I have been looking at purchasing a used lens and in the listed it says something along the lines of "There is dust visible throughout the lens, but this will not affect the images in any way"

Is that true? What should I be aware of with regards to dust inside a lens?


It is true. Any effects from small amounts of dust in the lens will be negligible. There will be a considerable amount of dust between the sensor and any given subject, all the time - what difference will a little more in the lens make?

You will probably never find a used lens anywhere on Earth that does not have a some dust inside it, especially zoom lenses, and especially consumer zooms. Unless it's so full of dust it brings to mind a cement factory accident, you should have no problems, especially as the retailer has the confidence to say as much in their description.

FWIW, based on your quote from their site, I believe I know who the retailer in question is: I have used them myself, and their descriptions are generally accurate.

  • 1
    Most new lenses have dust in them too.
    – AJ Henderson
    May 21 '14 at 13:56

It takes a lot of dust/damage to the front of the lens to affect image quality. As you move further back through the lens the effect of the same amount of dust will be greater than at the front. In most cases, however, it will still be for all practical purposes not detectable in the images you make with the lens.

Almost all lenses, including expensive new ones, have specks of visible dust inside the lens.

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