Will a small front element scratch affect picture quality?


Kikasa

New Member
Jun 12, 2009
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Tampines
#1
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:

 

night86mare

Deregistered
Aug 25, 2006
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#2
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
 

yqt

Senior Member
Sep 8, 2004
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East of Singapore
#5
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.
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#6
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
 

Shawn

Senior Member
Oct 19, 2006
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#7
Minor scratches won't affect your pictures, it WILL only affect your resale value.
 

Oct 22, 2009
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#8
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.
 

plasma

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Nov 22, 2003
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#9
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.
 

ST1100

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2003
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Singapore, Bedok
#11
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.
 

Kikasa

New Member
Jun 12, 2009
169
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Tampines
#12
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.
 

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