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Does a lens deteriorate over time (DSLR cameras)?
This is actually a two part question - one concerning the optical quality of the lens (glass elements), and the other the structural/mechanical elements (body, motors, lens mount ring)..

I would hope that a lens's optics doesn't change over time. A picture taken 10 years after the lens's manufacture date should be still as sharp as one taken on day 1 (with the same settings), right?.

I'm more concerned about the mechanical elements. Does a lens focus more sluggishly over time, or exhibit any mechanical issues? (assuming the lens is not subject to physical abuse)..

Or does this all have to do with the manufacturer or a specific lens model?..

Comments (6)

If a lens is cared for, doesn't get damaged by anything, and the lens is not scratched it will last a long time. Keep in mind lenses have little motors in them and more moving parts if the lens has IS. If the motors do not fail, optically the lens will last a very long time..

Shutters in your DSLR will eventually wear out and can be replaced with a quick trip to your camera manufacturer not sure on all brands but for a canon replacement costs about 300 dollars. Might not be worth it if you have an entry level DSLR but for those that pay 1500 dollars + for their DSLR it's a nice option to be able to get it fixed..

Because the camera shutter is mechanical it could last 25,000 actuations or could last 300,000 before needing replacement.You can check out this shutter life databasehttp://olegkikin.com/shutterlife/.

If your camera body is cared for decently it will last a long time..

Though everything fails eventually, sometimes repairable sometimes your better off buying a new one..

I have 5 year old cameras that work as well as day one, but I got a new one because of technical advancements..

Sparky_caGo take photos ..

Comment #1

I have some lenses from the 1980's and they work as well now as they did back then. I think the same will apply today if you buy top quality lenses; but I do sometimes wonder if the cheap modern plastic lenses will stand the test of time so well..

In 30 years from now will be still be using the already old fashioned SLR format or something way more practical and quite likely to be totally different in size and shape?.

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #2

Trale wrote:.

I would hope that a lens's optics doesn't change over time..

Should be true for any current lens. If you have an old lens that's gradually turning brown, don't store it under your pillow..

I'm more concerned about the mechanical elements. Does a lens focusmore sluggishly over time, or exhibit any mechanical issues?.

I'd be more concerned about the electronics, especially for lenses made in the last couple of years. It's still an open question how long RoHS-compliant cr@p will last in real life...

Comment #3

Thanks for the responses!.

I just bought a used lense that's out of warranty (the Sigma 17-70mm). It looks fine, no scratches anywhere. And sample pictures I took with it showed no apparent problems. I just hope the image quality is the same as from a brand new one...

Comment #4

Trale wrote:.

Thanks for the responses!.

I just bought a used lense that's out of warranty (the Sigma17-70mm). It looks fine, no scratches anywhere. And sample pictures Itook with it showed no apparent problems. I just hope the imagequality is the same as from a brand new one..

The one thing you do need to be wary of is mould on the lens. This can usually be seen with the naked eye as a series of pale spider-web like filaments cris-crossing the lens, by looking through the lens in strong light. Mould is difficult -if not impossible- to remove (as it can actually etch into the glass), and the expense of having it done professionally (if that were possible) would not be cost effective..

Also, some lenses, notably those made by Minolta, tend to suffer from sticking diaphragms. These can be cleaned up and re-lubricated, but it is a recurring problem and professional servicing is not cheap...

Comment #5

Some people send in lenses every few years to be cleaned and lubricated..

In the past couple of decades, a great many photographers stopped using their manual focus lenses and bought autofocus ones, so there are not that many really old lenses in use anymore..

BAK..

Comment #6

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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