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Wondering what I should do about this crack in my Nikon 70-300mm lens. It seems to work the same and has no negative impact on photos but I’d still like it fixed or at the least suggestion to help prevent it from getting worse.

enter image description here

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    Are you sure that's not a filter on the front of the lens? – scottbb Oct 3 '18 at 19:15
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    Can you take & upload a picture of the side of the lens? Is there printing/embossed lettering around the outside of the rim near the front of the lens? That would show it's probably a filter. – scottbb Oct 3 '18 at 19:32
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    You’re so right!!! It is the filter and I’m ordering a new one now!!! Thank you all so much for your help! I appreciate it so much❣️ – Melissa Oct 3 '18 at 20:05
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    So, yes, as suspected, with the updated picture - you have a RocketFish RF-CP67 circular polarizer filter on there (67 probably indicates a 67mm diameter thread ring). Remove it, and replace it or don't - I would recommend not, except for certain situations where you know you want to use one. If you really didn't know it was there, then I'd guess you don't really know yet what you would use one for, and so can probably do without, and probably even get better more consistent results in the process. – twalberg Oct 3 '18 at 20:06
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    no reason to have a polarizer permanently attached to your lens. try using the lens for a while without the filter. you should notice a performance increase, especially in low light. – xiota Oct 3 '18 at 21:33
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It's probably a filter. If there is printing or embossed lettering around the outside of the rim near the front, that would indicate a filter is screwed on.

Remove the filter by unscrewing it. If it doesn't seem to want to come off, see: How do I get a stuck screw filter off of my lens?

After comments, the filter is a Rocketfish RF-CP67 Circular-Polarising 67mm diameter filter which unscrews using the knurled section highlighted. The section forward of that with the RocketFish logo will turn infinitely - which is how it varies the polarising layer.

enter image description here

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I am sure that is a filter, not the lens. Remove the filter and problem solved.

You probably need to buy a new filter.

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As previously stated, it looks like the filter is damaged, not the lense. But, of course, take the filter off and inspect the lens for damage too. That being said, I was a professional photographer for years and initially, as a budding amateur, I always had a Sky or UV filter on all my lenses to protect that precious glass from damage. Certainly a Sky or UV filter has some benefit in filtering out certain wavelengths of light that you may find unattractive in your photographs. But, unless you keep them sparkling clean, they will impart some issues in your shots. So, I took any filters off my lenses unless I had a photographic reason to add them, was extra careful in protecting my lenses and used metal sunshades when possible to minimize stray light and put something in front of my glass that would help protect, yet not interfere with the quality of my photos.
After working in a camera store I learned that the sales people always recommended a protective filter on any lense they sold. Why? So they could make additional money on the sale, back then (80’s) a Sky A1 filter cost you about $20, cost to the camera store was $2 or 3, nice profit margin. I won’t tell you what they made on batteries. 😳 Keep your lens clean and use a good shade to help keep it out of harms way.

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    A Sky/UV filter only has value if you're shooting film. Film is more sensitive to UV than it is to visible light, so adding a UV filter on top of the natural UV filtering of the lens makes sense. Digital sensors are the other way around, so adding a UV filter just adds opportunities for lens flare, haze, and other problems. – Mark Oct 4 '18 at 1:05
  • Melissa: Be aware that some filters do block a fair amount of light getting to your sensor/film. That polarizing filter will cost you about 2 f-stops of light. In turn may push you to slower shutter speeds to compensate for the lose of light. May be an issue depending on what/how your are photographing your subject. – Tony Oct 4 '18 at 12:35
  • I suspect UV and IR can wreak total havoc especially on digital if they manage to "overpower" the camera-internal filters - it is considered one of the possible reasons for purple fringing. Both CCD and CMOS sensors are actually sensitive as heck to these wavelengths - hence the built-in filters. However, common UV filter designs from the film era are unlikely to help substantially here. So the kind of radiation a UV filter filters on digital setups is particle radiation: doorknobs, stray tools and hardware, projectiles, abrasive dirt.... – rackandboneman Oct 6 '18 at 22:29
  • And btw, the filter shown looks like it either has very low quality coating, or has been allowed to gather a copious amount of oil/smoke/haze/.... both, unlike dust specks, will be bad for your image... a polarizer should look very translucent or very dark when photographed... – rackandboneman Oct 6 '18 at 22:41

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