Canon 17-40mm f4 L Flair issue?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by joakim_abrahami, May 9, 2021.

  1. Hi Guys!

    Wondering if someone could help me out.
    I am shooting a lot of real estate pictures and my Canon 17-40mm f4 L is my goto lens on my Canon 6D body.
    I'm happy with the quality of the lens, but I'm running into problems when I shoot in very high contrast environments, especially when there is a bright window straight in front.

    Check the attached pictures, there is a lot of bleed from the overexposed window onto the wall and I'm getting some flair like circles on the images. Looks like the aperture blade doesn't it?

    The second picture is HDR and you clearly see the round flair spot from the lighter exposure.

    My question is, should I upgrade to a better lens?
    16-35mm 2.8 ii og 16-35mm 4 IS ?

    Will any of these lenses preform any better in situations like this?

    Thanks for any advice! IMG_3890.jpg IMG_2659.jpg
  2. Are you only having this problem with the 17-40mm ? The Canon 6D is not exactly a power house when it comes to high dynamic range. I often have to compensate when shooting high contrast scenes with that camera, while I don't have to with other camera bodies. It could also be your lens needs to be checked out, because I can make out the outline of the Aperture blades in the flare. I have seen flare before in my pictures, but not in that pattern unless there is artificial lighting in the background. Maybe you should try using a lens hood if you are not already doing so. Keep in mind that UV Filters can cause ghosting/flare in high contrast situations.

    You also can try Googling it to see if any other users of that lens have experienced what you are experiencing. Otherwise, if you want to upgrade, the 16-35mm f2.8 versions 1 & 2 are very good lenses, but because they are f2.8, the lens diameter is even larger than the one on the f4. Meaning that you have to be even more careful when it comes to stray light and flare.
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
    ajkocu likes this.
  3. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    It is Lens Flare.

    The 'circles' are typical "Lens Flare" the 'bleed' (and also the light patches on the door of Image One) are (technically) 'Veiling Flare'.
    You won't necessarily avoid either by buying another lens: you can address the issue in other ways.

    1. Do you have a filter on the lens, if yes - ditch it.
    2. Are you using the lens near to or wide open if yes - avoid that
    3. Check your viewfinder carefully - you should have seen the Flare in image One an also in the one or two individual overexposed HDRI Frame(s) - you often will only need a small change of the Camera Viewpoint to avoid Lens Flare
    4. Always use your Lens Hood - that said lens hoods on W/A Zoom lenses are relatively very inefficient (because they have to cater for the whole of the Zoom Compass without a vignette)
    5. If possible avoid shooting into bright light sources - however if absolutely necessary, and after adjusting the Camera Viewpoint to lessen the Flare as much as possible you will in some circumstances be able to apply a shield in front and to the top or side of the Lens - this could be as simple as your hand, or a small umbrella to remove the Flare
    6. Shooting Tethered, in Live View to a screen is a great advantage to seeing any Flare, easily


    Footnote - I have the 16 to 35/2.8L and I can make much more (worse) Flare than what you have: the key to the issue is Technique, not Equipment.
    ajkocu likes this.
  4. Basically, shooting into a bright light source or nearly into one causes flare. Some lenses are more prone to flare than others, but I doubt you'll find any lens that can handle your first shot without flare.

    Re filters: the only time I routinely make sure I am shooting without one is when there is a risk of flare. This would be such a case. But if you use one in other circumstances, make sure it is a reasonably high-quality one with anti-flare coating.

    This has nothing to do with the dynamic range of the sensor. I

    The circle in the second one should be easy to fix in post becaues it's on an otherwise uniform surface. I doubt I would be able to fix the first.

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