Hazy pictures from new DSLR


TPF Noob!
Dec 21, 2007
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Newburyport, MA
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I went out shooting today with the brand new Canon Digital Rebel XTi I got for Christmas. When I got home and uploaded the pictures on my computer I was disappointed to see that many of them were hazy with bizarre, colored streaks through the images. I have no idea why this is. I took outdoor pictures at the beach yesterday that came out fine. The only difference today is that I added a UV filter. I had the camera on "Auto" yet still many pictures were hazy, washed out, and lacking sharpness.

Example 1


Example 2


But even more puzzling, without changing any settings, filters, or anything some of the photos came out fine:


I'm really confused and I was wondering if anyone could provide some insight as to why this brand new camera is producing images like these. Thanks.
In the first two shots you have lens flare, which is light hitting and bouncing off your interior lens elements at odd angles. The solution is to use a lens hood when shooting toward any light source and to watch for lens flare in the viewfinder and change camera angle or position when you see it.

Good advice, thank you! I have done this type of shooting with my film camera in the past but I always used a polarizing filter. Would this help in this situation?
No, a polarizing filter probably wouldn't help. You have a crappy UV filter...and it's causing glare. When the light hits the filter at a certain angle, it reflects at odd angles and gets separated like a prism and makes that rainbow effect.
That's too bad, I bought the Canon filter because I thought it would be the best... :(
Well regardless of how good a filter is it's a flat sheet of glass. Anti glare coatings are great but not that good.

The canon probably is one of the better ones and probably minimises the flare it contributes. But that is not the only issue. Lenses have multiple elements too. Especially Canon kit lenses, and some of the Nikon ones suffer rather bad flaring. I say some because the kit 18-70mm from Nikon has excellent coating on the glass and there's no loss of contrast shooting into the sun.

Next time your out just temporarily remove the filter when shooting into the light like that. If it's still a problem take the photo with one hand, and with the other try and cast a shadow on the lens without getting your hand in the picture.

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