Dust and scratches on/in lenses

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ksmattfish, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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  2. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    holy snark, is that for real??!?!

    I'm gonna toss my cleaning gear. :lol:
     
  3. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, I saw that last week here. It was amazing that it did not affect the image that much.
     
  4. kwik

    kwik TPF Noob!

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    That's actually pretty amazing.

    Still doesn't change the fact that I'm pretty anal about my gear and it's not like I'm going to stop taking care of my stuff.
     
  5. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, no, but you can actually damage lenses by cleaning them too much/improperly/etc. This kind of supports the notion that you shouldn't stress too much when you have some dust on the lens.
     
  6. glocktekz

    glocktekz TPF Noob!

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    Just a bought a new camera now realizing that Im going to just let it be, until I actually notice dirt or elements on the lens.

    How is that really possible thou. Wouldn't the photo be extremely distorted by those cracks on the protection lens.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ah shucks... don't spread the word...

    I've been making a killing on expensive lenses with slight cleaning marks and/or scratches. Still take very nice pictures. If you have a chip in the front element, you can spread some shoe polish wax into the chip and it helps.

    Of course, I wouldn't buy the lens in the linked paged (no amount of shoe polish will help).... I'm surprised it still takes a photo.
     
  8. TBAM

    TBAM TPF Noob!

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    It may have taken those photos but to me the pictures are obviously cropped. It may have that resolution around the edge of the images, but I would gaurantee you would get no clarity in the centre of the image. There's no amount of focus that could remove the refraction of light from a crack that condensed.
     
  9. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    [​IMG]

    I have a Schneider 360mm telephoto with a semi-circular crack in the
    front element (visible here at 12:00) about the size of a quarter. It's still
    one of the sharpest telephoto lenses I've ever used.

    When people complain about a few specks of dust of other trivial flaws
    in a lens it just seems funny to me.
     
  10. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    An interesting way to illustrate this general concept is to take a picture with your lens nearly touching a chain link fence. You MAY see a slight darkening where the fence is, but by and large it will be invisible.

    It's interesting.
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I bought my first 6x6 folder at a flea market for $15. I could tell it was a nice one once upon a time, but it was really beat up. The lens looked like it had sandpaper rubbed across it, and was filled with fungus and dust. It looked like green lace in the lens, and I could barely see through it. The test photos blew me away.

    Here's one of the test photos. In a larger version the hairs on her arms are clearly resolved.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    The biggest and most dramatic difference I've noticed is when shooting into the light. Even a small amount of dust can cause a noticeable difference in image quality if the lens is otherwise in mint condition. As usayit has mentioned, the effect of large scratches and chips may be reduced greatly by blacking them out with wax, a sharpie or paint. It's the small, shallow scratches or "cleaning marks" all over the surface that cause the most reduction in contrast, but do not necessarily cause a loss of sharpness.

    Best,
    Helen
     

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