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04-05-2011, 10:44 PM   #1
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Cracked lens repair costs?

So I saw an auction on ebay the other day that was ending in less than 3 minutes, and sprang into action. It was for an SMC-K 35mm f3.5 and upon placing my bid I thought I was getting a steal. Of course it wasn't until time seemed to slow down (around 30 seconds left) when I read the auction and learned about the oily aperture blades as well as cracked front element. I got the lens in today and it's a pretty bad crack, I highly doubt the lens is useable at all as it stands.

So my question is, is it possible to have this repaired? And if so, where might I get this done and how much can I expect it to cost me? I can post pictures of the crack tomorrow if needed. It would be awesome if I could repair this thing for a reasonable price, but if not, at least I'll have learned to read before bidding!

04-06-2011, 02:01 AM   #2
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Take pictures..let's see what strange monsters this lens produces
(if the rest of the lens is fine it can always be used for spares..there are people who combine different damaged lenses to produce a good one).
04-06-2011, 04:50 AM   #3
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If you email a picture of the cracked lens to Eric (Home), he will be happy to give you an estimate.

Eric is the go to lens repair guy for this forum. Does great work and is very reasonably priced.

Tim
04-06-2011, 05:04 AM   #4
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Try using it... you might be surprised. The repair would make it so expensive... likely, why not just buy a new 35mm lens...

04-06-2011, 05:28 AM   #5
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Auto glass magic fluid

QuoteOriginally posted by kardinal Quote
So I saw an auction on ebay the other day that was ending in less than 3 minutes, and sprang into action. It was for an SMC-K 35mm f3.5 and upon placing my bid I thought I was getting a steal. Of course it wasn't until time seemed to slow down (around 30 seconds left) when I read the auction and learned about the oily aperture blades as well as cracked front element. I got the lens in today and it's a pretty bad crack, I highly doubt the lens is useable at all as it stands.

So my question is, is it possible to have this repaired? And if so, where might I get this done and how much can I expect it to cost me? I can post pictures of the crack tomorrow if needed. It would be awesome if I could repair this thing for a reasonable price, but if not, at least I'll have learned to read before bidding!
Automotive glass shops (and your local hardware store perhaps) have glass repair adhesives. They are low viscosity fluids which will penetrate and fill the crack, making it (almost) disappear. Often a UV light is used to cure the repair.
04-06-2011, 09:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Try using it... you might be surprised. The repair would make it so expensive... likely, why not just buy a new 35mm lens...
Holy crap, I went to take some test pictures just a few minutes ago and not only is there no trace of the crack in the shots... these images are the sharpest thing to have ever come out of my little k-x here. I am blown away by this thing :O

(I will post some samples once I've gone through them all, I got a bit trigger happy, lol)
04-06-2011, 09:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kardinal Quote
Holy crap, I went to take some test pictures just a few minutes ago and not only is there no trace of the crack in the shots... these images are the sharpest thing to have ever come out of my little k-x here. I am blown away by this thing :O

(I will post some samples once I've gone through them all, I got a bit trigger happy, lol)
This link can never get enough attention: LensRentals.com - Front Element Scratches
04-06-2011, 10:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
This link can never get enough attention: LensRentals.com - Front Element Scratches
Wow, indeed!

Also, for those interested, here's a handful of shots of/from it:

The lens itself, shot by my 50 1.7:






Some sample pics taken with the 35:















04-06-2011, 11:01 AM   #9
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I think the glass glue that makes cracks "disappear" I mentioned earlier will do a good job of fixing the lens. In particular it should prevent most of the flare problems apparent in the linked example.
04-06-2011, 11:26 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
I think the glass glue that makes cracks "disappear" I mentioned earlier will do a good job of fixing the lens. In particular it should prevent most of the flare problems apparent in the linked example.
I'll give that a try, thanks!
04-07-2011, 12:08 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
I think the glass glue that makes cracks "disappear" I mentioned earlier will do a good job of fixing the lens. In particular it should prevent most of the flare problems apparent in the linked example.
I don't think this is wise. This 'glue' is meant for repairing windshield on a vehicle which is not anywhere near the optical clarity as the front element of a lens. I've seen examples of this polymer windshield repair; while it certainly is clear, the repair do not completely disappear. In certain lighting conditions, the blob of resin can be clearly seen. Another thing, this resin is meant to be applied to a fairly flat or gently curved windshield and not on an acutely convex and very small SMC coated glass.

As for the flair, OP never stated whether he used a lens hood or not. The lens seem to work fine as it is, I think you would have to stop down quite a bit for the crack to negatively impact the image quality. I've been browsing through mflenses.com off and on, and they seem to value old German optics which have air bubbles in the glass. Some examples of these bubbles were alarmingly large (to me) but many people seem to put a premium on lenses with bubbles.

Thanks,
04-07-2011, 03:10 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
I don't think this is wise. This 'glue' is meant for repairing windshield on a vehicle which is not anywhere near the optical clarity as the front element of a lens. I've seen examples of this polymer windshield repair; while it certainly is clear, the repair do not completely disappear. In certain lighting conditions, the blob of resin can be clearly seen. Another thing, this resin is meant to be applied to a fairly flat or gently curved windshield and not on an acutely convex and very small SMC coated glass.
The repair works by filling the crack with a material with an index of refraction close to that of the glass; this makes the crack disappear if the optical property match is exact; of course it won't be exact so the crack will be faintly visible.. The liquid is formulated so it will be sucked into the crack by capillary action so the lens curvature won't matter much.

If the crack is less visible, it will have less optical effect. As far as light is concerned if the crack doesn't look like it is there it is not there. Decreasing the crack's visibility can only help decrease unwanted reflections.
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