cleaning marks on lens

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by lilin menyala, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. lilin menyala

    lilin menyala Member

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    i today received a 50/1.8 nikkor lens that i bought on ebay. as far as i can tell it is in perfect condition, except that the front glass has what appears to be cleaning marks... can i do something about this? i haven't tested the lens yet, but generally how bad news are cleaning marks? are they likely to show up in pictures?

    if anyone has had experience with this, please tell me... thanks.

    anna
     
  2. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Only you can tell if the cleaning marks adversly affect your photography. I retired a f/2 Summicron, partly because of fairly heavy cleaning marks. The worst effect was reduced contrast, especially in shadows. An efficient lens hood helped somewhat, though. Removing cleaning marks isn't cost effective on a lens that can be easily replaced.
     
  3. marzipan

    marzipan Member

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    ... Well, but Arax charges only 30 USD for polishing and multicoating a lens. They did a good job on a Nikkor front lens I sent them.
     
  4. ehparis

    ehparis Member

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    I have a 85mm Nikkor f1.4 with light cleaning marks on the rear lens. Doesn't seem to bother a thing.

    I had a 35mm Nikkor f1.4 with heavy cleaning marks on the rear lens. It didn't start to get sharp until F8.
     
  5. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    I have two 50mm Nikkor-S f1.4 lenses, one is pristine (spent most of its life in a plastic bubble) and one with pitting (about a 100 pockmarks in the front element from sand blowing) and with a hood on both lenses at 5.6, same scene, same roll, same development, same body, I cannot discern any difference in 8x10 prints examined with a 4x Schneider loupe. Without a hood there may be a small difference.

    Go figure!
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Cleaning marks are a strange one.

    I've bought 2 or 3 lenses with cleaning marks, one described with bad separation - it came thrown in with a camera. A good clean with Nilglas, screenwash is just as good, and the lenses were all optically perfect. The lens with separation just had 50+ years of dirt around its rim.

    That doesn't mean this is always normal, scratches are quite different I have a Ross (Protar) WA that has bad and deep scratches, and had an unusable Summar with wispy light wipe marks which cause bad flare.

    First try carefully cleaning the lens, then try using it, it may be fine.

    Ian
     
  7. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Do they have a website? If so, I'll bookmark it.
     
  8. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    http://araxfoto.com/

    I assume it is him. I bought a camera and lens from him years a go and he was pretty good.

    OTOH I think the comment that it doesn't make sense for a lot of common lenses stands. You can get a brand new AF Nikon 50mm 1.8 for not much more then $100.
     
  9. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    i actually prefer to buy lenses with small marks on them as they're a lot cheaper and i can't notice the difference. i have a zeiss 85 f1.4 that has tons of cleaning marks. got it for $250 and i can't notice the difference between it and my 50 f1.4. it usually goes for about $550 on ebay. on wide angle lenses you'll notice it more, but on the telephoto side, not really. i've seen some pretty destroyed telephotos that still take great photos. just make sure you have a hood.
     
  10. Mathieu

    Mathieu Member

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    Comparison

    I owned a Canon FD 50 /1.4 and a Canon FD 50 /1.2L. The first, although used for many years on my A-1, was in exc condition with no cleaning marks. Years later I fulfilled myself an old dream and bought a F-1 with the 50/1.2L at Ebay. The 1.2L did have obviously visible cleaning marks on the rear element - that was the reason it was so affordable (pristine examples can reach four figures!). But at any aperture the 50/1.2L's performance was so beyond the "standard" 1.4, that I never cared for any traces of those marks. Pictures were tack sharp and contrasty even wide open (if you managed to hit the DOF at 1.2 ... but that's another story).
     
  11. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Thank you for the information and correction.

    Jim
     
  12. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    To OP:

    Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 being a very common and inexpensive lens even when new, it makes no sense to send it in for a repair or recoat. It is very unlikely unless it is a VERY heavy scratching, it will affect image quality. I have lenses with light cleaning marks and ones that are pristine. Haven't seen any difference that can be attributed to scratches.

    Shaprness and contrast depends more on variations in individual lenses rather than existence of light cleaning marks. I can say this because at one point, I had 3 identical lenses (50mm f/1.8 AFD) all new - and especially wide open, they had significant differences. I ended up keeping one and send it into "repair" under warranty to get it right. (and boy it made a difference)

    I *think* what comes down is, wether or not if you can accept lens that are less than perfect and you believe what you paid is worth what you recieved. I am very particular about my lenses. I'd be trying to return it if I wasn't informed ahead of time - even knowing it has no material effect. If you paid very little for your lens, you might just want to keep it. It's hard for me to say without seeing and playing around with your particular lens though.
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    This happened to me recently and I contacted the seller and got a partial refund.
     
  14. agphotography

    agphotography Member

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    I'm sure by now the OP has done something about the lens, either repaired it or replaced it.

    Considering the original post was in 2007.