Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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My Canon 14mm 2.8 front lens, after a few years of use, has slight marks of abrasion. Very slight bruises.

Is is technically possible to recoat this lens to render its original finish?

(I discovered this, by the way, a patent for the special low-refractive-index coating on this lens.)

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You don't really need to worry about minor abrasion's on the lens. They don't have a significant impact on image quality unless they are pretty severe. – AJ Henderson Jul 31 '13 at 13:52
@AJHenderson : in fact those little imperfections become visible when the lens is oriented towards a strong lightsource (like the sun), with the diagrapharm completely just around F22. – Skippy Fastol Jul 31 '13 at 14:03
@mattdm : many thanks for the edit. – Skippy Fastol Jul 31 '13 at 14:04
what are you seeing, some kind of ghosting reflection? – AJ Henderson Jul 31 '13 at 14:07
Obligatory Kurt Munger link. – Chinmay Kanchi Jul 31 '13 at 15:21

Speaking from recent experience, i had my 24-70mm front element scratched, the coating wore off due to it rubbing against my jacket and the center of the element was scratched from something else.

The removal of the coating doesn't make any noticeable difference to the images i took however the scratch did. I spoke to the cannon service center and they said that under both circumstances the cheapest and quickest option was for them to simply replace the element. That was still at a cost of $700 AUD though.

The best advice here is if the front coating is damaged but not scratched, check you photos and see if you can honestly notice any difference.

Failing that, take it into your service center and ask their opinion on the matter :)

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Thanks for this precious testimony ! – Skippy Fastol Aug 4 '13 at 15:55

It depend if only your original coating or the lens itself was scratched. In theory, if it is just the coating, then removing the coating and re-coating it might help, but if the glass itself is scratched, simple coating isn't going to help as it won't replace the actual glass that is missing.

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would you know where a lens like this one could get recoated ? – Skippy Fastol Jul 31 '13 at 14:03
@SkippyFastol - I'm not even sure you could. Canon Service Center would be the first people to ask though, since the coating is probably proprietary. – AJ Henderson Jul 31 '13 at 14:05
@SkippyFastol I had people suggest going to try and find an optician however it was much easier going in to canon directly. Apparently there are some who have the ability to creat their own eye wear and thus also have the ability to put coatings on lenses. :) – NULLZ Aug 3 '13 at 10:48

I am pretty sure that the service centers do not attempt to fix scratches, they can simply replace the front element. This is one of the least expensive repairs to a lens, but nothing is what I'd call inexpensive.

I say don't worry, be happy. Or don't shoot into the sun. See Where they show some sample photos taken with a lens with severe damage to the front element.

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That is probable :( – Skippy Fastol Aug 1 '13 at 7:40

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