Paint flakes inside lens : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have two lenses that have small shinny specks under the front glass. It looks like the paint just flakes off in random spots. I realize this doesn't affect picture quality, but is it a common occurence with LF lenses?

-- Don Sparks (, December 06, 2000


Don I know what you mean, they drive you crazy but don't have any effect on quality. I've never worked out exactly what they are but you are probably right in suggesting that it is either paint/coating from the inside of the lens. I've not encountered it with LF lenses but it was a problem with several Nikon 35mm lenses as well as a 45mm for the Mamiya 645. But hey! don't worry!! Regards Paul

-- paul owen (, December 06, 2000.

Don I had a similar experience with a LF lens some years back it was still under warrenty so I sent it back to Robert White. They informed me it was a balsam fault. I would advise you get it looked at just to be on the safe side. Regards,

-- Trevor Crone (, December 06, 2000.

i had a symmar lens but the paint peeling was more than a few specks i had purchased the lens with a lifetime warranty scnheider repainted the lens i think it will only get worse and could add to lens flare ,

-- lee nadel (, December 06, 2000.

Let me guess your lens is made by Schneider. From symar-s's maybe even the apo's and earlier are prone to paint flaking. Schneider claims that it will not affect lens performance. Although I personally believe that it might affect contrast because a white surface will reflect more than a black. I would say use it and if you notice a problem replace it,or if you are a professional just replace it. Which would cost more the lens or a client/job=paycheck?

Something else to consider if you get the lens {repainted?} fixed they are going to have to take it completely apart. Not to say that some repair places are not comp. but repair places can be like all the kings horses and all the kings men tring to put humpty dumpty together again.

Sorry for any spelling mistakes John

-- john (, December 06, 2000.

Thanks everyone for your responses. One lens is a Schneider 210 Symmar-s which has only a very small spot. THe other lens is a Fujinon 90mm f/8. The Fuji has about 9 or 10 small spots. I'm not a pro and I only shoot black & white. I haven't noticed any difference in the quality of prints since the spots appeared. I was just mainly concerned about what causes them.

-- Don Sparks (, December 06, 2000.

Cheap paint to cut costs.

-- john (dogspleen@juno .com), December 08, 2000.

This is a common occurence with older lenses. Until recently, the formulation of paint to matt the ground edges of lens elements was quite difficult, and was a trade secret of many optics companies. The paint must wet into the glass in order to present a fully black inner face, and the spotty appearance of some older lenses shows that this wasn't always acheived.
The modern, ubiquitous "magic marker" now makes a very handy touch-up tool for any lens repairer.

-- Pete Andrews (, December 11, 2000.

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