Sunday November 22, 2020

How Long Should a Camera Lens Last?

Lens longevity is really something that is hard to say. However, if properly cared for, a camera lens can last for lifetimes. Although some people have faced problems like noises in the lens, reduced sharpness and even scratches. So, we did some research for you to find out exactly how long a camera lens should last if properly taken care of.

There is no end to lens longevity. Often at times, the lens outlives your camera body. But, there are many factors which must be considered when you take care of lens. Since lens cost a lot of money, many photographers wonder, how long it can last. Many professional photographers are of the opinion that two major factors are responsible for influencing the lens.

Build Quality

Build quality simply means that the lens is made up of only good quality glass. This means that it will be able to function properly. This is because, when lens are made of cheap materials, they cannot last for more than a year or two. A weather sealant coating also may be responsible for increasing the lifespan. Thus, when buying a lens, it is always better to focus on the quality no matter how expensive it is. If the built is strong then lens can lasts for more than 100 years.


Care and maintenance of lens is a very important factor. Lens when attached to the camera works as a mechanical device. Thus it requires regular care and cleanup. For example lens can be cleaned up regularly for dust accumulation. Similarly, if you are using the lens in rough environment it is also a good idea to do a professional service once in a while. This ensures that your lens is well taken care of.

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians using a Nikon D7000. Image dated Feb 5, 2018.

Understanding Camera Lens

When using a lens extensively it may also happen that your weather sealing cost wears off. In that case, it is always better to exchange them. In waterproof cameras for example, the lens stops working when the weather coating is damaged or when sand gets stuck in its moving parts. These may cause electrical or mechanical problems which later may turn the lens unusable.

While buying a lens, it is important to check if the lens is broken or cracked. But factors like these are often not in our hands. Sudden accidents may lead to breakage, which may require replacements. Manufacturing defects are also a concern for many. However occurrences like these are rare.

Photo by congerdesign using Nikon D610.

Thus, you can see that just like your car or any other item you own, longevity is always associated with care and maintenance. If you are aware of its problems and tend to it, it can last lifetimes. If you don’t believe us, you can take a look at a video by photographer Mathieu Stern. In his video he showed how he took photos and captured videos using a 100 year old camera lens which was last used during World War I. The results are amazing. We love the soft look, the lens holds. During that period camera lens did not have anti-diffraction coatings. So photos and videos were softer; or what you would call vintage look!

If you like our post today, please do let us know in your comments.



In Camera by Carl, October 22, 2019

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