Lens flare?

bholliman

EOS R
Dec 6, 2012
1,473
0
USA
www.flickr.com
I was shooting the sunrise recently and had a number of exposures ruined by unexpected lens flare (if that is what it is). The sun had not risen yet, and the light still low, so I was surprised to get flare/ghosting or whatever it is. I've shot lots of sunrises and sunsets and am familiar with getting lens flare when shooting directly into the sun, this is the first time I recall getting it when the sun wasn't up yet.

I didn't have any filters on the lens, this is just a bare EF 16-35 f/4L IS on a 5D Mk3.

This picture hasn't been processed other than raising shadows and lowering highlights +/-50 in LR6 to make the flare more visible.
 

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mb66energy

EOS R
Dec 18, 2011
1,444
322
Germany
www.MichaelBockhorst.de
ajfotofilmagem said:
It seems to me some dirt on the lens.
My first thought was "dirt on the filter" but if you do not use filters it might be on the lens. The shape doesn't correspond to the light source shape (mirrored on the center of the image).
With ultrawides you have a larger DOF so dirt on the front lens becomes visible. I have a B&W 77mm MRC UV filter which got some defects on the coating by strong contact with plastics. This was visible in contrasty situtaions (with EF-S 1ß-22) so I bought a new one after getting the 5.6 400 and used the defective filter for the 5.6 400 without any visible problems.

Another Idea is some haze - if you have 100% rel. humidity and the right temperature mix this can happen - but you know the weather conditions better than me! Perhaps you have a second photo under similar conditions to compare?

Try to change the f-stop value. If the shape (with another lightsource for checking the issure) is sharper for larger f-stop values (e.g. 16) it is another hint for dirt on a lens element.
 

bholliman

EOS R
Dec 6, 2012
1,473
0
USA
www.flickr.com
Thanks for the ideas! I never thought of some of these.

ajfotofilmagem said:
An insect that lands on the lens and flew immediately afterwards? ???
I'm leaning towards this one, I never thought of this! There were some mosquitoes and gnats buzzing around so very possible. I don't think it was water or dirt on the front element since I had the camera on the tripod in this position 3 sets of bracketed shots, and only 4 images out of the 9 had this anomaly. Shots before and after didn't have it, and I didn't clean the lens at all in the field that morning.

The humidity was pretty was pretty low that morning, so I don't think it was mist.

Thanks again!
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
957
51
Agree with others that this does not look like flare. The only time I've seen anything similar was when I had an un-noticed smudge of (I think) suntan lotion on the front element (a grandkid's finger was responsible ;D ).
 

pwp

EOS R6
Oct 25, 2010
2,530
23
I doubt very much that it's flare. Are you using a lens filter? The 16-35L f/4is has remarkably good flare resistance, and when it does flare, it looks nothing like the shape in your fantastic image.

Dirt, smear, small creature...they're your more likely culprits.

-pw
 

Geek

EOS M50
Nov 18, 2014
47
7
Beautiful image. I'm leaning toward the insect side too. That was my thought before reading the other comments. Maybe even one flying just in front of the lens, causing even more of the out of focus appearance through it's movement.