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Thread: Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

  1. #1
    Member Kikasa's Avatar
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    Default Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

    Hi guys, just wanna know will a small scratch on the front element affect image quality? Because I'm interested in getting a Minolta 70-210 beercan 2nd hand from an acquaintance in the US but however he mentioned that his copy had a small scratch on the front element or otherwise excellent copy. He willing to let it go at much lesser than bros selling in the BnS.

    Question now for all especially pros who had experiences with scratch element: did you EVER have a lens which was so scratched that it affected the picture quality? If yes, what kind of scratches did it have and what was the effect (flares, blurriness)?

    Thank all.

    Picture of the scratch:

    Sony a77
    Sony SAL1650 | Minolta AF 50mm F1.7 | Minolta AF 70-210 (Beercan)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

    honestly, it won't be visible.

    i haven't had a scratch on my lens front element, but specks of dust are not visible.

    perhaps if you stop down a lot? e.g. f/64

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

    not visible at all. i ve used lenses with chips and entire coatings scratched off. no reall problem with that. hazing will affect, but thats only in old lenses
    F3, FTN, D700, just primes =)
    http://littleredcake.smugmug.com/

  4. #4
    Senior Member Override2Zion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

    I agree with bro night86mare, I doubt you'd see anything noticable unless you use a really small aperture, but again you'd rarely use apertures that small.
    Nikon D200/D700/D800 User :)
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

    while the scratch will not be visible, sometimes, when the light fall is just at the "right" angle, it will cause light dispersion causing a flare effect on your image.
    I get paid more shooting part time ...... damn, I should find more time to shoot part time

  6. #6
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

    Nope not really like what others have mentioned. I have seen a more than 50% flake of coating of a Nikkor shift lens which is visibly disturbing but still taking "normal" looking shots. Of course there is a small risk like what bro yqt mentioned, that with a stray incident ray hitting the scratch / abnormal coating cause a flare of sorts

    A minor consideration after you purchase the lens would be when you are selling it in future..

    ryan

  7. #7

    Default Re: Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

    Minor scratches won't affect your pictures, it WILL only affect your resale value.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

    Don't think the scratch will affect your image.. it's way out of the focus plane for your lens.. agree with the rest on the resale value though, so don't pay over the odds for it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

    the scratch will not affect photo quality, but the crack may creep and propagate due to stress, if introduced. so worst case is that the glass may break into 2 parts.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

    Hi Kikasa, you might be interested in this article:

    http://kurtmunger.com/dirty_lens_articleid35.html

    I don't think the scratch will affect picture quality.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by yqt View Post
    while the scratch will not be visible, sometimes, when the light fall is just at the "right" angle, it will cause light dispersion causing a flare effect on your image.
    ^ this.

    Light from the front element is collected from all directions from every part of the front element, so the effect on the image is minimal (unlike rear element defects).

    However, i did have on lens filter cracked nearly in half (while on tour), and it was stuck, so i had to shoot with it. The added flare is obvious and in almost every picture. Not cool. The scratch your picture shows looks nasty. May or may not contribute flare, depending on how deep it is.

  12. #12
    Member Kikasa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?

    Hi thanks for all your replies. I still considering whether to buy this lens or not. But i was kinda assured that scratch on front element doesn't affect the quality of photo. I'm not afraid of the resale because i was thinking once i got this lens, i doubted i will sell it unless i sell away my cam.

    Thanks again.
    Sony a77
    Sony SAL1650 | Minolta AF 50mm F1.7 | Minolta AF 70-210 (Beercan)

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