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Large scratch on objective lens - put up with or replace? (3 Viewers)


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Since I received them a while back off Ebay, my Minox BD 8x32 BR binoculars have had a large scratch - well an area where the multicoating has been scratched off about 0.5cm across on the centre of the lens. The eyepiece lenses also have a load of fine scratches and cleaning marks on the coatings too, will either of these blemishes cause problems to image quality?

This is perhaps a slightly silly question as I've never noticed a problem, but as these marks were on the binoculars when I bought them I don't know what the view was like before these marks were made. I sometimes think I can see some flaring on bright objects but not sure if it's my imagination or I'm seeing this as I'm expecting it due to the coating damage - if that makes sense lol!

I love these battered but excellent binoculars, is it worth replacing them and relegating them to 'work bag' or 'glovebox' duties, or carrying on? These old BDs also have rather sloppy interpupillary distance adjustment (it moves on it's own if you hold one of the barrels!), missing 'Minox' badge and not the best focusser but I still think they're excellent! However the coating damage is bothering me the most.

Would something like the Opticron Discovery 8x32s or the Hawke Frontiers be the equivalent of these, or Minox's own BR or BV range? I'm selling my 10x32BN Leicas (in the 'for sale' section - shameless plug lol) as these don't get much use (gone off 10x mag) and to pay for my recently-purchased Sony A350, but hopefully will have enough cash left from their sale for another pair of binoculars around the £150 mark.
You have quite a story here. You must be very rough on your optics. Just keep them,
you could not afford to have them repaired. Ocular scratches are worse than those
on the objective for problems with view.
Take care.
if you can't see the scratch marks when looking tru i would keep them..if its only the coating it will only be a small proportion of the whole area..have you looked at a bright star thru them to check how bad it really is..i have found a lot of scatches etc need to be there for it to be noticable
Don't think I made it clear- the scratches were already on the bins when I got them, they'd already had a hard life before I got them! :)
not noticed much when looking at stars but will have another look tonight.
This is a difficult one. I have a Leica BN 12x50 which I brought about a year ago from auction. The seller stated it was 'optically perfect'. When I got it I did notice micro scratches on the oculars and main objective lens - you do have to look for them but they are visible in day light with the naked eye - 2x scratches on the main lens are 2-3 mm and are reasonably visible.
I had the opportunity to send it back for a refund but decided to keep them as the image appeared fine.
Eventually it got the better of me and I sent them back to Leica for a quote to 'fix ' and / or replace the lens. After 6 months [!] the quote came back at slightly more then the price I payed for them so it was obviously not worth it.
Leica still re-collimated them and cleaned them for me free of charge.
The image to me is fine [they are of course lovely binoculars]. Whilst the image is fine at day and night - 'mentally' I am still am aware of the micro scratches so any image deterioration is more really to do with me and how my brain perceives the view.
The image really is fine but I still 'know' the scratches are there and it is always in the back of my mind - Grrr.... !
Really however scratches do have to be 'significant' and very visible to start to notice deterioration of image.

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A scratch on the objective lens such as you describe is not going to impair the optical performance of your glass other than emotionally. So just relax and enjoy your "battered but excellent" binoculars, knowing you won't find anything better for 150 quid.
As ND Hunter said, scratches on the eyelens are much more of a problem than scratches on the objective. It doesn't that take much on the eyelens to introduce some light scatter and loss of contrast. The only way to know for sure is to compare to an example of the same binocular with no scratches.
It's reassuring to hear that the objective scratch isn't causing any problems, from what I can see the EP ones don't seem to be either, at least not to the point where it's causing light scatter or loss of contrast.

I can't remember how much exactly these cost me, but think it was just under £40 off Ebay - I think I've got a lot of binocular for that money! :D
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