Does this photo indicate a scratched lens?

I think my Ricoh Theta SC lens might be scratched. In this photo (you might need to click the image to see it in 360), to the right of the track, the top of the hedge looks cloudy, whereas the bottom of the hedge has some detail.

I don’t use a case. I assumed the lens was glass, and as long as I rested the camera on something soft, I’d be OK. I think the lens might have a coating that has come off.

I assume the only option is a lens replacement (or new camera).

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The cloudy area below doesn’t look normal. I’m not sure what the cause is.

Can you consistently replicate this problem in different types of scenery?

Yes, it seems to be fairly consistent, and seems to match a band on my lens (see this image). I’d guess that the band is horizontal because the camera can move side to side, but not top to bottom. I don’t think that the band is an artifact of the light, nor moisture in the lens…

It would be helpful if Ricoh could confirm whether their lenses are (a) glass or plastic (b) feature a coating. While their manual says “take special care to not hit the lens”, there is no suggestion that you can’t just put down the camera.

This image of holly seems to show blurred leaves at about the same location.

I don’t know about the properties of the lens, but my camera does not have that horizontal area on the lens. I guess you tried to clean it with optical lens cleaner from a camera shop?

I haven’t tried cleaning it yet, I was worried that if the lens had a coating, it might take more off.

My theta S lens was broken with some dot on it.

I think my Ricoh Theta SC lens might be scratched.

Maybe a too simple suggestion, but why don’t you just look at the lens itself to find out whether there is a scratch or not?

I think the lens might have a coating that has come off.

All modern lenses (since about WW2) have coatings on all sides of each single lens element. This is mainly to increase transmission and reduce flare. It is not to protect the lens surface from scratches.

I haven’t tried cleaning it yet, I was worried that if the lens had a coating, it might take more off.

Getting the coating off is very difficult, not possible by standard cleaning.

To clean the lens, either use a lens cleaner (fluid and cloth) or - if not at hand - just a smooth cotton cloth (e.g. t-shirt).

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This three dot is not dust

@buyer, I think that @CorLeone was replying to @iantresman about the possibility that there might be some type of substance on the lens of his THETA SC.

For your chips, there does not seem to be any way to fix the chips. People have tried applying automobile windshield repair fluid to the lens, but no one that I know of has gotten satisfactory results.