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Canon EF-S 18-55mm Macro 0.25m/0.8ft, focusing problem

Young_Owl
Apprentice

Hello!

I recently got my hands on a Canon 600D for a rather cheap price. The lens worked perfectly, much like the camera itself, yet a few days ago, I noticed that my AF started getting "lazy". The lens I have is the Canon EF-S 18-55mm Macro 0.25m/0.8ft with Image Stabilization.

My exact problem is that when I press half of the shutter button when in AF, the lens won't focus even after staying for a while pressing it. The weird thing is that when the focus ring is extended, it will perfectly work, going back till reaching a certain focus point. The problem here is that it seems that the lens can't extend it's focus ring and only "pull", leaving me no other choice other than using the MF which works perfectly fine.

I can hear a very faint "click" if I bring my ear close to the lens when it's trying to extend forward, as if trying to but failing. Hopefully there's a viable solution.. somehow.

Thank you for the time! 
P.S: I'm a newbie, but I'll try my best to understand.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Young_Owl
Apprentice

Heya all! 
Thank you for the patience. I've decided to open up my lens and I found out that the ribbon cable was on the verge of breaking (A dent was formed after years of use, pushing in and out).  I already found out a replacement online and I'll take that as my solution to fix the problem!

I'm leaving this in hopes to help others when finding this forum. Opening this lens isn't a scary thing, with a small screwdriver, tweezers and extra precision you're able to find out if it is the gears of your AF System that broke, or just the ribbon cable that manages the motor for the AF.

Cheers!
Gonçalo

View solution in original post

6 REPLIES 6

Tronhard
Authority

Hi and welcome to the forum:
Sorry to learn that you are having issues.  First a couple of things to know, and some information for you.

a) Can you please advise EXACTLY what version of the lens you are using - there are several and they have different characteristics.  That information is printed around the very front face of the lens. 
Is it, for example: 18–55mm 1:3.5–5.6 IS II?

b) Please advise when you have used manual focus, do you turn off the AF ON-OFF switch on the lens?

Next some pointers and a couple of suggestions:

The 18-55mm lens is not a macro lens per se, it is a standard kit lens with some close-up capability.  That is not meant to be sounding demeaning, it's just a fact.  There are no zoom macro lenses that I know of - they are all single focal length units.  So, if your intent is to get really close-up images, you want something like the EF-S 60mm macro lens: which is an excellent unit and does great portraits too.

If you have not done so, I suggest you download a copy of the user manual, for your 600D: that will be of help to you if you are wanting to get to know your camera.  You can find it from THIS LINK 

In that manual on P176, you will find instructions on resetting the camera to factory defaults.  With a second-hand camera it is not unusual that it has been customized and may then behave unpredictability.


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

Thank you for all the tips, Trevor.

a) The lens don't have any other text, but after a quick search, I found out it's the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS I, I believe. Bellow, there's the pic of the lens I'm talking about:IMG_20220512_103115.jpg

 
b) I've always disabled the AF when manually turning the focus ring. There might had been a few times where I rotated just a small notch by accident, but other than that I try not to. Even if so, I can't guarantee this fact since the camera was used once by my parents.

The camera has been heavily used by it's previous owner from what I can tell. It has around 63000 shutter counters and it's overall aspect wasn't that appealing. Before anything, I restored the leather grip and some other visual aspects of the camera without ever opening. It's settings had been configured as well to fit my likes, and the camera I believe has been reset by the previous owner before selling.

Thank you once again for the help,
Gonçalo

Tintype_18
Mentor

Far from an expert but I have the same lens that I got with a kit (big mistake as I wasn't aware of the community at the time). I take photos of trout flies and found that I have to add diopters for good photos. Yes, it's not a true macro lens. A quality macro lens is on my list of lenses.

Tronhard
Authority

The issue is, I suspect, that the lens has been manually focused at some time without the AF switch being set to OFF.  This can impact the gearing in the lens and cause it to malfunction.  There is a possible fix for that but as I don't have that kind of lens I don't have that information to hand.
Either a product expert or one of my esteemed colleagues may be able to help with this.

Given the age of the lens, I would actually suggest getting a replacement, and what you are looking for is a lens with an STM designation.   There are now two kit lenses available in the wide - moderate telephoto range:
*  the EF-S 18-55 f/4-5.6 IS STM
*  the EF-S 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

The STM designation is the significant part.  IT means that the lens does not autofocus through gears as per earlier models but uses a stepping motor and focuses using 'fly by wire' technology.  This allows the lens to be focused manually at any time without turning off autofocus.   The 18-135 is a brilliant lens: much wider range for a every-day use and good optics.  You should see lots of either them for sale on the second-hand market, or better still go to the Canon refurbish gear site and get one that is essentially new, with a one-year guarantee for a reduced price.


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

Young_Owl
Apprentice

Heya all! 
Thank you for the patience. I've decided to open up my lens and I found out that the ribbon cable was on the verge of breaking (A dent was formed after years of use, pushing in and out).  I already found out a replacement online and I'll take that as my solution to fix the problem!

I'm leaving this in hopes to help others when finding this forum. Opening this lens isn't a scary thing, with a small screwdriver, tweezers and extra precision you're able to find out if it is the gears of your AF System that broke, or just the ribbon cable that manages the motor for the AF.

Cheers!
Gonçalo

ebiggs1
Legend

You might try this:

Take the lens off of your camera.

Put the lens in MF mode.

Twist the FOCUS ring (the tip of the lens) all the way to one side (extend it). You may hear a click noise or two, this is good, but don't FORCE the lens.

Twist the FOCUS ring all the way to the opposite side (retract it). Again, you may hear a couple of clicking noises. What we hope is happening is the focusing motor being put back into its proper place.

Put the lens back on the camera.

Put the lens in AF mode.

Turn the camera on.

Put the camera in AUTO or P mode.

Take a test photo.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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