Is it a smudge on the outside of the lens? Buy a lens cleaning cloth and rocket blower. Blow away any dust breathe on the lens and polish clean. The glass is quite robust, you just need to make certain there is no microscopic solid matter between cloth and lens. Do not go to Jessops unless where you live it is manned by photographers. Take a look at http://photography-on-the.net/forum/search.php?searc... You'll be most welcome there!
Yes, the smudge is on the outside of the front lens; a smallish fingerprint type mark, which, as I stated in my OP, is about 1-1.5cm across and positioned at about 7 o'clock on the lens surface.
From what I can tell from doing a few test shots, the smudge doesn't seem
to affect the lens - I've taken a few pics and blown them up on screen to very high percentages in GIMP and preview and to my eye at least, there's no noticeable deterioration in IQ.
That having been said, I still think the lens would benefit from a thorough cleaning, just to err on the side of caution.
Unfortunately, I don't know of any other camera shops in my vicinity, so Jessops will have to suffice in this instance. Your link wouldn't let me view any search matches.
Thanks for your help - It is greatly appreciated.
Nothing to see here.. Move along, please