Jump to content


Photo

Scratches lenses


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Craig Knowles

Craig Knowles
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 182 posts
  • Director
  • Cleveland

Posted 02 March 2008 - 05:25 PM

This may seem like an obvious question, but I was having a "challenge your preconceptions" moment today and wondered the following:

"What are the exact effects of a scratched lens on picture quality?"

-- Lost sharpness in certain areas?
-- Loss of contrast in certain areas?
-- Noticeable imperfections in the frame?
-- Strange, unpredictable flaring?

Furthermore:

-- Do scratches on the front of the lens have different effects than scratches on the back end?
-- Is there a difference between scratched zoom lenses versus scratched primes?
-- How does format play a role: Are scratches in S16mm more problematic than 35mm scratches?
-- How are scratches affected by lighting condition: Are scratches more problematic in low lighting conditions as opposed to bright light?

I'd be very interested to hear your experiences.
  • 0

#2 David Auner aac

David Auner aac
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 03 March 2008 - 02:17 AM

-- Loss of contrast in certain areas?
[snip]
-- Do scratches on the front of the lens have different effects than scratches on the back end?


Hi Craig,

in still photography you notice lack of contrast with scratches on the rear element of the lens. Usually that's it, but I haven't yet tested any really heavily scratched/chipped lenses.
Something I notice both in photo and video is that you get strange flares and highlights from front element scratches when shooting into the sun or any other bright light. I have a really small chip in a 0.7 wide angle adapter for my PD150. It only shows up under very special conditions when the light hits it in a certain way.

Cheers, Dave
  • 0

#3 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 03 March 2008 - 07:45 AM

Hi Craig,

in still photography you notice lack of contrast with scratches on the rear element of the lens. Usually that's it, but I haven't yet tested any really heavily scratched/chipped lenses.
Something I notice both in photo and video is that you get strange flares and highlights from front element scratches when shooting into the sun or any other bright light. I have a really small chip in a 0.7 wide angle adapter for my PD150. It only shows up under very special conditions when the light hits it in a certain way.

Cheers, Dave


Hi Dave,

As you say often there is very little effect. When I was a student I bought a Nikon Zoom with a cracked element,
it was an insurance company 'write off' .I used that lens very successfully for over 20 years! :lol:

Stephen
  • 0

#4 David Auner aac

David Auner aac
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 03 March 2008 - 08:07 AM

As you say often there is very little effect. When I was a student I bought a Nikon Zoom with a cracked element,
it was an insurance company 'write off' .I used that lens very successfully for over 20 years! :lol:


Nice. These older Nikkors are built like tanks too! I have a couple which have been abused quite a bit, but the mechanics and optics are as good as ever. The advantage is that most people won't buy these because of their looks. Good for me, e.g. I got a 180/2.8 for 139 ?!

Cheers, Dave
  • 0

#5 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 03 March 2008 - 09:42 AM

I picked up my F1.4 50mm Nikon for $80 us because it had a nibblit missing from the font filter screw bit. Works like a charm!
  • 0

#6 David Auner aac

David Auner aac
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 03 March 2008 - 10:29 AM

I picked up my F1.4 50mm Nikon for $80 us because it had a nibblit missing from the font filter screw bit. Works like a charm!


Nice one Adrian, I got a AF 35-70 2.8D Nikkor for 150 ? because of same such impairment. Back on topic though!

I think it would be nice idea to collect pictures taken with different kinds of scratches in this thread along with description of the problem. Might help to get a feel for what causes what kind of problem!

I'll have a look at what I can find in my library...

Cheers, Dave
  • 0

#7 Craig Knowles

Craig Knowles
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 182 posts
  • Director
  • Cleveland

Posted 03 March 2008 - 12:24 PM

I think it would be nice idea to collect pictures taken with different kinds of scratches in this thread along with description of the problem. Might help to get a feel for what causes what kind of problem!


That's an excellent idea.
  • 0

#8 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 03 March 2008 - 06:53 PM

I think it would be nice idea to collect pictures taken with different kinds of scratches in this thread along with description of the problem. Might help to get a feel for what causes what kind of problem!


I like this idea too and maybe a photo of the lens itself and the defect would be groovy assuming they were visible to a camera.

love

Freya
  • 0


Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

CineLab

Abel Cine

Technodolly

Glidecam

The Slider

Wooden Camera