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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 254
3x Lens Issue (Check Lens Message)

Hello Fellow DVinfo'ers!

I encountered an issue with my previously owned 3x lens. I purchased it used from a Samy's Camera Ebay auction and upon arrival it worked perfectly. I used it a few times since and never had an issue until 2 days ago.

When I turned on my camera a message appeared in the viewfinder saying "CHECK LENS" flashing in bright red. It never displayed an image. It was completely black. So I turned it off and waited a few seconds.

When I turned it back on, it displayed an image for about 5 minutes before it slowly faded away into black. I swap out the lens with my 20x and everything was working flawlessly.

Any ideas as to what it might be and how much it would cost to get my lens fixed?

EDIT: I forgot to mention that during the short while it was working the zoom was not. It was fixed at whatever focal length it was last set too. My focus was not working either.
-Roger Rosales

Last edited by Roger Rosales; December 28th, 2010 at 11:51 AM. Reason: forgot to mention a tidbit
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Old December 28th, 2010, 12:41 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
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Hi, Roger................

If you type [Canon "check lens" message] into that Google bar at the bottom of the page, you'll see just how depressingly common this issue has been in the past, and 9 out of 10 instances have been with the very same 3X lens.

I've pored over any number of these incidents and no clear pattern of culprits has emerged, the only thing in common to most is that lens.

However, I'll run down the check list for you to try before throwing in the towel, er, lens.

1. Check battery level - a couple of times, simply fitting newly charged batteries has cleared the problem.

2. Clean the lens contacts. If you check out the first two jpeg's in post, er, 5 of this thread:

XL1 dismantling / take-it-all-apart guide?

you can see what and where, the weapons of choice are in order- clean pencil eraser (the dinky ones actually mounted on a pencil top are good) for the lens, isopropal alcohol (or methylated spirit) for the body pins.

Also check that the bayonet mount flanges and face are also clean, a cotton bud and alcohol should do the business for that.

If that fails to resurrect it, check the humidity of your environment. A bitterly cold winter and well heated and insulated home can plunge humidity levels to single digits, which is outside the operating limits of a lot of electronics.

Similarly, a bitterly cold lens taken into a warm humid environment can cause severe condensation which can wreak havoc with high impedance electronics.

Fix it?

Nah, didn't think so.

The options now are either: buy a "new" s/h unit or get yours fixed, always assuming Canon will do so this far down the track.

Having reached the limits of my knowledge base, I'll hand this off to anyone who can shed more light.

Good luck!

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Old January 1st, 2011, 12:21 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,208
Not much more to offer. The Check Lens message indicates that the lens is not mounted or the camcorder body is not communicating with the lens.

Since the body communicates with the 20x lens, it is likely that that the camera body is working as it should, and something is off with the 3x lens.

The above suggestions pretty much cover what most users are able to do.

Can you try the lens on another camcorder body to see if the problem persists?
Don Palomaki is offline   Reply

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