Help w/ my 50mm f1.2 L, whats wrong with this pic?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by angel_bocanegra, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Hi, I was shooting a gig last night and noticed that some photographs had reflections of the neon signs somewhere else on the frame. Is there any way to avoid this when shooting against a bright object, maybe with a filter or something else?. I didn't expect this from my 1000$ lens. These shots were taken at 1/50@f1.8 iso 800 with a 40D, no flash, in camera wb set to custom. Thanks for your input in advance.



  2. Did you use a filter on the lens?
  3. Putting on a filter is the best way I know to make the problem worse .
    I would re-frame to not include the sign.
  4. Looks like light bouncing on the sensor and back on the last lens element, and back to the sensor. Is your lens rated for digital? Could it be an older film only version? I don't know if Canon updated that particular model. Just guessing here.
  5. i got uv filters on all my lenses, some are heliopan mc, b+w mc uv, and on this particular lens its a roddenstock uv multi-coated. Theses filters are just for lens protection, I dont think they impact much in an indoor shoot. But next time i'll try without. My question, is this effect pretty normal for shots against bright objects such as a neon sign and are there any lenses that help against this effect? I figured my L lens would do a pretty good job but I dont know if this is something that happens with all lenses.
  6. Juan: my lens is one year old. Its an ef 50mm f1.2L. It should be rated for both digital and film but I really dont know. The only thing I know is that this particular lens came out about two years ago. The older version I believe was an f1.0.
  7. You're asking too much of the lens, no matter how much you paid for it. When you shoot almost directly into a bright light source like that, you've got no protection against light bouncing around in the camera and lens. Even with the most sophisticated coatings made, there are an awful lot of glass and metal surfaces inside the lens and camera to reflect back and forth.
    Certainly, a filter makes it worse, and you may find that is the source of some of the problem.
  8. Is your lens rated for digital? Could it be an older film only version? I don't know if Canon updated that particular model. Just guessing here.​
    The EF 50 1.2L USM is among Canon's latest and greatest, debuting January 2007. It wasn't too easy to find in stock for about 6 months.
    I've done a lot of high contrast shots with bright light sources and haven't noticed any flare or ghosting problems with my 50 1.2L. In fact it's one of my most flare free optics (I always use the hood so that may help). My mind is a little foggy but seems I remember a recall of early production 50 1.2L due to ghosting problems. Angel, is your 50 1.2 early production?
  9. Puppy Face; I believe it is an early production. When I got it, I had to send it twice to canon for soft focus issues at f1.2 and f1.4
  10. UV filters have an impact on night shots (more visible)
    remove it and this reflection won't show on your next shots....
    Try it - you'll see!
  11. i got uv filters on all my lenses​
    I thought so. Shoot without it and the ghosting will disappear.
    I dont think they impact much in an indoor shoot.​
    Dead wrong (see pictures).
  12. One more vote here for removing the filter . BTW, a filter's image-degrading effect will be even more pronounced with wide lenses. Think of UV filters only as front element protection. And cheap filters are the worst. In my experience, B&W brand do the least damage. If you're outside in the elements - rain, sand, wind, etc. - then definitely use a good quality UV. Inside, or in good conditions outside, avoid filters. Inside the Phillies locker room after they won the World Series, absolutely use a UV (and all the Saran Wrap you can find).
  13. Lose the filters and use them only when it is necessary. The lenses were designed to work without them.
  14. UV Filter on such a nice lens, INDOORS? What? Lose the darned filter and use a lens hood (I assume you are already anyway).
  15. Risk the front element of the lens...or have reflections off the filter when shooting sources of light. Thats your simple choice.
    Which is more important: The equipment or the photograph?
    I think I'm in a grumpy mood tonight:)
  16. Thank you all. Next time is off with the filter and in with the hood. Cant wait to see results! Do you guys think cheaper lenses might produce worse flare? say the ef 50mm f1.8 flare vs my ef 50mm f1.2L
  17. Always use a lens hood on a wide aperture lens, especially when photographing with bright lights in the frame. Forget UV and protective filters, they are for Bob the amateur. There's no point in paying so much for fine optics and then stifling them with a lump of greenhouse glass screwed to the front. A lens hood will usually provide enough protection if you drop the lens or brush past bushes etc.
  18. I've quit using UV filters on all my lenses. I noticed on my 24-70 it caused significant flare and a slight drop in contrast indoors. I'm sure it hurts somewhat outdoors too.
    The UV filter is an upsell in most Photoshops. They love to prey on those spending lots of coin on glass. "You wanna protect that from element"
    They never improved the image quality in any of my shots. But they did degrade them. They are a pain in the ass to keep clean. But, I use lens hoods with everything. These are big, hard plastic and provide me with the piece of mind in protection. The only way it wont help the front elemt is if I drop the lens straight down in a 6" nail pointing straight up. In which case I would have a damaged front element and a $100 UV filter because it wouldnt stop it either. I just take caution when handleing and cleaning the front element(when needed) and never have a problem
  19. Do you guys think cheaper lenses might produce worse flare? say the ef 50mm f1.8 flare vs my ef 50mm f1.2L​
    The f/1.2L seems to be very well flare-controlled. I saw an online comparison for backlight flare between the f/1.2L and the f/1.4, and the f/1.2L was less flare-prone than the f/1.4 (which is quite difficult to handle in backlight situations). I can't find a side-by-side test with the f/1.8, which is probaly less likely to flare than the f/1.4 (due to one less lens element and simpler lens construction), but it will definitively not be as sharp as the f/1.2L at fast apertures.
  20. It's too much in focus to be reflection off the sensor, off the rear element, and back to the sensor. It's garden-variety ghosting. I agree with JDM that it's almost inevitable, considering the highly contrasting elements of the scene.
    I think the ghosting could well be due to the filter, but not necessarily. I note that the ghosting is mirror-symmetric, which I think means it involves more rearward elements, of course still possibly reflecting back off of the filter. Sure, remove the filter as a first attempt at solving the problem, but don't be surprised if the problem doesn't go away.
  21. Someone is saying that UV filters degrading the quality of photographs is it really true...? Please clarify to me, because I have UV filters on my all three lenses...!
  22. Pankaj, I personally use protective filters most of the time, and I'm of the attitude that an excellent filter causes negligible problems, if any. So as a proponent of protective filters, let me offer clarification of the anti-filter arguments:
    (1) A good filter is ground flat from high quality optical glass. A cheap filter might be made of float glass. If it's the latter, it will compromise sharpness. You don't seem to have that problem with your photo, so I'm guessing your filter is made from ground optical glass.
    (2) Any filter is going to introduce reflections. The strength of those reflections will depend on the quality of the coatings. This problem, if any, is going to be hard to detect in a photo such as yours, as it does not have extremely high contrasts. However, it will often appear in photos such as the OP's. If reflection were a problem in your photo, it would only be evident in a general lowering of contrast and overall flair, and much of that would be compensated in postprocessing.
    Again, as a proponent of GOOD filters, I can assure you that cheap filters can cause horrible problems with ghosting, flare, and general loss of contrast. I know because I used cheap filters when I was young. That said, I have no qualms about using GOOD filters most of the time on most of my lenses for most of what I shoot. That horrifies some people on this forum, but I've really not found it to be a problem.
  23. You also might try changing the angle between lens and subject and lens and bright backlight source. Just an idea, don't really know if it would work.
    On a different note, I'd sure like to have problems like yours. My 25~35 year old normal angle glass, mostly not multicoated has to be handled very carefully in backlit photos. Sometimes there is nothing for it but to move around to front lit subjects and forget shooting against the light.
  24. One more comment on filters: I agree that if you use good ones they won't give much trouble except in strong backlights (like the examples here). For critical shots always take them off.
    No matter how expensive your filters, if they get dirty they will ruin all the contrast in your image. The same goes for dirty front elements of course. If you're in a situation where your lens gets dirty fast (e.g. rain) it is not a bad idea to keep the filter on and temporarily remove it when you shoot against the light.
  25. My opinion of protective filters:
    A protective filter cannot, in any possible way, improve the optical performance of your lens. That leaves only the opposite... they can definitely reduce the performance of your lens. The cheap filters will be more likely to reduce the performance. The expensive filters are less likely to present a visible reduction in performance.
    But... some of the more expensive protective filters can cost a fortune, so why the hell bother? The front elements of most decent lenses are designed to be replaceable. If, by some very unlucky twist of fate, you happen to damage the front element... get it repaired and it probably won't cost much more to repair than an expensive filter would have cost you in the first place.
    Besides, if you drop a lens and the filter smashes (which they often do), where do those sharp shards of glass go? They go right up against that front element of your lens and may cause more damage than if the filter wasn't there.
    When has a scratched front element ever affected a real world photograph anyway? It would have to be one hell of a scratch to become noticeable on your photos. I've used lenses with more internal fungal growth than a mushroom farm and still got great results. Lens quality is all down to the overall quality and design of the lens as a whole, not just the cheap front element.
    Get a polarizer, a grey grad and forget the rest.
  26. All I know is that I have wrecked one or two filters in my day.
    Hoods on many lenses these days tend to be big, wide, shallow, flower pedal things which look like they provide little to no protection.
    And while there are many places where I remove my filters for shots, there are also many places where I much rather be wiping ambient crap with my sleeve off a filter (salt, snow, sand) than off a front element
  27. I have filters that I use in "dangerous" territory for only my wide lenses because sometimes wide lenses get very close to the action. With that said........
    In 45 years of taking pictures I have never had anything happen to a lens that a filter would have prevented. In that time I have seen many obvious examples of instances where a filter caused a problem with the picture quality. I have also never seen anyone give an example of where a filter saved a lens from damage that was conclusive, and could not be attributed to just luck. If stuff gets on my lenses, I clean them off. Never had a problem with that process.
    Filters cannot improve image quality. Many times they make no visible difference. Sometimes they cause real problems. Good ones are quite expensive. Lenses are designed and built to work without them. I don't want to stick an afterthought piece of glass on a well designed lens for every shot it takes just in case something might happen to it one day that might be thwarted by a filter.
    It just doesn't make sense to me except for those filters that have specific photographic effects like ND or Polarizers, or when faced with real and present dangers.
  28. "In 45 years of taking pictures I have never had anything happen to a lens that a filter would have prevented. In that time I have seen many obvious examples of instances where a filter caused a problem with the picture quality.
    I use filters for protection or special effects, but I know when to take them off. if i'm shooting close-ups, I usually take the filter OFF. At night OFF it goes, at a wedding ON it goes, sorry but with all that food and grease around aroung I don't take any chances, Beach ON, rain ON, out in nature (no rain OFF). At the Auto repair ON it goes. Doctors office OFF it goes again.
    The picture above obviously suffers form Ghosting . That's when yo use a filter on your lens at night or in dim light no expensive lens, or filter would have prevented that.
  29. Hmm, so filters degrade as they can`t improve a photo? I thought polarizers reduced reflections, and UV reduced haze in some circumstances? Never seen 2 pics taken with and without a Good clean filter, demonstrating this huge amount of degrading. Deep recessed front elements such as the ef50 f1.4 is bound to reflect some light at angles. I have not seen a ef50 1.2L so don`t know how deep the front is. Rarely ever see probs in niteclubs with 50 f1.8. I use Hoya `Skylights` (for warmer skin tones) and hoods on all lenses all indoors at nite in all situations including stage, The hoods made a huge difference specially contrast with reduced side reflections, Some times as you may be lookin up, the angle may contribute to an unavoidable reflection/flare.
    I had a strap break droppin a T90 metz 60 and 28 85 f4, hit concrete on the run. the filter smashed ok as the rig landes on the rim. 50$ and a new filter cheaper than 300 for an element and the wait. Also had filters damaged by patrons and swinging trays from waiters, corners of tables and grog thrown around. Sometimes they are necessary. Folks are set in their ways with these things, but its just another accessory to be used when needed. For the OP I`d at least have the hood on :) be interesting if you see any difference which ever way you go...cheers
  30. I nominate Sarah Fox as the most informative, well reasoned & level headed thread-to-thread contributor on What a breath of fresh air. However, I have found myself drifting away (rapidly) from protective filters, even good ones. I know that Sarah is technically correct but I just don't like glass in front of my glass. I have an especially strong knee-jerk reaction to using such filters on the mediocre lenses that I own. What could be worse that stacking OK glass in front of a bunch of marginal glass? I have chosen to fear potentially compromised optics more than a damaged front element. Call me a daredevil.
  31. Thanks you all Sarah and Harry Joseph. I found your comments to be the most helpful. Although all were good comments too. I'll be a wise man and learn from the experience of others, in this case about 45 years from Harry :). I am also a daredevil and have taken off my german made flat glass so well coated that a drop of water just slides off with minimal almost zero friction and shoot with the hood on. I'll put it back on just in case I am shooting in extreme conditions.
  32. Way to go, Angel.
    Say, adios to fear & join me on the tightrope.

Share This Page