View Full Version : Chips on front element ?

John Conway
8-Jan-2014, 16:36
I am considering the purchase of a lens that has chips on the outer edges of the front element . I'm guessing someone tried to get a stuck filter off by tapping on the ring or squeezing a filter ring with pliers . Since the chips are very small , I'm thinking the effect would be minimal. Has anyone used a lens with a chipped front element?

Steven Tribe
8-Jan-2014, 16:50
All the time!

There are chips and chips. Chips with cracks (even slight) should be avoided. There is no problem with chips on the edge which don't include the transmission surfaces. Even slight chips at the outer edge of the front surface should be OK. You can be unluckly and the chip causes a stray light beam, but this can always be duelt with by blacking out the chip.

But it will always have lower resale value.

Jeff Keller
11-Jan-2014, 15:30
The famous photographic advice: "paint it black". The amount of light lost due to a chip is insignificant. If the light goes the wrong way it could be a problem, so paint the chips black. Perhaps the biggest worry would be cracks propagating or elements separating.

Jim Jones
11-Jan-2014, 18:08
Chips around the edge suggests abuse that may have caused less apparent, but more serious, problems. Also, if you paint over the chips, it may cause unpleasant bokeh when the lens is used wide open.

John Conway
12-Jan-2014, 11:15
I will be using the lens for 8x10 black and white portraiture. So a little black paint touch up should work fine . However , as Mr Jim Jones pointed out , less apparent but more serious problems could be a concern . But if it works with no mechanical problems I'll be satisfied . If I get get the lens at the right price I will be happy. Even with a little bit of less than perfect bokeh .

C. D. Keth
14-Jan-2014, 23:59
One of my favorite lenses has a chip out of the front element right in the middle. I sharpied that sucker black and never worried about it. I can't tell the difference unless I'm shooting right into the sun.

24-Jan-2014, 00:39
Would the same principal apply to an edge chip on a rear element? Stupid me dropped the rear element of a 90mm Grandagon that I had intended to sell. Stopping down one stop f8 from f6.3 takes the edge chip out of play. If painting black is a fix, I guess I can keep what I thought were worthless lens cells and sell my "good" 90mm Grandagon. I had been planning on selling the Copal #0 shutter that had housed these cells.

Don Dudenbostel
28-Jan-2014, 18:59
I had a B&L tripe convertible Protar that had a gouge out of the center of the front cell and it still made stunning images. I never knew about the sharpie trick but I never had a problem with it. Regrettably I sold it years ago.