Scratched Rodagon Performance

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Clearlight, May 14, 2005.

  1. Clearlight

    Clearlight Member

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    I bought a scratched 240mm Rodagon for an 8X10 enlarger that I was assembling. I got the lens for a song and thought it would be good to test the system with. Eight months later I am still using the lens. It has an ugly 1/8" scratch (not just a cleaning mark) in the center of the front element. The performance of the lens is such that I have not felt the need to replace it. 20X24 prints are sharp and contrasty and have made me re-think my aversion to lens defects.

    I am curious about what others have experienced. I know that "mint" used lenses cost way more than battle-worn lenses (the cost of a new 240mm lens is astronomical). I have decided to stop looking at the scratch. It makes me feel better about the situation.

    steve barth
     
  2. gbroadbridge

    gbroadbridge Member

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    Both on enlargers and on cameras, the effect of a lense scratch is often vastly overstated. Most times they will not have much visible effect. The defect can often be seen in low light work, or bright light work (such as sunsets), but for general portraiture the effect is more often pleasing than otherwise.


    Graham.
     
  3. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    The worst thing will be a tiny, tiny bit of flare. You can remove that (almost certainly invisible) problem by using some India ink or similar black permanent ink to fill the scratch.

    I have a crater the size of the Mare Tranquillitatis filled with India ink on one of my SQ-A lenses and can happily shoot directly in to the sun with only normal flare...

    Cheers, Bob.

    Below is a simple neg scan with no manipulation from the damaged 50mm PS lens with the sun hitting the lens (and the red Cokin filter which is probably responsible for most of the flare...) and a detail of the sun reflecting off the water.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2005
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Sometimes scratches can be useful - not pictorially, but financially! :smile:

    My 150mm APO-Lanthar was affordable thanks to a deep scratch on the rear element. And since everyone knows that scratches on the rear are worse than scratches on the front, nobody else wanted it! The lens is great, no sign of flare or "soft spots".
     
  5. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    As has been stated, the scratches on lenses, most of the time don't have alot of effect, but they make a hell of a bargining point when trying to purchase a lens, I got my 300 f/2.8 for my 35 system for a song, because it has a 1cm scratch on the outside edge of the front element and it has never had an effect on any shot at all!

    Dave