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Taking Pictures Using a Lens With a Smashed Middle Element

Think the dust inside your lens is bad? The owners of a vintage camera shop have been testing out what it’s like taking photos using a Kaleinar 100mm f/2.8 lens with a severely smashed middle element. So, how did it fare?

Based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK, the team at WYCameras is full of film and vintage camera specialists. Their entire stock range consists of analog cameras and lenses only. And buying and selling camera parts often means they run into unusual equipment, each with its own little quirk.

So, when owner Howard Parker encountered this Kaleinar lens with a huge crack to its insides, he couldn’t resist trialing the results first with a few snaps. I think it’s fair to say the damage is substantial. So, how did the photos come out? Scroll right on to the below Instagram post to see some results.

Aside from posting a few to the company's social pages, Parker also took the below portraits exclusively for Fstoppers.

Next time, a speck of dust on your lens might not seem like such a big deal! And in an age where new filters are being released to replicate such effects as this, perhaps having a crack is something to embrace!

See more of WYCameras at their website and Instagram page.

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Colorblinded Photo's picture

Having shot with some pretty banged up lenses, including chips, major scratches, or cracks to the front element, I was actually hoping for something more with that given I'm not sure I've shot with anything that looked as damaged as that lens. The bokeh is really interesting though, and I'd be curious to see what it does when shooting in some challenging lighting.

Mike .'s picture

Hi chaps, thanks for the warm comments. I'm sure, unlike myself, you're all perfect in every way physically, like some kind of modern day greek gods, have perfect lives and every photo you take is Magnum worthy. My skin issue is a form of dematitis and there is little to nothing I can do about it. I was simply dealt a shitty card. Again, I apologise I cannot be as perfect as you three gentlemen. As for the moobs, yeah, I eat well. Get over it.

marcgabor's picture

Geez you guys are awful. What's the point of making bullying comments like that?

Logan Sorenson's picture


Colorblinded Photo's picture

Jeeze, what did I miss?

Jordan McChesney's picture

A needlessly snarky comment regarding the complexion of the individual in the photo. I assume it was intended as humor but it was unnecessarily crass and unfunny.

Leo Tam's picture

My dad has a 53 biogon for the linhof system that has been dropped with an internal crack - never gave issues- damage rarely affects the image, just the value

Martin Boaring's picture

Now that's a lens with character.

Troy Straub's picture

Interesting to see how well that still works! Makes me think I may pick up nasty looking lenses if / when I come across them for a little bit of nothing.

John Koster's picture

Great article. I always have to laugh at these guys I know who treat their lenses like the crown jewels, lens elements are tough and a nick here or there does nothing to the image.

Usman Dawood's picture

Home town represent :P

Vladimir Vcelar's picture

How do you get to crack your middle element; front and rear I can understand, but the middle?
Good photos BTW.

John Thompson's picture

I love the "smashed" bokeh.