Attempts at repairing a fallen camera lens

And when I say fallen, I mean literally. When I started this blog, I thought I might also have a youtube channel for videos of some of my hobbies - ukulele seemed like it would be better shared through video, and I thought I could make unboxing/art videos of an art subscription box I ordered. About 18 months ago, I bought a Sony Alpha A6000 with the kit lenses. The 16-50mm powerzoom lens was almost constantly on my camera and was great as a daily carry, and is good for amateur video. Last year for my birthday I also got a great tripod from my husband, so I had everything I needed to film these videos I was thinking of.

All that to say, I had to find the best way to set up said camera and tripod to show what I was doing but not have the legs of the tripod in the frame. I was standing on top of my dining room table trying to get this set up correctly, stepped down from the table, and then the whole tripod, camera and all, fell about 6 feet to the floor. Because the lens kind of sticks out from the body of the camera and is also heavier than the camera, it took the brunt of the impact when it hit the floor. The lens worked well enough after that to take our Christmas card picture, but the next time I tried to use it, it started making a sound like it was trying to auto-focus, but the mechanical whirring never stopped. I tried turning auto-focus off on the camera, tried some “percussive maintenance,” and looked into buying a replacement lens. As a last ditch effort, I figured that I had nothing to lose, so I decided to follow the instructions in this video to try to repair the lens.

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Guys. Taking apart a camera lens, even a mirrorless one, is so scary. Even though I didn’t think I could break it much more than I already had, I still was trying to be very careful, and wanted to try to get it to work so I could save the money from replacing it and maybe get a new, nicer lens instead. Taking those tiny ribbon connections off was daunting, and trying to get the lens back together once I was done disassembling it was more difficult than I thought it would be, but I did it!

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I didn’t end up finding anything inside the lens that looked wrong, so there wasn’t anything for me to glue back or remove or fix in some other way, so I closed it back up and tried it out. At first it wasn’t making the sound, but the next day when I went to brunch with some friends and tried to take some pictures to capture the gathering, it started whirring again. I waited another couple of weeks and finally bit the bullet and purchased a new SELP1650 lens from Amazon. The new one looks and works great, but I’m not going to toss the old one just yet. Now that I’ve done it once, maybe I can try looking inside the old one some more to see if I can figure out the issue. If not, to the technology recycling center it goes!

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Here’s hoping I don’t have any more major mishaps!