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For all of those wanting to know how much it costs to repair a scratched Leica lens...


egrossman
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Thanks for sharing! That’s a reasonable cost actually. 

But yes, always use UV filters. I don’t use hoods, or caps but I always make sure to have a UV filter that I don’t need to worry if I scratch or place my fingers on, etc…especially with old glass that have very soft coatings, the less you have to clean them, the safer it is. 

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vor 11 Stunden schrieb egrossman:

I sent my scratched (front element) 50mm APO Summicron-M to Leica NJ for repair on February 8th (2-day delivery). They received it on the 10th and today (the 14th) I received an estimate for the cost of repair:

Labor $316.25

Shipping $35

Lens 1, finished $113

Total $429.25

I had nightmare scenarios going through my head of a repair bill of around $2,000 (my guesstimate) so clearly this was much better than expected. I was also impressed at the turn around for the estimate. The repair would normally take 4-5 weeks I was told but since a replacement part (I presume the lens element) is out of stock, it will add 1-2 weeks to the repair process.

The good news is that my camera insurance will pay for it.

Moral of the story... use UV filters on lenses! At least the repair was not insanely expensive (relative to the cost of the lens).

I'm sure the repair bill would have been substantially higher if the scratch were on the rear element.

Erik

I had a similar experience some years ago, with Solms then. I had a Summicron  R 35mm with a scratched rear element. The scratch showed only with small apertures, but since I wanted to sell the lens, I had it repaired.  It was about 300 € ; most of the sum labour.  Included was CLA.... 

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Good to know, thanks for sharing. I have some scuffing on my 21 SEM that does not appear to affect image quality but I would like to get it repaired at some point anyway for peace of mind. I got a pretty good deal on the lens due to the scuffing so if the repair price is the same, I will still end up ahead. 

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Thanks for sharing. I have a small front element scratch on my 50 noctilux - and I use a filter now.  Hasn’t affected images but it’s annoying to look at. I have been fearful in sending it in but your post makes me think that there is no harm in getting an estimate.  I’m assuming it will be higher because the cost of the front element may be higher. 

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20 hours ago, matted said:

Good to know, thanks for sharing. I have some scuffing on my 21 SEM that does not appear to affect image quality but I would like to get it repaired at some point anyway for peace of mind. I got a pretty good deal on the lens due to the scuffing so if the repair price is the same, I will still end up ahead. 

Unfortunately I may throw some cold water on those expectations, at least based on what I paid to have the front element of my 21 SEM replaced.

I carry lenses without caps in the camera bag, each in their own slot, typically without incident... somehow over time something rubbed against the front element of the SEM, despite the hood, and caused a bunch of fine scuffs concentrated in a couple spots in the central area. I eventually noticed it due to messy sunstar rays from specular light sources in certain areas in images. Bright and detailed areas in these locations in the image also lost contrast compared to the overall image. I could usually minimize the loss of contrast in post, but the uneven flare/halation around light sources annoyed me more and was not correctable. I sat on it for a couple years and eventually sent it to Leica US to await the bad news. It had to be sent to Germany and overall repair turnaround was more than two months, but this was also over Christmas and New Year when Leica repairs usually take longer. I didn't receive a breakdown of labour vs. parts, other than the invoice stating 1.1 hours labour at $100/hr and the total of US $720. Seems like the lens got a complete overhaul, but the focus throw came back much more resistant/heavy than it was before.

Attached are a few images. The one of the lens, I've circled the scuff marks in red, though the phone wouldn't cooperate and focus properly on the defects. It was quite difficult to get the scuffs to show and unfortunately I didn't have a real macro lens available for a better quality result. The other two images I've circled in red the areas I felt were degraded, if slightly, by the scuffs. These were pretty much worst case scenario images to show the problems. After all, I did use the lens for a couple years in this condition before finally sending it in.

Before sending it to Leica, I stumbled across a respected lens repairer in Taiwan who offers a 'buffing' service to remove scuffs in lens multicoating for a few hundred dollars, but it entirely removes the coating on that surface of the element (or maybe it was the entire element?). Given it's the front surface of the front element, if that coating was entirely removed to eliminate the scuffs, I'd guess it wouldn't necessarily increase internal reflections (maybe only very slightly light reflecting back out of the lens, such as off the sensor, which is actually a problem lenses need to contend with on digital cameras), and assuming no filter is used, but I'm not sure if it might affect color, or perhaps cause a very slight reduction in transmission.

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On 2/14/2022 at 3:47 PM, egrossman said:

I had nightmare scenarios going through my head of a repair bill of around $2,000 (my guesstimate) so clearly this was much better than expected.

That's apparently the 'typical' cost to repair Zeiss Otus lenses. There are some threads on the WWW about this. Your estimate is considerably better than I expected and half what I paid to replace the 21 SEM front element last year (see my post above).

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I sent a way out of warranty 21 Summilux in through the Bellevue Leica Store to the NJ Leica Service Center that had a pinpoint scratch right in the center of the front element. They had it for 3 months, but sent it back like new, with a new front element, lubed focus ring and cleaned and inspected. for FREE...NO CHARGE....I was like "ummm, Okay :)

If I wasn't already a Leica for life guy, that pretty much sealed the deal.

Edited by thatkatmat
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On 2/15/2022 at 3:47 AM, egrossman said:

I sent my scratched (front element) 50mm APO Summicron-M to Leica NJ for repair on February 8th (2-day delivery). They received it on the 10th and today (the 14th) I received an estimate for the cost of repair:

Labor $316.25

Shipping $35

Lens 1, finished $113

Total $429.25

I had nightmare scenarios going through my head of a repair bill of around $2,000 (my guesstimate) so clearly this was much better than expected. I was also impressed at the turn around for the estimate. The repair would normally take 4-5 weeks I was told but since a replacement part (I presume the lens element) is out of stock, it will add 1-2 weeks to the repair process.

The good news is that my camera insurance will pay for it.

Moral of the story... use UV filters on lenses! At least the repair was not insanely expensive (relative to the cost of the lens).

I'm sure the repair bill would have been substantially higher if the scratch were on the rear element.

Erik

Believe it or not, a filter be it uv or protector is a deciding factor for me to acquire a lens … 😀

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On 2/17/2022 at 3:57 AM, rscheffler said:

Unfortunately I may throw some cold water on those expectations, at least based on what I paid to have the front element of my 21 SEM replaced.

I carry lenses without caps in the camera bag, each in their own slot, typically without incident... somehow over time something rubbed against the front element of the SEM, despite the hood, and caused a bunch of fine scuffs concentrated in a couple spots in the central area. I eventually noticed it due to messy sunstar rays from specular light sources in certain areas in images. Bright and detailed areas in these locations in the image also lost contrast compared to the overall image. I could usually minimize the loss of contrast in post, but the uneven flare/halation around light sources annoyed me more and was not correctable. I didn't receive a breakdown of labour vs. parts, other than the invoice stating 1.1 hours labour at $100/hr and the total of US $720. Seems like the lens got a complete overhaul, but the focus throw came back much more resistant/heavy than it was before.

 

Are these sunstars better after the repair? What f/stop did you use for these tests ? I would have expected a more general degradation in the picture.

Labour for 100$/hour is quite normal, rather cheap I would say.

Edited by jankap
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  • 3 months later...
On 2/16/2022 at 6:57 PM, rscheffler said:

Unfortunately I may throw some cold water on those expectations, at least based on what I paid to have the front element of my 21 SEM replaced.

I carry lenses without caps in the camera bag, each in their own slot, typically without incident... somehow over time something rubbed against the front element of the SEM, despite the hood, and caused a bunch of fine scuffs concentrated in a couple spots in the central area. I eventually noticed it due to messy sunstar rays from specular light sources in certain areas in images. Bright and detailed areas in these locations in the image also lost contrast compared to the overall image. I could usually minimize the loss of contrast in post, but the uneven flare/halation around light sources annoyed me more and was not correctable. I sat on it for a couple years and eventually sent it to Leica US to await the bad news. It had to be sent to Germany and overall repair turnaround was more than two months, but this was also over Christmas and New Year when Leica repairs usually take longer. I didn't receive a breakdown of labour vs. parts, other than the invoice stating 1.1 hours labour at $100/hr and the total of US $720. Seems like the lens got a complete overhaul, but the focus throw came back much more resistant/heavy than it was before.

Attached are a few images. The one of the lens, I've circled the scuff marks in red, though the phone wouldn't cooperate and focus properly on the defects. It was quite difficult to get the scuffs to show and unfortunately I didn't have a real macro lens available for a better quality result. The other two images I've circled in red the areas I felt were degraded, if slightly, by the scuffs. These were pretty much worst case scenario images to show the problems. After all, I did use the lens for a couple years in this condition before finally sending it in.

Before sending it to Leica, I stumbled across a respected lens repairer in Taiwan who offers a 'buffing' service to remove scuffs in lens multicoating for a few hundred dollars, but it entirely removes the coating on that surface of the element (or maybe it was the entire element?). Given it's the front surface of the front element, if that coating was entirely removed to eliminate the scuffs, I'd guess it wouldn't necessarily increase internal reflections (maybe only very slightly light reflecting back out of the lens, such as off the sensor, which is actually a problem lenses need to contend with on digital cameras), and assuming no filter is used, but I'm not sure if it might affect color, or perhaps cause a very slight reduction in transmission.

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super pics!

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vor 3 Stunden schrieb fil-m:

Hello. Thanks for the info. Does anybody know if Leica repairs scratched lenses for models which are no longer in production?

They do, see my  post #4. But it simply depends wether they still have the lens you need in their stock. I just called and asked. But they won´t grind a new lens for you.... 😉

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Protect the element, front and rear, is my mantra, and has been since the 1980's. When I purchase a lens a UV filter is a must. In all these years I've never scratched the front element, nor broken the UV filter. This includes my 20 plus years as a professional. I value all my lenses, Leica or otherwise.

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I do not use lens caps or filters on my lenses. Modern coating are so much harder than years ago. But I now store them in the new old plastic containers more for dust protection. I am more protective of the rear element. I have yet to scratch a lens but good to know the repair cost is not four figures.

if I were photographing children I would use a protective filter. Years ago, I was asked for advice on a camera set up to a father, I strongly advised a uv filter for protection. Fortunately he followed my advice. He took the camera home, aimed the lens at his young son, and watched his son throw a small but heavy toy at the camera. The toy broke the filter but the lens was unharmed.  That was the first use of the new camera. He thanked me and bought two more filters. I never saw the picture of the flying toy.

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Going on 20 years of photography and 15 as a professional without using uv filters. The only problem I had was a huge gust of wind blew over a very heavy Rollei 6008 and 180mm 2.8 lens and it landed element first in gravel. It had a screw in metal hood that took a beating, and one small mark on the element that had no photographic significance. For me the expense of good uv filters on every lens and the increase in flare and reflections (especially at night) is not worth it.

I am a big advocate of hoods and caps, however. If you replace the cap when you are not actively photographing, you are way better off. Most damage to lenses comes when you are not photographing, so unless you are doing photography where you have to react instantly, it is good practice to just put the cap on in between shots if it is practical. 

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Posted (edited)

I remember Peter Karbe saying in a youtube lecture of his about lenses is that a filter is another lens element which ultimately affects IQ, but to what degree he didnt elaborate. Take it as you will...

I prefer to take precaution for minor scuffs at the expense in loss of IQ.

Mind you having a filter wont protect you from 3 foot drops as i have found out with my other non leica lenses. Actually id say the lens filter did more harm since it shattered inside and the shards damaged the front element like meteor strike lol.

Tbh i believe the most likely damage is when taking lenses in and out of bags and unknowingly graze the front element to sharp corners/ends in the bag, hence the practical use of filters

 

 

Edited by cboy
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