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Russell H.
Russell H., Technician
Category: Digital Cameras
Satisfied Customers: 12253
Experience:  Working with digital cameras & questions for nearly 8 years.
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I have a PowerShot A85 that has given 12 years of trouble

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I have a PowerShot A85 that has given 12 years of trouble free service (apart from CCD image sensor change when required). Last week when I changed the batteries the lens has failure to retract. It is now protrudng by 10mm and although I can hear an electronic click when I press the on/off switch, the camera will not close or fully extend the lens and the screen is blank.
Any ideas?

Hi, thank you for contacting My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

When a lens in a digital camera fails to retract, or fails to move at all, there can be various causes. But most, as far as the fix for the problem is concerned, end up with the camera having to be repair-serviced, owing to the parts being delicate, the assembly and reassembly being difficult and/or involving specialized tools, and the replacement parts being hard to obtain.

However, there is one thing you can try, or two perhaps:

One, think back as to whether the batteries in the camera are fairly old.

Two, use a vacuum cleaner, set to draw air in, not blow it out, with a cleaned-off round cylindrical nozzle or cleaned attachment of that sort vaguely, to clean, all around the lens assembly and the cracks in the case around it.

Then try turning On the camera again (perhaps with fresh batteries... if so, be sure to charge the batteries up for at least 6 hours on the charger before trying them out for the first time.)

This will address the possible jamming with particulate matter, of the lens assembly. And also, the possible weakness of the batteries (if they are rechargeable and have aged) and inadequacy of their power-delivered to move the lens assembly.

After that, of course, repair-servicing would be required.

Does this answer your question?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Russell, thanks for your suggestions. I had already purchased 4 brand new batteries as I too was suspicious of the degree of charge in my rechargeables. I have even tried the rechargables again after a good recharge and sadly the lens is still stuck. I have now tried the hovering tip but sadly with no success - it looks like I have failed to avoid sending off for expensive repair!

I'm sorry to hear that - but it is the usual end for such problems. Only rarely do they respond to other-than-service-shop approaches.

Such as forcing the lens back into place - gently - which can result in worse breakage, of course, as often as it results in a sort of repair.

Would you like advice as to where, and how, to send your camera off for repair?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks but I shall contact the comany who repaired the CCD image sensor for me

OK, and I hope they do a good job of repairing the lens error.

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