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06-11-2012, 09:10 PM   #1
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Anything to do for a scratched lens?

A week or two ago, my friends and I were going to try our hand at ATV riding. Knowing this, I figured I would buy the 18-55 WR lens from Amazon just for fun, thinking that with all the dust and dirt it would be a good match for my camera (I don't currently have a WR lens). I placed an order from Amazon. Instead of sending the 18-55 WR as pictured on their website, they sent the 18-55mm generation 1 kit lens. I contacted amazon regarding the mistake, and they sent out another lens. Well, the other lens they sent was the wrong one again. Not the one listed and pictured on their website, but the original 18-55mm DA/3.5-5.6 AL kit lens. Not even the AL II version.

Anyways, I went on this ATV ride anyways, and brought along my 18-250mm lens attached to my camera, sealed in an DSLR bag and zipped up. Through the course of riding, the lens cap came off, broke in two and started poking at the front element of my lens. After a few hours it looked like it gouged my lens pretty well. Thankfully all the scratches were on the periphery of the lens and not the center. I've read that scratches don't affect the performance of the lens too much but...man oh man my lens looks so horrible all scratched up. Is it possible to send it to Pentax to get something like this fixed? Or am I just out of luck...

Here's some pics. What you don't see is the fine, small scratches...

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06-11-2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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woooboy.....

I don't think so . I know of a service that does lens recoat and stuff like that. But scratches like that? I think its better to get a new lens. Plus did it have a filter on it when that happens?

And by scratches that doesn't affect the iq much is fine hairline scratches not those.

I had my Carl Zeiss lens gouged almost the same way, the lens cap came off and I didn't realise it, and after that I had a very expensive paper weight. SO now I'm a strong advocate of using uv filters.
06-11-2012, 09:18 PM   #3
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That looks like a good entry in a "how badly can this lens be focked-up and still deliver?" contest. I haven't accomplished such damage on a lens. Yet. But I know of two possible fixes:

1) Dark magic marker -- Nasty optical effects come from light bouncing off those scratched edges. Blackening the scratch or crack edges greatly reduces the reflexions.

2) Windshield instant-repair goop. I have *heard* that this flows into scratches and cracks and fills them in, with a refractive index similar to glass, again reducing reflexions.

Good luck!
06-11-2012, 09:23 PM   #4
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From past examples I've seen, it will have little effect on images. Looks bad, though.

06-11-2012, 09:32 PM   #5
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Ouch, that does look mean. You'd probably measure some minor contrast loss in a lab but not in normal viewing. A few years back I had a nice scratch on a Minolta 100-200 but its minimum focus was about 2 meters, so I could never detect a problem. I found my Sigma 17-70 could almost focus on front-element dust at f/11 though, so really close focus + large depth of field is where you'd see it most. To fight the numerous small reflections a hood should probably stay on it from now on.
06-11-2012, 09:44 PM   #6
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I did post this link before, but to give you a bit of 'peace of mind': LensRentals.com - Front Element Scratches
06-11-2012, 09:50 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Could you please post this image again every time someone says not to use UV / Protection filters? I've lost count of how many times I've read posts here claiming that they're unnecessary.

Sorry for your loss, BTW.
06-11-2012, 09:55 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
Could you please post this image again every time someone says not to use UV / Protection filters? I've lost count of how many times I've read posts here claiming that they're unnecessary.
And then the broken filter glass can scratch the front element too. A lens hood offers more protection.

06-11-2012, 10:33 PM   #9
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It would have to be a hard/sharp impact to break a good filter or the hoya hd filter. In this case the lens hood wouldn't save it as the lens cap came off and pieces of scratch the lens. So no a lens hood won't save or stop it. For all general purposes, a uv filter is a better option as it actually covers the front element.
06-11-2012, 11:24 PM   #10
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If you read the OP, the lens cap came off, then broke, and scratched the front element. How did the lens cap come off? Because something hit it through the padding of the bag with enough force to break the lens cap. That same force would have broken any glass filter as well. All those pieces of sharp glass would have scratched the front element even more than the plastic of the lens cap.
06-11-2012, 11:37 PM   #11
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I don't think so. If it did, then the front element and the filter ring would have had more damage to it. Anyway it doesn't take that much force to knock a lens cap off. I'll give in to you that a lens filter won't give an absolute protection but my supposition still remains neither does a lens hood but I would advocate why not use both? You know......like double-bagging it
06-11-2012, 11:47 PM   #12
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I'm saying the lens cap came off because it broke. The force that broke the lens cap would have broken the filter as well. The force was from a reasonably pointy surface to break the lens cap in the centre without impacting the filter ring.
06-12-2012, 12:43 AM   #13
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Then there would be an impact mark in the centre of the front element as well not just scratches to the side and furthermore don't you usually flip the hood to the storage position? So how would that have helped either? Let me put it to you this scenario:

Suppose I have a lens, with a lens hood on, I forget to cap the lens, and for whatever reason the keys I put in a different compartment came bouncing into the same compartment as the lens and happen to settle right within the hood. With the constant bumping and rubbing, the lens gets scratch, yes/no? In fact the hood facilitated the scratch on the lens.

Coz that was what happened to me on a dirt-road while riding a bike.


We're digressing here from OP's post, what actually happen we won't know, the lens has been scratched, looking at it you can try what the others posted but for mine, the scratches on the lens element appear as blur blobs on the photos. So why not just play safe and have both hood and filter on shall we? Its better than losing a lens to our own carelessness or accidents. Its not 100% guarantee but better than nothing.
06-12-2012, 02:08 AM   #14
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Front Element Scratches

LensRentals.com - Front Element Scratches

Enjoy your scratched-but-it-doesn't-matter lens!
06-12-2012, 02:14 AM   #15
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Get someone to polish the gouges and fill them with that previously mentioned glass repair gel.

If it impacts the images alot then you have nothing to lose?
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