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Accidental Lens Release

michaelgirman
Contributor

 

  My 24-105L just fell off my 5D mkIII and rolled into the Seine.  The lens release button is way too sensitive and it is so easy to accidentally unlock without realizing it.  I went to twist the zoom ring and the lens rotated and dropped off.  Blogs are full of compaints of this occurance on mkii's.  

  This is definitely a design flaw.  It's not user error.  The button should be relocated or made to require more force to release  or have a detent position.  

  It's a shame that you have to gaffer tape a $2300 lens to a $2000 camera.  Be forewarned.  

 

 

184 REPLIES 184

I must really agree that the lens release button is TOO EASY TO DEPRESS.

 

Just days ago, I had a close one with my 70-200 on my 5d3. I was using black rapid mounted to the 5d3. I have a habit of keeping my hands on my lens/body while walking. And this time, while walking, I felt that my lens was loose and to my horror, the lens actually turned and the lens got released. 

 

Thank god I was holding on to the lens or else it will be smashing straight down into the concrete.

 

And it NEVER happened on my 500D.

I just had a second experience with the lens falling off from my Canon 5DM3. I agree with other comments on this forum, that the lens release button spring is too light and too easily depressed that may cause a situation waiting to happen.

 

First of all, let me say, thanks to all for contributing to this issue! It's for certain, as a professional, an embarrasing and costly experience to have a lens fall off your camera! ,,,and to say the least, without explitives!

 

I've come to realize how it could have happen. Here's my take on it. I hold the camera body with my right had and control the lens with my left. So happens the large and ultra (subjective) sensitive lens release button is in the pathway of my thumb on my left had when rotating the lens for adjustments. When rotating the lens, you can easily depress the button to unlock the lens.

That's what I have discovered. You can easily try it and see what can happen if your thumb is low to the body and riding on the release button.

 

I'm going to call the Canon Service Center to see if a stronger spring can be installed. Surely, they must be able to do this!

I know there are springs in various spring (pound) weights being manufactured. If Canon can't do it, I need to find a suitable spring and have it installed by someone who can. Cheaper than loosing a lens!


@suemoto wrote:

I just had a second experience with the lens falling off from my Canon 5DM3. I agree with other comments on this forum, that the lens release button spring is too light and too easily depressed that may cause a situation waiting to happen.

 

First of all, let me say, thanks to all for contributing to this issue! It's for certain, as a professional, an embarrasing and costly experience to have a lens fall off your camera! ,,,and to say the least, without explitives!

 

I've come to realize how it could have happen. Here's my take on it. I hold the camera body with my right had and control the lens with my left. So happens the large and ultra (subjective) sensitive lens release button is in the pathway of my thumb on my left had when rotating the lens for adjustments. When rotating the lens, you can easily depress the button to unlock the lens.

That's what I have discovered. You can easily try it and see what can happen if your thumb is low to the body and riding on the release button.

 

I'm going to call the Canon Service Center to see if a stronger spring can be installed. Surely, they must be able to do this!

I know there are springs in various spring (pound) weights being manufactured. If Canon can't do it, I need to find a suitable spring and have it installed by someone who can. Cheaper than loosing a lens!


Reading that, I wondered if it could happen to me, so I got out my 5D3 and checked. What I found was that when I grab the zoom ring on my 24-105, my fingers are above the lens and my thumb is below it. Holding it that way, my thumb isn't close to the button. When I tried holding it the other way (fingers on the right of the lens, thumb on the left), it was. Maybe the solution is to change the way you hold the lens.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Thanks Bob, Yes, you're correct in suggesting changing hand position away from the button would eliminate the posssibility of a accidentally touching it. We well all need to be careful about hand position on the lens. But it troubles me to have to think about it.

 

I always hate to have these sorts of posts because the blame is solidly on the person using the camera and not on the camera nor on it's designers.  This is one of those "Hey!  You're doing it wrong, dummy!" conversations.  

 

If you are "accidentally" detaching your lens, it's because you are holding the camera incorrectly.  But there's good news and BETTER news if you suffer from this issue.  

 

(1) The good news is there is a way to hold the camera such that this accidental lens release could not possibly happen to you.

 

(2) The BETTER news is that once you learn how to hold the camera, not only will you never need to worry about the lens falling off... you'll ALSO probably notice an improvement in your ability to shoot steady shots at slowerly shutter speeds and improve your photography.

 

For good solid holding posture, hold the left hand palm-up.  If using a short lens, rest the bottom of the camera body in the palm of your left hand.  If using a longer lens, you may need to support the UNDERSIDE of the lens with your left hand.  Always and "underhand" grip on your left hand -- not an overhand grip (that doesn't "support" the camera for a nice solid, steady shot... that adds weight and makes it less stable.)

 

But if the camera is held with good technique, no fingers or thumbs are anywhere near the lens release button.

 

Here are a few videos:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Bn8jqUWNwo

Or:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I6RJthJLws

Or:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDsx3-FWfwk  (jump forward to around the 6 minute mark to get the point where he talks about "overhand" vs "underhand" grip).

 

It's EVEN mentioned in your 5D III instruction manual... see page 43!  

 

Develop good camera-holding habbits and you'll never have a lens "accidentally" fall off... and you'll probably start getting sharper photos when forced to shoot at lower shutter speeds.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

"Develop good camera-holding habbits and you'll never have a lens "accidentally" fall off... and you'll probably start getting sharper photos when forced to shoot at lower shutter speeds."

 

Oh please!

 

Go back and read my post Tim - because, clearly, you didn't.

 

This thread is about an over sized and too easily accessed and activated lens release release mechanism.

 

It's very easy to accidentally release the lens, and this is NOT a good thing. If Canon are made aware of this, they MIGHT do something about it when they develop the next body.

 

In my case, the button was not depressed by me 'holding it wrong' (LOL) but whilst the camera was attached to my Black Rapid and just hanging against my body.

 

Now, you can say I'm not carrying my camera properly if you want, but, given that others have had similar experiences, whilst others have had this issue due to 'awkward handedness', then I maintain it's a design issue.

 

A lens release mechanism should, by design, only be able to be activate due to very specific actions - not accidentally!

 

I doubt there'd be too many in the field of ergonomics that would agree that the design is fine and blame the user for 'not holding it right' or 'not carrying it right'. And you're attempt to imply that there isn't an issue does not help at all.


@schmegg wrote:

"Develop good camera-holding habbits and you'll never have a lens "accidentally" fall off... and you'll probably start getting sharper photos when forced to shoot at lower shutter speeds."

 

Oh please!

 

Go back and read my post Tim - because, clearly, you didn't.

 

This thread is about an over sized and too easily accessed and activated lens release release mechanism.

 

It's very easy to accidentally release the lens, and this is NOT a good thing. If Canon are made aware of this, they MIGHT do something about it when they develop the next body.

 


It's not oversized (try using these buttons while wearing gloves in the winter sometime... you'll be lobbying that Canon should make EVERY button bigger.).  It takes a bit pressure to push that button -- it's not a weak spring.   Also it's in a position where your fingers should never be.  It's easily accessed only when you want to access it.  It's not even remotely close to anything else you should be pressing with your finger (it's not like you could intend to press one button, but press the lens release button by mistake.)  I *also* own and use a Black Rapid strap.  I'm not sure if you wear anything else on the side of your body where the camera rests (I do not.  The camera is resting against my hip -- so there's really nothing that could push the button.)

 

I can't know what ultimately allowed your lens to be released uninentionally (and in your post, you make it clear that you don't know how it happened either.)  But if we consider where the button it is located... it's it's in a "corner" where the body and lens meet.  If the camera is resting at your hip, then the side of the body is bumping your hip and the lens is bumping your hip, but that button is in a crease/corner area where it's really going to be difficult for something to bump it accidentally.  I have to wonder if something didn't disengage the button earlier (the locking pin was already released) and it was just a matter of time before the body was able to rotate enough (I'm guessing you used the lens' tripod mounting foot and not the body's tripod mount point) to finally fall off.

 

You can argue that the button is defective -- but there are literally millions of Canon DSLR shooters who do not have this problem.

 

You're certainly free to make suggestions to Canon and I would be the last person to try to stop you... BUT... if you want to not have cameras crashing to the ground, you might consider (using rational-thought... not emotional-thought) how this might have happened and how you could prevent it from happening in the future.  

 

No one else can control how your camera is handled apart from you.  You, and your ability to control how your camera is handled, are your own best resource to avoid such unpleasant outcomes in the future.

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

It's not oversized (try using these buttons while wearing gloves in the winter sometime... you'll be lobbying that Canon should make EVERY button bigger.).

 

Good point and I can agree with that.

 

It takes a bit pressure to push that button -- it's not a weak spring.

 

But it can be depressed quite easily by accident. And, to my mind, that is poor design or poor implementation - particularly as it's never occurred before with my previous bodies.

 

Also it's in a position where your fingers should never be.

 

It's not just fingers - it can happen whilst it's being slung beside your body and it could easily happen during transit too.

 

Frankly, I can undertsand you being a bit skeptical if it hasn't happened to you. And I would never wish it upon anyone - even the skeptics such as yourself.

 

But the fact is, the lens can be accidentally released. It's happened to me and probably cut the resale value of my body to about a third of what it should be. I was lucky though - it could have been much worse!

 

Quite honestly, I find it unfortunate that you should make excuses for what is, obviously, a problem for some. Reeks of 'fanboyism' to me.

 

If you don't think it's a problem, then there are people here to tell you it is.

 

You're certainly free to make suggestions to Canon and I would be the last person to try to stop you... BUT... if you want to not have cameras crashing to the ground, you might consider (using rational-thought... not emotional-thought) how this might have happened and how you could prevent it from happening in the future.

 

Thanks so much for the pointer. Do you think I have just continued to ignore this?

 

In fact, despite using Canon cameras for over thirty years without this occurring before - it has now happened on three occasions with the 5D3. But, of course, after the first time, I have discovered it before any damage occurred because I now continually check it.

 

So I find it dismissive at best that you should attempt to suggest that it's purely my fault that this is occurring. Oh - and the others too, of course.

 

Did you stop to consider that, perhaps, the spring tension is not consistent between bodies? Maybe yours has a stronger spring than mine of something?

 

I've also been shooting with Canon EOS, film and digital, since they started making the EF mount back in the mid 80's.  I've never had a lens come unlatched much less come off the body.  RIght now I'm using two 5D Mark III bodes, a 1D X, and the new 7D Mark II.  There of course is variation and the occasional faulty part.  Is the lens really clicking in and properly latching in the first place?  The only issue I have with one of the two 5DM3 bodies is that one of them has a "hair trigger" compared to the other one.  One takes the normal half press of the shutter button to engage AF and metering while the other one will fire the shutter with similar pressure.  The funny thing is that the push-back from both buttons feel about the same so no weak spring in the hair trigger one.  It just seems like the margin between what is supposed to be a half press versus what is considered a full press is very thin on that body.  I've used it enough though that I usually accidentally fire it one time and then not again during the shoot.  My trigger finger just has to realize which body I'm using.  It wasn't worth sending it back to Canon and I've had both of the bodies since that model was first released. 

Currenly using R5 and R7 mostly plus a variety of Canon RF and EF lens...

Hi Joe.

 

Definitely certain that the lens is 'clicked in' and correctly mounted. But a fair question. 🙂

 

I haven't had this problem with my 7D, which has a similar feel regarding spring resistance - but a slightly smaller button.

 

Anyway - I just posted here because I noticed someone else had experienced the same issue. And since then I have read of other occurances.

 

I can see Tim's point about the button needing to be usfully large for gloved use in cold conditions - something that had not occurred to me as I'm rarely shooting in climates that are that cold. And that makes a lot of sense to me.

 

I know it's not a huge problem - and I'm really not trying to overstate it here. But it has occurred on three seperate occasions to me and it's a concern that is big enough to make me continually check the mounting to ensure I don't have another nasty experience that, next time, will almost certainly be more expensive and destructive.

 

I have just been playing with both bodies here and, to be honest, it's my 7D that feels like it has the slightly weaker spring - and the button is not much different in size - just a bit smaller and less exposed.

 

Anyway - my post was meant to be useful feedback for Canon. I know they field test all their cameras very well before they reach our hands, so it's obviously not a huge problem and I'm very glad that not too many people have experienced it.

 

However, a number have, and I'd like to think that this feedback will perhaps have some bearing on future designs. Nothing would be worse than for them to release a body that suddenly, out in the real world in thousands of users hands, has a habit of accidentially releasing lenses! 

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