Stupid lens question

Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
254
Location
Little South of Pittsburgh PA
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?
 
G

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.
 
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
254
Location
Little South of Pittsburgh PA
Shoot the blue sky long exposure at f11-f16 then inspect your images.
How old is the lens?
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!
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
Messages
2,356
Location
Salt Lake City, UT
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.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
1,706
Location
New Zealand
Upon inspection I've found a tiny scratch in the front element.
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.
 
D

Dan from New Jersey

Guest
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.

Dan
 
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
254
Location
Little South of Pittsburgh PA
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.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2006
Messages
1,456
Location
New York
smudge

Grant,

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!
 
B

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 !!!
 
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
715
Location
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:

Bill
 

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