My new Canon EF 75-300mm telephoto lens and the zoom ring is quite stiff. Is the lens faulty or is there a way to loosen it up?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you sure you're not turning the focus ring when it's set to autofocus? \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Mar 27, 2013 at 13:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this the focus ring or the zoom ring? If it's the focus ring, check that the autofocus switch is in the "OFF" position, otherwise, you could damage the lens. If it's the zoom ring, personally, I'd live with it; I'd rather have a tight zoom ring than a loose one. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 27, 2013 at 13:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ i is the zoom lens that is stiff the focis lens i fine at the minute the soom still turns but with abit or force :/ \$\endgroup\$
    – Nathan268
    Mar 27, 2013 at 13:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Since it is new, I think it would be a mistake to attempt a repair yourself. Contact your dealer and exchange it for a different copy instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Mar 27, 2013 at 14:16

3 Answers 3


I had similar sounding problem with an ef 75-300 I bought about a year ago, It felt almost as if the outer casing of the barrel was rubbing or catching in places against the inner making the movement feel a bit jerky!
over time however using the zoom ring seems to have become a more fluent action, the front focusing ring is soft and smooth but it always was so, I suggest if the lens is still covered by warranty that you contact your supplier and discuss your concerns! regards M


Background: This might seem more a non-answer, but I am recounting from personal experience. Faced with a fogged lens due to continued shooting in extremely muggy Florida weather in summer, I took it upon myself that as a mechanical engineer, I could fix anything, especially as I was quite impatient.

I disassembled the lens and could never put it back. Relenting to buy a new lens at Naples I was told by the store people very clearly that LASER is used to assemble lenses, so they told me never to try that again!

After a while I looked and the damaged lens's fogging had gone away by itself. Patience would have been the best fix in that case.

Pay attention to what "mattdm" has suggested and simply call the store/dealer that sold you the lens, find out if you have warranty and try to get it fixed.

Another reason why you may want to stay away from fixing things yourself is, there wasn't a particular incident that caused your lens ring to tighten, so it might be a manufacturing defect from the get go.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Using a "LASER" to assemble a lens makes no sense. The only place lasers are commonly used in assembly is for marking parts, and microscopic stuff (well, a laser could have uses in checking the lens element's alignment). I'm pretty sure that the people at your camera store were making stuff up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fake Name
    Apr 3, 2013 at 6:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe they were trying to get the point across. I tried putting the lens back together and could not do it. By the way, there is a LOT that goes on in the assembly: tamron-usa.com/lenses/learning_center/… \$\endgroup\$ Apr 7, 2013 at 3:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SrihariYamanoor: laser is used at the very end, to validated the lenses' alignments. Assembly is done entirely by hand, and many checks are manual. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2013 at 9:06

I recently had the same problem, as the lens was stiff and felt like it was scratching. I took it back to the store where it was purchased (Currys) and they immediately sent it off to Canon to be repaired. Apparently it is an easy fix, but I didn't want to try myself in case it invalidated my warranty or screwed up the lens.


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