View Full Version : Wipe Marks
Ok I've seen a Nikkor 50mm f2 for $99 and I've read that it's not a bad lens. However it is advertised with 'light cleaning marks'.
Also I've found a Canon 50mm f1.8 for $120 with 'some wipe marks'
And a 50mm Summarit f1.5 again with 'some cleaning marks'
With my foray into the world of Rangefinders I've seen these terms used frequently 'cleaning marks' and 'wipe marks' etc.
With terms like that, I want to know what am I getting myself into?
PS. I have asked the sellers of the above items to send me pictures before I send off any money.
You can check many ebay sellers of fine lenses and will note that all are quick to point out that wipe marks will not effect picture quality. Saying wipe marks or small scratches will not effect photos is easy to say, but really difficult to quantify without testing by taking photos. One has to wonder why the lens manufacturers don't sell the lenses with wipe marks or scratches already included if they do nothing?
That said, depending on the amount of scratch/wipe marks, the effects may be small enough that you will still be happy with the lens. Chances are if you examine you current lenses against a strong direct and side light, you may find cleaning marks. If so, see how much it has effected your photos. That will help you in making a decision.
Very faint marks should not effect photo taking to a degree that it is usually noticible. Any effects may be so slight as not to be noticible except under extreme conditions such as into a light source, or very large enlargements. Even then the effect may be so small as to be all but un-noticible.
That may sound like I am agreeing with the sellers. I am not. I bristle when I read those descriptions. I would much rather see them say 'very slight effects,' of 'difficult to notice effects.' You just cannot be sure until you test the lens. I don't think I have helped much. Sorry.
My experience has been that one person'es "wipe marks" are another's "deep scratches". It's a highlysubjective determination that can really only be resolved by trying the lens.
Having said that, let me concurr that a few very light scratches on the front element have little effect on picture quality. However,a couple of lenses I have purchased with perfect front elements have had scratched back or internal elements which made them useless anyway.
These wipe or cleaning marks may affect picture quality if they're easily visible with the naked eye and not upon close examination. In Leica glass, they bring down the price of the lens; in other cases, they may not affect price as much. Again, their dimension is merely subjective, but their presence means that you'll not be able to make very large prints (poster size) from shots you take with those lenses. Now, if you're into doing, say 8 by 10s, and your shots have a fairly busy background, that's fine. My Zeiss Planar 35mm lens for the Contax G1 was sold to me very cheap because of a scratch in the back element. So far, not one single print has been affected, so, there you go again with the subjective quality of these marks.
As the others said, it's very difficult to give a veredict without having tried the lens first. I have some visible scratches in the front element of a Jupiter-8. To my eye, pics look good enough but without doing a side by side test against a perfect lens, I think I have no way to see if that scratches have some effect in the final picture :confused:
My Nikkor 5cm F1.4 in LTM was advertised by Midwest Photo Exchange as having light cleaning marks. They are very light; and you have to look for them. They make no different at all in what I can see compared with the "mint" 5cm f1.4 on the S3.
If this is a Nikkor 5cm F2 in LTM for $99 GRAB IT! If you do not like it let me know, and I will take it off of your hands. I have a replacement front module for the lens!
Internal haze, and heavy marks on the rear components is bad and requires CLA.
Summarit 5cm F1.5: Internal Haze, "Light cleaning marks".
Summarit 5cm F1.5, after a $90 CLA and Filter ring Rebuild at Essex in New Jersey. This is now a favorite of mine. All shots wide open. Enlarged section, scanned at 1850 DPI with an old Microtek 1850 Three-Pass (color wheel) slide scanner.
Brian's "infamous" Hello Kitty test chart.
Well, let's just use up my picture posts for the Day!
This is with the Summarit closed down f5.6 or f8; cannot remember, but past F4 it is hard to see a difference in the sharpness on this lens. It is "real" sharp on the 5x7. The "dark,fuzzy area" on the left is the zoo fence that I am shooting through.
Light marks on the front element? not a problem.
Before NBC, there was the "SUMMARIT PEACOCK"
Alright, Stu, thanks to Brian you and all of us have living, clear proof that "cleaning marks" shouldn't be a reason NOT to buy a lens. Just as long as you don't expect "great" shots from it, you'll do fine in the satisfaction department.
Here's an example of wipe marks on the back element. The light reflections from the water have a "sparkly" appearance.
I dis-assembled this entire lens to clean what I think was a fog from volatilized lubricant. Apparently a previous owner thought he could remove the fog by scrubbing harder. After the fogging was removed I found many, many small scratches on the rear of the back element.
Cool... thank you all for your answers.
Normally as soon as someone mentions a Hasselblad lens has any kind of mark on the lens, it normally gets written off or the value drops by a good 50%.
The only problem now is that the seller doesn't want to ship the lens overseas.... ARGH! And here's me reading all these brilliant reviews of it and getting all excited, typical.
Brian, I've asked the guy selling it if he doesn't mind me forwarding his address onto you. Unless I track down one of my university buddies in the US and get it that way.
generally ; light wipe marks refers to wear of the coating.
of course - everyone rates that to their advantage.
wipes should produce more flare, as they scatter the light.
lens shade+ good filter may; May help.
scratches on the front are sometimes not a problem<whereas the rear scratches usually are a disaster;
i have a summaron;2.8 and it has machining marks; as well as bubbles;some breaking at the surface;its weriod; but the pictures are amazing.
lenses can be recoated- i have 1 and its superb; but thats NOT awalys the case.
my friends recoated lens- and the job was done beautifully- but the lens is definitely ; softer. as i was printing negs& discovered- the negs looked ok; bvut the sharp edgeness associated with the 8 element lens wasnt there.
sometimes the lens must be repolished; to remove the old coating.
that can be a problem./as it was in the case in point.
mine has a blue 60's era coating- the other one was a modern multi.
softer is NOT awalys bad.
but its a different thing; then we usually look for.
you get what you pay for.
in my case ill just put on a filter& shade;
and try that.
- recoating - its a can of worms best left alone.
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