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What should we do with help fix the lens on XYZ camera questions such as:

Many of these seem pointless to answer to me. Some of them do have answers, but they are poor and usually no answer is selected. More examples on the site exist as well.

Would it serve us better to have one main "troubleshoot lens errors" answer, or maybe a "where to go for help when lenses are broken" answer?

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I think one really good general question of "What do I do when I get a lens error?" could do it, and the others and future questions could be marked as a duplicate.

Maybe a second, separate question for interchangeable lens cameras, where the answer is somewhat different for with a point-and-shoot.

I think, though, that questions which give a specific error message should be left open. A comment could point to the general question, but "how do I deal with Error 254Q on my new Footax camera?" is the kind of thing we can answer quickly and specifically, and which will be helpful for future people with that same camera model and errror.

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It would be nice to have a well written troubleshooting guide, either:

  • tag wiki - I've updated the [equipment-damage] tag
  • a blog post
  • FAQ
  • find the best current answer and update it and close the rest as duplicates.

Might want to do something similar with explanations of shopping and video-related questions and what is on-off topic. Anything that we get over and over ought to have an easy-to-find link in the FAQ.

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  • Have added to the tag wiki for equipement-damage. If anyone has additional info to add, please do
    – MikeW Mod
    Mar 20 '13 at 18:38
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This is really kind of a tricky area since if a common lens has a common problem that can be fixed, then it is certainly on topic within photography, but there is also going to be many of these kinds of questions that are special cases, far too localized and likely don't even really have an answer other than "send it in for repair."

That said, I'm not sure if we can have a blanket policy one way or another since some problems are systematic and others are not. It also hurts because someone needs to know the equipment in question to know if it is too localized. For example, if it was a question about a Canon lens, I could probably tell, but I have no idea about Nikon's lenses.

I would think that anything about trying to fix a lens that has been damaged by the user would probably be a guideline for being too localized though as it the answer is either a) too broad to cover troubleshooting lens issues in general or b) to localized to the particular atypical damage that occurred. The only real exception to this would be if the damage occurred in a way that was common due to some weakness in the design of the product.

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