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How do you rate Lens Condition? (work in progress)

Can lens condition be rated objectively?

  • Yes

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • No

    Votes: 5 55.6%

  • Total voters
    9

cacatman

No one knows 'cacat' like cacatman!!
Staff member
Premium Member
Lifetime Member
Updated 2nd December, 2021 by @cacatman

I've always wondered how people rate their lenses. Is there an objective measure?

At the request of @TheStig, I'm going to give it a shot.

A rating without pictures of actual lens is not helpful either. Here’s a great guide by @saulsaul which shows how to take good lens pics - Lens condition pics (thanks @Oak Heel for the heads up).

Please comment with reasons if you agree/disagree with the below scale. I will adjust accordingly (with acknowledgement and grateful thanks).

Personal Opinion re: Weighting of Defect from Best to Worst
No defect
Defect that cannot be seen when mounted (e.g. on edge of lens that is hidden by frame)
Defect that does not affect field of vision and not seen externally
Defect that does not affect field of vision and seen externally
Defects that affect field of vision and not seen externally
Defects that affect field of vision and seen externally

Proposed Rating System
10/10 - Factory perfect without blemishes
9.5/10 - Any imperfection that cannot be seen on correct mounting of lens
9/10 - 1-2 swirl marks not able to be felt with fingernail that are outside the field of vision
8.5/10 - >2 swirl marks not able to be felt with fingernail that are outside the field of vision
7.5/10 - "Pock" marks/divots on lens <0.5 mm outside field of vision
7/10 - Any scratch able to be felt with fingernail <0.5 cm in diameter outside field of vision
6/10 - 1-2 swirl marks not able to be felt with fingernail that interfere with the field of vision
5/10 - > 2 swirl marks not able to be felt with fingernail that interfere with field of vision
5/10 - Delamination of any kind on edge of lens
4/10 - Any scratch able to be felt with fingernail <0.5 cm in diameter that interferes with field of vision


Still working on this!!! But taking a break to do some other work!
 

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Last edited:

TheStig

OAE Member
Premium Member
Lifetime Member
6,870
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Germany
Thank you for taking on this topic.

It seems to be a complex issue, at least for me, to evaluation lenses. Experienced Collector prob. have less problems getting it right.
Novice with less experience getting is mostly wrong.
Description like Pristine, Mint, New, Like New, Never Worn have a hole new level of meaning here at OF than anywhere else.

So let's establish once and for all a rating System to follow or to quote from in a case of argument.

Let's post some example pictures so we have a baseline to discuss.
 

Dbninc

Something Clever
Premium Member
Lifetime Member
2,726
723
North of NYC
Updated 1st December, 2021 by @cacatman

I've always wondered how people rate their lenses. Is there an objective measure?

At the request of @TheStig, I'm going to give it a shot.

Please comment with reasons if you agree/disagree with the below scale. I will adjust accordingly (with acknowledgement and grateful thanks).

Personal Opinion re: Weighting of Defect from Best to Worst
No defect
Defect that cannot be seen when mounted (e.g. on edge of lens that is hidden by frame)
Defect that does not affect field of vision and not seen externally
Defect that does not affect field of vision and seen externally
Defects that affect field of vision and not seen externally
Defects that affect field of vision and seen externally

Proposed Rating System
10/10 - Factory perfect without blemishes
9.5/10 - Any imperfection that cannot be seen on correct mounting of lens
9/10 - 1-2 swirl marks not able to be felt with fingernail that are outside the field of vision
>2 swirl marks not able to be felt with fingernail that are outside the field of vision
1-2 swirl marks not able to be felt with fingernail that interfere with the field of vision
Pock marks/divots on lens <0.5 mm outside field of vision
> 2 swirl marks not able to be felt with fingernail that interfere with field of vision
Any scratch able to be felt with fingernail <0.5 cm in diameter outside field of vision
Any scratch able to be felt with fingernail >0.5 cm in diameter outside of field of vision
Any scratch able to be felt with fingernail <0.5 cm in diameter that interferes with field of vision
Any Scratch able to be felt with fingernail >0.5 cm in diameter that interferes with field of vision
Delamination of any kind on edge of lens


Still working on this!!! But taking a break to do some other work!
A lens rating system shouldn’t be complicated. I rate perfect lenses 10/10. Anything that isn’t perfect has defects (by definition), so no matter how small the defect it’s a 9/10 max. Anything in the field of vision is a trashed lens, 5/10 max. Cracks, chips, any delamination, etc lenses are 0/10, you’re buying the frame only.
 

Oak Heel

Oakley Expert
Premium Member
1,680
743
A good description of any blemishes on the lens and some pics to highlight them is better than some number out of 10 IMO. I never include a lens rating and haven’t had any trouble. If I say the lenses are perfect or like new, I mean there are no blemishes. I don’t think you would ever get everyone to agree on a universal rating system. Reading briefly through the OP had me confused already.
 

cacatman

No one knows 'cacat' like cacatman!!
Staff member
Premium Member
Lifetime Member
A good description of any blemishes on the lens and some pics to highlight them is better than some number out of 10 IMO. I never include a lens rating and haven’t had any trouble. If I say the lenses are perfect or like new, I mean there are no blemishes. I don’t think you would ever get everyone to agree on a universal rating system. Reading briefly through the OP had me confused already.
I agree that good photos are better than a description. However, a combination of both is best. Often the photos are taken in less than ideal conditions. Too bright (e.g. light bulb in the middle of the lens which whites out everything). Too dark (can't see detail). Too much background interference etc. Some sellers are notorious for over-rating their lenses AND taking poor photos.
 

TheStig

OAE Member
Premium Member
Lifetime Member
6,870
1,993
Germany
I agree that good photos are better than a description. However, a combination of both is best. Often the photos are taken in less than ideal conditions. Too bright (e.g. light bulb in the middle of the lens which whites out everything). Too dark (can't see detail). Too much background interference etc. Some sellers are notorious for over-rating their lenses AND taking poor photos.
I fully agree.
Most pictures of lenses in front of a light source are useless and do not show the condition at all.
Also a tutorial would be nice how to take pictures to show lens condition.
 

cacatman

No one knows 'cacat' like cacatman!!
Staff member
Premium Member
Lifetime Member
A lens rating system shouldn’t be complicated. I rate perfect lenses 10/10. Anything that isn’t perfect has defects (by definition), so no matter how small the defect it’s a 9/10 max. Anything in the field of vision is a trashed lens, 5/10 max. Cracks, chips, any delamination, etc lenses are 0/10, you’re buying the frame only.
Thanks for this. I agree with everything, but apart from cosmetic appearance, often mild delamination doesn't interfere with field of vision (for me at least), so I generally don't care so much about that. I'd rate a scratch in field of vision far worse than peripheral delamination, for example.
 

Wavecloud’s Customisation

Wavecloud Customs🔥
Premium Member
6,550
1,993
Oxford UK
Only way to objectify this would be to have an objective way of grading peoples eyesight.

I have a fair few ‘perfect’ lenses come through my workshop. A close look can reveal marks etc that most others can’t see.

Also - if a user is colourblind they see marks that non colour blind people can’t see.

Sometimes - ‘scratches’ can be cleaned off. I have had a few lenses that are scratched apparently but turns out the scratches are just stubborn bits of dirt & scum.
 

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