Is My Lens Defective? Massive Flare

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ArntorFTL, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. ArntorFTL

    ArntorFTL TPF Noob!

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    Shot with a Sigma 18-50 2.8 Macro without any UV or other filter on. This is my first time shooting at night with it and the flare, obviously, is just unacceptable. And the flare in these shots was actually quite tame compared to some of the others I took. Is this about right for this lens? Is there anything I can do to reduce the flare? I like shooting at night and am kind of mad I just got rid of my cheapo Nikkor 18-55 3.5-5.6 that didn't have any problems of this sort shooting at night.

    By the way, these shots are tests more than anything so exposure/white balance/etc. wasn't a priority.

    [​IMG]

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  2. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    This is what happens when you have bright lights in a night shot -- always. The lights provide lots of light, the rest doesn't, and so the lights get blown out. Your other choice would be to expose for the lights (so that they look normal), in which case everything else would look severely underexposed.

    For the record, this isn't called flare in the second photo's case -- "blown out hilights" is closer to accurate. You have nice flare in the first photo -- by stopping down farther, you can get those stars to look really cool.

    Your choice of lenses will only affect the shapes of the stars -- if the aperture blades are shaped differently, you'll get more or less points, and slightly different shapes.

    Serious lens flare, on the other hand, looks more like this.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't think the lens is defective, I think that's just the way it is. I have to admit, I don't think I'd be happy with that either.
     
  4. ArntorFTL

    ArntorFTL TPF Noob!

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    Is ghosting the right term for what I'm seeing, then? I'm referring, specifically, to what is circled here. Are you saying that the only way to avoid this is to expose for the brightest lights in the scene? What about that big splotch in the first one? This seems like an awfully cheap thing for a $400 lens to do.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

     
  5. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

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    Are you referring to the triangular light spots above the building? I would think that is lens flare since there isn't any actual lighting up there.
     
  6. bdavison

    bdavison TPF Noob!

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    Lens flare is common when shooting subjects where the light source is in front of the lens. The best option for eliminating it is to use a lens hood.

    What happens is the light entering the lens from the front casts glare on the elements in the lens. With a lens hood, it prevents light from entering the lens at the angles that produce the glare.
     
  7. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    I hadn't seen those -- thanks for hilighting them. Yes, I'd call that ghosting, and that's pretty unfortunate -- I've never seen that with my 18-55, nor any of my other lenses, in a night shot like this.
     
  8. ArntorFTL

    ArntorFTL TPF Noob!

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    Anyone with any experience with this particular Sigma lens have any input? I've got half a mind to return it to Adorama and demand a new one.
     
  9. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    The flares around the lights themselves are a natural part of exposing for the rest of the scene.

    As far as the ghosting...are you using a filter on the lens? If you are, take it off for night shots. The light coming in will bounce off the front element of the lens, then reflect back from the rear of the filter into the picture. It may not solve the problem, as some lenses naturally ghost, but it at least will eliminate a possibility.
     

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