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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-11-2017

Impact of lens scratch

I have the opportunity to buy a Canon zoom lens at a good price, but it has a minor scratch. Seller says it has no impact on photos. Should I beware or purchase it? How could it impact the photos? Thanks!

VIP
Posts: 9,354
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Impact of lens scratch

First what lens are you considering?   And, what discount are you receiving.  It must be a big one because, personally, I would not buy any lens that has a scratch on the front element.

 

 Second most of the time scratches or dust, etc., are OOF (out-of-focus) so they don't show up in the photos.  However, in certain conditions it can show some aberration. Bright Sun from an angle for instance.  Most of the time a scratch will not show up, though.  

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with, a lot of other stuff.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,939
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Impact of lens scratch


Sandy_T wrote:

I have the opportunity to buy a Canon zoom lens at a good price, but it has a minor scratch. Seller says it has no impact on photos. Should I beware or purchase it? How could it impact the photos? Thanks!


Is the scratch on the front element or the back element. If it is the front element then what ebiggs said applies. If the scratch is on the rear element do NOT buy it.

VIP
Posts: 9,354
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Impact of lens scratch

[ Edited ]

"...but it has a minor scratch."  "If the scratch is on the rear element do NOT buy it."

 

Whoa! Yes that is good advice.  I just assumed the scratch is on the front element.  If it is not by all means pass it by.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with, a lot of other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-11-2017

Re: Impact of lens scratch

It is an EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM for $250. I'll have to find out where the scratch is. If it is on the front and element and it doesn't seem to impact photos, is that a fair price?

 

Thank you.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 411
Registered: ‎11-19-2017

Re: Impact of lens scratch

[ Edited ]

New lens sells for $799

Refurb from Canon $543

 

For $250 it depends on how beat up the lens is.  I'd bring my body to test.  Check full operation of zoom and focus rings.  Listen accutely for motor sounds during AF focus and when IS is turned off and on.  Use AF and force the lens to focus on something close, then far away.  Listen to the operation during these activites.  Set camera to Aperature Priority mode.  Take a sequence of shots where you are controlling the F stop.  Check for proper exposure and DOF. 

 

Last, follow the excellent advice given above and walk away if the scratch is on the rear element.

Rick
Bay Area - CA
~6D2 (f/w 1.0.3) ~16-35mm f2.8L II, 50 f1.8 STM, 85 prime USM, 70-200 f2.8L IS II ~70-300 USM II ~Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Art (f/w 2.01)
~Sigma 150-600 C + TC1401 1.4x (f/w 1.03) ~Speedlite 430 EX II ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10 Pro nVidia GPU 1803
VIP
Posts: 9,354
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Impact of lens scratch

"EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM for $250"

 

Yeah, that's a fair price for a mint copy.  With a scratch about $100 is fair. IMHO, of course.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with, a lot of other stuff.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,939
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Impact of lens scratch

[ Edited ]

Sandy_T wrote:

It is an EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM for $250. I'll have to find out where the scratch is. If it is on the front and element and it doesn't seem to impact photos, is that a fair price?

 

Thank you.


The EF-S 15-85mm is a pretty old lens now. Back in it's day it was considered to have better image quality than other EF-S lenses of the day. The problem with the internet is there are 'stale' articles that still give you that impression.

 

Today any of the Canon's STM lenses match it's image quality. So unless you are buying it for the zoom range (which is handy). I'd consider the EF-S 10-18 IS STM and the EF-S 18-135 IS STM (or nano-USM) instead.

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