I couldn't believe that I was reading another situation exactly like mine I had the same trouble only in trying to remove the 16-35 I actually broke off the little lever. when I got to looking atthe lens, I found out that the little "stop screw" was missing from the mounting plate on the back of the lens. this stop screw prevents the lens from going back too far when it is being removed. I sent both the camera and the lens in to Nikon The lens is being repaired under warrant (the stop screw just came unscrewed) On the camera Nikon feels that there was user caused "impact damage"??? and I'm paying $230 to get it fixed (go figure) anyway I would suggest that you check your 16-35 to see if the little stop screw is still in tact.