Fixing Lens Creep on Nikon 24-120mm f4 and 18-200mm VR lenses

by Klaus on April 14, 2011

in Photo Tips, Tricks & Techniques

What’s lens creep? Well, lens creep is basically what happens when your zoom lens is quite front-heavy so if you hold it down it might creep out (zoom) by itself, or if it’s already zoomed out and you hold it up, it might creep back down again.

If your lens is creeping in or out by itself when you’re just standing still and shooting somewhat up/down, then it’s quite bad. The lens is not broken, it’s probably just well used, so be proud that you have been shooting so much that your zoom lens started creeping ๐Ÿ™‚

The fix to avoid lens creep on your $1,200 Nikon 24-120mm f4 lens is….. drum roll please….ย  rubber band

Here’s how I fixed mine:

Lens creep fix - seen from above, not touching the zoom ring

Lens creep fix, seen from below where it touches the zoom ring

The goal is to overlap both the lens barrel and the zoom ring, that way the lens will not creep out as the zoom ring has “traction” with the rubber band and therefor the lens barrel.

The Nikon 18-200mm VR lens barrel is not as big as the 24-120mm f4 shown above, so on that one you should be fine with a standard rubber/silicone wrist band. Or if you can find a proper sized O-ring somewhere, that might do the trick also.

My fix, above ain’t pretty. I don’t use it every day, I only put it on when I know I’m going to be walking around with the camera and lens bouncing around on my side, cause that’s when my 24-120mm f4 lens has a tendency to creep out. You could also just ignore it if you want, but personally, I don’t like it.

Replacing the lens? Sending it in for repairs? It’s probably not going to help much. If they can/will repair it, you’re probably just postponing the problem a little bit.

A rubber band fix on a $1,200 lens? Yeah, I know, it’s terrible, but the good news is that it’s not brand-specific, so it can happen to a lot of lenses. The other good news is that lens creep on Nikon’s 24-120mm f4 is not that bad and it only happens when it’s bouncing around on my side, hanging down from the shoulder or a chest sling strap such as Luma Loop / Black Rapid. I’m probably one of the few 24-120mm f4 owners who is annoyed by whatever little lens creep this lens has ๐Ÿ™‚

Larry Becker from D-Town TV’s Cheap Shots also has a no-slip fix for the 18-200mm VR, which he just published on this blog. Check it out.

Comments & Leave a Comment

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob @ Atlanta Real Estate April 18, 2011 at 05:41

Ha ha, pretty sweet.

I can also use the same rubber band as my iPhone 4 bumper guard.

Dual purpose, baby!
Rob @ Atlanta Real Estate recently posted… Realtors- Leases and Reality

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Jim Bradley February 12, 2012 at 23:29

I solved my problem with a black rubber band. It sits flat, the color blends in and works well. After a lot of looking, I found them at grandbandrubberbands.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=G&Product_Code=RPL_BLK. Note that these come in packages of black or assorted colors.

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Ari Lee February 28, 2012 at 05:41

I love your article about using rubber bands to solve the annoying problem of zoom creep. We currently manufacture a silicone band, called Lens Band, that is available in a wide variety of fun colors, which is an attractive way to eliminate zoom creep. We would love to offer your staff some samples to try out, if you would be interested in giving us a review of our product?

Sincerely,

Ari Lee

Reply

Klaus March 1, 2012 at 10:19

Hi Ari Lee,

I’ll send you an e-mail, watch your Inbox ๐Ÿ™‚

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