Thread: Buying a lens with tiny scratches

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  1. #1 Buying a lens with tiny scratches 
    Senior Member david evans's Avatar
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    Hey guys,

    I have a chance of buying a Zeiss C/Y 28mm F2.0 for 600 eur. It has a few tiny scratches on the rear element of the lens, which I don't think it's affecting the image, but wanted your opinion.

    I took my camera and shot inside the store a bit and told him I was going to check in my computer for traces of those scratches. Since it's in the rear element, I don't think it should affect flaring very much so I didn't bother to take the camera outside.

    Here are some stills. Please, let me know what you think and if you need some DNGs to inspect a bit more.

    Thanks!!



    28mm F/5.6




    28mm f/11




    28mm f/4





    28mm f/2



    Last edited by david evans; 10-09-2019 at 01:17 PM.
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  2. #2  
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    The lenses I own that have roughness on the elements don't have visible "artifacts", they just render images with less contrast and a more glare. I would avoid it, personally, unless it was at a heavy discount. My main reason being that to sell it, the next guy will probably be just like you are, wondering if it's a good buy.

    Considering good 28mm lenses are common as beans, I don't see anything particularly special about this one, unless you are trying to match image to a bunch of other zeiss glass that you already own.

    The same lens can be had on ebay for less, most likely with no scratches.

    With that said, the images look good.

    Just my opinion - others may differ
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member david evans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeranSimpson View Post
    The lenses I own that have roughness on the elements don't have visible "artifacts", they just render images with less contrast and a more glare. I would avoid it, personally, unless it was at a heavy discount. My main reason being that to sell it, the next guy will probably be just like you are, wondering if it's a good buy.

    Considering good 28mm lenses are common as beans, I don't see anything particularly special about this one, unless you are trying to match image to a bunch of other zeiss glass that you already own.

    The same lens can be had on ebay for less, most likely with no scratches.

    With that said, the images look good.

    Just my opinion - others may differ
    thanks Geran,

    Well, I'm not really worried about selling it. I'm trying to gather a few Zeiss prime lenses of the same era, with that specific coating and optical formula. The guys at the store were willing to do the declicking of the iris and adding a C/Y to Canon adapter at no extra cost. Not sure if it's a good deal, but my main concern is to get a lens with pristine IQ. I've been tracking Contax Zeiss glass at ebay and most 28mm F2 that are declared scratch free and fungus and haze free are much more expensive, so not sure what to do here...
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  4. #4  
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    Hmm. We must be seeing different results, then. Are there different 28mm f/2 zeiss lenses? I just did a search for “zeiss 28mm f/2”. Only a few are above the one you’re looking at, and ef to boot.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member david evans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeranSimpson View Post
    Hmm. We must be seeing different results, then. Are there different 28mm f/2 zeiss lenses? I just did a search for “zeiss 28mm f/2”. Only a few are above the one you’re looking at, and ef to boot.
    You're probably getting the ZF.2 version (or maybe the 2.8 which is way cheaper). I'm looking for contax West germany version (AEG), they share similar optical formula to the standards and super speeds. Nowadays I think they are expensive because they are rare...
    Last edited by david evans; 10-09-2019 at 01:28 PM.
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  6. #6  
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    Ah, yes I see the difference now. That is a good price, with the service, too. It depends on how bad the scratches are.

    Are they this bad?
    IMG_2889.jpg
    IMG_2888.jpg

    That amount of dust/wear/scratches will make the image have less contrast and appear hazey.
    If my example is shockingly bad compared to the zeiss then I wouldn't worry about them and consider it a good deal.
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  7. #7  
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    Generally speaking, scratches on the REAR are much worse than scratches on the FRONT.

    Scratches on the front will be almost invisible, unless you catch them in a flare, where they can alter flare character sometimes.

    If they're on the back they have more visual impact. A tiny scratch on the back CAN show up more than a bigger one on the front. Basically a softening in the area at shallow stops and you will start to "see" the scratches at deeper stops on flat fields.

    It also tends to be worse on wider lenses.

    It will show up more at deeper stops.

    Good way to test would be to shoot a sky at say F11 or F16. You should start to see the outline of the scratch itself.

    Like a lot of things, it also depends a lot on the size, depth, angle, position on the lens itself. In the middle vs on the outer edge for example.

    JB
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    Senior Member jambredz's Avatar
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    Check these out. One is the same price as what you are looking on and the other two are between $180-200 dollars more. I don't know if its out of your range, but the glass is basically mint on al of them so that should gain some peace of mind. Even though they listing says from Japan, all 3 have the "Made in West Germany" on the lens. I think its just shipping from Japan.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Exc-Contax-...cAAOSwdb5dlijl

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-NEAR-M...8AAOSwe-tdmwHb


    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Excellent-C...43e563dba39cc2
    Darren Scott
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    https://vimeo.com/jambredzvisions/videos
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  9. #9  
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    Remember that excellent++++ in Japan ebay is like “fair/good” to “very good” quality. One of them says there is slight haze and one says some separation.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member david evans's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    I bit the bullet and ended up buying a mint version from germany. It was about 900eur but it was listed pretty much as like new. I love the character of this "Hollywood" lens. No wonder Kubrick liked them so much (well the cine version of course).
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