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New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎07-05-2019
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Removing scratches from front lens?

I have a few small (light)scratches on the outside perimeter of my 18-135mm lens. I really do not see a problem with my images. But how do i remove them. Some recommend toothpaste, others very fine sandpaper 4000 etc. If use of toothpaste is recommended with sodium bicarbonate or without, with fluoride or not etc. And some recommend a water isopropyl mixture which i tried and did not work.. Thanks for your help!!

VIP
Posts: 8,322
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Removing scratches from front lens?

Do nothing. As long as your images are unaffected I would ignore it.
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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,822
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Removing scratches from front lens?


@Waddizzle wrote:
Do nothing. As long as your images are unaffected I would ignore it.

Agree. Since you can't see any impact of the scratches you won't gain anything by trying to remove them.

 

And you run the risk of creating damage that you will see.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LRCC Classic
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 574
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: Removing scratches from front lens?

Anything you do is going to make it worse.  The lens likely has a coating and anything you do to remove scratches is likely to turn what is currently a non-problem (if the current images are acceptable) to something that is very noticeable.

 

Those glass scratch remover "kits" using some form of abrasive compound (includes toothpaste) are intended for removing cosmetic scratches from glass and not to "fix" optical glass.  I restore vintage ham radio gear and have used various light abrasives to remove cosmetic defects from meter and dial glass but images aren't being taken through that glass.  

 

Anything beyond proper cleaning of lens elements will range from doing nothing to turning a minor issue into a major issue.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M2, 1DX, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 507
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Re: Removing scratches from front lens?

Agree with the other posters.  You have the scratches and it's too late to do anything about them.  If you seriously run the risk of getting more then put on a good quality protective filter.   I know this is a cause of much debate and people take positions, but the fact remains that if you had one on you would not be worrying about the scratches you now have.

 

 

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"I have never been able to enlarge a photograph... I am just interested in the shots" Henri Cartier-Bresson
New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎07-05-2019

Re: Removing scratches from front lens?

the scratches were created by me when dismantling the front lens to clean the dust etc off the inside of the lens. I was successful. ugh!!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,009
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Removing scratches from front lens?


@drilakin wrote:

the scratches were created by me when dismantling the front lens to clean the dust etc off the inside of the lens. I was successful. ugh!!


It's OK to practice on crappy lenses that you don't care about. But IMO nobody without professional experience in camera repair should disassemble a good lens.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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VIP
Posts: 11,340
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Removing scratches from front lens?

[ Edited ]
I agree with Robert, the lens is probably ruined.
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 507
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Re: Removing scratches from front lens?

I guess that is lesson learned - the hard way. Smiley Sad

 

I would never take a lens apart.  Apart from the possiblity of damage, unless you have a clean room then you have an excellent chance of getting more dust further into the lens.  I hate dust but also realize that it is more cosmetic than anything. It would have to be massive and I mean MASSIVE to have a significant impact on your images (unlide sensor dust).  Finally you likely don't have the tools to ensure the micro level precision required to make sure the elements are perfectly aligned.

 

If the lens still works and produces sharp images, good for you and consider yourself very fortunate, but I would avoid further forays into that area.

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"I have never been able to enlarge a photograph... I am just interested in the shots" Henri Cartier-Bresson
New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎07-05-2019

Re: Removing scratches from front lens?

Trevor, as per your advice i will leave any lens repair up to the professionals. Thanks for your tips!

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