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Camera lense(front glass) removal/image issue


Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2017
Anyone have any luck getting the lense off the camera? I crashed mine into a freshwater waterfall. After a few days in rice, a restart resulted in numerous errors. Complete disassembly, cleaning and drying got everything back in perfect working order aside from the battery which was a loss.

There are a few minor scratches on the glass which are in the field of view but I haven't noticed any specific effect it's having on the image. I'd imagine their location and proximity to the lenses is probably killing the sharpness in those areas.

My primary concern is that I could SEE water behind the glass after the initial crash that evaporated or drained out while I had it in the rice. One thing I did notice when filming now is that the contrast seems to be EXTREMELY high.
It's not so much that I can't dial in and see any particular high brightness or dark scene, it's that when they are both in the same frame, if I dial into, say, a normal mid-day blue sky with white clouds at proper exposure, the green tree canopy below is very underexposed. If I dial into be able to see the trees to be able to navigate, the sky above is almost white it's so overexposed. I've tried every setting both me and Google can think of. I just can't get a "happy medium" setting.

Now I know what you're thinking, "ND filters buddy". Yeah, that might help the situation but it doesn't solve my initial problem. I've been flying the Mavic since January in many different conditions. Something is definitely different since the crash. I've never had such a huge disparity between the sky and ground exposure. I've also noticed that as I fly from one area to the next, minor changes in relative brightness require huge manual EV adjustments to be able to keep the scene brightness in check.

I don't know enough about photography to know how either a minor scratch on the glass or perhaps a mineral residue on the actual lenses might affect contrast, but it's the only thing I can think of that would be causing this. Well, that or the fact that I updated the firmware during my repair. Any other ideas what the issue might be?

Also, tips on getting that glass off? My plan is to remove it and just fly with a UV filter in its place.
Your camera sensor might be damaged. After you do your "glass removal and UV filter" replacement, if you are still getting that effect, you might need a new camera sensor.

View attachment 21507 View attachment 21508
I'm getting that feeling too. I just got done putting it back together after seeing if I could remove the lenses assembly from the back and see if the sensor has anything on it (you can't as far as I can tell)
I'm getting that feeling too. I just got done putting it back together after seeing if I could remove the lenses assembly from the back and see if the sensor has anything on it (you can't as far as I can tell)
You sure are right. I tried to get in there destructively even, and its epoxied in place or something similar.
So I did manage to remove the front glass. I had to break it. This was achieved pretty easily by removing the camera completely and then, using a tiny little screw (one that I had left over from disassembling an iPhone...super small) I simply placed the screw on a hard surface and pushed the camera down onto it. It popped very easily and then I simply scraped the remaining glass that was adhered to the edges off. Taking a heat gun to it initially as someone had recommend did not soften the adhesive at all. The picture is definitely better and the contrast issue has disappeared.

Best I can figure is that the tiny little scratches on the glass was causing a glare issue that didn't so much affect any particular part of the frame, but the frame as a whole. Any light that was coming in from the sides was refracting into the camera causing the exposure to overcompensate as if the image was brighter than it actually was. Lesson to be leaned here is that even the smallest of scratches on a lens can drastically affect the camera.

This picture still isn't perfect, probably due to the water intrusion, so I will need to replace the camera after all. But at least in the mean time it is passable and flyable. Next camera will definely be getting a protective lens installed at the very minimum to avoid scratches in the future.

Also, considering that I am going to replace it, I did attempt to gain access to it from the back side by scraping away all of the epoxy that was accessible. The camera is locked in there solid. There is no hope of disassembling it without destroying it. I also did find out that the gold band around the bezel appears to solely be installed as a counterweight and is removable with a bit of effort without breaking anything. Might be something to consider doing if adding additional lenses seeing as they add weight on their own, probably comparable to the gold band. Removing the band and adding a lenses might actually be a better balance.
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