Yes, it is a common behavior of the 18-200 and many heavy super zooms. As the lenses get used, they also tend to loosen up.
The new version of the 18-200, and most other super zooms have a lock to keep the lens in the collapsed position for travel, but that doesn't help when you are shooting.
You could certainly send it in for service to see what they can do, but I doubt if that is cost effective. Many people simply put a wide rubber-band around the lens barrel overlapping the zoom ring and lens body to control the creep. Some company is selling something like this, but basically it is a very expensive rubber band.
Yes, this is entirely normal. It's especially common if you have a filter permanently on the lens. Nikon won't do anything about it, precisely because it is normal.
The best way to address the problem is simply to hold the lens by the zoom ring - then it won't zoom on its own. This doesn't help with a tripod, but because the main value of an 18-200VR is that it's convenient and handy, I'd be surprised if many people really have the tripod problem.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
>Yes, this is entirely normal. It's especially common if you >have a filter permanently on the lens. Nikon won't do >anything about it, precisely because it is normal. > >The best way to address the problem is simply to hold the lens >by the zoom ring - then it won't zoom on its own. This >doesn't help with a tripod, but because the main value of an >18-200VR is that it's convenient and handy, I'd be surprised >if many people really have the tripod problem.
HA! Tripod problem is my number issue with the lens. I shot downward on a tripod for tabletop works and the lens does not creep it just drops down to its longest position...REALLY BAD . Although I was just in a store and saw one of the new ones and it was tight as a drum... Who knows, maybe they fixed the problem.
The old 28-200G lens had a switch that allowed you lock the lens at its shortest focal length 28mm to keep the lens creep in check. I wish Nikon would add that to the lenses in their lineup where the front element extended during zooming or focusing.
If you can find one of the yellow wrist bands from the Lance Armstrong days (people may be throwing them away these days) they are the exact right size. I have used one for several years. It stops the creep completly.
I've had mine since new in 2006 and when I took it into Nikon for "repair" they said that it is the way it is designed and nothing they can do or will do to repair, especially under warranty, will help. So, as I've posted before on this topic, don't spend more than the cost of a bunch of Brocolli since this is what the grocers use to bind two bunches together - a wider rubber band that feels a bit more stiffer that stationary rubber bands, and it lasts a long time. It provides just the right amount of friction to keep the zoom from creeping, when you ovelap it to the stationary part of the lens, varying he amount on each portion of the lens to change the amount of friction imparted the the moveable portion as appropriate.
How often do you use the lens pointing straight down? I have this lens and it works fine as long as I don't point it straight up or down. I have a Tamron 28-300 VC that is much, much worse and according to Tamron they said it was within spec so I just live with it.