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200-600; any way to lock at 600 mm?


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I recently got the 200-600 lens after owning the Sigma 150-600. With the latter, it's rather obvious when the lens is fully extended, but with internal focus lenses like the 200-600, it's more difficult to be sure one's at 600mm without looking at the lens itself. The zoom ring seems rather loose, and I've inadvertantly taken shots at lower magnification than I'd have liked.

Is there a way to lock the lens at 600 mm, which is how I use it much of the time? If not, are there any plans to show the focal length in the display/viewfinder?

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Alas times two:

 - actually because of the internal zoom design, this lens is totally unsusceptible to zoom creep. Therefore it doesn't need a zoom lock (except for your purpose)

 - focal length is only shown in the viewfinder with power zoom lenses. No clue why: mechanical zoom lenses also transmit focal length to the body (it's needed for proper IBIS and is also shown in the file info when reviewing photos).

I guess the easiest way to be sure you're at 600mm is to just feel the hard stop of the zoom ring before taking the shot.

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The fact that the zoom direction on Sigma lenses is opposite to Sony lenses is often a complaint about Sigma lenses rather than Sony lenses: would have made more sense of Sigma copied the default zoom direction of 1st party lenses. But I understand your struggle.

Theres pros and cons to the loose zoom ring I guess. Many reviewers love the fact that they can quickly zoom the 200-600 with just their finger tips, while simultaneously the lens shows zero zoom creem. Quite a feat by Sony engineers, but at the risk of accidentally changing the focal length. Would have been awesome if they'd included a dial for varying the stiffness of the zoom ring.

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The zoom rings -- and the focusing rings in manual-focusing mode -- on some lenses are pretty easy to unintentionally move, for sure.  They aren't really "loose", but they don't have much "friction" or "inertia".

And the "problem" with the Sigma lenses having rings going in the opposite direction to the Sony lenses goes WAY back -- even to the Minolta Rokkor days.  But it's not just Sigma.  On all of Minolta lenses, the focusing rings and the aperture rings turn in the same direction.  But I have several, very nice, third-party lenses where the focusing rings and/or the f-stop ring turn OPPOSITE to Rokkor lenses.  It's not a huge deal, but keeps surprising me when I use those lenses.  These lenses were made for various SLR cameras, and they decided to produce only one standard -- which turned out not to be Minolta.  But the lenses are still worth it.  My Sigma APO 300mm f4.5 is a good example.

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1 hour ago, XKAES said:

The zoom rings ... aren't really "loose", but they don't have much "friction" or "inertia".

I ment loose exactly in that sense: the Sony 200-600 has extremely little inertia when zooming, and not a lot of friction on the zoom ring either. While this may be a pro if you want to quickly zoom with just a flick of your fingertips, it also makes the lens prone to accidental changes of focal length.

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There's a part of me that wants to put a bit of (appropriate) tape on the lens to prevent the zoom ring from moving. Appropriate being one that doesn't leave residue. Of course, I prefer the idea of an adjustment for ring "stiffness." Likewise, I would love it if Sony considered showing the focal length on screen as an option.

And, of course, I think companies like Tamron and Sigma, who manufacture lenses for Sony should match the direction of zoom and focus. That said, I would imagine that Nikon, Canon, etc. might want a similar courtesy.

Thanks for the responses.

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8 hours ago, Austin Susan said:

There's a part of me that wants to put a bit of (appropriate) tape on the lens to prevent the zoom ring from moving. Appropriate being one that doesn't leave residue. Of course, I prefer the idea of an adjustment for ring "stiffness." Likewise, I would love it if Sony considered showing the focal length on screen as an option.

And, of course, I think companies like Tamron and Sigma, who manufacture lenses for Sony should match the direction of zoom and focus. That said, I would imagine that Nikon, Canon, etc. might want a similar courtesy.

Thanks for the responses.

If zoom creep is such a big issue for you, you should have bought a prime lens (if such a beast exist).  A prime lens would be faster, sharper and heck of lot more expensive than a zoom lens.  You can try a wide rubber band that you stretch out to fit the lens barrel, making sure half of the rubber is wrapped around the zoom ring and half on the barrel of the lens.  The trick is to find an appropriately sized rubber band to work with.

As for your last point, it ain't gonna happen.  Besides, you will know right away if you are turning the focus and zoom ring in the wrong direction

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sigma used to sell many of their lenses back in the 80s with the fact that their lenses went the way of the official Retailer (sigma synchro II), how things change.

I ordered a Sony 200-600 today, it will be here tomorrow, however, I watched a lot of Youtube videos all stating how easy it was to move the distance ring and how it could be seriously reduced by using a lens coat type affair and slightly covering over the movement ring. I ordered one of those today and it should be here by Wednesday, I'll let you know how it works.

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