Effect of scratch in corner of square ND filter

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Platographer Contributing Member • Posts: 511
Effect of scratch in corner of square ND filter

I noticed a very light scratch in the corner of two of my square ND filters. I am super careful when handling and cleaning them, so I believe they came with these scratches. The scratches are likely outside the part of the filter that would be in front of the lens front element. The scratches are so light it is very difficult to even see them. You need to have the flashlight and angle of view just right to glimpse them. If I shoot in bright light, would these scratches potentially cause flaring or loss of contrast in the photos? If so, is the amount of adverse affect that a scratch will cause in challenging conditions related to how severe the scratch is? I have read a lot about how scratches will cause more flaring or loss of contrast in direct sunlight or other similar conditions, but it is unclear to me whether it matters how bad the scratch is. For instance, is it safe to say that a scratch that is so light that its difficult to find unless you light it with reflected light and view it at a certain angle will have much less of an impact than a scratch that is noticeable under direct light at just about any angle?

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