Photography promotes visual understanding of the world around us. When taking photos, you see the world through your camera lens. It is like a glass window where you gander through your surroundings.
But what happens when the window gets hazy, scratched, or broken?
Your digital camera’s lens, no matter how carefully you handle it, is prone to wear and tear. If you find a scratch or two, don’t panic. There are ways on how to fix scratched camera lens.
Do Scratches Affect Image Quality?
First, let’s address your concern about image quality. Remember that when you shoot, you are looking through the lens, not at it. So minor scratches will not cause visible marks or spots in your photo, especially when you are shooting at wider apertures.
Scratches will only be noticeable when you shoot with smaller apertures f11 to f22.
Repair Or Replace?
Camera lens scratch repair could be very expensive. If you usually shoot with wider apertures, then minor scratches on your lens should not bother you. Save your money. Scratches will only affect the resale value of your lens or camera in the future.
However, if you’re one who likes taking photos with much depth, sharper lines, texture, and space, you can re-check the performance of your scratched camera lens.
Do this by shooting a photo at f22. If you can tolerate the blurs, don’t get it fixed. However, if you think it makes a noticeable impact on your image quality, go to an authorized service center. There, you may watch how to remove scratches from camera lens done by a pro.
If your camera lens gets cracked or broken, you might want to replace them. However, buying a new camera lens may cost more than buying a camera. So always be extra careful in handling it.
Hacks To Fix A Scratch
Some photographers offer do-it-yourself methods on how to fix a scratched camera lens. Remember to do these with caution. Mishandling might cause further damage to your lens.
Use Rubbing Alcohol
- Remove dust from your lens with a lens blower or lens brush. Make sure the lens surface is dust-free before proceeding to the next step.
- Put a few drops of lens cleaning solution on a lens cleaning tissue. Wipe the lens in concentric circles, not across the lens.
- Dilute 3.5% solution rubbing alcohol with water: 20 parts water is to 1 part of alcohol.
- Dampen a clean, preferably new microfiber cloth into the alcohol solution.
- Gently rub the scratch with the damp cloth until the scratch is gone.
- Dry the lens with a new microfiber cloth.
Use Pencil Eraser
- Do Steps 1-2 listed above. Make sure the lens is completely dry before proceeding.
- Use an unused, clean, and soft pencil eraser and lightly rub it along the long direction of the scratch. Do not apply much pressure when doing this.
- Keep rubbing until the scratch is gone.
- Do Steps 1-2 mentioned in the Use Rubber Alcohol section. Make sure the lens is completely dry before proceeding.
- Put a tiny blob of toothpaste on the rear lens.
- Gently make circular motions using a cotton bud to coat the entire lens with toothpaste.
- Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with water to remove the toothpaste. You should notice that the small scratches have disappeared.
Those are three hacks on how to fix a scratched camera lens by yourself. However, we strongly advise that you evaluate your lens first before doing any of these methods. If scratches do not affect your image quality, leave them be. Explore the world and keep shooting! Learn more on how to clean your camera here!