Fixing a Dropped Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II Camera Lens

My daughter tipped over our Canon 40D camera (on our very sturdy Manfrotto tripod) while getting freaked out by a thunderstorm. The lens took a header and "fell apart". This lens in our favorite lens. Unfortunately, it is inexpensive (<$100), so there was probably no point in having it repaired by a service center. My only choice was to buy a new one -or fix it myself.

Buying new?
I started to look for new lenses. I considered the Canon EF f1.4 from Amazon, but it was just a bit to pricey at $349 from Amazon. A new Canon EF 50mm f1.8 from Amazon had gone up since I bought it, but was still a reasonable $100. Well I figured those were my best two new alternatives, unless I fixed it.

Fixing the 50mm f 1.8 lens:
I did try just "putting the lens back together" -that wouldn't work. Nothing just snapped into the right place.

I found some great advice from this Flicker post about a broken 50 mm 1.8. I decided I had nothing to loose, so I followed the 50mm f1.8 dissassembly instructions mentioned in this post. The guy who put them together did a great job (Yosuke Bando). So much so I moved a copy of the pdf to my server so I'd always have it.

Following the instructions word by word I was able to properly disassemble it -then reassemble it. It only takes about 15 minutes -once you know what your doing. The first time it took awhile to figure out how Yosuke named all the parts of the lens. I had to do it about 3 times -remember the follow the instructions part. I'd recommend printing out and reading the instructions.

I did need to do some straightening on the steel ring that holds it together the lens together. It got bent when the lens hit the ground. To straighten it -I traced a circle of the lens on a piece of paper and then used linesman pliers to gently squeeze the ring back into a perfect circle to match the circle on the paper.

It worked!
If your favorite cheap canon 50mm prime lens gets dropped and falls apart -hopefully you'll be able to use my experience to put it back together again. Happy picture shooting. PS -these are great lenses for the price.



  1. I dropped my lens and it came apart. I stumbled upon your page. You are right, Yosuke's instructions are excellent! I had it back together in 30 minutes. It sounds a little different when it zooms the entire range quickly (i.e. can't find focus) but it appears to be working again! Thanks so much.

  2. You are a lifesaver! Found this through google and it's fixed my camera.. sort of! its not in 2 bits anymore which is excellent but the auto focus is pretty much broken it makes a loud noise , as previous stated by anon, and then it pops out :/ it sometimes works but is temperamental. I've left it on manual focus which i can live with :)

  3. Thanks David for posting that PDF. I took my lens apart because the AF is bust after dropping it. I hoped I'd see something obviously bent out of place but no such luck.

    I'll either have to use manual focus or buy a new copy. Glad the lens is so cheap!

  4. What a life saver! Thanks a million David!

  5. Can you make a video on how to reassemble the lens?? The directions aren't clear about how to "click it" back together


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