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Pulling the lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by rosslaird, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. rosslaird

    rosslaird New to Mu-43

    8
    Dec 13, 2013
    This is about as basic a question as possible, but I'm new to this and there are lots of things I'm trying to figure out. So:

    On my GX1 I have a 14-42 lens. I can use the zoom wheel (or whatever it's called -- the bezel on the lens) to extend the lens, but I can also pull on the end of the lens, which is a bit faster if I want to zoom all the way in. But I suspect that pulling on the end of the lens is not necessarily the best way to zoom. It probably puts more torsional stress on the internal components of the lens.

    Or maybe pulling on the end of the lens is perfectly OK. I'm really not sure, and I don't want to damage the lens or shorten its life.

    Suggestions and feedback most welcome.
     
  2. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    NEVER pull on the end of a lens! You could brake it or at least cause it to fail or be misaligned. This is even more important if you have the power zoom lens{there are several 14-42mm lenses}. To zoom rotate the "zoom ring" on a regular zoom or use the "zoom rocker switch" on the power zoom lens.

    If you do have the power zoom and it is too slow for you then get a regular zoom, they zoom very quickly with a twist of the wrist.

    Back in the day they did make lenses that had push/pull controls that were combined with the focus ring but they were designed for it.
     
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  3. rosslaird

    rosslaird New to Mu-43

    8
    Dec 13, 2013
    Thanks. That is what I suspected.
    (I have the non-powered zoom lens.)
     
  4. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Definitely don't do it. That lens (and most others, except for a few old push/pull zooms and the current Canon 100-400) is designed to be zoomed in/out by turning the zoom ring. Pushing/pulling on the barrel could, I imagine, damage/strip the zoom gears at the very least.
     
  5. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    813
    Jan 9, 2011
    Canada
    Big no-no, just knowing this was done I would never want that lens, and I would hope if you ever attempt to sell you'd advise the buyer of such abuse. The stress put on the internals will undoubtedly be warped or out of alignment. Worse yet you may lose one end or both of the zoom range. I hope this hasn't and doesn't happen,but certainly wouldn't be surprised if that lens fails in some way.
    I may be wrong, but even the instructions that come with most (micro4/3) camera state you turn the dial to adjust focal length or use the power zoom option, and I'm sure they don't suggest or instruct you to pull /push the lens.
    Hopefully, you don't have any issues...
     
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  6. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    Steven
    A lens is designed to extend and retract by using the zoom ring, so it's definitely not wise to pull the lens from the end.
     
  7. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If you are talking about a powered zoom, then don't do it, and if you are talking about external focussing lens, again don't do it, but if you refer to a mechanical zoom (like that of the Olympus 75-300 lens) then it is something not normally done but it is only mechanical & I push mine in without any problems. But... I am talking about mechanical zoom only. If you were adapting the 4/3's Olympus ZD70-300 lens, then the motor drive will fail eventually because that one is external focussing (& zooming) & the focus motor drive can be strained & damaged. If in doubt (about the lens), then don't pull it out (or push it in).
     
  8. rosslaird

    rosslaird New to Mu-43

    8
    Dec 13, 2013
    It's interesting that Panasonic does not provide any cautions, in the basic or advanced user guides, about this potential issue. The advanced user guide cautions against pushing a power zoom in (and only in, but not out), but says nothing about pushing or pulling a manual zoom in or out. My lens is manually operated (it is the H-FS014042), and for some people -- those who are used to zooming devices which are operated by pulling and pushing on the barrell -- this action of pushing and pulling is the instinctive choice. So, for me, not being a photographer and learning to use my camera for the first time, pushing and pulling the lens was the first thing I tried. The basic manual does not say to do otherwise. In fact, it does not mention the method of zooming at all but rather just shows the zoom ring in the parts diagram. No mention is made, in the basic manual, of how to zoom, and if one is not already familiar with the correct method, it's very easy to assume that pushing and pulling is perfectly OK. Even the advanced user guide, which is quite extensive at 224 pages long (and which does not come with the camera), and which does indicate that the zoom ring is used, does not caution against pushing and pulling.

    Maybe, if the lens if bought separately (mine came with my camera), there is a separate user guide for the lens which notes the correct method. But if one purchases a GX1 with the lens included, there is no way to know (other than prior experience) that pushing and pulling are not recommended. Maybe Panasonic should add this to the manual. Perhaps, in a forum such as this where people have extensive experience with these kinds of tools, the correct method is widely known. But if it's possible (and it sounds, from the general feedback, that it may be) for someone who has no experience with these kinds of tools to seriously and permanently damage the lens by pushing and pulling, even once (which is how many times I did it), then surely the manufacturer should mention this. (I suppose it's also possible that the manufacturer does not see this as a huge issue, and that's why they don't mention it.)

    On the up side, I have taken a few hundred shots with this lens since manually operating the zoom by pulling, and the lens seems to be working fine (so far).
     
  9. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I'm actually not at all convinced that this practice will damage the lens. Nor am I saying it's OK to do so. But as ross points out, I don't believe I've ever seen a manufacturer warn about the practice. And the same parts are moving, with the forces acting on the same loaded surfaces, when you push the barrel to zoom out as when you rotate the ring to zoom in (and vice versa).

    Certainly slamming the lens to the end of its range is a bad idea. And since we all know that zooming via the ring is fine, that's what I would recommend. But I'd like to see some evidence of harm before categorically stating it will ruin your lens.
     
  10. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    There are no zoom gears inside a non-power zoom mechanism. There is a sleeve in the lens with slots cut in it that act as a cam to control the position of the elements that move when the lens is zoomed. Turning the zoom ring rotates the sleeve, which pushes the elements and inner barrel in and out. Any number of lenses have so little internal friction that pointing the lens up or down causes the lens to zoom due to gravity.
    Pushing or pulling on the inner barrel of a lens with tighter fitting parts will cause additional stress on the internal rollers (that run in the slots) if you try to zoom the lens faster then it would move by rotating the zoom ring.
     
  11. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Ross, I gather you are a beginner, but maybe a bit harsh on Panasonic. I guess they could have thrown the lens operating instructions in the box with the camera, but these days some companies don't even put a paper manual for the camera in the box. You have to look online. The lens user manual is here: http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/HFS014042.PDF

    It says: "Rotate the zoom ring when you wish to take large (tele) or wide (wide angle) pictures." So please do that.
     
  12. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    Rotating the ring on a manual zoon lens will push lugs along the spiral track in order to convert the movement into a "slide movement". There is friction involved. The track/s are lubricated on both sides for both direction zooming. Pushing or pulling the barrel will cause more, less or the same friction depending on the angle of the tracks. The tracks may actually be curved (when unrolled) thus the angle will change depending on how far you are along. So on some lenses, pulling the barrel will do no harm at all.
     
  13. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    Rotating the ring on a manual zoon lens will push lugs along the spiral track in order to convert the movement into a "slide movement". There is friction involved. The track/s are lubricated on both sides for both direction zooming. Pushing or pulling the barrel will cause more, less or the same friction depending on the angle of the tracks. The tracks may actually be curved (when unrolled) thus the angle will change depending on how far you are along. So on some lenses, gentle pulling of the barrel will do no harm at all. Provided the force is equal and not lop-sided.
     
  14. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Beginner? :confused: "but maybe a bit harsh on Panasonic" Sorry, I'm not sure why you think that. I was generalising on all possible lenses & it looks like this Panasonic lens probably wouldn't have a problem if pulled or pushed as it would be internal focussing with mechanical zooming. If a zoom lens has a fine zoom action requiring a fair amount of turn (of the ring), then pushing & pulling the barrel may cause more force on the spiral assembly than using the ring, but if the rotation of the zoom ring is small for the zoom range then it may be possible there is less strain on the mechanism by pushing & pulling the barrel, but that may be unlikely. Again, if in doubt, do as recommended in the User Manual.

    Any lens that uses external focussing & especially when it rotates (like the Olympus ZD70-300mm 4/3's lens) & is in combination with a mechanical zoom should always be treated carefully because the focus motor is at risk of damage if moved physically.
     
  15. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Dear Mr Fiddler, I was responding to the OP, rosslaird, post #8, the most recent 'Ross' post before my post #11. Apologies for the confusion and of course apologies for any perceived offense arising therefrom.

    :th_salute:
     
  16. rosslaird

    rosslaird New to Mu-43

    8
    Dec 13, 2013
    I think there's a small source of confusion here, as there are two people named Ross in this conversation: the original poster (me, Ross), and Ross the fiddler . I think T N Args comment is actually directed toward me, for what I said about Panasonic not giving any cautions in the manual about manually pushing or pulling the lens. But actually, my comment was not intended as a criticism of Panasonic but rather was a speculation that maybe Panasonic does not consider this to be such a huge deal. I was just wondering that maybe, if pushing or pulling the lens was a show-stopper for the lens, Panasonic would have mentioned it in the manual, and I was puzzled that they did not. But overall it is an excellent manual.

    Update: TN Args, you and I posted at almost exactly the same time. Thanks for clarifying.
     
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  17. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Whoops! I should have stopped to think I wasn't the only Ross here with the other being a Laird & I a humble fiddler. :wink: No need to apologise & no offence taken, it should be me for not paying more attention to the whole thread. :rolleyes:

    Anyhow. Havagoodwun. :drinks:
     
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  18. rosslaird

    rosslaird New to Mu-43

    8
    Dec 13, 2013
    That's pretty funny about the Laird. It's been a while (like, 250 years) since my family owned ancestral Scottish lands...
     
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  19. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Ye may be a grain laird, bot still a wee laddie a'neath th' covers. :rolleyes:
     
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  20. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Hmm, this is an odd conversation. Definitely getting both ends of the spectrum. My personal belief is that, since the zoom ring was designed to move the lens in or out, it is engineered to best transfer the friction you are creating with your fingers into moving the lens. Lens designers make the ring easy to turn, and dampen the friction so that it feels smooth.

    Because you are using minimum effort to move the other element smoothly and easily, it follows that if you instead manipulate that element, it will be harder and require more effort to feed friction and create motion in the first element. Sort if a backwards transfer of energy, which is causing the opposite effect as the zoom ring. Harder, not easier. Since most consumer grade lenses are mostly plastic, I definitely wouldn't put that kind of strain on grooves or gears that are probably engineered for light weight rather than strength.