I know this is an older camera, but I'm sure there are many owners out there that have had a similar problem. I dropped my camera on a sandy patch and afterward, the lens cover remained stuck. I could hear the small motor turning, but to no avail. I found some information online about measures to get the lens cover open, including using a vacuum hose to suck out the debris, using a piece of paper, blowing air on it, turning it on and off, etc. Anyhow, I finally decided to take it apart and clean it. It took me several hours but I finally got it working again. I decided to take pictures as a way to make sure I could retrace my steps and decided to make a tutorial after I was successful and share what I learned with other HF200 owners who may have a similar issue. It goes without saying this may void the warranty and you are doing this at your own risk.
You will need:
Precision screwdriver set
Electronic parts tray or ice cube tray
Can of compressed air
Clean, brightly lit workspace
This should take roughly 1 to 2 hours with checkout and reassembly
Step 1: Get your tools ready, you will need a precision screwdriver set like the one pictured below. You will need a #0 Phillips for removing all the screws, you will need a small flat tip screwdriver to pry pieces as well.
Step 2: I HIGHLY RECOMMEND a bin container or ice cube tray to keep the screws separate. This will help keep the screws organized and will help greatly with reassembling the camcorder properly.
Step 3: Remove the hand strap, memory card and battery.
Step 4: Remove the seven screws at the bottom, these are all the same. Put them in bin #1.
Step 5: Next, remove the two screws from the right hand cover. Put these screws in bin #2. You should be able to remove the right hand side panel. Please note, it is not necessary to remove the screws in the HDMI/USB/Hand strap although I did remove them in the trial and error process and you will see them removed in the following steps.
Step 6: Remove the two screws holding the right side of the top cover. DO NOT attempt to remove the cover yet. Put these screws in bin #3.
Step 7: Remove these three screws on the left hand top side. Put these in bin #4. Pop off this piece of plastic and set it aside.
Step 8: Remove the two screws on the left hand side of the top cover. Put these in bin #5. Pop off the top cover and set it aside.
Step 9: Remove the three screws on the left side panel. Put these in bin #6. IT IS NOT NECESSARY to remove any screws on the LCD display, the entire left side and LCD are a module that comes off in one single piece.
Step 10: Remove the top screw on next to the hinge. Put it in bin #7.
Step 11: Remove the four screws shown. These help to keep the lens cover assembly in place. Put these in bin #8.
Step 12: Remove the two screws in the Microphone / Video out area. Put these in bin #9.
Step 13: VERY CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY pull the side and LCD module from the rear out to the left pivoting around the front hinge. The module WILL come off but please be careful. There is a ribbon cable that connects the module to the main camera body. The ribbon cable can be disconnected by gently pulling up on the back retaining tab on the connector. The ribbon cable will come out easily after that.
Step 14: Remove the last screw holding the lens cover assembly. It is located near the top of the hinge on the left hand side. Put this screw in bin #10.
Step 15: GENTLY AND CAREFULLY move the lens cover assembly out and rotate it forward, the motor that opens and closes the lens cover is located at the top and is held in place by a single screw. Remove the screw that holds in in place and use a small flat tip screw driver to pull it out by the tape loop on top. Put the screw in bin #11.
Step 16: Using a can of compressed air, clean the gear on the motor and the other small plastic gears in the assembly. I could only see about 5 grains of sand in there, and that was enough to keep the mechanism from functioning. Use your finger to gently work the worm gear, which will turn the other gears and open the lens cover manually. Keep cleaning with compressed air. The mechanism should turn freely when it is clean.
Step 17: Put the lens cover motor back in place. This will be a little tricky, but it should not be difficult. DO NOT force it into place. It will rotate into position the same way it came out.
Step 18: Reconnect the ribbon cable on the left side/LCD module. Take your time and ensure the ribbon cable is FULLY SEATED before you engage the plastic latch.
Step 19: Install a battery and power on the camera. The lens cover should open up and the LCD display should come on. If the lens cover doesn't open, return to step 15 and keep cleaning. If the LCD display does not come on DON'T PANIC, it just means the ribbon cable is not fully seated. Check the ribbon cable and ensure it is fully seated.
Step 20: Once the lens cover and LCD module are both working, reassemble the camera by going backward starting from Step 14. The bins should take any guess work out of which screws go where.
I hope this other HF200 owners find this guide useful. To prevent something like this from happening in the future, use an inexpensive UV filter to protect the lens cover.
Very nice effort and great work.
I have the HFS100 which is slightly different but instead of the lens cover locked closed this one is locked open.
Do you know if anyone has done another featuring this model?
thanks for the guide...
I'm curious, do you hear the motor attempting to close the lens? If so, you may have a similar problem to what I had. It may be worth looking online to see if anyone has information pertinent to your model, otherwise you could attempt something like I did. Good luck!
Thanks for the Reply.
Its almost the same chassis and covers..slight change but looks almost identical...the previous owner was the the 5 times world kite surfing champion..so I would assume sand is the problem
Will try to get some good pics up similar to yours - hopefully as good!
Will help someone as yours as given me the confidence (did not want to wreck it) to have a go at mine...