Friendly competition... Will this scratch make a difference?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by jhw, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. jhw

    jhw Subscriber

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    This pic shot in the sleezy-camera-swap-buyer mode, with bright light from behind the lens...
    From the front, it looks hair-thin, but does catch my fingernail...
    It's not in the center... Seems to just be in the coating, not down to the glass...
    We know that lenses with huge pits, marks, spots, shattered portions can still make (albeit, less contrasty) images...

    Test roll shot backlit, front and sidelit went to lab today, back in 2 days... But just wondering if folks think, as I hope, that the only harm this does is to the resale value.
     
  2. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    If it catches your fingernail; it is much deeper than the coating. You could minimize any artifacts or effects from it by colouring it black.
     
  3. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    No, I've shot a lens with a friggen crack through it and was astonished when my films came back fine. That's no exaggeration. It all depends on lens design, angle of light, yada yada. Just saying though.

    EDIT: it was a 1952 Tessar lens that was dropped by a friend. We were hoping for some cool, weird light streaks, etc.
     
  4. BobD

    BobD Member

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    I have a lens with a much worse scratch then that, more like a crack actually. It's still one of the sharpest lenses I have.
     
  5. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    I know for a fact that what other folks are saying is true. But I'm anal about such things. Or... maybe I'm just spoiled rotten. Okay... I KNOW I'm spoiled rotten. But my guess is this would always worry you on every single shot. Me? I have enough stresses that I want to minimize my worries... logical or not. I'd wait for a nicer lens. But, again, that's just me.
     
  6. zsas

    zsas Member

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    I say no impact, however, to prove definitively you will need a mint version of the same lens shot indentical settings....not like you could do that, so how will we know? I doubt it will have a streak across the neg, so how will it be shown to be good/bad when one could argue low contrast was due to your film stock, agitation, dev.....etc, etc....? Ok I am overthinking it...so in short - no impact
     
  7. Dshambli

    Dshambli Member

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    I have a 150mm lens for my Mamiya 645 1000s with a scuff on the lens. I haven't been able to inspect big enlargements, but the 6x4.5 negatives themselves show nothing out of the ordinary.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2012
  8. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    It adds slightly to the amount of "flare" in the overall scene, which will reduce the contrast index in a way that you will probably need a transmission densitomiter to measure.

    Very, very carefully paint the scratch black with India Ink to keep light out of the scratch, and you'll loose just that much of the area of the lens for the imaging field.

    Or say "screw it, it's worthless now" and send it to me to dispose of for you.

    MB
     
  9. jhw

    jhw Subscriber

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    Thank you all... trend seems to be 'ah, not perfect, but what is...so chill, it'll be fine.' I've a bit of Old-n-Feeble in me and want things as they were meant to be...so, heck, Michael here could be in luck :smile: On the other hand, this is an S-mount, so to find another might be quite some time...
    The India ink sounds interesting; though, I imagine if I was conscious of flare-inducing angles and compositions and shaded/hooded as needed, I can just shoot and be happy. I'm looking forward to Thursday, to see that, indeed, lenses are tough, and I won't be able to see a darn thing.
     
  10. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I've got practically the same lens with a bit of filter ring abuse - it is a great lens for black and white or color. Or maybe it's the afternoon light at the beach that makes for great pictures, and I always seem to take the Contax to the beach...

    I share the opinion with the gang who says "it only matters if you're reselling it." And "a little judicious india ink will mitigate any reflection when aimed at the sun".

    I once returned a lens to a camera shop for having a tiny black speck. In exchange, I got a nice APS camera* and had to go out and buy the same lens somewhere else.

    *Gave the APS camera to my dad, and he got the best pictures ever with it. So although I got rooked there was a silver lining...
     
  11. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    That's more of a gouge. Far deeper than the coating.

    One of my favorite lenses is a pre WWI 9 1/2" Dagor in a Compound. Got it at a camera show for $40 because it has a 5/16" gouge very near the center of the rear outer glass. I filled the gouge with India ink, and can see no difference ( after 12 years of using it on 8x10) between it and another 9 1/2" of the same vintage in barrel.
     
  12. jhw

    jhw Subscriber

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    'Gouge' and 'lens' in the same sentence is nausea-inducing, but the ink fix really does seem to come to the rescue. I'll practice some fine lines of application on some old eyeglasses with gouges, wisps and canyons of damage...then, with steady hand, give it a try if tomorrow's prints come out negative. (bad pun). Regardless, this gives me an idea about what to do with the mine-field surface of a 150/2.8 Xenotar picked up from that fellow who bought/sold hundreds of them a few years back on the auction site.
     
  13. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I agree with most of what the others say I don't think it'll make much of a difference. I have a Rolleiflex TLR with a Planar lens with many fine scratches on the front, it produces such a beautiful moderate contrast versus my Xenotar Rolleiflex and my other Planar one with no scratches and I often prefer it's images over both of those! Go figure.
     
  14. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Just dab some ink into the gouge, then wipe gently at right angles to the gouge with some paper towel stretched across your fingertip. Do it again if it doesn't fill in the gouge the first first time.
     
  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Based on experience, I'll take a lens with one or two bag gouges over a lens with many fine scratches. It's a lot easier to reduce the contrast of a good lens than to improve the contrast of a trashed lens.