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  1. #1

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    Tele zoom creep...

    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. #2

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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. #3

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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.
    -Fred

  4. #4

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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. #5
    Matthew Wagg's Avatar
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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. #6

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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. #7

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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. #8
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ac12 View Post
    Personally I do not see/understand the issue people have with "zoom creep."
    Try using a creepy zoom ( ) 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.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  9. #9

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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. #10
    AgX
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    What about adding damping grease?

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