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How to Fix Loose Rubber on Lens

Bret Leon Avatar
Bret Leon
19 January, 2023 • Updated 14 days ago
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DSLR camera with lens, focus on Rubber
Photographers and videographers alike often encounter the vexing issue of loose lens grip rubbers. It’s simple to get caught up in the finer details of your digital camera, such as the expensive lens elements, sensitive lens coatings, and the complex sensor, and overlook the obvious. However, if the little circular grip rubbers on your focus or zoom rings become loose, it can lead to several issues.

One major drawback is that it weakens your hold on the lens. To make up for that, you’ll usually wind up squeezing the barrel more tightly, which can lead to a slip or drop at a bad time. In addition, it can make it much more challenging to perform a smooth zooming or focusing motion, increasing the likelihood that you’ll miss that all-important shot.

If you want to read how to fix a jammed camera lens, check out this guide.

If you are a professional photographer, you should fix a loose lens grip rubber as quickly as possible. Below I’ve covered some simple solutions to this common issue.

Replace the Lens Grip Rubbers

Camera Lens Rubber

When I got my first DSLR, I had no idea what lenses I needed. So, I just bought whatever came up in the shop. I didn’t know much about photography, so I thought it was fine. But over time, I noticed that some lenses seemed to work better than others. And some lenses were easier to use than others.

I’ve since learned a lot about lenses and camera settings, and I now understand why certain lenses perform better than others. This knowledge helped me to make sense of what happened to my old lenses. Some lenses stopped focusing properly, while others kept losing sharpness. I even found a lens that wouldn’t autofocus anymore.

So, I went looking for help. After doing some research, I discovered that replacing the lens grip rubber could solve most problems. Several companies sell replacement bands for different brands of lenses. They offer both standard and custom options, so you can choose the exact type of rubber you want.

One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to replace either the focus ring or the zoom ring’s rubber, so you’ll want to know which one needs replacing. It’s shocking how often the wrong item is ordered. You can email a picture of your lens to your preferred dealer if you have any doubts.

The replacement lens ring is easy to find and install by yourself. Lay out the lens on a suitable surface (a clean, standard desk would do) and get to work. If the lens ring isn’t completely detached, you should work to remove the slack.

The process of installing the new lens grip ring is simple and requires no adhesive. If the rubber is properly positioned, everything should fit together and remain put. The only rule is that the surface of the lens must be clean and free of any dust or dirt that could get in the way of the grip rubber holding the lens in place. Just a quick wipe with some methylated spirits should do the trick.

At this point, you can begin applying the new grip rubber to the lens, taking care to fit it precisely into the groove. After you’ve replaced the rubber, you should turn it over to make sure it’s turning freely and that the rubber isn’t separating from the lens in any way. When you’ve finished this, you’re ready to go.

Do It Yourself

camera lens on yellow background

A loose lens is dangerous and very annoying. The good news is, a loose lens rubber is easy to fix yourself. There’s no reason to ship the product in for servicing when you can do it in less than five minutes. Here’s how to go about it:

Step One

Find the zoom ring where the rubber is located. You have to squeeze the rubber to lift it and then simply cut through any section of the band.

Step Two

You now have a flat, two-sided slab of rubber. You can now accurately gauge the length of rubber required to go around the ring and the amount of rubber that must be trimmed away by measuring the flat rubber strip. During the measuring process, stretch the rubber as much as possible so that it fits snugly around the zoom ring.

camera lenses

Step Three

After you’ve removed any excess rubber, use a strong adhesive to glue one side of the rubber back to the lens in exactly the same spot as before.

Step Four

After gluing one side of the rubber around the zoom ring, you’ll need to do the same with the opposite side. Once more, stretch the rubber and set it where it belongs.

Step Five

Finally, super glue to secure the rubber’s ends in place, then press carefully to set it in its intended spot. After you’ve completed this simple procedure, you’ll notice that the rubber is now securely attached to the zoom ring and the lens is functioning normally.

Temporary Quick Fixes

To maintain the rubber on the lens barrel, some people advise using a small amount of adhesive or a double-sided tab. Others will go so far as to recommend using a hair dryer or similar gadget to heat the lens in order to shrink the rubber a little. The use of a rubber band to secure the ring and make it more manageable can also be a quick and easy fix.

All of these have merit as possible solutions. However, these methods are usually only band-aids, delaying the inevitable until the lens grip rubber can be replaced.

Conclusion

Once one of the above methods is applied, you should have a secure camera lens rubber and be ready to go out in the field.

If you still have time left on your warranty, you can always contact customer service, but if you want to save yourself time and frustration, we suggest using the solutions above.

Bret Leon Avatar
Written by
Bret Leon
Bret Leon is a photography enthusiast who indulges in all matters cameras, lenses, gears, themes, editing, trends, and the latest product releases. If he's not trying to freeze time by capturing moments during his grand ventures, you can bet he's looking for the next big content idea.
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