Don't Do This To Your Lens Collection . . .

Started Feb 14, 2010 | Discussions thread
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jhinkey
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Don't Do This To Your Lens Collection . . .
Feb 14, 2010

Well, actually if you like to be scared for a second go ahead.

I am looking into buying a 135/2 AIS from someone and I asked him to take some images of the lens with a light shined through it. Being that it's an old lens I fully expected it to look quite awful - and it did.

For a reference I took some quick pics of a couple of my lenses (using my excellent LX3 in macro mode hand held) shining an LED flashlight through both ends (the G-lenses were a pain because it's hard to keep the aperture wide open).

Here's what I found:
35-70/3.5 AI (72mm filter ring version)

Two from my newly-acquired 105/2.5 AIS

Now, just looking at these lenses in daylight they don't look nearly this bad and they take just fine images - except for the 35-70 when pointed into direct sunlight it flares quite badly. It seems like it could use a cleaning even though it takes quite nice images when used without the sun in the frame.

So, intrigued, I pulled out some more of my lenses, new and old:
70-300AFS

It's not bad for a 1 year old lens.
Now two from my 200/4 AIS

And one from the rear of my 180/2.8 ED-IF AF

This one looks pretty darn clean for a used lens that's at least 5 years old.

And finally from my 16-85AFS which has not been cleaned in a while

Most of these spots were on the rear element which has not been cleaned in quite a while. It cleaned up nicely using my lens pen.

So I'll probably buy the 135/2 AIS even though it looks similar to the 200/4 and 105/2.5 when a light is shined through it. I may get the 35-70 cleaned if it's not too much to do it.

All of these lenses have taken fine images even with all the dust on the lens elements. It really only shows up with strong contrast or direct light into the lens and even then I never noticed any issues until I pointed the 35-70 directly into the sun.

So don't freak out if you see a lot of individual dust specs in your lens when you shine a flashlight through it - the dust likely will not make a noticeable difference unless the element has a continuous slight haze over it like my 35-70/3.5 has (which again probably should be cleaned).

Can anyone suggest a good place to have AI or AIS lenses CLA'd for a reasonable amount?

John

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