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07-05-2021, 07:13 AM   #1
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Rubber/Silicone Bands for Zoom/Focus creep

Has anyone experienced any ill effects from using plain office-type rubber bands to prevent ring creep vs. silicone bands? Maybe residue, paint/marking being pulled off the lens, etc? My experience with an actual Lensband product is that it's far too tight on even a modest sized lens, so I don't use those. Some wristbands are slightly better, but vary widely. So I'm tempted to just use office-type bands. I have a few 1/2"x3.5in, but even they're tighter than required, so mostly I use 1/4"x3.5in. At least for my lenses it seems like they just need a little help to keep from creeping, not a heavy clamping force. For focus rings especially it seems a little concerning to have a beefy band on when you accidentally enable AF by mistake (assuming AF is mechanically coupled to the MF ring on the lens.) Any better ideas for gentle clamping?

07-05-2021, 07:22 AM   #2
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Regular wide rubber bands work fine, they just don't last long. I've had a LensBand on my 18-250 for like 10 years, still good as new, works great. (It is on slanted half-on, half-off the zoom ring so it holds it but doesn't impede it.) Never had another lens that needed it, but yeah keep any band away from the focus rotating part of the lens.
07-05-2021, 07:44 AM   #3
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Use Lensbands on several lenses. They should be adjusted to cover only a tiny part of the zoom ring and you can vary the resistance almost infinitely. Very happy with the bands for zoom creep.
07-05-2021, 08:29 AM   #4
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It shouldn't be a problem. The sort of translucent rubber bands might get sticky but it takes years before that happens. Don't seem to see these any more.

07-05-2021, 08:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
It shouldn't be a problem. The sort of translucent rubber bands might get sticky but it takes years before that happens. Don't seem to see these any more.
Modern rubber bands turn brittle and crack/break pretty quick.
07-05-2021, 08:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Modern rubber bands turn brittle and crack/break pretty quick.
They definitely do deteriorate, seemingly especially when exposed to the environment, but on the other hand they only cost a couple of cents each.
07-05-2021, 09:08 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
They definitely do deteriorate, seemingly especially when exposed to the environment, but on the other hand they only cost a couple of cents each.
Yep, pretty much sums it up. Don't store anything long-term with a rubber band on it or you might end up with "rubber dust" on everything.

07-05-2021, 09:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax Syntax Quote
Use Lensbands on several lenses. They should be adjusted to cover only a tiny part of the zoom ring and you can vary the resistance almost infinitely. Very happy with the bands for zoom creep.
I have one Lensband and use it on a zoom ring as you mentioned - just leave it in place, just touching the ring. However when positioned for just barely engaging a ring, the extra width vs. the 1/4" rubber bands interferes with side-mounted switches on some lenses. The most common problem I have is with a focus ring, and l don't think I should leave that one permanently engaged.

---------- Post added 07-05-2021 at 09:47 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Yep, pretty much sums it up. Don't store anything long-term with a rubber band on it or you might end up with "rubber dust" on everything.
Ideally it would be nice to find a pack of assorted-size Lensband-like silicone bands that would be more durable/consistent over time (and hopefully cost much less per-unit than a Lensband), but I haven't found a product like that.
07-05-2021, 02:30 PM   #9
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What about rubber bands for textiles made of fabric rubber? Available in different widths and all you have to do is cut it to length and sew the ends together. You can tailor it precisely to the lens (circumference and tightness)
07-05-2021, 04:04 PM   #10
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you can ask at a bike store if they have any inner tubes they are discarding, then cut a rubber band from it. Maybe a wider tire size. Google
"ranger bands" to find out more.
07-05-2021, 05:35 PM   #11
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Wide rubber bands work. They just don't last very long.
07-05-2021, 09:34 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Inner tube is a great idea. Get one for mountain bikes; it has a large diameter. I have one on a Maglite for 30 years and it is still intact.
07-08-2021, 01:25 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Regular wide rubber bands work fine, they just don't last long. I've had a LensBand on my 18-250 for like 10 years, still good as new, works great. (It is on slanted half-on, half-off the zoom ring so it holds it but doesn't impede it.) Never had another lens that needed it, but yeah keep any band away from the focus rotating part of the lens.
This^^^^^^^. I've had one of the silicone 'Livestrong'-type wristbands on my DA18-250 for well over a dozen years. Placed at an angle, with half of the band on each side of where the barrel splits when zooming, it continues to work great after endless uses.
07-08-2021, 09:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
you can ask at a bike store if they have any inner tubes they are discarding, then cut a rubber band from it. Maybe a wider tire size. Google
"ranger bands" to find out more.
I had never heard of ranger bands - I might try some, thanks for that suggestion.

As I said the limitations I've run into are:

1. using the band on the focusing ring but forgetting to remove the band 99% of the time, at least on lenses where the focus motor drives the MF ring. So far the focusing motors have always been strong enough to overcome the bands but it's probably not helping the motors or drive components to do that extra work. Unlike with a manual zoom ring I'm not sure it's the best idea for durability to simply leave the bands partly engaged all the time.

2. wider bands interfering with switches on the side of the barrels.
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