So I just got my Nikon D5600 with Nikon 40mm F2.8G macro lens a few days ago.

This little lens here

The problem is, my focus ring seems quite stiff. When I first tested it out in the store, the staff told me that it's normal, and that prime lenses have stiff focus rings, and that it will be buttery smooth in a few days. That seems like crap to me (as I can operate the manual focus ring very easily on the kit lens with just my pinky), but I bought the lens anyway.

I read the following sentence in the review provided in the link above.

As for the focus ring (which operates very smoothly), it is conveniently located on the front of the barrel, making it easy to manually focus with a thumb and index fingers while shooting images or video.

Well, that doesn't apply to me. The focus ring on my unit is quite stiff, and I can't operate it with just my and index fingers. The feeling is pretty much the same whether I'm on M/A or M.

Did I get myself a lemon unit ? I really appreciate your feedbacks.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If the ring will not go easy in a few days (2 weeks), than return it. And if the seller don't want to take it back, call the cops or so, because it would be a scam ,if this point, that was explicit talked about, doesn't become better, even though it was saw to do so. (Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and all I wrote could be wrong or not apply in your region.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Horitsu
    Aug 13, 2018 at 5:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ In general nearly no part of photo equipment needs force to be operated. Yes, exceptions exist, like the sh***** hot shoe connection, that i need every time a sh****load of force to get my stuff on insert another swearword here. But zoom rings, focus rings (in free manual focus mode) and stuff like that should not be operated with force. If it needs force, than you do something wrong, it is broken or it is a sh*** hot shoe. \$\endgroup\$
    – Horitsu
    Aug 13, 2018 at 5:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ It sounds an awful lot like the lens has been jarred and that the internals (maybe something like locating pins in guide channels) have been bent out of shape slightly. If this is a new lens take it back to the shop. If it is a lens bought on ebay that the seller claimed was in working order, message the seller and see if it can be resolved. If not open a dispute. This is all assuming that the lens was packaged correctly and not damaged in transit, in which case, you need to return it and the seller needs to refund you and make their own claim against the carrier. Dont let the seller ... \$\endgroup\$ Aug 13, 2018 at 14:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ fob you off by trying to saying that you need to claim against the carrier, because the carrier's contract is with the seller not you. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 13, 2018 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


While I am not a Nikon user, I have used prime and zoom lenses made by other manufacturers. Some lenses do require a heavier touch, but the focus ring should still be operable with just thumb and index finger. There is no particular association with being a prime or zoom lens and having "stiff" control rings.

Since you tried the lens in-store, you should have been able to try different copies of the same and other lenses to verify what the salesperson told you. If the lens was previously owned, perhaps this is the reason the original owner no longer wants it. Consider listening to your Spidey sense in the future.

If function of focus ring does not appear to improve with heavy use over the next few days, I would return it, as Horitsu also suggests. Find a rally, festival, demonstration, or other event and take as many photos as you can. The lens itself is unlikely to change, but with increased familiarity, you will be better able to judge whether this quirk is acceptable to you.

Here are some factors that could affect lens operation. Many do not apply to your lens.

  • Broken? Is there any "grinding" while operating the lens? Do there appear to be any loose components within the lens? Do the AF motor and other lens features work as expected? Do other copies of the lens function similarly?

  • Needs to be cleaned, lubricated, and adjusted (CLA)? This should not be the case for a brand new lens.

  • Requires the AF motor to be disengaged? This does not appear to be the case with your lens.

  • Weather sealed? This does not appear to be the case with your lens.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks guys. So, I went to a Nikon Service Center to have it checked out. Turns out the display units behave the same too. Seems like this particular lens has a much stiffer focus ring compared to the rest of the lineups. They told me that if the issue is still persistent after 2 weeks, they will replace it for me at no cost. \$\endgroup\$
    – TK Cheah
    Aug 15, 2018 at 1:04

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