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Cracked lens "repair"
Old 02-10-2015   #1
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hayesbd is offline
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Cracked lens "repair"

I recently acquired a very inexpensive Zenobia with a 4-element Hesper lens. It needed cleaning on the back pair of elements (quite a bit of fungus) and I got that cleaned up nicely but the front element focus helix was frozen solid. In trying to free up that element, I gripped the brass barrel too hard and cracked the second element. There was a lovely crescent shaped defect that took up around 1/4th of the element and totally ruined the lens.

...or did it? After moping for a day or so, I decided that I had nothing to lose and put some UV cement at the edge of the element and let it sit. Lo and behold, after a few hours, the UV cement had completely "bled" into the crack and made it almost completely disappear. I put it under the ultraviolet light for a while to cure and now I actually have a pretty nicely working lens. Here's a sample shot:

Even wide open, my test shots did not show anything horrible - no flare and no discernible loss of contrast. Definitely not a "proper" repair, but certainly a way to salvage a pretty nice lens.

Hope this may help someone else...

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Old 02-10-2015   #2
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That's very cool. Thanks for sharing. I'm wondering if this could be a solution for deeply scratched or gouged lenses.
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Old 02-10-2015   #3
PF McFarland
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That's an excellent use for the UV cement. Now as to the excessive force used in the first place...

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Old 02-10-2015   #4
Nick Merritt
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Nice save! I know I would have been full of self-loathing myself if I'd done that.
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Old 02-10-2015   #5
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leicapixie is offline
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A pal of mine purchased a 250mm Sonar for his Hasselblad 500.
It was a real bargain but a piece of back element was broken off.
He glued it as OP did and it worked fine.
It seemed sharp enough and was not more flare etc than a pristine one!
It was at the edge.
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Old 02-10-2015   #6
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Somewhere on the internet I have seen photos taken with a lens that had a totally fractured front element - smashed to pieces with many breaks (but still held in situ by the lens barrel). You would hardly know it from the images it made - I recall them as being pretty good with only a few indications that the lens was other than perfect. Because light travels as a wave (and as it has famously been said, arrives as a particle - through the mystery of quantum mechanics) it tends to spread out and hide the defect, much as a wave on the ocean spreads out around a rock protruding from the sea and reforms on the other side. If the broken parts of the fractured element are still in alignment, there may be little to indicate that there ever was a problem in most photographic situations.
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