View Full Version : Is it possible to remove cleaning marks from lens?

15-Mar-2004, 15:02
Hello everyone,

Is it possible to remove cleaning marks from a lens? if it is possible, does anybody know who does it?


Ted Harris
15-Mar-2004, 15:23
“Cleaning marks” is just a euphemistic way to say scratches. First off, before you even think of attempting to remove them see if they really make a difference in your images. I prefer my glass to be pristine but, like most of us, I own a couple of lenses with a scratch or two, some marks on the coating, etc. For example, I have a 75mm Super Angulon f5.6 with a rear element that looks absolutely grundgy but there is absolutely no effect at all on the images.

Having said that there are services that can recoat and even regrind your lens if that is what is required to remove the scratches. However, I question the wisdom of taking these actions and, without checking prices, have always suspected that you would spend more than just replacing the lens with a good new version. Perhaps even just buying the element you need and leaving all else alone. You can do that from Schneider and (I believe) Rodenstock.

15-Mar-2004, 15:39
Great idea. I just send an email to Schneider. Yes, I'll see if it affects the image.


Frank Petronio
15-Mar-2004, 15:48
John VanStelton of Focal Point can repolish and recoat damaged lenses - but it costs $200 plus, so I would only do it for expensive items. The rule of thumb is if your fingernail can "catch" on the scratch, then it is too deep.

The "incredible" lenspen uses a very fine powder to very slightly polish away cleaning marks. I love it, it really works, but I would be careful not to use a dirty lenspen or to do it 10X a day for a year...



Michael Kadillak
15-Mar-2004, 16:37
The easiest and safest thing to do is nothing. Take the lens out and shoot with it and look at the results. If you can honestly detect a visual degredation caused by the imperfections (or if it bugs you to have a lens with less than "perfect" coatings - which is usually the case for those that are unrealistic about the situation), then sell it and start saving for a factory new lens. I read that Weston used optics one grade above the bottom of an old Coke bottle that had been kicked around the block a few times and he made marvelous images with them. I guess that he was not always in perpetual command of his finances (laymans terms - he was broke most of the time) and was forced to use whatever he could find at the pawn shop or the like. The reality of the situation is that when you see a really quality image, all else is relatively unimportant.


Dick Roadnight
17-Mar-2004, 11:07
You may find that it only matters in that it increases flare when you need, but do not use, a lens shade.

Test the lens with the sun just out of shot, with and without a lens share/strateically placed hand.