Protecting your lenses from damage seems like a necessary requirement to being a photographer. In those unfortunate cases where a lens gets damaged, how damaged is too damaged to get beautiful photographs?In this video, Benj Haisch presents us with his Mamiya 645 Pro and a pretty severely scratch 80mm f/1.9. Of all the lenses to damage too - the most sought after Mamiya 645 lens. As you’ll see in Haisch’s example photographs, you would likely never know the lens was damaged if you weren’t already aware. He notes that he has some weird flaring issues but without a before/after comparison, it’s difficult for me to make my own assessment.
Admittedly, as an owner of a Mamiya 645 Pro TL, this video hits pretty close to home. Though it was with a different camera, years ago I was hiking in Asheville, NC shooting with my Sony a7 paired with a Minolta 55mm f/1.7 and I tripped and the lens went straight for the ground. I had a UV filter on at the time which I believe helped mitigate the disaster but the front element still took a slight bit of abuse. I kept it as a paperweight for a while but eventually tossed it. Looking back on it, I should have given it a trial run. While I hope to never have this happen to me, should it ever happen, I’ll be sure to share the results here with you.
Have you ever accidentally damaged a lens? Did you continue to use it? If so, I’d love to see some examples post-damage.