How damaged is your lens coating???

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by vpwphoto, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    I am a pro-- I have earned 100% of my income via image making since 1989.
    Anyway, I have used all manner of equipment, and my Hasselblad glass is still blemish free!
    BUT my new 16-35mm Nikkor has gotten quite a coating blemish(s) from rough/carless use recently.
    I usually scoff at people selling highly blemished Leica glass saying "does not effect images" as if this were the case why not send lenses out with blems from the factory.

    I have prepared to send the lens to Nikon for repair/replacement of front element.
    I shot an assignment (partly) with this lens this morning in a high flair situation... and at least in this instance I can not find evidence in image.

    Shall I wait to send it till I do? They are ugly central blemishes. I would rate the lens as a 5 on a 1-10 scale right now. I had a 20mm with a blem that showed up in images 20 years ago. Not really looking for answers/advice... Just wondering what the nastiest lens blem some of you have trusted your income with?

    Cheers.
     
  2. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I'm not a pro and have not worked professionally since the very early 1990s. I don't mind a fine cleaning wisp, if you use (as I do) lenses from 80 to 100+ years old you have to live with minor marks most of the time.

    I have a 9 1/2" Dagor in a good early Compound which I picked up at a show. It has a 9mm scratch - almost a gouge - right in the center of the rear outer element - the worst possible location. I painted the blemish black, and the lens is just fine. I have another of the same vintage and focal length to compare it with and can find no effect. I don't think I did paying work with this lens, but I wouldn't hesitate to.

    The front element of my 105 Nikkor has some light abrasions, which so far have caused no trouble - but I'm fairly fanatical about using proper lens hoods on all my lenses whether they are coated or not.
     
  3. zsas

    zsas Member

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    This article might set you at ease....
    Dirty Lens Article
    http://kurtmunger.com/dirty_lens_articleid35.html

    Though I know not your type of work (eg macro product photog)....

    But according to the above your scenario should* not impact quality...

    *But with all things on the net...your mileage may vary....
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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  5. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    I had a Industar 22 that had a bunch of cleaning marks. Not quite 'took sandpaper to the lens' but not far off from it.

    It did fine at times when stopped down:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5044331116

    But it also would 'glow' much more than I liked:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5044330656

    That lens put me off to anything with excessive cleaning marks for general purpose use. Enough scratches causes results similar to a hazy lens. That said, I don't mind how they work with some shots:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4800562503

    In general, my issue with cleaning marks and haze is that it makes predicting the lenses behavior more of a challenge. It also means that I may not be able to get the look I want in a high contrast situation. Its easier to 'add' this effect with filters if/when the look is desired.
     
  6. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    BUT my new 16-35mm Nikkor has gotten quite a coating blemish(s) from rough/carless use recently.


    VP:
    I'm wondering whether that lens is still under warranty and whether it had a coating problem from the factory that allowed it to get blemished from your "rough use". I'd talk to Nikon before sending it in and see if they're willing to replace it based on the serial number and batch.

    The other thing I'm wondering is what you could have done to cause this. Knowing that might help out others here.
    Mark
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    So, you had a 'loaner' lens of the same type with perfect glass and shot side-by-side negatives to compare the contrast?
     
  8. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    I was sort of thinking the same... but wouldn't whine to them. I have a 105mm 1.8 that has been through the wringer and still no marks. The Hasselblad stuff I have has been in steel mills.. no marks. That being said, I think another lens was set on-top of it.. my micro 55 and bounce all over the element. Metal on glass = lots of marks and cringes.. Again not a conclusive test, but I have yet to have seen issues in my images yet. Now for Leica flint glass that is all hazy... they do effect the images no mater what optimistic sellers say.
     
  9. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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  10. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Having worked professionally for two decades I never once had to report a damaged lens element or coatiing; occasional filter damage, yes, that's expected, and the filter has done it's job. I would think that blemishes of what you are describing would only manifest in a troubling manner if you are shooting contra jour or into another strong (artificial) light source where flare and scatter will be evident. You might also benefit from putting on a multi-coated filter to provide a bit more protection.
     
  11. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    Each their own... I go without a "protection" filter especially on wides where dew drops and dust on a dirty filter do their worst to degrade things.

    Filter are for collor-correction, polarizing, and B+W contrast augmentation... I stopped with the "skylights" in 1994.

    My 150mm planar has been rained on more than once... I am happier keeping lens caps on lenses when not in use rather than dealing with micro scratched skylight filters which always seemed to degrade fast...perhaps because I let them get so dirty.

    Anyway... I guess I'll just send this 16-35 in when and if I notice the blems are an issue. It is the most blemed up lens I have ever used... sad it was new 8 months ago.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi vpw

    like you i have made my income from using a camera since the same time period ...
    one thing i realize is that if you are the biggest critic of your own wdrk and while a "layman" may not find fault from bad /ugy coatings you might, and probably will ... i know i do with things i make when others mwy not notice &c
     
  13. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Relative of yours?:wink:
     
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  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Probably a cousin. He has a brother, too - Soup Du Jour
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2013
  16. Nikon Collector

    Nikon Collector Member

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    tHIS IS AN ARGUMENT i'VE HAD FOR YRS, i PUT A uv FILTER ON EVERY LENS i BUY, A LOT OF PHOTOGRAPHERS SAY ITS A WASE OF TIME , BUT i DON'T HAVE TO CLEAN THE FRONT ELEMENT FOR YEARS, sorry bou the caps, didn't realise they were locked on
     
  17. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    Here's a question for you: Is there a difference between using a clear optical glass filter vs. a UV filter to protect your lens? In other words, if you don't need to be filtering UV because you're not shooting in the mountains somewhere, will a UV filter cause image degradation or color shifting at lower altitudes? I'll bet someone out there has done comparison testing or is this a question for Tiffen and/or B+W?

    The other thing that's problematic is when some people shoot with UV filters, they store their lenses with those filters in place. That creates a medium for growth of fungus, mold and mildew on the front element (both inside and out) because lack of air circulation promotes those kinds of growths. Those of course, can lead to scarring of the front element which brings us back to the age-old question that I believe came up before photography was actually invented: "How much mold, mildew, dirt, dust and debris is enough to adversely affect image quality? :confused:
    Take it slow ;>)
     
  18. momus

    momus Member

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    The fact that you get income from your photography is unimportant. I'm a pro too...meaning, I expect and strive for professional results. What you mean is you're a commercial photographer I suppose. We all want and expect the best in our photography.

    Front element stuff often times has no effect on images, assuming there's a proper hood on the lens. I once had a Nikon 35 70 2.8 lens w/ deep and numerous scratches on the front and never saw any issues whatsoever. Some of the scratches were more like deep gouges, and I filled them in w/ black paint. Stuff on the rear can be an issue. More damning is haze or fungus. That's where you'll get flare and/or image degradation like a softening of the image.

    The only times I'll use a filter is for B&W, and that's all I shoot. Everything goes into a darkroom, so there's no post processing of issues in software. I use yellow, orange, that sort of thing. One of my best shots was ruined by flare from a UV filter, and it was a Leica filter w/ a more than adequate hood. Anytime you screw a piece of glass on the front of a lens you risk flare.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2013
  19. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Uncoated lenses can produce unique images and UV filters are an unnecessary air to glass surface that interfere with the purity of the image.
     
  20. Nikon Collector

    Nikon Collector Member

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    in 45 years I've never had that problem shooting from tropical rain fores to te sahara
     
  21. Nikon Collector

    Nikon Collector Member

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    the few time i've droppede a camra, I was shooting and didn't have a lens cap on, MINOLTA THAT GOT JOSLED AT A WEDDING BROKE OUT THE SCREEN BUT DIDN'T HARM THE LENS, A CANNON ftB WHILE ROCK CLIMBING BROKE THEFILTER AND BENT THE EDGE OF THE LENS BUT IT STILL WORKED FINE, THE el i DROPPED IN A PARACHUTE DROP, i NEVER FOUND SO WHO KNOWS, IT WAS 1200 FT UP WHEN THE STRAP BROKE
     
  22. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    Congratulations !!! Got mildew??
    In 54 years, however, I've never needed or used one, without incident I might add. (so there) :cool: I was hoping that someone had run a real comparison with UV, without UV and using optical glass. I've heard that other shooters have noticed color shifting using UV filters. Although I do use UV coated flash tubes to prevent some organic pigments and some food products from flourescing and I have definitely noticed a difference between shots taken with and without those types of tubes. But as we know, to each their own.
    M.
     
  23. clayne

    clayne Member

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    I use a filter if I'm near salt water that's about it. Otherwise I don't use any UV filter and rarely lens caps.
     
  24. f/16

    f/16 Member

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    A long time ago when I had an AE-1, my 50 1.4 had a scratch about 3mm long on the rear element. The lens flared like crazy. I don't know how bad flare was before the scratch, but I doubt it could be that bad. So I assume the scratch caused it and have since shyed away from lenses that have blemishes on the glass.
     
  25. clayne

    clayne Member

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    It's of course worse on the rear vs the front but permanent markers can be used to diminish the effect of light scattering. Try a few searches.
     
  26. f/16

    f/16 Member

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    Thanks for the tip.