Installing the zoom gear on the Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

Installing a zoom gear on the Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM may look complicated but we promise it is simpler than it seems

Zoom & focus gears are necessary for most lenses if you want access to the lenses full zoom range. Each one is specifically designed for the respective lens meaning there is no such thing as a universal zoom or focus gear. Today we will be installing the zoom gear on the Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens

Let’s open up the box and see what’s inside

19596 Product packaging and zoom gear.

You’ll notice each gear comes in two parts, the gear itself and an internal collar. Now take a moment to inspect the internal collar. On it youll see various grooves on the internal circumference and the external grooves which have little rubber grips wedged into them.

Zoom gear and C-ring

The internal groves are there for a reason as well. These collars are designed to fit precisely on the lens and these grooves help align the collar in the correct position. 


Now before we dive into placing it on the lens we must remove some of these rubber grips. By default Nauticam ships these with far too many installed. What these rubber grips do is adjust the fit-ment between the collar and the zoom gear.


More grips = tighter fit

Less grips = Looser fit


We have found the magic number to be only around three rubber grips but that could change over time as the equipment gets worn down. Especially if you remove the zoom gear from the lens frequently. 


Remove the necessary amount of grips and place them in a safe location for possible future use.  


The collar is designed to fit in the gear and on the lens very precisely so start with the zoom gear and collar together so you are aware of the orientation the collar needs to have. I like to place it next to the lens.

Zoom gear and 18-45mm lens

Now remove the collar and slip it over the lens. It should settle into the internal grooves mentioned earlier once the correct position has been found.

Now that the collar is in place grab the gear and slip it over the collar. It may take a bit of pressure to get it into position. If it is too difficult you may need to remove more of the rubber grips.

Once in place pat yourself on the back because you’ve done it!

18-45mm lens with zoom gear installed

Before you celebrate too much you will want to test the full zoom range of the lens you are using and be sure it functions smoothly and does not bind up. If it does seem to bind up you can go ahead and remove more of the rubber grips.