Shiny spec inside front element. Defect?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by allan_martin, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. Hello gents!

    Got this brand-new lens off of a guy which had quit doing photography. Apparently he got as a gift and never used it, so technically brand-new. Roughly 3 months.

    As I was examining the lens, I noticed this bright shiny little spec inside/below the from glass.

    It's not really shiny in the pic but it is, take a look:

    What do you think, is it a flaw/defect? Should I try to return it or send it in to Nikon? Never saw that in my other lenses.

  2. If it is metallic or paint chip or dust you're ok. As long as it is not a fungus growth you're good.
  3. Really doesnt look fungus. So you really wouldnt bother? Even it being a new lens?
    I could ship it to nikon but Id have to pay shipping costs and hope they do their job right.
  4. Allan--did you get the Nikon warranty with the lens? If so, send it back and have them fix it. If not, try the lens for a while and see what you think. Andre is right--something that small probably won't have any effect on your pix.
    Good luck!
  5. Andre:
    Probably nothing to worry about. If the same thing was seen in the rear element there might be cause for concern.
  6. That's so far out to the edge, wouldn't bother me a bit.
  7. Even considering Im still under warranty?
    On the other side I'm really concerned that when they repair it, more dust might get in and I end up with something worse.
  8. That speck must take up all of 0.001% of the glass area! It'll make absolutely zero difference to the image quality of the lens - no more than if you had a bit of dust the same size land on the lens. My advice would be stop worrying about it, forget it and just use the lens. I assume you got it for a good price, so you can't really complain about an absolutely minute defect that won't make any difference to the pictures.
    I don't think you'll have any luck with Nikon, since warranties aren't transferrable from the original purchaser unless bought as a gift. No matter how recently the lens was purchased new, what you have is a "used" lens, and your only real recourse is to the person that sold it to you. Unless the lens still has blank warranty cards and the person you bought it off hands over the original store receipt; in which case you might get away with registering the warranty in your own name. But quite frankly I don't think it's worth the hassle of losing use of the lens for however long Nikon takes to decide a course of action.
    Also bear in mind that this is basically a "kit" lens at the lower price end of Nikon's range.
    Edit: The speck is probably a tiny area of AR coating that somehow got loose. Maybe through assembly or by having some dust land on the lens before going into the coating chamber. These things happen. It's not the end of the world.
  9. While I certainly don't advocate less than careful handling and care of equipment, and I can understand Allan's concern with a new lens.
    But when I find myself getting too concerned about dust and so forth on front elements I remind myself of this article.
  10. that spec will have no effect on lens performance - zip, zero. Not even worth the effort of sending it to Nikon(and as others have noted, unless you have blank paperwork and the sales receipt, no warranty for you). That size, wouldn't even show up if it was on the back element and in that position, so far off the lens axis. Well, maybe, if it was stopped down to f22 and beyond.
  11. Thanks guys!

    I have the invoice from the store along with the warranty papers, all still blank.

    Id probably have to pay for shipping but nothing else.

    Oh and I saved $200 with this lens as opposed to buying a new one, at store. (Is having that spec worth saving $200?)

    My OCD mind wants it gone but the idea of opening up a new lens worries me a bit.
    Will it look like it has already been opened? And what if opening it makes big dust specs appear?
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    This is a second-hand lens, not a new one. Technically, you probably no longer have warranty. I would double check the policy in your country, but Nikon warranties typically only apply to the original purchaser.
  13. That minute speck of dust will have NO effect on your images. It will not be covered by warranty. Go out and take pictures.
  14. I'll contact nikon and see what they have to say about that. But just for piece of mind, how much would it cost to have that
    spec removed?
  15. Allan: It ain't broke--don't fix it. All lenses will, over time, acquire internal dust. It will not affect pictures. You will spend about USD 200 to "repair" a lens which does not need repair. It will then develop more dust, and you will be back to square one. For your own sake, just use the lens for its intended purpose, and post the results, sell the results, whatever.
  16. Just took a look at my 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII and can see dozens of dust flecks inside on the elements. I purchased it when the VRII version first came out. This is perfectly normal and doesn't affect picture quality for me at all. If you really want to freak out, shine a flashlight into the front of the lens and you'll probably see more than one speck. In fact if I'm not mistaken there was a lot of blog talk when this lens first came out about specks inside the lens. I believe Nikon's response was that it was a normal part of the production process, or something like that. It is a great lens. Just enjoy it.
  17. In the old film days, many Zeiss and Leica lenses came with tiny air bubbles in the glass. Those air bubbles were often many times bigger than the tiny and insignificant little spot on your lens Allan. That was the way the glass came out in those days, and the little air inclusions were almost unavoidable. Those old lenses were among some of the best ever made, and still are. In fact some photographers claimed that you could tell it was quality glass because it had bubbles in it.
    So, Allan, take the excellent advice to do nothing with the lens except go and make pictures with it. That little silver speck is almost certainly a small area where the anti-reflection coating has come away - or not been applied in the first place. It's not even dust that can be removed, just an area of glass that's slightly more reflective than the rest. I've seen much bigger spots like that on lots of lenses that still perform perfectly. Don't obsess about it. Put your mind at rest and take some pictures with the lens to show yourself it performs as it should. But bear in mind it's a relatively cheap kit lens, so don't expect absolutely perfect image quality. I suggest you go online and look at reviews of the lens to see how you can expect it to perform.
    Edit: I've just looked at this review of the lens
    If you scroll down to the picture of the front element, then you'll see spots on their lens as well. There's no telling whether they're removable dust or permanent from the picture, but whatever they are, the authors of the review obviously weren't fussed about them.
  18. This could be a minuscule defect in how the anti reflection was applied. It's so tiny and far off to the side that it probably
    has no significance in any way. JMO of course.
  19. Thank you people. Forums do alleviate the pressure on an obsessive mind!
    One last concern: Do you think that my deal which saved me $200 and left me with that shiny spec was good? Or would anyone here rather pay the extra $200 for a new lens without specs? (disregard warranty-related stuff).
  20. Thank you people. Forums do alleviate the pressure on an obsessive mind!​

    Why are you still obsessing then, Allan?
    If it were an expensive lens, I'd be obsessing, too, but it's a $500 lens that you got for $300, for God's sake!
  21. Why are you still obsessing then, Allan?
    If it were an expensive lens, I'd be obsessing, too, but it's a $500 lens that you got for $300, for God's sake!​
    I'm sorry. It's not really something I can control that easily.
    Thanks for the sucker-punch though, Mar, very often that's what I need :(
  22. "If it were an expensive lens, I'd be obsessing, too, but it's a $500 lens that you got for $300, for God's sake!"​
    For some of us, $300-$500 is a significant expenditure, and expensive relative to our incomes.
    That said, I wouldn't worry about a tiny speck at the edge of a lens - as long as it isn't fungus or other growing critters - especially on an APS or larger sensor camera. The only time I've ever seen anything on the front of a lens affect the photo was when a large water droplet plopped onto the 6mm lens on a teensy 1/1.7" sensor digicam (28mm equivalent) stopped down to f/8 or smaller. I've tried to duplicate that effect on CX and DX sensor digicams with 28mm (equivalent) lenses - no luck. Stopping down only makes dust directly on the sensor more visible, but not dust on the front element of the lens.
    One of the lens/camera equipment rental companies published an article and demo photos showing that even a badly cracked front element resulted in barely visible effects on photos (presumably on an APS or larger sensor dSLR). Perhaps someone else can remember the link to that article.
  23. Lex--see Laurie T's post, above. It was from Lens Rental...
  24. Just forget it. It is completely trivial. Just go out and take some pics!
  25. Go take some photos already !!!
  26. Sorry, Allan, for coming across so aggressively. I, too, have been obsessed over trivial deficiencies in my gear. I guess my previous comment was motivated as much by self-loathing as it was by a desire to contribute to the discourse.
  27. Fungus is not going to be just a speck like that unless it is very recent. If it were fungus, you would see "hairs" called mycelia emanating outward from it.
    It appears to be no big deal and should not affect the optical performance of the lens in the least.

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