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Thread: Advice on lens with Cleaning marks on the Front optical element

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    19

    Advice on lens with Cleaning marks on the Front optical element

    Have the chance to buy a planar 135mm...but it has cleaning marks on the Front optical element.
    The price is cheaper than others i've come across.

    But are the cleaning marks a deal breaker? I feel like they mustn't be removable as the lens was looked over/cleaned before being listed.

    Not sure so any advice is appreciated

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Chichester, UK
    Posts
    414

    Re: Advice on lens with Cleaning marks on the Front optical element

    It depends on the marks and their location but cleaning marks usually have zero impact on the optical performance of a lens in most circumstances. Do your homework - check they really are cleaning marks and not fungus or separation. If the lens is as described and the marks are not too serious you have bagged a good user lens and saved yourself some money.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    116

    Re: Advice on lens with Cleaning marks on the Front optical element

    That's a tricky one. The only reason to buy a 135 Planar would be for extreme optical performance and speed. The downside is that it barely covers 4x5, so in other respects it's not a good choice for general large format use. The cleaning marks are not going to help performance wise, so it negates the primary advantage of that lens. If you absolutely need something fast for use with rangefinder on a Technika or Graphic, and the price is low enough, then it might be worth taking a risk. On the other hand, you'd probably save a lot of money on a more versatile large format lens in good condition.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Collinsville, CT USA
    Posts
    1,831

    Re: Advice on lens with Cleaning marks on the Front optical element

    I have filled in cleaning scratches with black ink. Found it tricky to do, but after several tries filled in the scratches. The lens (Heliar) had a seriously lot of scratches on its front element, but its asking price was too low to pass up on. Comparing a negative initially taken with one taken after the scratches were filled in (both negatives processed together), the contrast was increased, being that the base plus fog density was noticeably lowered. Resolution looked to be better, but that may have just been a factor of increased contrast.

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