Whether you dropped your lens or shoved it inside the bag without protection, having a scratched camera lens can affect image quality. Fortunately, this article lists several methods of fixing a scratched camera lens.
I do not know about you, but it is important for me to handle my camera lenses with utmost care. I bought them using my hard-earned money and considering that they do not come cheap at all, I want to ensure their quality for years to come.
But no matter how careful I am, I still end up with scratches on my camera lenses. These can affect image quality and the camera’s ability to focus properly.
Fortunately, I found out there are simple techniques to fix a scratched camera lens. I also came across some tips on preventing lens scratches in the future. I will share these valuable pieces of information below.
So if you are like me who found yourself with a scratched camera lens, continue reading on!
How To Fix a Scratched Camera Lens?
There are several methods to fix a scratched camera lens. From bringing it to the manufacturer for repair, purchasing a lens repair kit, or going for a DIY route, trying these techniques can help restore your lens to its original state.
So if you find out that you have a scratched camera lens, do not worry. Instead, remain calm and use any of the following options to make your lens look new again.
Send the Camera Lens to the Manufacturer
If your scratched lens is still covered by warranty, I suggest sending it to the manufacturer. It is the safest and most effective method to remove camera lens scratches.
You can expect professionals to know exactly what they are doing. Thus, you prevent the risk of damaging the lens further, which often happens when opting for a DIY repair method.
The only downside is that this technique can cost a lot. It does not come as a surprise, though, considering that you are paying for professional services. These can be worth it if your lens has large scratches. But if the marks are not too severe, you can repair the camera lens on your own.
Use a Camera Lens Repair Kit
If you cannot bring your lens to a professional repair shop, then buying a scratch repair kit may be the next best way to fix minor scratches.
These lens repair kits include several tools and solutions, including a clean microfiber cloth and lens cleaning solution. They can help you fix the scratches on the lens and other parts of the camera.
A scratch repair kit is also a great option if you are an experienced photographer who knows your way around a camera. Otherwise, avoid disassembling the lens and camera on your own. It is likely that you will void any warranties or guarantees.
Wipe with Rubbing Alcohol
Those who want to try DIY methods of fixing scratches must be careful to prevent damaging the lenses further.
Some users swear by the rubbing alcohol technique to remove small and minor as well as major scratches on their lenses.
With this method, it is essential to dilute the rubbing alcohol solution before using it. Follow the one part of alcohol to 20 parts water ratio. You risk more damage to the lens if you use too much alcohol.
Once you have diluted the solution, gently rub a clean microfiber cloth over the scratched area of the lens. Wipe the surface in circular motions, making sure to avoid buffing across. Repeat the action until the scratches disappear.
Finally, grab another clean microfiber cloth to dry the wet surface and fix scratched camera lens products.
Use the Vaseline Method
This is another DIY method of removing scratches from a camera lens.
But before doing anything else, clean the camera lens as you would normally do. You can use a lens cleaning solution or simply wipe it with a microfiber cloth.
Wait for the lens to dry. Then, you can apply a small amount of Vaseline to the scratched area using your finger. After, grab a clean microfiber to wipe off any excess product. You can expect the scratch to fade away.
However, you will need to repeat the steps above occasionally because the Vaseline rubs off over time. It is also essential to note that the oil from the Vaseline can affect the image quality. Fortunately, you can easily remove the product if it does not work for your lens.
Using toothpaste is another popular DIY technique to remove any scratches from your camera lens. The reason behind this is probably the fact that toothpaste is easily available and relatively affordable.
Similar to the other methods, you need to focus on the unwanted marks on the lenses. But first, clean the surface and make sure it is free from dust. Then, apply the toothpaste to the scratches using a cotton swab or cotton bud. Finally, grab a microfiber cloth to remove the toothpaste.
Make sure to use gentle, circular motions when rubbing the toothpaste. If not, you risk damaging your camera lens coating.
Try a Glass Windscreen Polish
If you use a glass windscreen polisher for your car, you can also employ it on your camera lenses.
Many photographers on forums reported that this item could remove scratches on lenses and restore their former glory. And considering that it can eliminate chips and scuffs in a car windscreen, it is likely that it can also work on camera lenses made from glass.
To fix a scratched camera lens, remove any dust on the surface. Then, pour a small amount of glass windscreen polisher on a clean cloth. Now, smear the product gently along the camera lens scratch. Continue rubbing until the scratch is gone. Lastly, wipe the lens clean with a dry microfiber cloth.
Rub a Soft Eraser
You can also use a new and clean pencil eraser to remove any camera lens scratch. Just make sure the marks are small because it probably would not work on larger scuffs.
To use an eraser, rub it over the scratch in one direction. Avoid moving the pencil eraser back and forth. If the marks are not stubborn, you can easily erase them after a few minutes. Do not forget to clean the lens using a soft, microfiber cloth.
This method of fixing a scratched camera lens is relatively old school, but it can still yield successful results. Additionally, using a soft pencil eraser is risk-free. Simply use one that is still new and clean. Avoid hard or abrasive erasers to prevent damage.
Use Banana and Baking Soda
This last method of removing scratches from a camera lens might seem bizarre, but some users said it worked. It is also a relatively risk-free solution. However, you can expect your lens to smell like bananas.
First, you have to clean your camera lens. Then, peel off a single banana and slice it into three pieces. After, dip the center part of the chopped banana into baking soda.
Proceed to rub the banana over the lens scratch. Use a wiping motion to remove the scratch. Once gone, clean the lens using a soft, microfiber cloth.
Do Scratches Affect Image Quality?
By now, you are familiar with several methods to fix a scratched camera lens. But you might ask yourself if it is worth going through these techniques. “Do scratches affect image quality?” is probably just one of your questions.
The answer will depend on how big or deep the scratch is and where on the lens it is located. But regardless, camera lens scratches can potentially affect the image quality.
For instance, a small and surface-level scratch may seem harmless at first. It will likely not affect your photos and videos in any way. However, it can get larger over time if you are not careful, similar to a chipped windscreen on a car turning into a crack.
Meanwhile, large scratches can result in a blurred and distorted image. They can also affect the focusing capability of the camera. Deep scratches can even alter the way the light scatters, which can pick up lens flares.
That is why it is important to fix scratches as soon as you notice them on your camera lens. If not, you risk losing the value of your lens as well as the ability to capture beautiful images.
How To Prevent Lens Scratches In The Future?
I always believe in the saying “prevention is better than cure,” and I think the same could be said for camera lenses. The best way to prevent lens scratches and to have to fix them is to protect your lens in the first place.
Below are some ways to keep your camera lens in tip-top condition. Doing any of these methods can help you save a lot of money in the long run.
Use a Lens Cap and Cover
One of the best ways to protect your lenses from scratches is to keep them covered.
Make it a habit to put on the lens cap and cover after using the camera lens. Doing so will keep it protected from dust and dirt, which often damage the surface.
Just make sure to figure out the diameter of your lens. This information will help you find the right lens cap to fit over your glass.
Avoid Hard and Wet Surfaces
When shooting outside, avoid putting your cameras on hard and wet surfaces. Some lenses are not weather-sealed. That simply means that water and moisture can damage the surface.
Placing your lens on a hard table or floor can also accidentally scratch the glass. If you need to lay it down, use a cloth to prevent the camera from touching any tough surface.
Put The Camera In A Case
Once you are done using the camera, do not put it straight into your bag with other things. The chances are that these belongings will scratch the camera lens as they make contact with it. Instead, invest in a camera case and store the camera inside.
Camera lenses are prone to wear and tear, and if you are not careful, they can result in scratches. Fortunately, there are several methods and tools to fix these unwanted marks and make your lens look new again. However, the best thing to do is to keep your camera lens to prevent scratches in the first place.
I hope this article helped you fix a scratched camera lens. Feel free to share it with your family and friends if you find this valuable.