Scratch on rear lens element


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Aug 24, 2007
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Ok, so in my mother's infinite wisdom, as an early christmas present my mom got me a Hasselblad 500 EL/M Camera body. I was extremely shocked when I saw it, but also extremely happy (who wouldn't be). One thing she didn't realize was the cost of lenses, film magazines, a sturdy tripod, etc. (for a good condition set-up, not including the body I could easily drop thousands) She's a crazy lady and I love her, but she basically gave me a ferrari with no engine block.

So, I was looking on ebay, trying to get enough gear just to go out and start using it. I occasionally see decent lenses for sale with a minor scratch on the rear element, and they are selling for peanuts. I know there are people that would chastise me for even considering using a scratched lens, I'm just trying to get out and actually use the camera, and get familiar with the wacky hassy controls. I'm a broke college student, and most of my money is going towards digital equipment so I can maybe one day make some money.

Anyway, how badly will it reflect on image quality if I have a scratch on the rear element? This'll just be temporary until I can dish out $400-1000 for one in good condition. If anybody knows of a good cheap place to get film magazines, metered prisms and lenses, let me know. I want to use this camera.
Good question. I'm interested in the answer as well. I have a very old non indexed 35mm f1.4 nikkor that was given to me. The rear element of that lens is considerably scratched, like it had been rupped a bit with some coarse sandpaper. That lens produces totally unuseable images.
I have a lens that has a small scratch on the edge of the rear element. As far as I can tell, there is no real effect on the final images.
Scratches on front or rear elements of lenses reduce conttrast and cause softening of the image due to scattering of light. However, the degree of degradation depends upon how badly scratched the lens is, you probably won't notice any difference if there is just light scratching over a limited area.

If a scratch is deep then one remedy is to fill the scratch with black paint. This prevents the scratch scattering light and without having any appreciable effect on overall light transmission. So long as just the scratch is filled the paint will not appear in the image.
Cool, I guess if it means getting a lens for $30, it would be worth it to shoot a couple rolls and identify any problems. Using black paint does seem like it'll work, I think I'll go for it.

Thanks, I'm sure other people were curious as well.

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