Please be aware that resolving this issue can take multiple attempts. With some units that have had this problem it has taken me up to 6 or 7 hours of manipulation, over a few days, to make the lens move freely.My first inclination is to assume that a lens error is the problem itself, but first, there is one more likely possibility, lack of sufficient power.
Remove the battery, check the pins or connectors in the battery compartment, and make sure that they are positioned correctly to contact the batteries. Then use a q-tip with alcohol to clean and dry them. It is a known issue that as digital cameras that use only AA size batteries, tend to require a little more power as they age due to deteriorating parts and surface residue. Lens movement uses the most power. That is why the connection is so critical The only suggestion that I have is to try a set of high power lithium AA batteries. They have a higher, more steady, power output. This has solved this issue about 40% of the time,
If the above does not solve the issue please continue as it is very likely that the problem is a lens error.Try the steps below first. Put the camera switch in the Off position. Place it on the back with the lens facing up and take a look at the spacing between the lens and the lens housing. If you notice that the gap is not even all the way around the lens, the problem should be easy to fix. This type of a problem usually occurs if the camera was accidentally turned on while the lens is restricted. Next, apply gentle pressure down the lens on the side where the gap is the biggest. You should hear a "click" as it pops back into place. Try powering the camera on. If the lens doesn't extend at all or it extends, and then retracts again, do the following. Turn the camera off. Take the camera in one hand and with the other gently take one part of the lens and gently move it round in a circular movement. Do so with both sections of the lens. You will hear a "click" as it pops back in place. Power the camera on. Next, try to pull and twist on the largest ring of the lens while turning the camera on. Listen for a "click". If at first the focus seems to be off, turn the camera on and off and take lots of pictures, close ups and distance. Focus should slowly start improving.
Lens errors are a common problem. With newer cameras I am usually hesitant to suggest these options since they include some more extreme procedures that may cause further damage if not done correctly, but they may save you an expensive repair bill or having to replace it. The links below give step by step DIY instructions on troubleshooting and attempting to fix this problem. An older Canon camera is used to demonstrate these procedures but, the lens structure of these compact cameras is the same so the examples do apply to this unit. These procedures are effective about 60% of the time.
Click on or copy the link location and paste them into your browser.
If the "do it yourself" approach doesn't work out for you and you need conventional repair please see the note below
Note: Considering the age and present value of this camera, paying the cost of having it repaired , approximately $70 really depends on how attached to the camera you are. The standard "rule of thumb" is if the repair cost is greater than 50% of the value of the camera, it is not worth it. A new Finepix AX655 (the newest model) can be purchased on Amazon for as low as $65 and good used AX650s are available online for under $35 to $55
Please keep in mind that my diagnosis & solutions provided are directly dependent on the accuracy of your description of the problem. As with any "do it yourself" fixes, success is a "team effort", since I can't see or touch the camera, and relies on the customer's manual dexterity and ability to follow the instructions well.
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