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05-05-2021, 03:38 AM   #1
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Scratched or not ?

Naturally I'm restricted in my finances, mostly because somebody has decided I have too many lenses already, don't ya know.

I've been trawling through web sites looking for some nice Takumar lenses I can smuggle in on the quiet and I've noticed that those with slight imperfections to either the front or back lenses don't make the same prices as supposedly mint copies.

Now I'm talking about "Light" scratches or maybe a small damage to the coating, not those copies who have the front element sandpapered out of existence, in the old days the odd bubble or two, for example, was considered acceptable so I'm wondering how much the odd scratch or coating separation actually makes to the image on either film or APS-C, there is no way that I could justify the K1 so I'm quite happy with film, mostly B & W, as a FF digital substitute, sometimes I think its better.

Thank you.

05-05-2021, 04:07 AM   #2
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Any imperfection will likely lead to minor reductions in contrast because the light gets scattered, you likely won’t notice it, but you can always adjust in post processing.

The camera treats this no differently than it would if you focus through a twig, that is between you and a subject.
05-05-2021, 04:43 AM   #3
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I think you won't be able to notice those small faults, especially on film
05-05-2021, 05:02 AM   #4
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this is the front element of an SMC A 35-70mm that had been damaged prior to arriving at my house:

as long as I used a decent hood with it, I never noticed any loss of contrast or any other deficiencies in this lenses' shots....

05-05-2021, 06:14 AM   #5

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As mentioned, small scratches at the front element are usually not a big deal and will only rarely show up in the final image.
I would avoid lenses with scratched lens elements at the back though.
05-05-2021, 06:16 AM   #6
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My experience suggests that front element scratch damage only shows up in photos with strong light sources hitting the scratch and adding flare. As mentioned a good hood helps.

Rear element scratch damage can be more problematic. This in my experience is variable but more noticeable than front element damage.

Coating damage is less clear of a situation and is hard to quantify as the damage varies so much. Loss of contrast is likely.
05-05-2021, 06:23 AM   #7
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As long as your expectations are not too high, you won't be disappointed.

Note that using smaller apertures or closer focal distances will increase the likelihood that you see those defects on your images.

05-05-2021, 07:07 AM   #8
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Thanks folks for the info, peperberry's illustration is more what I had in mind and I note the hood recommendations which I use all the time anyway.

Thanks again, I think I'll hang out for a good copy avoiding any rear element damage.

I shall have to get one from Japan, since the UK left the EU our beloved customs guys look twice at anything coming from that direction and slap every duty they can think of on it, unfortunately they seem to look at the USA in the same way, Japan so far seems ok and I've heard their sellers are pretty reliable.
05-05-2021, 07:10 AM   #9
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If there is a big difference in price I would go for it. As other have mentioned it is unlikely that you will be able to see deficiencies.

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05-05-2021, 07:21 AM - 1 Like   #10

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I've bought my 55-300 PLM at an excellent price because of two tiny scratches on the front element. I don't regret it.
05-05-2021, 08:20 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by PenPusher Quote
those with slight imperfections to either the front or back lenses don't make the same prices as supposedly mint copies.
As already noted slight imperfections will not have a major impact. For Takumars the issue is that there are two markets "users" and "collectors". To collectors condition is everything, to a user if it works for the job as required that's fine. That is why mint copies, particularly with boxes, hoods, original caps and other accessories command a premium price. If you intend to actually use the lens then a less than mint one will often be as good. However, keep in mind that the resell value will be affected on a less than mint copy as well.
05-05-2021, 10:31 AM   #12
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Small or big, scratches on the front element won’t show.. there are some videos prove that. On the rear element, well, that is another story.
05-05-2021, 12:19 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr. B Quote
I think you won't be able to notice those small faults, especially on film
Film being such a blunt medium.

05-05-2021, 06:47 PM   #14
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Probably won't even notice any difference compared to pristine glass.
05-05-2021, 08:04 PM - 1 Like   #15
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I think there is well documented research from the lensrentals guy that is should not have too large of an effect.
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