After a fall, our Nikon Af-S 24-70mm 2.8G ED zoom ring got quite tight. It's specially hard to rotate it between 50 and 70mm. We can't send it to repair service, as we need it daily and have no replacement for it. Is there any way to safely soften it by ourselves?

  • You say you can't send it in for service, but you can if you rent a replacement while yours is being repaired. Have you investigated that option?
    – scottbb
    Jun 27, 2019 at 15:34
  • @scottbb Thanks, it's a good lateral solution, but not possible for us, our agency can't pay for it, because of long to explain bureaucratical reasons.
    – Lisan
    Jun 27, 2019 at 15:52
  • Sell the lens (with a note that the zoom ring is tight, at a reduced price taking into account this defect), and purchase a new / second-hand lens to replace it? I mean, given an efficient market, this would probably cost you about the same as servicing the lens would cost, and you have zero downtime. Ok, it may cost in some cases bit more than servicing, especially if you purchase a new lens, but then you get a lens that will serve you for many years. Seriously, why bother with DIY repair if zero downtime is important?
    – juhist
    Jun 27, 2019 at 16:43
  • @Lisan Underestood, I’ve been there, where the solution is relatively simple, but the bureaucracy works very hard to make it complicated. Especially when the bureaucracy does it in the name of “cost savings” and “fiscal responsibility”. They are content to spend a pound to save a penny, usually. =)
    – scottbb
    Jun 27, 2019 at 17:09
  • @juhist We work at a State Agency, which owns the equipment. Due to legal issues, we can neither rent gear nor sell ours. We can only buy new cameras and lenses at official stores, and have to wait months of administrative formalities to have the new equipment in our hands.
    – Lisan
    Jun 27, 2019 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


After a fall, our Nikon Af-S 24-70mm 2.8G ED zoom ring got quite tight... Is there any way to safely soften it by ourselves?

No. The nested tubes are likely misaligned or bent. The lens would likely need to be disassembled to check and fix it. This cannot be done without some risk of ending up with a fully disfunctional lens.

With continued use, it's possible that the ring function will improve, but it may also worsen.

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