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Would removing the back glass make the iPhone camera clearer?

I’m considering modding an iPhone 7 into a telescope with one of those $50 attachments and I’m wondering if removing the back glass would make it clearer.

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I have no experience with optics outside of phone repair, but this seems like a bad idea.

Optical grade glass of this thickness is something like 98% or 99% transparent, so I believe removing it would not lead to any noticeable gains in clarity

On the other hand you will be exposing the camera module to dust in your environment. Dust that gets in this hole will not just settle on top of the outer camera lens. The dust will eventually make its way into the module, settling on the image sensor or between lens elements. This is impossible to clean.

If it helps to explain: I repair dozens of phones with broken camera glass every year. When customers bring us phones immediately after cracking the glass, we almost never have to change parts beyond the outer glass. However the customer that waits weeks with broken outer glass end up needing a new camera module about half the time. We will first replace the outer glass then discover the camera viewfinder still shows one or more spots at least several pixels wide. These spots are not in focus, rather they are areas slightly darker when compared to the rest of the image. With no way to clean these spots of dust out of the camera module we have to just replace it with a new one.

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Considering that a camera is 10 bucks and takes 5 minutes to replace, I decided to do it and the quality has moderate improvement, the glare has been reduced dramatically. As long as I have the telescope clipped on, it won't get dust.


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