When I first got the Tamron 18-270mm PZD, I noted that the lens barrel was not quite firm enough to prevent the lens from telescoping or retracting under its own weight. Hardly surprising when you consider that there are 18 bits of glass shoe-horned into that tiny body. This isn’t a problem when you’re holding on to the camera: there are very few SLR users out there who will take a photograph without supporting their lens. But what about those times when you aren’t holding on to the barrel?
Tamron themselves approached this problem at the design stage, building in a little lock switch for the 18mm position to keep the lens closed when not in use. This prevents damage to the lens, and hasn’t required excessive engineering – which would obviously affect the price point somewhat. This is very handy, particularly when walking around with the camera on your shoulder or around your neck. However, I tried to shoot a self -portrait for the 365 project a while ago, and then the zoom creep started to affect what I had in mind for the shoot. My options were to shoot at 18mm, and crop away the bits I didn’t want, or shoot at 270mm. I couldn’t move the camera far enough away for that to be an option.
There is only a slight increase in friction required to prevent this, and thanks to a happy coincidence, there’s an easy solution. The 18-270 PZD is only slightly wider than most of the silicone wristbands that you often find in charity shops. They provide just the right amount of grab around the barrel to freeze it in its tracks, without being overly sticky (like the elastic bands I first tried). They’re durable, and since they come in lots of colours you can either personalise your camera, or just go with the camera manufacturer’s colours like I did. So for an extra quid, you can add functionality to your lens and support a charity of your choice. Well worth it I think.