Illustrated Guides to Fixing Canon E18 Lens Errors

Ask me what I did on my day off?  Spent about six total hours dismantling my sister’s Canon SD400 to troubleshoot why the lens wouldn’t retract.

Apparently this is a common problem.

So after much research, I collected a bunch of illustrated guides from various places on the web and went to town.


Suggestions From My Own Experience

Clean out any dirt/debris from both the lens and gear box.

Unscrew things in sections.  For each section, get a blank piece of paper and diagram where all the screws are.  As you unscrew stuff, place the screw on your diagram in its approximate location.

This will make your life infinitely less complicated as you put your camera back together.  Now you don’t have to worry about which screw and which size screw goes where.

Just be sure you put these diagrams away from your work area.  A small bump will send your screws flying and make your diagram worthless.  ;)

3x5 Index Card with Screw Locations

The Good

I was able to clean out a lot of sand from the inside of the camera (i.e. lens mechanism, gear box).  The lens now retracts and extends.  It used to not do that. I’m awesome!

The Bad

Some of the gears controlling the movement of the lens are stripped.  That prevents the lens from extending/retracting smoothly and without a lot of grinding sounds.

The Ugly

The camera is un-fixable.  I now have a slick-looking paper weight.

Moral of the Story

My sister should give up being an agronomy major. Then she would be far less excited to take her camera into a soil pit.

My Sister and the Soil Pit
My Sister and the Soil Pit

8 replies on “Illustrated Guides to Fixing Canon E18 Lens Errors”

I wrote the E18 error guide 10 years ago. Went looking for it today for some reason. You’re the only one hosting it. Hope it was useful. Take care.

haha. that’s awesome. glad i could help you archive it. and yes, your guide was very helpful. i’m just bummed i couldn’t fix her camera.

funny you came looking for this post because i also came looking for it last week. my little sister finally graduated with her phd and i wanted to use the picture in this post as part of her celebration collage.

@Chris: Holy cow! I just saw your comment and approved it. Sorry for the delay!

I’m glad it was able to help you get your camera up and working. Hopefully you get many more years out of your SD300!

I learned from the best.

Remember that time mom announced to everyone at Wal-Mart that I was buying a cup (i.e. “athletic supporter”) for P.E. class? ;)

I had to, nobody knows what agronomy is. Is your coach going to put you in this year? ;)

That’s hilarious. I like that you linked the term “agronomy.”

Give up soil pits? Never! Nationals is in three weeks and I’ve gotta train! We’ll see if the SD770 can hold up to a week-long soils competition, and hope that I won’t be sending you a matching paperweight in April.

Much love,

Your Meimei!

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