Every photographer knows that cameras and their lenses are expensive. That’s why they always take extra care while handling or using them.
However, no matter how careful you are, camera lenses can get scratched. Perhaps you were on a smoke bomb photography shoot and poor visibility resulted in some knocks and scrapes that didn’t work out well for the lens.
Luckily, these scratches are fixable with some simple techniques.
Read on to find different methods of fixing a scratched camera lens.
How To Fix a Scratched Camera Lens
There are various methods of fixing a scratched camera lens. You can use any of these techniques, depending upon the type of scratches and damage that your lens has endured.
Sometimes, you might even have to send your lens to its manufacturer or a repair shop. However, if the scratches are not too severe, you can easily restore the camera lens yourself.
So, if you find out that your valuable camera lens has scratches on it, you should not panic. Instead, stay calm and use any of the following methods to make your lens as good as new.
1. Use a Camera Lens Repair Kit
If you don’t want to use a DIY method or send your camera to a repair shop, you can always use a scratch repair kit.
There are various brands and companies selling camera lens repair kits in the market today.
These camera lens repair kits or scratch repair kits contain various types of tools and solutions. Using these tools, you can easily repair the lenses and many other parts of your camera yourself.
This option is only great if you are a professional photographer and know your way around a camera.
2. The Rubbing Alcohol Method
It is one of the most commonly recommended methods of removing scratches from lenses.
Although rubbing alcohol is readily available and quite effective in removing scratches, it can also be harmful to the lens. So, make sure not to apply it directly.
Here is how you use this technique for scratch removal:
- First of all, clean your camera lens. You can do this with a lens blower or a lens brush. Apply a few drops of lens-cleaning solution on a lens-cleaning tissue or wipe.
- Wipe the lens in concentric circles. Make sure not to wipe across the lens. You should be careful to make your lens completely dust-free before moving forward.
- Take a 3.5% solution of rubbing alcohol and dilute it with water. The ratio of this dilution would be 20 parts water to 1 part of alcohol.
- Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with this diluted alcohol solution. Make sure not to pour too much of the solution on the cloth.
- Rub it gently on the lens till the scratches clean out.
- Lastly, dry it off with another clean microfiber cloth.
3. The Toothpaste Method
The toothpaste method is one of the most popular DIY solutions to remove scratches from various surfaces, including glasses, screens, lenses, and more.
Moreover, everybody has toothpaste at home, which makes this technique quite handy.
Here is how to use this method:
- Firstly, make sure that the camera lens is thoroughly cleaned and dust-free.
- Slightly dampen a clean cotton swab or cotton bud, and then apply a tiny bit of toothpaste on it.
- Now, gently rub the toothpaste on the scratches. Make sure not to do it with pressure or forcefully as it might damage your camera lens coating.
- Once the scratches are gone, use a clean microfiber cloth to dry the lens.
4. The Vaseline Method
Using Vaseline is the oldest hack for removing scratches. However, this method mostly works on small and minor scratches.
Major scratches can only be minimized with Vaseline but not removed completely. It is a no-risk method that causes no harm to your camera lens.
Here are the steps to follow for the Vaseline method:
- Firstly, use the lens cleaning solution and a clean cloth to remove any dust from the lens.
- Apply a very small quantity of Vaseline on the surface of the lens.
- Now, use a clean microfiber cloth and gently rub on the Vaseline until it is clear. Make sure not to do it with force.
5. The Glass Windscreen Polish
This is one of the modern ways of removing scratches from lenses. Many young photographers are now recommending it, saying that it works remarkably well.
It is not only a safe solution to be used on a camera lens, but it also gives an extra layer of lens coating.
Many people have glass windscreen polishers at home for their cars. However, even if you don’t have one, you can easily get it from the store.
Here is how you can use a screen polisher for removing scratches:
- Using a lens cleaning solution and a clean cotton cloth, remove any dust from the lens.
- Pour out a little amount of the polisher on a flat surface.
- Pick up a tiny portion of it using the tip of a clean microfiber cloth.
- Now, rub the product gently along the scratch on your camera lens.
- Once the scratch is gone, use a clean and dry microfiber cloth to wipe the lens clean.
6. The Pencil Eraser Method
This method is quite old school, but it still works wonders. Everybody has a pencil eraser available, so this technique is quite handy as well.
Moreover, using a soft pencil eraser on your camera lens has literally no risk at all. Just make sure that the eraser is new, clean, and not hard or abrasive.
Here is how a pencil eraser can be used to remove scratches from your lens:
- Clean your camera lens to make sure that it is completely dust-free.
- Take a soft pencil eraser and gently move it in the long direction of the scratch on the lens.
- Repeat this process until the scratch wipes off.
- Lastly, use a soft and clean microfiber cloth to clean the lens.
7. The Baking Soda and Banana Method
Any guide on removing scratches from a camera lens is incomplete without the mention of the famous baking soda and banana trick.
It is a handy and risk-free solution. However, your lens might end up smelling like bananas.
Here is how to use this method:
- Firstly, you have to make sure that your camera lens is totally clean and dust-free.
- Peel off one banana and cut it into three equal pieces.
- Take the center part of the chopped-up banana and dip it into baking soda.
- Now, rub the banana repeatedly over the lens scratch.
- Make sure to do it in a wipe motion for at least 2 minutes. Change the direction of the banana once the baking soda wears off any part.
- Once the scratch is gone, wipe the lens clean with a soft microfiber cloth.
How to protect camera lenses from getting scratched?
Camera lenses are sensitive and can get easily scratched. Nonetheless, you can prevent that from happening by following a few simple tips, including:
● Always keep the camera in a proper camera bag when not in use.
● Use lens caps and covers.
● Clean the camera gear regularly.
● Never put the gear away when it’s wet.
● Don’t leave the lens open longer than required.
Do Scratches Affect Image Quality?
No, scratches do not significantly affect the image quality. But they matter a lot to photographers as scratches can have a great impact on the image capturing process.
Moreover, if the scratches are larger and more severe, they can also cause distortion and blur in the images.
We hope that these methods help you fix your camera lens effectively. Yet, the best thing to do for a camera lens is to keep it well-protected from getting scratches.
There are various ways and tools to ensure that your lens remains free of scratches. Still, lenses are prone to wear and tear.
So, it’s best to bookmark this article for the next time you see a scratch on your lens!