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Old Nov 11, 2009, 1:47 PM   #1
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Default Which lens should I get

I have a E520 and I started to use it now to shot product image. I have noticed a white spot in the middle which turns out to be a scratch on the front of the lens. (I think because of aperture it shows up, otherwise my other photos look fine.) I called a local camera store which tells me there is no way to repair a scratch and I'm probably better off getting a new lens as anything they attempt to do will cost the same. Should I get the same lens (14-42mm ED) which I see on ebay sometimes for a little over $100 new or something else? I can probably still use the scratched lens for everyday use to take photos of my family. I just need to have one that I can use to shoot product photos. Also, should I use a UV filter to protect the lens from now on? I have one that came with the package that is a digital concept filter 58mm (sakar warranty). Is that good enough?
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Old Nov 11, 2009, 2:30 PM   #2
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I think it help help if you posted a product photo with the white spot showing. The reason I ask is that one of the lenses I use quite a bit the 50-200mm has a 1/16" long scratch on the front element, yet I cannot see it in any of my photos.

Additionally, it would help to see how big/wide/long your products are and what your budget is.
Without seeing what you're trying to accomplish, it's hard to give you any real advice, other than, if you're pleased with your current results (without the white spots, of course) then get another 14 -42mm.

An additional point to consider, is the use of an external flash or flashes. Again, without seeing what you want to shoot, it's not easy to provide you with any sound advice.

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Old Nov 11, 2009, 4:21 PM   #3
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It would have to be one helluva scatch to be a problem! One way people used to "fix" scratches...actually, more than scratches...more like digs in the glass, was to paint india ink over the scratch and that would cure the issue.

It took really bad digs though to have to resort to something like that and actually see a difference. A totally scratched up front element could cause reduced contrast, but I've not seen one produce what you are describing.

Is what you are seeing a tiny dot? Possibly it could be a hot pixel that needs to be mapped out using the pixel-mapping feature?
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Old Nov 12, 2009, 4:34 AM   #4
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Default I agree with what others have said

I've seen pictures taken with a lens with a shattered front element and there was enough good glass passing light that one would have never guessed the lens was broken. I doubt the scratch was the problem.

Other possibilities.

A stuck pixel causing a very bright pinpoint of light. Can be repaired by pixel mapping of the camera body. Can be done at home (on Oly bodies) and is pain free.

Some dust or grime on the sensor. Generally appears as a diffuse blob, especially on bright backgrounds at small aperture (larger f-stop numbers). This is common with other cameras, but can happen with Oly DSLRs also. Take a picture of a blue sky at f22 and see if there is a problem here. The solution is having the sensor (actually the dust buster membrane) cleaned. I've never had to to that, so you would need to ask someone more experienced about the do and do not of that operation.

Flare caused by sunlight (or other bright light) hitting the front element and causing reflections that are captured on the image. Most of the time they are circles or a bright series of points of light. A lens hood helps, a filter can make the problem worse. A scratched front element, or a dusty or smudged one also then to make flare worse.

You would need to post a pic or two to determine what exactly is happening. We'd be glad to try and diagnose the problem.

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