TZ7 Lens Scratch Repair

Started Jul 21, 2009 | Discussions
czajunia
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TZ7 Lens Scratch Repair
Jul 21, 2009

Hi,

During my last trip I somehow managed to scratch the very front of the lens of my TZ7. I have no idea how it happened as the camera wasn't dropped or bashed and I just noticed at one point there was a scratch. I suspect that something very sharp must have been blown and stuck behind the lens cover and when I powered the camera the particle moved along with the lens cover. I know that this is veeeeeery unlikely but it's the only explanation I could come up with.

Back to the point though. The scratch is not very big - I'd say about 3mm long - and it seems like it doesn't affect the picture qulity at least in the pictures I have inspected so far but it gives a very visible mark when shooting video at the wide end of zoom especially in bright conditions.

Does anyone know if there's a service that offers compact cameras lens scratches removal or if it is fixable by Panasonic - I don't know by replacing the front element for example. Is it worth a hassle at all or do you think it would be too expensive and I should just forget about it?

Thank you very much in advance for your help.

tyampel
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Re: TZ7 Lens Scratch Repair
In reply to czajunia, Jul 21, 2009

I would leave it alone.

A tiny scratch like this does not really affect the pictures to an extent that you would notice.

You can of course try to repair it at a Panasonic facility, But that will be expensive as the the whole lens unit, including the sensor unit.

Good luck.

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Isola Verde
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Re: TZ7 Lens Scratch Repair
In reply to czajunia, Jul 22, 2009

czajunia wrote:

Hi,

During my last trip I somehow managed to scratch the very front of the lens of my TZ7. I have no idea how it happened as the camera wasn't dropped or bashed and I just noticed at one point there was a scratch. I suspect that something very sharp must have been blown and stuck behind the lens cover and when I powered the camera the particle moved along with the lens cover. I know that this is veeeeeery unlikely but it's the only explanation I could come up with.

If, very delicately, you open the lens cover blades, you'll see that the front lens element is set a fair way back - so any foreign object causing the scratch that way would have had to had been at least the size of a rice grain!

Back to the point though. The scratch is not very big - I'd say about 3mm long - and it seems like it doesn't affect the picture qulity at least in the pictures I have inspected so far but it gives a very visible mark when shooting video at the wide end of zoom especially in bright conditions.

It is definitely a scratch in the glass or its coating, and not perhaps a mark deposited by some softer substance that might rub off again?

Does anyone know if there's a service that offers compact cameras lens scratches removal or if it is fixable by Panasonic - I don't know by replacing the front element for example. Is it worth a hassle at all or do you think it would be too expensive and I should just forget about it?

Real question has to be how bad is it? Try shooting stills with the camera aimed well towards the sun, and see if it creates any extra flare etc - that's probably when it will show up most.

At one level of expense or another it is possible to have the scratch removed - if nowhere else, you might try the small ads at the back of Amateur Photographer!

Thank you very much in advance for your help.

Hope I've been some!
Peter

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tarnumf
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Re: TZ7 Lens Scratch Repair
In reply to Isola Verde, Jul 22, 2009

Isola Verde wrote:

It is definitely a scratch in the glass or its coating, and not perhaps a mark deposited by some softer substance that might rub off again?

that's what I thought too, some marks may look like a scratch and may not be easy to wipe out with microfiber cloth. Though lens pen usually works good on them. Give it a try, it just $10 and a must have accessory anyway.

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Isola Verde
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Re: TZ7 Lens Scratch Repair
In reply to tarnumf, Jul 22, 2009

tarnumf wrote:

Isola Verde wrote:

It is definitely a scratch in the glass or its coating, and not perhaps a mark deposited by some softer substance that might rub off again?

that's what I thought too, some marks may look like a scratch and may not be easy to wipe out with microfiber cloth. Though lens pen usually works good on them. Give it a try, it just $10 and a must have accessory anyway.

If only people still wore neckties these days.....!

Peter

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czajunia
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Re: TZ7 Lens Scratch Repair
In reply to Isola Verde, Jul 22, 2009

Thanks a lot for your answers.

Isola - Yes, it is definitely a scratch. Also, I did check the distance between the lens and the cover blades before and that's why I said that my scenario was a very unlikely one but still the only one I could come up with. To be honest I have no idea how it happened

tyampel - As I mentioned before in most cases it doesn't affect the pictures but it'is definitely visible when shooting video so I expect it will also be visible in the certain pictures. I don't shoot too much video but it's very annoying to have a white mark right in the centre of the footage.

tarnumf - I tried to wipe it with a lens cleaning fluid as well and it didn't help.

I'll probably contact Panasonic and ask how much it may cost but I wouldn't be surprised it wasn't much less than a new camera.

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czajunia
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Re: TZ7 Lens Scratch Repair
In reply to czajunia, Jul 22, 2009

You can have a look at the screenshots from the movie I just shot to see how the scratch affects the image quality.

The first one is quite extreme due to high contrast:

but it's also visible in normal conditions (almost all the time when shooting outside)

I know that theoretically one tiny scratch shouldn't affect the picture quality too much but mine is probably in the worst possible location.

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Isola Verde
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Nasty!
In reply to czajunia, Jul 22, 2009

If that scratch is the cause - rather than just ordinary flare - that's not so nice, is it?

Any chance you've got a household contents insurance or some protection through your credit card that you could claim on?

Peter
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TZ7 pictures: http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/tz7pics
Using the TZ5: http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/tz5

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tyampel
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Re: Nasty!
In reply to Isola Verde, Jul 22, 2009

It does not look to me to be caused by the scratch.

A tiny 3mm scratch on the front element would be seen as reduced contrast in the affected area.

This (second shot) looks like a dust particle on the sensor.

If you want to service it by Panasonic, the lens unit, which includes the sensor will be replaced.

Good luck.

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czajunia
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Re: Nasty!
In reply to tyampel, Jul 22, 2009

tyampel - I don't think it's a dust particle. It's only visible at the wide end and gradually disappears when zooming in.

Isola - it's definitely not the ordinary flare. I just inspected a few movies from my holiday taken in bright conditions (they were shot on snow - very bright but not against any light source) and the mark is there - all over the place and always goes away when zoomed in a few steps.

The good news is that the repair should be covered by my credit card purchase protection or sth. I am not sure how exactly it works for I've never claimed anything but I've already contacted them and was told that I have to get an estimate from Panasonic first.

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Isola Verde
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Re: Nasty!
In reply to czajunia, Jul 23, 2009

czajunia wrote:

tyampel - I don't think it's a dust particle. It's only visible at the wide end and gradually disappears when zooming in.

Isola - it's definitely not the ordinary flare. I just inspected a few movies from my holiday taken in bright conditions (they were shot on snow - very bright but not against any light source) and the mark is there - all over the place and always goes away when zoomed in a few steps.

The good news is that the repair should be covered by my credit card purchase protection or sth. I am not sure how exactly it works for I've never claimed anything but I've already contacted them and was told that I have to get an estimate from Panasonic first.

That's really good news - the process is sure to be a bit tedious, but what the heck!

Peter

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czajunia
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Re: Nasty!
In reply to Isola Verde, Jul 24, 2009

Hopefully I'll manage to sort it all out before the TZ9 comes out

I went to a Panasonic service center yesterday to drop the camera off and was told that the repair would be £50 labor plus the parts. The engineer said that maybe he would be able to replace just the front element but had to check the list of spare parts for TZ7 first. Waiting for the quote now.

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Isola Verde
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Re: Nasty!
In reply to czajunia, Jul 24, 2009

I'll have my fingers crossed for you!

Peter

czajunia wrote:

Hopefully I'll manage to sort it all out before the TZ9 comes out

I went to a Panasonic service center yesterday to drop the camera off and was told that the repair would be £50 labor plus the parts. The engineer said that maybe he would be able to replace just the front element but had to check the list of spare parts for TZ7 first. Waiting for the quote now.

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tyampel
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Re: Nasty!
In reply to czajunia, Jul 24, 2009

According to the service manual for the LX3 the lens is not serviceable so there are no part numbers for elements of the lens.

It has to be ordered as a unit that includes the sensor too.

This is most likely because the tolerances in installing the sensor are very small.

Not to mention the alignment testing that would need to be done to assure the sensor is properly aligned with the lens.

The only components on that unit that can be replaced is the zoom motor.

Good luck.

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Dabbler
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Re: TZ7 Lens Scratch Repair
In reply to czajunia, Jul 24, 2009

bad luck.. this is why I always buy a clear filter with any lens and put it on as soon as I take the lens out of the box. Unfortunately with this series you don't have that option... but my FZ28 has a filter on it... finally!

I dropped my D50 with 16-80mm DX VR right on the edge of the tip of the lens... it shattered and damaged the filter ring but the filter saved the lens! The repairman at Dodds was able to remove the filter ring and I now have a new filter in place.
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czajunia
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Re: Nasty!
In reply to tyampel, Jul 27, 2009

tyampel wrote:

According to the service manual for the LX3 the lens is not serviceable so there are no part numbers for elements of the lens.

It has to be ordered as a unit that includes the sensor too.

This is most likely because the tolerances in installing the sensor are very small.

Not to mention the alignment testing that would need to be done to assure the sensor is properly aligned with the lens.

The only components on that unit that can be replaced is the zoom motor.

Good luck.

Thanks tyampel. It's not LX3 it's TZ7 (aka ZS3).

I just got the quote from Panasonic and it looks like it's not too bad as the job doesn't require the whole lens+sensor unit replacement. The total for the job is around £85 and cost of parts included is only £25.30+VAT.
It says:
"REQUIRES REPLACEMENT FRONT LENS ASSY. FULL SET UP AND TEST"

The only problem is that it also says that the document they sent me is an estimate not a quote so it may change 'in the event of unexpected damage or missing parts'

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berni29
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Re: TZ7 Lens Scratch Repair
In reply to Dabbler, Jul 28, 2009

Hi

I would not claim on a household insurance policy for repairs to your camera. Once you have had two claims in 3 years it can be a lot more expensive to get insured.
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Isola Verde
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Re: Nasty!
In reply to czajunia, Jul 28, 2009

czajunia wrote:

I just got the quote from Panasonic and it looks like it's not too bad as the job doesn't require the whole lens+sensor unit replacement. The total for the job is around £85 and cost of parts included is only £25.30+VAT.
It says:
"REQUIRES REPLACEMENT FRONT LENS ASSY. FULL SET UP AND TEST"

£85 isn't nothing, but £25 of parts won't be a whole zoom I'd have thought.

That's what, still under a third of a replacement? Guess you've got to do it!

The only problem is that it also says that the document they sent me is an estimate not a quote so it may change 'in the event of unexpected damage or missing parts'

That's likely to be a standard clause - to cover themselves, just in case!

You might want to check that they will get you to confirm any extra cost BEFORE starting any further work, in the event it shold prove necessary - rather than just doing it and ramping your bill up!

Peter

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czajunia
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Not Nasty Anymore :)
In reply to Isola Verde, Jul 30, 2009

Just collected the camera from the service centre today - that was a very speedy job. Everything looks ok but I will play with it a bit more later on. The scratch is definitely gone though. Nice

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Isola Verde
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Re: Not Nasty Anymore :)
In reply to czajunia, Jul 30, 2009

czajunia wrote:

Just collected the camera from the service centre today - that was a very speedy job. Everything looks ok but I will play with it a bit more later on. The scratch is definitely gone though. Nice

Not just nice - VERY nice - and really good to hear about!
Peter

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