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  1. #1
    lilin menyala's Avatar
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    cleaning marks on lens

    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. #2
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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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. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    Removing cleaning marks isn't cost effective on a lens that can be easily replaced.
    ... 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. #4

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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. #5

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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. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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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. #7
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marzipan View Post
    ... 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.
    Do they have a website? If so, I'll bookmark it.

  8. #8

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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. #9

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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. #10

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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).

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