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Stupid lens question

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Grant M, May 10, 2007.

  1. Maybe the title should read...I tried to save a buck and got what I deserve, stupid me? I purchased a bargain grade 28-70mm F2.8 AFS lens. Upon inspection I've found a tiny scratch in the front element. I've had a chance to take a few pics attached to my D2X. The pics do not show any signs of the imperfection. I paid $695.00 and have the option of returning for a full refund minus shipping. What tests should I do to put my mind at ease? or should I just return the lens and go for a better grade?
  2. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    It sounds like you got a great deal. Stop it down, maybe shoot some areas to try to induce unwanted flare.

    I doubt that the scratch will effect the images very much.
  3. whyhan


    Jun 14, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    Shoot the blue sky long exposure at f11-f16 then inspect your images.
    How old is the lens?
  4. Thanks Joshua, I'll give that a try tomorrow afternoon.
  5. I have no way of knowing. Looks like it's been used by a not so careful pro (taped the hood on for no good reason). But it does focus quickly and accurately. The pics are razor sharp. I'll do the sky test as well. Thanks!
  6. If the scratch is something that'll bother you (whether or not it has any effect on the images), it might not be such a good deal. If, on the other hand, it doesn't, then you got a great deal.

    Let us know what you decide.
  7. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    How tiny? A scratch needs to be quite large before it starts to show on your images.

    Have you ever shot a picture through a wire fence? If you get very close the fence "disappears" because it is too out of focus to form an image. Most scratches are much smaller than a length of wire so have even less impact on the image.

    A lot of fine scratches (like sandpaper over the lens) may cause loss of contrast and softness. A really big gouge might catch light and cause flare - filling it in with black paint will cure that. The only case when a big scratch might show on a picture is in a wide or ultrawide lens at very small apertures, since the DOF may be large enough to bring the scratch into focus.
  8. If I were you, I'd dump it. Not worth the aggrevation. If you noticed it, and it is bothering you, then it will forever. Take the loss.

  9. After more than 200 shots today (should have been packing for a trip)... into bright afternoon sun, sky w/ slow shutter, wide open , stopped down, hood on/ hood off, high iso, indoor flash..you name it. I can't see where the scratch makes any difference. Maybe this lens is soooo good it just doesn't matter. Yes it's ugly with the scratch and tape marks but it's a keeper. I'm not sure I'd advise buying a bargain lens but this one is growing on me. Thanks all for your input.
  10. tasnim_fahim


    Oct 2, 2006

    small scratches should not make a difference.

    Hope it tests good for you.
  11. GoGo


    Apr 20, 2006
    New York


    Once durring a shoot my assistant managed to bump my lens front element and mark it. Well the mark bothered me so I traded the lens in and just bought a new one. Weeks later in the store I noticed the lens sitting in the display case asked to look at it and guess what? It had no mark! Not a blemish, I asked about it and the camera shop guy said "Oh that lens just needed a good cleaning".

    My pocket is what got the good cleaning if you ask me!
  12. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    through the years I've seen some awful looking lens being used. However when given the opportunity to see the images shot with these ugly ducklings. They were mostly spectacular shots !!!
  13. billg71


    May 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Grant, it sounds like you made out OK! Front element scratches aren't that big a deal unless, as someone else pointed out, they are deep and large enough to cause flare or diffraction. Tape residue comes off with a little elbow grease and a rag DAMPENED(not wet or soaked!) in naptha.

    Look at it like this: you just got a lens that sells for $1400+ new for $700. KEH has a bargain copy right now for $900+. And it is one absolutely great piece of glass!

    I bought mine for $750, it had been either dropped or banged against something hard enough to crack the hood and cause the MF to be a little sticky but internally it must have been OK because it was absolutely sharp as a tack. Not a mark on it cosmetically and no scratches, etc. on the glass. A new hood cost me $40.00, replacing the outer barrel cost another $200 and it's good as new. So I didn't come out any better than buying a used copy in EX condition after all. But I used the lens for 6 months before having the barrel replaced and could still be using it today. I rarely if ever use MF on this lens and the MF worked fine, it was just a little sticky in places. So having the work done was more of a nit-picking thing than a real need.

    I think you'll be very happy with your copy, it's a great lens and everybody should have at least one! :wink:

    The Beast ROCKS!!! :biggrin:

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