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Help - FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
How do the gears work?
Each gear is specifically designed to fit it's lens and installs directly onto the focus ring. They're made to such high precision, that the gear should have a perfect fit between the focus ring such that it does not slip at all. Lucas Pfaff did an excellent review on our Reviews tab showing how easily the should install directly out of the box.
How long will it take to ship my order?
In most cases, the gear will ship the same or next day. Some of the more challenging designs can take an extra day or so to ship, so we reserve 1-2 days to ship any order. Everything in the US ships Priority mail so it should arrive within a week of ordering. Expedited shipping available on a case-by-case basis. Please allow 1-2 days for tracking information to be updated, but rest assured, your gears will ship as quickly as possible.
What will I receive in the mail with a custom order?
You will receive two things: Your custom gear (made to your specs) and a collection of "fit rings" used for adjustments.
How do I use the "fit rings?"
The fit rings can be used if a custom gear does not fit properly. Each ring is numbered and has a slightly different size. One of the fit rings should fit your lens's focus ring tightly enough to turn focus without slipping, exactly like a gear would. Contact us and let us know which ring fits best and we can make a custom gear to that exact size, or any size between fit ring numbers. Video demonstration is below.
My gear fits too tight, how do i fix it?
These are just suggestions that have worked well in the past, not necessarily recommendations. The gear should fit right out of the box and adjustments SHOULD NOT be needed, but occasionally slight differences in lenses can cause a gear to be off by a small amount, causing the gear not to work prooperly. If you are uncomfortable preforming the field-fixes listed below, contact us for a free adjustment and we'll make sure you get an absolutely perfect gear. FollowFocusGears can not be held responsible if lens gears are brute forced onto lens rings, which could cause damage. We correct non fitting gears for FREE. Gentle force is sometimes necessary on some well built lenses like the Leica-R series lenses, but don't ever give it "full force" if the gear is not cooperating as it should. Contact us if you have any issues and are not comfortable using them methods below such as heating or sanding a gear for a quick fix and we'll recreate the gear free of charge.
The first thing you can try, especially if the gear is very, very close, is to lightly sand the inside surface of the gear. It may not feel like you're taking off much material, but tiny adjustments are the key to perfection.
If sanding isn't doing the job or the gear is much to small (by 1-2mm at most), you can try heating the gear. The trick here is to heat the gear uniformly. Very carefully place the gear in boiling water for 20-30 seconds, which allows for some expansion. Boiling water could potentially be violent when dropping a gear in, so make sure you use a set of protective gloves and even eye protection. After removing the gear with a pencil, spoon, or other object, quickly dry it off as best as you can (we use a paper towels on standby), and as quicly as possible slip the limp gear around the lens. By this time it should be cool enough to handle with your hand. It is very important that once the gear is on the lens it is perfectly straight. As it cools down the gear will shrink to the exact size of the lens. It's not uncommon to end up with a distorted gear, it's more of an art than a science. If you damage your gear using this method, let us know and we're happy to replace.
One additional method, and this works well if the gear is very, very close to fitting but potentially bunching up the rubber just a bit is to lubricate the inner surface of the gear with rubbing alcohol or other non-destructive liquid like a very thin coat of hairspray on the inner surface of the gear.
If the gear is incredibly close, but bunches up the rubber a little bit, is to gently twist the gear to clear out the "bunched up" rubber focus ring on the lens. This only works for gears that are extremely close to fitting.
If these tips don't help or you damage your gear in the process (put priority on protecting your lens of course), let us know and we'll send a free replacement or adjusted gear. Be as descriptive of the problem as you can. Any additional details on your lens or measurements are always helpful.
My gear fits too loose, how do i fix it?
If the gear is too loose and is slipping, simply stick a piece of tape on the inside surface of the gear. You may have to experiment with different types and lengths of tape, but we've found that gaffer tape or electrical tape works just fine. Even thin strips of rubber or rubber bands or even strips cut from a bicycle inner tube might help tighten up a loose gear.
If these tips don't help, let us know and we'll send an adjusted gear. Be as descriptive of the problem as you can. Any additional details on your lens or measurements are always helpful.
What is the warranty like for my purchased gear?
There is a lifetime warranty for every gear. Each gear comes with full support. Any adjustments for tight or loose gears are included with the initial cost of the gear for the gear's lifetime. If you're unhappy with your gear for any reason, send it back for a full refund.