My Sony SAL18250 camera lens recently developed a loose rubber zoom ring. Over time the rubber of the ring lost its elasticity and the rubber did not grip the lens body anymore. As a result the zoom of the lens was not able to be adjusted accurately.
I tried finding a new ring to fix the issue but the lens is already quite old, and because of that I was not able to find a replacement that the right size. For a while I toyed with the idea of 3D printing a replacement out of rubber filament. After some additional thinking I came up with a simpler solution: adhesive-backed anti-slip tape.
Anti-slip tape is the type of tape that is used on stairs, ramps or other surfaces that can get slippery when they should not be. The tape has a textured surface that increases grip and an adhesive backing that is used to stick the tape to the surface.
The properties of the tape also make it well suited to replace the loose zoom ring. The grippy surface allows the ring to be rotated with high precision and the adhesive backing sticks the tape to the lens body. I bought a good quality anti-slip tape that has a width slightly narrower (25 mm) than the width of the rubber zoom ring (29 mm).
So that you can repair the loose zoom ring on your lens I have described how to do this below, as well as the materials and tools that are required.
The anti-slip tape works well as replacement for the rubber zoom ring. It seems to give finer control over the zoom of the lens than that the original rubber ring did. This is probably due to the lack of elasticity in the anti-slip tape. A concern I had beforehand was that the tape would be hard on the hands or fingers. This is not the case at all.
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