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Removing lens coatings - Anyone tried it?


Inazuma

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I really dislike the clinical rendering of modern lenses. I love the flares you get from old lenses, such as this taken with a Minolta 28mm f3.5 (not my photo). 

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Modern lenses are convenient though for their autofocus and EXIF data. Has anyone here ever tried to remove the coating from their lens or has any tips on how to do so? What chemicals or tools would you use? Would removing the coating from the front element be sufficient to create the shape of the aperture blades as in the above picture, or would I have to go for the rear element and the internal elements too?

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Haven't tried it, but if you can find the lens optical diagram for a specific lens then that might show which lens elements have coatings on them.

My guess would be that there would be coatings on the inside as the flare above would be caused by light bouncing back and forth between lens elements inside the lens.  That's why you often introduce reflections when you put on a filter - the light goes through the filter then reflects off the front element of the lens then reflects off the back of the filter then goes through the lens to the sensor.

Can you buy flaring filters for these kinds of flares?  Does anyone know?

You'd have to get two curved elements with a gap between them, perhaps?

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Cooke do this with their front element, Sigma Classic is the same idea but I think every element and there's probably some coating, probably not entirely removed:

This doesn't work that well for me because the design is so complex it looks modern and the flares look weird. 

I think it would work but it might not give exactly the result you want.

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On 7/16/2020 at 4:53 AM, Inazuma said:

Modern lenses are convenient though for their autofocus and EXIF data.

I guess that's a big reason why I enjoy vintage lenses.  They certainly offer a more filmic look, and I've never really ever cared about autofocus or EXIF.  1970's FD's are pretty good to take the edge of the "video" aesthetic. Plus, they're radioactive.  Fun with decaying isotopes.

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6 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

I guess that's a big reason why I enjoy vintage lenses.  They certainly offer a more filmic look, and I've never really ever cared about autofocus or EXIF.  1970's FD's are pretty good to take the edge of the "video" aesthetic. Plus, they're radioactive.  Fun with decaying isotopes.

please dont tell me you use it as a pillow 🤕

Maybe buy an old standard lens with fungus or something and have at it, with the same stuff they use to polish telescope mirrors. if you wanted to be technical about it you should probably make a lap so that you dont change the lens shape. do one lens element at a time, record and report findings.

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not really a fan of aftertastes. but hey if it works for you....😉

I have however made a (lowish) bid on a pentax m42 35mm with haze and fungus issues, if i win, i'll buy some cerium oxide and give one or more of the lens elements a polish  Since i already have a nice pentax m42 35mm i should be able to compare them quite easily.

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mission is a go,  bought the lens, bought a 100 grams of cerium oxide. Should probably get some resin to make a lap or mould with, don't really want to change the lens shape. Probably will "borrow" some half used grinding pads from the old factory next time i go past.  Spent 13 years in the stone industry running bridge saws and cnc's although i think i have done about half a days work in the wet bay polishing a couple of jobs. Ebay thinks the lens should be here by september, Maybe we'll see some results before xmas 😉

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