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04-26-2018, 04:13 AM   #1
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Haze in middle element, how significant is it?

I want to buy a Pentax FA 135mm f/2.8 but the seller says that there is light haze inside that does not affect the image. How correct can this statement be? There is no deterioration or there is some deterioration but negligible?
Here is the link:

SMC Pentax FA 135mm f/2.8 IF AF Lens for Pentax K Made In Japan | eBay

04-26-2018, 04:36 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I would stay away from any lens with haze between elements. Expect loss of contrast. I have a lens with light haze inside and it is unusable. I have tried to improve the pics via pp but without any luck. I have seen the F version of this lens a couple of times being sold for not much more money, so i do not consider it a bargain.
04-26-2018, 04:44 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Run away from this lens. They are not rare, and this is a typical price I see. The lens I bought of eBay with "slight haze" to me is unusable unless you like the Vaseline smear look on all your photos. Contrast, sharpness, flare all suffer. Also figure that it will only get worse. Too many good copies to mess with a bad one like this.
04-26-2018, 06:05 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Well it varies, but generally speaking haze is worse news than fungus. Like the previous responses I have lenses eg tokina ATX 35-200mm with light haze on a rear element and it has a large effect on IQ - foggy pics. You could ask the seller to provide sample pics.
If the image of the lens interior is an accurate depiction of the extent of the haze ie peripheral then the sellers claim of no effect on IQ - specifically on apsc cameras - may well be true. But I agree price is OTT.

04-26-2018, 06:44 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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If you can see it with the naked eye holding it up to the light, it is probably degrading the image. If you can only see it with a flashlight (shining towards you through the lens) and usually then just barely, it probably affects nothing. The latter is quite common on older lenses, and often unnoticed.
04-26-2018, 07:12 AM - 1 Like   #6
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The haze could be a sign of balsam separation. The optical diagram shows two middle element which will be glued together. This is not easy to fix as it involves separating the elements and re-glueing.

http://kmp.pentaxians.eu/wp-content/uploads/bojidar/lenses/primes/_optics/135f2.8-ii.gif
04-26-2018, 07:14 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I sold a Pentax F 100 f/2.8 with some haze in between two cemented elements. The haze was limited to peripheral areas and while you could see issues from it they were minor and only affected the lens when it was wide open. Moving to about f/4 the haze had zero effect. Even wide open the effect was mostly a minor softness and a small loss of contrast. Looking at those pictures it seems very similar in nature. If it is a cemented doublet the haze likely could be corrected if you wanted to separate the elements and reglue them but getting them perfectly realigned could be a really tricky thing depending on the design.

My personal view - ask for a deeper discount and some raw photos you can judge. If you love what you see - buy it - knowing it is essentially a soft focus version of the regular 135 - it will sharpen up when stopped down. If you need wide open sharp and contrasty shots - stay away.

Here's an example photo from my hazy f 100. I missed focus on this quickly grabbed capture but I don't think the lens was the reason. This is cropped as well. It was shot at f/3.2 so slightly stopped down.

This was at f4 the same day:

(and possibly uncropped)

Found 2 more from the same day:
f/3.2 -


f/7.1 -

Last edited by UncleVanya; 04-26-2018 at 07:22 AM.
04-26-2018, 07:47 AM - 1 Like   #8
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If there's a return policy, you could take a chance on it and evaluate it when it arrives, but personally, I would avoid such a lens. It's hard to know what's causing the haze and if it's going to get worse over time. Any haze that's visible by just looking through the lens is going to affect photos - just hard to say how much and whether it's acceptable to the user. Since it is a widely available lens, I'd look elsewhere for a better deal.

04-26-2018, 08:00 AM - 1 Like   #9
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If this was a cheap M series lens that could be easily taken apart, no problem. But it is a much more complex and expensive auto focus lens, there are others on ebay that aren't much more and listed as near mint. One of those would be cheaper than getting one that needed CLA.
04-26-2018, 08:13 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hidrieus Quote
but the seller says that there is light haze inside that does not affect the image. How correct can this statement be?
What it means is that the seller is convinced that they will not be bothered by the haze once it sells. The truth is that scratches or haze on an internal element will almost always affect image quality and, as noted above, may also affect the auto-focus performance with that lens. Kudos to the seller for disclosing the problem, but 2pts off for claiming it is nothing.

A larger question is the nature of the haze. Causes might include fungus, redeposition of lubricant or other vapors, fine dust, fine scratches due to botched cleaning attempt (often to remove fungus), crazing caused by fungus. A professional cleaning can correct dust or chemical fouling. The others are essentially permanent.


Steve

BTW...the price seems high to me and is close to what that lens sold for new.

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-26-2018 at 08:31 AM.
04-26-2018, 08:30 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
A larger question is the nature of the haze.
I just looked at the listing and the photos are not encouraging. There is a lot of crud in there and the mess at the edge appears to be nearer the front than the single cemented element. Flood damaged?

I would pass.


Steve
04-26-2018, 09:05 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I just looked at the listing and the photos are not encouraging. There is a lot of crud in there and the mess at the edge appears to be nearer the front than the single cemented element. Flood damaged?

I would pass.


Steve
I defer to superior knowledge of the lens. I have never used this lens and I'm unfamiliar with the internal arrangement of elements.
04-26-2018, 09:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I defer to superior knowledge of the lens. I have never used this lens and I'm unfamiliar with the internal arrangement of elements.
I had to look it up. The lens formula is provided as part of the review page here at PF.




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04-26-2018, 10:06 AM   #14
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The F 100 is a bit different:



The look of that ring of haze is very similar to what I saw however. The issue per DCShooter (he serviced it before I sold it) was the cemented doublet. Even if that's the case with this lens - as many have pointed out the lens isn't that expensive to find without this problem.
04-26-2018, 11:01 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The F 100 is a bit different:



The look of that ring of haze is very similar to what I saw however. The issue per DCShooter (he serviced it before I sold it) was the cemented doublet. Even if that's the case with this lens - as many have pointed out the lens isn't that expensive to find without this problem.
I understand. I can't be sure which element has the edge issue without having the lens in hand, though it does appear in one of the photos to be #3 or #4 from the front. Even without the edge thing, the general internal appearance put me off.


Steve
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