Capturing Controlled Sun Flare

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by feRRari4756, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. feRRari4756

    feRRari4756 TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys I starting to take a lot of snowboard pictures. I want to get a shot similar to this one:
    http://studentweb.stcloudstate.edu/ocam0501/davos-snowboarder.jpg

    I know everything on how to get that shot, but just how do i control the sunlight like to make it look good in the picture without it being blown out in the whole corner of the frame?

    Thanks
     
  2. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well most lenses tend to be worse when the sun or w.e. light is directly going into the center of it so like in that shot it's up in the top right as long as you have decent glass you should be good and it shouldn't take over. Make sure though you expose for the snowboarder and everything and not just the sun. GL
    TJ
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    This is the type of situation where a lens that is resistant to both ghosting (pentagonal,septagonal,heptagonal,etc 'ghost' images of the diaphragm) and lens flare realllllly comes in handy. Some lenses are good at shooting against the light, while others flare and or ghost terribly. Most are somewhere in-between. Serious lens tests usually have a section with sample images shown shot directly at a bright sun.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yup, a lot of it will depend on the characteristics of the lens you're using.

    A friend of mine, shooting into the sun is a big part of his style. He owns (or has tried) most Canon lenses, he loves the Canon EF-S 10-22mm for it's flare characteristics. He likes it more than the 17-40mm F4 L, the 16-35mm F2.8 L etc.
    He even modified it so that he could mount it to his 1 series bodies.
     
  5. feRRari4756

    feRRari4756 TPF Noob!

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    ohh okay. I'm pretty sure my lens' are capable (at least i hope so for the prices lol). I have the 70-200L f4.0 and the 17-55 f2.8 IS USM. Do you guys know which one would be better at handling this situation?

    Here are some sample shots with the 17-55:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    *all of these pics are much sharper on my HD. Its really annoying how Photo Bucket decreases the quality so much.

    Now to increase this lens flare control, do I need to get a better lens, or is this about the best it can be, i just need to adjust my settings?
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I did a quick few minutes of research,and the 17-55 is not known a a particularly good lens in terms of against the light shooting. Your samples show both flare,and ghosting.
    I'm not that familiar with the length and breadth of the Canon lens line, but I did a couple of Google searches, and there are some fans of that 10-22 Big Mike mentioned above, for working against the light.

    I hate to make this seem like a Canon versus Nikon thing, because it's not, but one of the world's foremost Nikon lens authorities is a European nature photog named Bjorn Rorslett, who has reviews of many Nikon lenses, and for example, I picked these three lenses out as being among the VERY best wide-angles for shooiting right at the sun:

    Wide-Angle Lenses For Nikon 'F' Mount

    20mm f/3.5 AiS Nikkor, 52mm filter thread: "This tiny lens is extremely well corrected for flare and ghosting; accordingly is the inside tip for nature photographers fond of shooting into the sun (I am one of those)."

    28mm f/2 AiS Nikkor: "This lens is unusually resistant to flare and ghosting and eminently suitable for shooting directly into the sun."

    28mm f/3.5 Nikkor, "The 28/3.5 performs excellently on the newer D2X and D200 digital bodies, giving very sharp and crisp images with just ever so slight trace of CA. Shooting into directly into the sun with this lens is a breeze. This lens is one I nearly always carry with me on field trips."

    Now, these lenses will fit to a Canon with a $17 adapter, and focusing is not that hard with 28mm lenses. Some lenses are just LOUSY when shot right toward the setting sun,with a dark field--like in your beach photos for example. A good case--the Nikon 70-200 VR when shot right at the sun can ghost and flare TERRIBLY. Just turns in a total crap performance--too,too many lens elements, and the design just is not good when the sun is right in the shot. Your last shot, of the jump, has the sun OFF TO THE SIDE, which is yet another type of flare or ghosting scenario; now, the sun hitting the front of a lens at a glancing angle is where the new Nano-Crystal coatings truly help things. Canon is using those on some of its very-newest lenses.

    If you really,really want to do those kinds of shots with the sun right in the frame, I'm sorry, but the samples you've shown us from the 17-55/2.8 show that it cannot cut the mustard...it's not good when it is shot directly against the light. It does better with the sun just outside the frame, but that is another matter entirely. Like Bjorn's reviews show, there are a select FEW Nikon wides that are superb when shot right toward the light--that is what a prime wide-angle lens,or a prime normal, or some telephoto lenses can typically do better than a zoom lens. The MAJORITY of lenses are worse than they are good. This is a case-by-case basis: some lens models have superb flare and ghosting control when shot toeward the light AND are resistant to glancing light from just outside the frame; other lenses are terrible with the sun in the shot, but good to okay with it outside the shot. If you would like to see the WORST zoom lens maybe ever for ghosting and flare, look at Ken Rockwell's 43-86mm Zoom-Nikkor sample....you'll wanna' gouge your eyes out. Ghosts galore PLUS huge red flares....yeeech...so if you really wish to pursue this type of ski/snowboarding work, you'll need to investigate flare and ghosting tendencies for many lenses to find out the real truth.
     
  7. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    would a filter help him out at all?

    P.S.
    The beach and the snow, talk about extremes. ;)
     
  8. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nope it would almost always make it worse with a filter because some light gets reflected back and it causes more ghosting and flare than without one.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Another point is that the aperture you shoot at, can affect how the sun looks in the photo. Try experimenting with different values and see what you can come up with.
     
  10. RONDAL

    RONDAL TPF Noob!

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    shooting wide open will blow out a lot more than if you close your aperture down a bit to say F8 or something like that.
     
  11. Kethaneni

    Kethaneni TPF Noob!

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    Did you try reducing the exposure time, like shooting at 1/500 of a sec or more. That usually helps me, but with a subject which should be well exposed , i'm not sure.
     
  12. Big

    Big TPF Noob!

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    Exactly, This was shot at f/8...
    [​IMG]
     

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