I own a Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens. The other day I was trying to take a photo with the camera pointed directly towards the ground and mounted on a tripod. When I let go of the lens after adjusting the zoom, it would fully extend on its own due to gravity.

I am not certain if it has just now started doing this or if it has always done it and I haven't noticed because I am normally holding the lens while shooting. Is this normal behavior for this lens? If not is there an adjustment I can make to eliminate this behavior?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, they all do that - more as they get worn-in. Many have a lock at minimum zoom for when you're just carrying it, but no good in use, of course. There's a nice trick at photo.stackexchange.com/questions/103886/… for a focussing ring; might be adaptable to this too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 7, 2019 at 16:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ & I just realised the question is on focusing, the answer already relates to the zoom ring... \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 7, 2019 at 16:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also related: Possible to lock focal length on zoom lens? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jan 7, 2019 at 22:30

1 Answer 1


This behaviour is a common enough design defect to have earned its own term: "zoom creep" (this doesn't refer to a long lens user with a dubious concept of privacy and boundaries ;) ).

A related defect is sometimes found in autofocus lenses that also offer mechanically coupled manual focus - here, the same effect also applies to focus when the lens is pointed up or down (though it self mitigates, given that you are likely to want infinity focus pointing up and macro focus pointing down ;) ). This can be especially bad with AF lenses adapted with passive adapters to be used as manual focus lenses on other camera systems, since any countermeasures by the camera will be absent.

A common stopgap measure is to put rubber bands, hairbands, armbands, electrical tape etc. on the barrel to stop it from travelling beyond a set point.


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