Replacing the front element


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st11x

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Jan 12, 2004
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#1
Hi,

I have a lens that has a very faint scratch on the glass. So far, it hasn't cause me any concerns, and most of the time when I hold the lens up, I can't really see the fault.

However, I would like to ask if I can get the front element replaced? The lens is a minolta and I tried to send a query via their website but the form goes dead when I press on the submit button. If you don't key in anything at all, the form woirks fine (makes you wonder what message are they sending).
I'm currently in Australia. I had worse experiences with Minolta Singapore (and their parent), so I'm not really surprised.

If it can be done, what kind of money am I looking to pay?

Thanks
Matt
 

sehsuan

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Dec 12, 2002
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#2
guess you can only contact Minolta and their subsidaries to see what they can do for you. i've only heard of another user replacing a front element, but that was a canon.
 

mylau

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Jan 19, 2002
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#3
st11x said:
Hi,

I have a lens that has a very faint scratch on the glass. So far, it hasn't cause me any concerns, and most of the time when I hold the lens up, I can't really see the fault.

However, I would like to ask if I can get the front element replaced? The lens is a minolta and I tried to send a query via their website but the form goes dead when I press on the submit button. If you don't key in anything at all, the form woirks fine (makes you wonder what message are they sending).
I'm currently in Australia. I had worse experiences with Minolta Singapore (and their parent), so I'm not really surprised.

If it can be done, what kind of money am I looking to pay?

Thanks
Matt
i've paid $400 to replace a front element before.
 

st11x

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Jan 12, 2004
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Canberra,Australia
#5
mylau said:
i've paid $400 to replace a front element before.
Wow! That's too steep for the lens I bought. I paid about SGD $ 650 for the lens when it was new. Maybe they have different prices for lens of different grade. As with anything Australian prices, it'll probably be double that :(

Minolta have like a main distributor here. It's hagemayer.com.au. Tried their website to send an equiry, but the same thing happens to their form. Bad luck.

I'll probably have to ring them up on the next business day.

Matt
 

SNAG

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Jun 14, 2002
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#6
Hi there, st11x!

Just to ask, is the front element causing any image degradation on your pictures? If not, I suggest that you don't change the front element. From what I assume (and I may be jolly well wrong), replacing the front element is not going to be cheap, and if it ain't broke, why fix it?

If it really turns out to be more than $200, I suggest that you spend the money elsewhere.

And to prevent such incidents from happening, put a protective filter on everytime you shoot..

Just my 2 cents worth! :)
 

st11x

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Jan 12, 2004
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Canberra,Australia
#7
The lens still work beautifully at the moment. I just thought if things get worse, I might want to send it in for a replacement.

Now that I know the average price of doing it, the money is probably better spent on a new lens in my case :)

I used to have the UV filter on my old lenses but I have stopped using them.

Thanks
Matt
 

ST1100

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2003
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#8
If you can barely see the scratch, it shouldn't affect the image. Shine a torch at it and notice what angles the line is most visible. Those are the angles where stray light hitting the front element will degrade the picture the most. Keep the hood on.
 

Kit

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Jan 19, 2002
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#9
I used to shoot with a 70-200 f/2.8 that had a cracked front element with a small portion chipped off. My pics turned out alright. Guess I was lucky.
 

smallaperture

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Jan 5, 2004
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#10
st11x said:
The lens still work beautifully at the moment. I just thought if things get worse, I might want to send it in for a replacement.

Now that I know the average price of doing it, the money is probably better spent on a new lens in my case :)

I used to have the UV filter on my old lenses but I have stopped using them.

Thanks
Matt
You say you stopped using filter to protect your lens. I wonder why. Is it that you're more daring now, living more dangerously or something.

With my small digicam, I am always worried that I scratch or chip the front element of the lens. With SLR lenses, there is no worries for me, as I always have the filter for protection. It's like buying insurance, no worries.

Filter degrading your pix? Never, just do an A/B comparison. Even single coated filter will do. HMC, the standard for multi-coated ones are better.
 

sriram

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Mar 10, 2002
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#11
One of my very best lens has a scratch on the front element. However the scratch is not huge and the image quality is still superb. Unless your scratch is like a crater, I'd suggest just using the lens and don't worry about it. I've used a friend's Kiev medium format kit with scratches and dings on the lens but the image quality is still superb... I only faced a problem when shooting directly at the sun when it tends to flare a bit more.
 

HelmetBox

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Sep 9, 2003
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#13
I read on the net sometime ago that some guy actually took the glass out then went to some spectacle shop and asked them to duplicate the exact lens with the same dimensions and index....... Don't know how true is it? :dunno:
 

st11x

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Jan 12, 2004
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#14
smallaperture said:
You say you stopped using filter to protect your lens. I wonder why. Is it that you're more daring now, living more dangerously or something.
Don't really know why I started off this lens without it. I probably thought the lens designer would have invented a detachable "pre-front" element if it didn't had any adverse effects on a lens. Maybe they were after more business coz you will definitely scratch it ;p

Well, I'm regreting that now.

Matt
 

st11x

New Member
Jan 12, 2004
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Canberra,Australia
#15
HelmetBox said:
I read on the net sometime ago that some guy actually took the glass out then went to some spectacle shop and asked them to duplicate the exact lens with the same dimensions and index....... Don't know how true is it? :dunno:

That's interesting. The spectable stores do carry lens made from Nikon. Hmm, if it is good for you eyes, it must be good for the camera :)

He took the glass out from his lens?
 

HelmetBox

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Sep 9, 2003
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#16
st11x said:
That's interesting. The spectable stores do carry lens made from Nikon. Hmm, if it is good for you eyes, it must be good for the camera :)

He took the glass out from his lens?
From the write up, he mentioned that he removed the front element then went down to get a 'duplicate' as its basically just 'a piece of lens'. I'll do a search on the net again and if I find the article I'll post the link

:D
 

smallaperture

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Jan 5, 2004
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#17
The replaceable front element is simple the protective UV/skylight filter. Simple, isn't it. If you ever scratch or crack it, no problem, just replace it. I always have a spare filter to replace just in case I crack the one I have on the lens.

In fact, during the excitement of shooting, and moving on, I forget to replace the lens cap, and put cam and lens into the bag. This happens quite often to me. So far, the filter gets dirty only, and no scratch. The filter is the fall guy, the insurance.
 

TME

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Jan 19, 2002
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#18
smallaperture said:
The replaceable front element is simple the protective UV/skylight filter. Simple, isn't it. If you ever scratch or crack it, no problem, just replace it. I always have a spare filter to replace just in case I crack the one I have on the lens.

In fact, during the excitement of shooting, and moving on, I forget to replace the lens cap, and put cam and lens into the bag. This happens quite often to me. So far, the filter gets dirty only, and no scratch. The filter is the fall guy, the insurance.

Isn't the front element an integral part of the lens? If u read lens specs it always says how many elements in how many groups.... The skylight/UV filter is just the filter and that's not part of the lens. It's an external piece of glass screwed onto the lens thread.
 

TME

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2002
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Clementi
#19
st11x said:
Hi,

I have a lens that has a very faint scratch on the glass. So far, it hasn't cause me any concerns, and most of the time when I hold the lens up, I can't really see the fault.

However, I would like to ask if I can get the front element replaced? The lens is a minolta and I tried to send a query via their website but the form goes dead when I press on the submit button. If you don't key in anything at all, the form woirks fine (makes you wonder what message are they sending).
I'm currently in Australia. I had worse experiences with Minolta Singapore (and their parent), so I'm not really surprised.

If it can be done, what kind of money am I looking to pay?

Thanks
Matt

Is it possible to do a DIY polish or get some camera workshop to do a little polishing for u. I know those polishing creams or something like that that can remove very fine scratches? Might beat changing the front element.
 

oeyvind

Senior Member
Feb 25, 2002
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#20
TME said:
Is it possible to do a DIY polish or get some camera workshop to do a little polishing for u. I know those polishing creams or something like that that can remove very fine scratches? Might beat changing the front element.
by doing that you are also removing whatever coating on it as well.
 

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