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By Clement Faria   Published: August 12, 2018  
How I took apart the Canon 10-18mm LensHow I took apart the Canon 10-18mm Lens

Some time ago, I took a fall in the sea with my camera while trying to climb a large tree trunk that washed up on the beach. My Rebel t2i camera and 10-18mm lens got soaked. The 10-18mm is one of my favourite landscape lenses and I had make sure it was still working properly.

Being accustomed to a fair bit of sea spray and water, I immediately turned off the camera and removed the battery and headed for home. I picked the camera down, cleaned it up and dried it out. It ended up working again. I didn't pay much attention to the lens other than opening the back of the lens and letting any moisture or water get out.

On the next outing that I did everything was working good. The sun was about to set within an hour and I was mainly scouting for compositions, shooting sideways and backing the sun. When ever i shot in the direction of the sun i noticed a small distortion in the images while previewing. It looked like if a water drop was on the lens.



On inspecting the lens, I realized that there was a very small drop of water on one of the elements inside the lens. That's when I knew this was going to be an issue. It was too big of a distortion to clone out in post.

I'm a guy who like to take things apart, so It was only a matter of when I would take it apart and clean it. I searched online for any dis assembly guides for the 10-18 and found nothing.

I decided to give it a go anyhow and trust myself not to break any thing. I managed to remove the front and back of the lens but got stuck trying to get the barrel out.

I posted a SOS on a photo forum and got some advice on how similar lenses are taken apart. It was very helpful indeed. However i decided to check online again for any guides or information, knowing that I wont find anything and actually found a youtube video with a guy taking apart the same lens. It was posted two days prior. That gave me the missing information i needed to get the job done. I thank the members on the forum who posted help and also to the youtuber who made the video.

Removing the Rear End

To access the rear of the lens, you must remove 6 screws in total, 4 main screws and 2 small ones next to the contacts.
Once removed, the back should come right off.

You should see the electronic board with a few wires connected.

Gently remove the two gasket/washers Then gently remove the connected wires from the board.

The board should lift off easily. It is only held in place by a rubber part.

Once the board is off. you have to remove another plate that is connected by three screws. It comes of easily but it has a thin metal rod connected that goes into a slot. I forgot to take a photo of it underneath.

They are also three additional screws with springs that I removed as well, but I'm not sure if it was necessary.

Removing the Front End

To access the front of the lens, you must first remove the front plate (with the lens info) using a small flat screwdriver and gently lifting it off. It is held together by a thing adhesive tape. 

Once that is off you should see another plate that has 3screws to remove. Remove those screws and that plate

should come off as well. Take note or the position and alignment.

Once that is off you can gently lift off the focusing ring and another plate that is there as well.

Now that both from and back are exposed. the inner barrel can be removed. To remove the inner barrel and access the lens elements. you must remove the rubber grip. It comes off easily by using a small screw driver and gently lifting it off.

Once removed, remove the plastic guard underneath. It just peels right off.

After that, remove three screws (with plastic rubbers). They can be accessed and seen by moving the zoom ring.

Once removed take note of the alignment and position. The inner barrel should come out easily from the rear side. 

Clean the elements and reassemble in reverse order.

Conclusion

After Reassembling, I tested the lens and It works great. The only fault it has now is the manual focus not working, but the autofocus works fine. I hardly use the manual focus on the 10-18mm anyhow, so it is no biggie. I assume it is how a reassembled the focusing ring and plate. Still i'm glad it's cleaned now and I hope this information can help other people with the same lens.

Sources of Help

10-18mm Disassembly Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-L5pJ-SovY

Photography On The Net Forum
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1498532



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