but we don't know they can work on your camera immediately.) Nikon's office is in Long Island, New York:
  4. In NYC I've had good experiences with
    Photo Tech Repair Service
    360 W 36th St
    (212) 673-8400
    Open until 7:00 PM
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
  5. I'd probably try vibrating the release button while using gentle pressure to rotate the lens clockwise.
    The side of the cutter blades on electric hair clippers or maybe an oscillating multi-tool (on low speed) could be used. Cover sharp corners with something soft like wound dressings/sticking plasters and be super careful.
    Basically the same principle as rattling a lock open.
    Definitely no guarantees and even if it works the body & lens will still need repair/checking - but it will be a much easier, cheaper and quicker repair.
    Hope it works for you!
  6. Frequently it's just a simple case of the lubrication failing.
    The old time camera repair solution is simply to apply a few drops of Ronsonol (that would be lighter fluid) around the lens release button and see what happens. Drop it in and let it work around a bit. If it does not work it will at least cause no harm. It will be dental tools next if it does not work.
    From an old time camera repair person.
    Good Luck!
  7. Whoa! Lighter-fluid on a plastic camera body? That sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, and still no guarantee that the fluid will get to where the jam is. That might have worked on old all-metal film cameras, but personally I wouldn't get any organic solvent near a modern camera.
    The release pin is held out into the lens by spring pressure, and the release lever pushes the pin back into the mount against the spring. So even if the lever isn't working, the pin should be "pushable" back into the mount.
    On most lenses there's a small slot where you can access the locking pin - see below. A small jeweller's screwdriver or thick needle just might be able to reach the pin and work it back enough to enable the lens to be released. Without the lens attached any repair needed will be much easier and cheaper.
  8. With a replacement plastic front panel available I would carefully pierce the existing front panel next to the button and operate the lens release that way. I'd have to use a burr on my pedestal drill 'cause my hands aren't steady enough for a dremel nowadays.
    The front panel should be a relatively inexpensive part and it can be replaced in minutes.
    You could consider asking a local repairer to access the release mechanism that way so it can be repaired temporarily.
    If it's anything like previous models the mechanism is likely to be strained - always been able to reshape the parts in the past. A tiny amount of lubricant stops it happening again.
    Then you could continue to use the camera with the "wound" taped over until the replacement panel arrives.
    I'm a retired repairer too ... Hi Michael!
  9. I'm an unqualified non-repairer, but... what plastic front panel? Isn't the D800 frame solid metal? I know it's covered, but I was expecting the mount to be screwed straight to the metal, and for the lens release pin to go behind. I've never pulled one apart, but I was just confused by (but not necessarily disagreeing with) David's statement. If it's a case of the button being stuck on the front of the case (and I think I remember my D800 feeling as though it was catching sometimes), I can see how this could help; if you need to get at the pin itself, I'm more worried that mangling the cover wouldn't be enough. With the proviso that it would be a wonderful way of getting tiny bits of metal into the mirror box, I'd be half tempted to sacrifice the back half of the lens (with a hacksaw) and try to get to the lens mount from that side - but I'd be happier to kill a 50mm f/1.8 than a 400mm f/2.8, and I don't think we've been told what the lens was...
  10. I should probably mention, though the likelihood is very slim, that there is another way a lens can jam on a Nikon, and that is if the tiny little screw that prevents over-rotation falls out, and allows the lens to go too far past its usual latching point. If that happens, the lens will not only jam, but will foul the aperture control lever, and removing can bend things badly. In a film camera this can be avoided by opening the back and moving the lever out of the way, but on a digital, I don't know what you'd other than force it and hope the lever bends back later.
    So if, by some chance, the jam comes from an over-rotated lens, I would not touch it myself.
  11. Metal lens mount, attached to metal mirror box, attached to metal rear frame used to be usual with higher end Nikons, guessing it's still the same.
    Only the lens mount is visible from outside - the rest is behind plastic panels - which makes nice curved shapes and light weight easy.
    Canon T90 was the first of the "ergonomics" IIRC. Before that cameras had corners.
    The f801 was Nikon's first attempt - you can still see the family resemblance I think.
    "Solid metal" isn't always better by the way. Plastic parts can often recover their shape after impacts which would destroy metal parts.
    Retired in early noughties so I'm out of date and getting forgetful - I don't trust anything I think any more...
  12. Hacksaws, Dremels and lighter fluid? My own solution involves a ball peen hammer and a cold chisel - details on request. Meanwhile, have you exhausted the possibilities locally, e.g. independent repairers? I guess you tried the main distributor/service centre (Hadar in Tel Aviv)? A quick Google search also finds this company: http://www.camera-or.co.il/camera-repair-jerusalem/
  13. I have found a Halligan tool works very well for many photographic problems, but unfortunately, TSA regulations make it a little inconvenient to carry one when traveling.
  14. Folks, thanks a lot for your help :) It is good to know there is a community out there that will try to help. Rodeo Joe, unfortunately the Nikon 300mm f\2.8 does not have the slot... :(
    I now found a trusted local lab that is working on the camera, hope it will be ok.
    Thanks again, Ofer
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Unless you really know how to repair cameras, I wouldn't use unconventional approaches. Potentially you can make a lot
    more damage to your expensive camera body and lens. Hopefully the pros at your local shop can separate them for you.
  16. Whoa! Lighter-fluid on a plastic camera body? That sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, and still no guarantee that the fluid will get to where the jam is. That might have worked on old all-metal film cameras, but personally I wouldn't get any organic solvent near a modern camera.
    Chemistry update for ya- ronsonol and it's chemical equivalent are not plastic solvents. Some alcohols are. Ronsonol and it's near cousins have been used in camera repair applications for decades safely, including plastics, which have been around in cameras since the 1960's. My advice, as an experienced camera repair person, and a pensioner of the company that invented and commercialized the 35mm camera, stands. It is the logical first step in the situation. No guarantee was stated or even implied. I don't comment on rodeos and you shouldn't comment on camera repair.​

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