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Olympus 17mm, front element scratch

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by TonyZhang, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. TonyZhang

    TonyZhang Mu-43 Regular

    71
    Jul 8, 2014
    New Zealand
    So I noticed something that appears to be a scratch on the front element of my Olympus 17mm today. It is only visible when seen from some angles, but when seen, is quite obvious.

    My copy of the 17mm never seemed to be all that sharp wide open anyway, and I doubt that this scratch is going to affect the lens performance in any way, but it is nonetheless quite heartbreaking. Does anybody know of any way I could get rid of the scratch at home? I have no warranty for this lens, and am reluctant to shell out to get it fixed at a store when it doesn't really affect performance. I'm probably kicking up a big fuss over nothing.

    Thanks in advance
     

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  2. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    389
    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    Won't make any difference .... Flare would be the only likely downside but wouldn't worry
     
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  3. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Veteran

    269
    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Rich
    Yeah, I'd leave it alone. It will almost definitely not affect anything. You could do a Google search on the topic to make yourself feel better (and I fully understand your pain!); you'll find pretty much universal agreement that it doesn't matter.
     
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  4. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    black sharpie and forget it.
     
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  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I agree with the others that this sort of scratch on the front element is VERY unlikely to effect your image quality in any way. There are a number of "home remedies" for "fixing" this sort of scratch (rubbing it with alcohol, Vaseline, toothpaste, etc.), but I suspect that any of them is likely to damage the lens' anti-reflective coating in a way that is much more likely to negatively impact image quality than this scratch will.

    I understand the desire to keep your equipment looking "like new", but you need to remember that the camera and lenses are merely tools that you use to capture images. While any good craftsman treats his tools with respect, he understands that it's not the tools but the end result that really matters.
     
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  6. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Are you sure that's a scratch? Possibly some kind of substance rubbed off on it? Would it respond at all to a wet cleaning?
     
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  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Yep, this is the right advice. The only negative downside of individual scratches on the front element is potential to increase flare in certain scenarios. The black sharpie eliminates this.

    Overcleaning (or cleaning with the wrong cloth or cleaning fluid) is more likely to cause an issue with image quality, since that causes micro-scratches over a larger area that will appear as haze.

    I'm also a little bit bummed when a new thing I have gets a scratch, but I find that's when I chill out a bit more and accept it as truly mine, and I don't need to be quite as precious about it anymore. It's why I frequently enjoy buying used things these days, since they come pre-scratched (and cost a whole lot less).
     
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  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I had a Sigma 17-70 on my DSLR quite a few years back with a deep scratch. I could feel it with my fingernail. I got it for a massive discount because of the scratch and it turned out to be a razor sharp lens that got me many nice landscape shots and portraits. Never noticed ANY ill effects, even flare.

    You've killed some resale value, but that's all. I'd be willing to bet you a lunch you cant make it show up in images if you try! :)
     
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  9. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    A scratch filled with opaque material, e.g. sharpie, has the effect of reducing the light gathering ability by a minuscule amount. There may be a little spot showing up at high f numbers or with an ultra wide angle lens where DOF comes into play.
     
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  10. TonyZhang

    TonyZhang Mu-43 Regular

    71
    Jul 8, 2014
    New Zealand
    Thanks everybody for the reassurance and peace of mind. I'm not the type to baby their camera gear, but seeing a scratch on the lens does suck, even if it doesn't affect the pictures. I'll get over it eventually
     
  11. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus Loser

    931
    Nov 16, 2010
    Finland
    Think about it this way: Now you don't have to baby that lens anymore! I get that heartbreaking feeling with every new item (smartphone, lenses, camera bodies...) when I drop or scratch them for the first time, but soon after I use them with much less caution and that's a good thing, I think.