Tele zoom creep...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by beegee675, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. beegee675

    beegee675 Member

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    I have a couple of older MF zooms that have excessively loose slide-out and have been researching some decent ways of tightening this movement. I've seen talk about rubber band products, o-rings and tape, etc., but what the real cause of this and is there a tooling remedy short of taking it apart? I have Tamron, Nikkor, and Olympus zooms that could use it. Maybe some screws under the rubber grips?

    -BG
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    This is something that used to be mentioned by camera magazines back in the 1970s. I don't know that there is any fix, because on one hand, you one "one-touch" zooms (lenses that allow zooming and focusing with one ring) to be loose enough that you can zoom easily and quickly. On the other hand, if your camera isn't level, you don't want the focal length to change.

    I have a two Vivitar Series 1 zooms. One creeps. The other doesn't. I also have a Pentax "M" zoom, which focuses very smoothly but requires way too much effort to push and pull to change focal length.

    Frankly, I don't know the answer, because anything that you would use to prevent creep will also get in the way when you try to zoom.

    Perhaps, that are some grub screws in the barrel that can be tightened or loosened. I've never really investigated this. You probably would have to adjust these screws very carefully.
     
  3. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    The mechanics of the friction fit is a band of felt inside the tube. Over time the felt wears/flattens and the zoom creeps/slips. The only good remedy is to disassemble and replace the felt. I've done a couple of Nikkors and it is a tedious job. I don't know of any 'band-aid' fixes that are as satisfactory as replacing the felt band.
     
  4. FM2N

    FM2N Member

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    I use very thin black tape of the barrel of my 75-150 Nikon lens. It has been on there for the past year or so and has worked perfectly.
    Can post pic later if you want.
     
  5. Matthew Wagg

    Matthew Wagg Member

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    The fix for zoom creep that I use is cheap and easy and reverible. I use cheap chinese elastic 'hope' bracelets. Just wrap it around the lens and have enough on the inner part of the zoom to counter creep.
     
  6. beegee675

    beegee675 Member

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    Zoom creep "fact of life"...

    Yes the compressed felt sound about right, although maybe elekm's point of view could be that more or less motion is relative to the shooting style and subject with these older lenses. I've gone from using tele's on neck straps hanging down to cradleing them in the crook of an arm so I don't pull the camera up an dfind that the lens shade got bonked off somewhere... The rubber band/o-ring solutions seem to cover up the barrel markings somewhat. I guess you just get used to it and adapt...

    -BG
     
  7. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    Personally I do not see/understand the issue people have with "zoom creep."
    A push/pull or 1-touch zoom is designed to both focus and zoom with one hand. As Mike said, with a push/pull zoom, the zoom needs to be loose and smooth enough to easily zoom, so you can do both follow-focus and follow-zoom. Heavy drag on the push/pull zoom inhibits the ability to follow-zoom.
    Most all the push/pull zooms that I have handled are too TIGHT. And the tightness that some people seem to like would prevent me from doing follow-zoom. If you pointed the lens straight up and the zoom ring smoothly slid towards the back of the lens, that is how I like it. Unfortunately with the age of lenses, the grease inside is drying up and stiffening the zoom/focus ring.

    BTW, I had a quote of over $200 to CLA a Nikon 80-200/f4 zoom. So a CLA is an expensive solution to the dry grease problem. Most of the expense is in putting the zoom back together and recollimating the optics.

    Besides velvet is also used as a friction material.
     
  8. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Try using a creepy zoom ( :smile: ) on a tripod-mounted camera, aimed slightly down or up and you will quickly see the problem.

    If you always shoot hand-held, it's not an issue at all, but on a tripod it can be quite annoying.

    The rubber band solution works alright on a tripod, though, as long as you have a band of the appropriate size.
     
  9. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    My Tamron 100-300( Pentax fit) does this slowly but takes several minutes to zoom from 100 to 300 and only when I walk with it in the down position when hanging the strap on my shoulder. Not an issue in normal shooting position. It is annoying and extends the length of the lens enough to making carrying awkward but I cannot think of any easy way to prevent this and still retain the need to alter the zoom.

    I think more expensive zooms have a lock which can be engaged and then disengaged for zooming but

    it was a "extra" that the cheaper zooms didn't have.


    pentaxuser
     
  10. AgX

    AgX Member

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    What about adding damping grease?
     
  11. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    A medium zoom like the Nikon 80-200/4 (and others) do not have a tripod socket. They are hand held lens, they were NOT designed to be used on a tripod. To put any medium to long lens without a tripod socket onto a camera, you have to screw the camera into the tripod. The lens then becomes big lever, pulling down on the lens mount and the tripod socket, not good for the camera.

    None of the push/pull Nikkor zooms that I have seen and handled, had a zoom lock on the zoom/focus ring.
    Maybe some of the 3rd party lenses had suck a lock.

    You can add grease to dampen the zoom mecahnism, but the problem is getting to the zoom mechanism.
    I was quoted over $200 to CLA an 80-200/f4 Nikon zoom. Most of the cost was to reassemble and recollimate the optics.
    Maybe other zooms are easier to access the zoom mechanism.
     
  12. LiamG

    LiamG Member

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    Some Nikkors do have these locks, but they aren't common- off the top of my head, I think the 80-200 f/2.8 Ais and the 200-400 f/4 Ais had zoom/focus lock knobs; Nikon liked to put little focus "aids" on it's big lenses, like the 'focus memory' on most of the telephotos.
     
  13. mosport72

    mosport72 Member

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    Not sure about a push pull lens fix but I have a 18 - 200 3.5 -5.6 G kit lens that creeps if you look at it hard. This lens has a rotary zoom and I use one the wide Livestrong yellow bands around lens putting part on fixed part of lens and part on the part that turns. This allows the numbers to be seen and does not hinder the zoom. Any of these wrist bands will work and they are a cheep fix.
     
  14. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    Well I use clear sellotape as its not so obvious and keep adding till the zoom creep stops.
     
  15. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I saw the title and thought it was about paparazzi...
     
  16. beegee675

    beegee675 Member

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    There's some lenses that have "locks" sorta... I have an Oly 65-200 that has a macro twist+click in it's compressed state, which holds the lens together, and with some AFs the lens stays put. Still, the earlier optics are heavy and excessive looseness is just an age problem probably. I wonder if there's a marginally invasive method to "rejuvenize" the felt ring inside, like maybe carefully using something safe... like what fabric softener does to synthetics... assuming that the felt is synthetic. My understanding of lens components is that they are "dry" in their parts movements, and any lubricant is minimal in manufacturing, if at all.
     
  17. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    @beegee
    Some lenses have a fair amount of grease, some don't. An old trick is to use grease to "hide" wide tolerance.
    It is this grease that dries up over the years, and makes both the zoom and focus stiff on many older lenses.
    Putting any kind of liquid into a lens in an uncontrollable fashion is very risky. I don't know of any way to "rejuvinate" compressed/worn felt or velvet except to replace it. This is what I have to do with the negative carrier on my Durst L1000, where the velvet material has compressed flat.