We had to figure out how to fix a scratched lens on our 360° camera after we accidentally dropped the camera while traveling. However, the technique below will work for almost any material used on all cameras, video recorders, glasses, etc. As budget travelers, one of the most stressful experiences that can happen to us is having one of our electronics break or get damaged.
Scratched Lens on Our 360° Camera
While in Riga, Latvia we had a terrible mishap when our Samsung Gear 360° camera fell on a cobblestone street, putting a deep scratch on the lens. At that moment, those European cobblestone streets weren’t so dreamy anymore.
While researching, we learned that the first model of the Samsung Gear 360 has the capability of lens replacement. However, the second model from 2017 was not constructed this way. If your lens becomes scratched, you only have two choices: 1) try to repair it or 2) buy a brand new camera.
What You Can Do to Fix Scratched Lens
Thankfully, we were currently in the biggest city in the Baltic region with a huge hardware store. We went to the automotive section and found a rubbing compound that is used to remove scratches off of the exterior of the body of a car. The compound has a very fine abrasive which may be able to remove, or at the very least, minimize the scratch to the unsuspecting eye.
How to Fix Scratched Lens on a 360° Camera
No one wants to have a scratch on their camera lens, even if it’s minor. Follow the three steps below to fix a scratched lens.
1. Purchase a Reputable Automotive Scratch Remover
The store we visited in Latvia only had one option, so of course, we had to purchase it. Nigrin was the only option for us, and it worked! Other recommended brands include Meguiar’s, Scratch Out, and Mothers. Deep scratches may need Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound.
2. Rub Scratch Away
Place a small drop of the recommended scratch remover on a damp soft cloth or your fingertip and rub back and forth until the scratch is virtually nonexistent. I needed to rub the lens for between 3-4 hours to eliminate a very deep scratch. Remove the excess scratch remover with a clean damp cloth.
3. Polish the Lens
At the end of the process take a cheap toothpaste (like the basic Colgate or Crest) and rub the lens for a few minutes to add a polishing touch.
Few Important Things to Remember.
If the scratch is deep, it may take numerous applications and possibly hours of rubbing to get the damage to become unnoticeable in the recorded video or picture.
You may notice a halo emerging around the damaged area where you’ve rubbed it. This will be unnoticeable in your video footage after you’re done.
Use toothpaste and a soft cloth as a final polishing agent.
After following these steps, we were able to get our lens to a point where the damage was undetectable in our 360 videos. Good luck!
Best Replacement 360 Cameras
If the scratch is irreparable, you may have no other choice but to replace the camera. Below are the six best 360 cameras currently on the market, sorted from most expensive to least.
- insta360 Pro II
- Ricoh Theta Z1
- insta360 One RS
- ZTIANFOTO Trisio Lite 2
- Insta360 One X2
- GoPro MAX — Waterproof 360
Have any questions about repairing your 360 camera? Feel free to ask us in the comments section below. We’ll try to help.
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10 thoughts on “How to Fix Scratched Lens on a 360° Camera – Easy Repair Tips!”
My Vuze lens was scratched. Vuze offered to replace the camera for $200, so 1/2 off. I’m going to attempt scratch removal first.
That disappoints me about Insta360. I have their GO camera. They usually respond from China a few days after request.
I’ve been working on my own scratched Insta 360 One X lens today with a Dremel type drill, a polishing head on it and T Cut car scratch remover. It hasn’t gone yet but it’s better than it was. And I have a tube of Colgate in my bathroom to finish it off.
I reckon it will take a few more hours with the drill and T Cut to remove the major part of the scratch, and if it doesn’t go completely, I’ll be aware when I shoot and remove any problems with Photoshop.
I have been trying to get Insta’s customer service department to tell me how to return the camera to them for repair, but they ignore my emails, so other than replacing the camera, I am attempting to repair it and it seems to be working.
I just wanted to say that I tried this and that it has discolored the images on the dented side of the lens. Perhaps it is because some of the scratch removal cream got underneath the lens. I do not know. But be careful! I am going to have to manually fix all the pictures/videos I take so that you can’t see the difference of one half of the picture to the other when stitched together. The remedy is worse than the original mark caused by the dent.
Did you try using toothpaste after the scratch remover?
Do you have any post-repair video footage to show the result?
Would you like video footage (like a VeeR clip?) or video of the lens? We can email you a photo of our lens if you’d like. Let us know.
Hi, got my insta360 one x lens a deep scratch. Planning to try this. Can you pls send me a shot of your repaired lens and some sample video?.. Thank you.
Hi there, we posted photos of the lens in this post. We do not have video of the before and after.
Did you get it sorted?
Not in a million years would I think that remover plus toothpaste and elbow grease makes the difference Audrey. Good to know!
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