Well, I have scratched my sensor, or since I made research, I'd better say the infrared filter on top of my sensor. I have made sure that this is a scratch after I had my sensor cleaned by the service center.

I have taken a test shot for the purpose of demonstration and this shot has been taken at F 36 with the shutter speed of 4 second and ISO 100. The scratch looks like that in the RAW file when not modified.

enter image description here

After I increase the contrast heavily, I get the following result. enter image description here

And here I have attached the snap of the settings in my Lightroom as well as highlighting the scratches. enter image description here

I would like to ask the community here, do you think this is negligible and something that I can actually forget about, or would this cause problems in my photography? I shoot landscapes, and I'm interested in long exposure and I sometimes need to go a bit above F 16.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ If you only "sometimes need to go a bit above f16" why test at the ridiculous aperture of f36 ? Normally DSLRs don't even let you shoot at that aperture (most lenses stop at f22 in my experience). Test at f16 or f22 and then try some real world shots to see if it's in any way detectable. Worry about real world shots, not test shots. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 10:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @StephenG Apertures above f22 are common on variable aperture zoom lenses due to where the widest aperture at a particular focal length falls and how many stops are provided. Of course, narrow apertures are also common in medium and large formats. \$\endgroup\$
    – user50888
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ ND filters can also be used on long exposures to avoid small apertures. \$\endgroup\$
    – db9dreamer
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 10:15

3 Answers 3


I think you should spend 20 minutes of your time, go out in the field, take 10 or 20 different kinds of real pictures, at the settings you most often use, then develop the images with your usual work flow, and finally decide if the scratch impact the results.

Everything else would be just me guessing which impact a scratch I have no idea about will have on pictures I'll never take with a camera and lens I've never used.


The marks on your sensor filter stack appear to be insignificant, unless you frequently photograph plain backgrounds at F32.

  • Since they are barely visible at F32, they may not show up at F16-22. I have used lenses with shattered elements that barely showed up at F4. Such fine marks, as you have found on your sensor, are unlikely to show up at F11 and larger. Even if they do, any ordinary subject is likely to obscure them.

  • Although you have noticed the marks on your sensor recently, you do not indicate how long they may have been there. I have a compact camera with a deep scratch on the lens that could have been there for years before I discovered it. Could the marks on your sensor also have been there for years? If so, and they have not previously negatively affected your photography, it's likely they will not affect your photography in the future.


You missed the scratches in the lower center. The upper right corner doesn't really look like a scratch, though. It looks more like some residue from fluid when the sensor was cleaned. This often happens in the corners, which are nearly impossible to dry perfectly.

Since, over the series of questions you have asked regarding your obsession with the condition of your sensor when shooting at f/32 and increasing contrast to the absolute limits of your software's ability, you haven't actually told us what kind of camera it is we have absolutely no way of telling you if it is worth it to get it fixed. We have no way of estimating the specific cost based on the specific camera model and we have no way of knowing what the value of your camera would be once repaired. If it is a Nikon D40X it would not be worth it. If it is a Phase One IQ3 it probably would.


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