What is happening here? (lens, camera, or user error?)

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by ellie_m, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. I'm starting to get some crazy in a few of my images and I'm worried that my camera is starting to malfunction...
    What is causing this? I'm used to flare (flair?), but there was no direct light hitting the lens.
    Help, please!
    00TsA1-152229684.jpg
     
  2. My guess: your UV filter is causing internal reflections from the windows of the church. Take off the filter and it likely won't be a problem any more.
     
  3. What Rob said, plus you have flare.
     
  4. Thank you! I'll get that thing off right away!
    Do you think if I had purchased a more expensive uv filter that would have made a difference? I went for a cheap one...
     
  5. rnt

    rnt

    I think most of the 'more expensive' ones are multicoated and will resist flare better. B+W filters are pretty good as a rule- take a look at the lineup at www.bhphotovideo.com for examples.
     
  6. Robert, does your experiences show you any quality difference in the B+W over the Tiffen?
    I had a similar issue in an outdoor wedding and am glad to know what is causing it.
     
  7. What lens were you using? Often zooms have a greater chance of exhibiting flare compared to primes. Any type of protective filters, such as UV's can drastically increase flare, because the light rays simply bounce all over the place. I know I'm taking chances of damaging a lens but I don't use protective filters.

    If I'm playing in the woods somewhere doing nature photography I will put on a cheap UV filter, while walking around, but I'll take the filter off when taking the picture.
     
  8. Do you think if I had purchased a more expensive uv filter that would have made a difference?
    Not really. Light at a low level of incidence to the filter will reflect in the lens regardless. It's just the nature of how light works when there are two reflective surfaces adjacent to each other. I used to get the same problem (even with expensive filters) and have since stopped using filters altogether - they've ruined more pictures than they've saved lenses.
    Otherwise the best way to preserve your lens is to keep the lens cap on when you're not shooting.
     
  9. This image was shot in manual, 1/60 sec., f/1.8, ASA 800, 50mm.............with two huge stain glass windows pouring in light in the background, I don't think we can simply blame a UV filter for the problems.
     
  10. Ellie -
    You have several things going on in this photo. The reflection (it's not flare - it's a reflection - Flare typically shows as spots, either circular or oblong on the image.)
    First and foremost you have sucessfully blown out the highlights of the majority of the photo. You've over exposed by at least 2 - 4 stops.
    Second - you have extreme backlighting. The windows in the background are throwing off the balance of the rest of the scene.
    Third is the reflection of the windows. Removing or using a more expensive uv filter won't help this. A good quality lens hood or your non trigger (typically Left) hand, cupped over the top of the end of lens will cut unwanted light / flare down pretty fast.
    Dave
     
  11. The church was very dark inside, despite my over exposure, and the windows were a dark peacock blue. The reflection showed up best in the over exposed photos, which is why I posted one of them, but is present enough to bother me in the correct photos and even the under exposed ones.
    I purposefully shoot for flares sometimes and from my experience they they show up as a line of circles or ovals, all along the same beam, so to speak... Certainly not shaped like the windows in the church but upside down. I tried blocking the light with my extra hand and that didn't help.
    I haven't ever seen this before, and it happened at the reception location and even outside in the shade in one shot. It was baffling me! But I do think I've put a filter on this lens within the last few shoots that I've done so that makes sense that I just hadn't shot in a place where I'd see an internal reflection in a whole series of my shots.
    Thanks again! I'm so glad it is not my shutter crapping out on me...
     
  12. Oh, you'll know if it's your shutter. A dying shutter makes the worst "loose" sounding noise. It strikes fear in me. I've killed a few.....
     
  13. Ellie--there is a difference between flare and lens flare. Lens flare can be seen in some of the examples in the following thread.
    http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00TXNu
    Flare (not lens flare) is the contrast lowering lighting condition that happens when, for instance a subject is backlit and the contrast between the subject EV and background EV is great--such as in your image. So while your upside down windows don't constitute lens flare, you have flare... :^)
     
  14. Personally, I don't take the UV filter off - because that's my lens protection - we just shoot w/ the lens hood on all the time. Also helps keep the lens flare from spots or ceiling lights off the lens.
    With the windows being so straight in front of you and so huge, removing the filter might be the only solution... but I'd try for others first.
     
  15. Ellie, I'm curious, what did the meter tell you for this exposure and why not use some flash?
     
  16. Nadine... then the lens flare is what I'm familiar with. I had no idea there was another kind. Do you know where I can see some example pics of that, besides my own here? =) I'll google it, for sure.
    David, I really like the way I can process pictures that are slightly over exposed. I like how I can recover a little bit and then really pump up the blacks. I'm a big fan of the Jasmine Star style where the background is blown and the people stand out. Granted this one is not a good enough shot for me to bother, and is further over exposed than I try for. I don't do this with every shot, by any means. Have no fear that not all of my shots look like this! =) This is just the one where the reflection shows up the best. When the wedding party is already an hour late and still not in route to the church, I have plenty of time to play with the strange reflection I'm seeing and try to figure out what is going on.
     
  17. I agree with the above notes that is reflection - Low end filters are notrious for this issue... David may have a point but it would not have put that relfection onto the man in the shape of the lens.... or it could be Godly intervention...
     
  18. Ellie,if you overexpose your whites there's no way to bring them back. Since you shot this on manual I'm just curious what sort of a meter reading you started with..........has nothing to do with style. Since you've asked if this is a lens, camera, or user issue, the manual setting would indicate it was a user issue......and was also not the fault of a UV filter.
     
  19. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Firstly, speaking only about the inverted stained glass ghost image:
    If a filter were used it likely it contributed to this problem – but there are other elements, too.
    The fact that the refection is more noticeable in the overexposed images is irrelevant to the fact that there most likely will be similar reflections in correctly exposed images in the same lighting situation taken by the same lens at F/1.8 – but they are just less noticeable.
    The other factors which may contribute to this particular affectation are:
    . The Camera Viewpoint - a dark area into a bright and defined highlight which is off centre, but generally sqaure on, to the lens' axis
    . The Lens (design) – it is likely it was the EF50F/1.8MkII which was used for this shot?
    . The large aperture used: F/1.8
    This particular type of inverted ghost image, is caused by light reflecting off the sensor or film (usually) or a rear lens element (unusual) and reflecting again off the filter (usually) or a front lens element (sometimes in some lenses) and then back into the sensor or film as a second, inverted image.
    It is most noticeable when using:
    . Uncoated, inferior or worn coating on the filter
    . Uncoated, inferior or worn coatings on the lens
    . Using fast apertures
    . High contrast scenes
    . A reasonable distance in the scene to the highlight
    . Off centred highlights
    Whilst I agree that taking (any) filter off for these shots would limit the likelihood of capturing an inverted ghost image I would not guarantee it is all the answer in this particular case.
    It is very likely that using the lens at about F/5.6 would be more a guarantee of removing the ghost image, irrespective of the quality of the filter being used (or not) – it is also my experience that if the lens is indeed the EF50F/1.8MkII, there is more weight in my argument.
    By stopping the lens down, the off-centre inverted reflections are often vignetted on their first or second passage through the lens.
    ***
    Notwithstanding the above, it is good procedure to remove any filter for these shooting scenarios and as mentioned use a lens hood or other device to shield the lens from Flare.
    ***
    I purposefully shoot for flares sometimes and from my experience they show up as a line of circles or ovals, all along the same beam, so to speak... Certainly not shaped like the windows in the church but upside down. I tried blocking the light with my extra hand and that didn't help.
    For the total technical wrap:
    The OTHER affectation (other than the GHOST IMAGE), in the sample image is Veiling Flare, as distinct from other Lens Flare (they show up as a line of circles or ovals, all along the same beam, so to speak... )
    Veiling Flare exhibits as a reduction in overall contrast and an apparent or an accentuation of overexposure (though, the sample image is indeed overexposed).
    I argue that the Veiling Flare in this particular shot would be impossible to control, with one’s spare hand, lens hood or any other device employed to shade the lens. – this is because of the low camera viewpoint the high window light and the direction of the light with respect to the lens’ axis.
    In simple terms we are looking straight down the barrel of a truckload of light beaming into the camera
    IMO, the only option to reduce the Veiling Flare for this scene, from this angle, would be:
    to use the Subjects, as a shield for the window and thus reduce the Veiling Flare.

    Also, a lens with better internal light baffles, would most likely assist.
    Another option, and to keep some of the window in the shot, would be to use an higher Camera Vantage Point and shoot as much as possible down onto the window such that the direction of the window light causing the Veiling Flare was not travelling into the axis of the lens.
    ***
    A typical candidate for Veiling Flare and Ghost Images is the scenario below.
    Rules:
    . No Flash allowed.
    . No Photographer’s movement allowed.
    . No access beyond front pew #4
    . Shooting into Large, bright window behind Altar.
    Solutions.
    . camera vantage point to be off axis to window - in this case shoot from side of Church
    . minimize light direction and reflection into lens – in this case, shoot slightly lower than normal
    . use subject to shield window light into lens
    . stop lens down as much as possible - consider Tv / subject’s motion - consider ISO / grain
    . frame tightly - wide angle views are more susceptible to Veiling Flare
    . use Lens Hood
    . use Prime lens (not zoom)
    . remove Filter
    . use two Photographers one each side to capture both angles on B&G
    Technical: 20D + 50F/1.4. Shooting: F/2.8 @ 1/80s @ ISO800 HH
    WW
    00TsN0-152353584.jpg
     
  20. [[..and was also not the fault of a UV filter.]]
    The inverted image of the stained glass windows is precisely the fault of a UV filter which is what the original question was actually about.
     
  21. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "then the lens flare is what I'm familiar with. I had no idea there was another kind. Do you know where I can see some example pics of that, besides my own here? =) I'll google it, for sure."
    IMO, quite a nice example of BOTH:
    1. Lens Flare - the nice little hexagons - perfect target shot!
    2. Veiling Flare
    3. Then the result of pulling the contrast so far up in an attempt to correct the loss of contrast caused by the Veiling Flare resulting in all sort of problems, lack of detail in the Blacks, colour balance of some elements (note the "golden sand") completely out of whack . . . OH the list is almost endless. . .
    But, Yes!: the exposure was, as shot, absolutely correct for the skin tones.
    Technical: 20D + EF-S18 to 55F/3.5-F/5.6. Shooting: FL = 18mm / F13 @ 1/200 @ ISO200 shot early morning sun at about 20 degrees banging straight into the lens.

    WW
    00TsNk-152357684.jpg
     
  22. This type of inverted reflection of bright areas looked familiar to me. I got stuff like that in some night shots using my Canon 50 f/1.4. I decided to try reproducing it tonight, shooting bright lights in a dark environment. The results seem to point to the UV filter. When I had the filter on, I got pronounced reflection (for lack of a better term). When I removed the filter, there was still some artifact, but it may have been only in the viewfinder.
    I also tried my 24-105 f/4L at 50 with a filter on. The results were clean at the same aperture and ISO. So, I conclude that there's a non-universal and bad interaction between the 50/1.4 and the filter in high contrast scenes. I think I'll be removing the filter from my 50 henceforth.
     
  23. Thank you William! What a wealth of info!
    Yes, that's the lens I shot with.
    I switched cameras with my assistant a couple of times during they day and he didn't seem to be getting as much of the ghost window, but now that makes sense because he doesn't ever use as large an apeture as I do.
     
  24. I've never quite understood the ``filter for protection'' idea.
    Filters have a purpose -- polarizing, ND, cut colors of various wavelengths, etc., etc., etc. If that's why you've got it on the front of your lens -- and if you know why you put it there -- then great.
    But if it's just to keep the front element of the lens from getting scratched...well, that just don't make sense. If it's a good lens, with a cheap filter, you've just turned it into a cheap lens. A filter that's good enough to do minimal damage to your image quality is going to cost almost as much as replacing a damaged front element, so you're not saving any money by going that direction either. Besides, even visible scratches to the front element aren't likely to be visible on even tightly-controlled test prints, so it's not like you really need to worry about it much in the first place. Oh -- and though I've never had to deal with a dropped camera jamming the threads of a cracked filter such that you can't get it off, it's certainly not something I'd ever want to deal with, myself.
    What you *should* do is use a lens hood. It will provide much better physical protection than a filter *and* it will improve your image quality.
    And, of course, use the lens cap when you're not shooting. I used to use those little elastic loop thingies with a button and some double-stick tape on the end to dangle the cap from the lens, but the tape never lasted more than a few weeks. Now I just shove the cap into my pocket and I've yet to lose one.
    Did I mention the neck strap? That'll protect your lenses more than the filter, as well. Not being a stupid klutz helps, too, but I'm still working on that one, myself....
    Cheers,
    b&
     
  25. This image was shot in manual, 1/60 sec., f/1.8, ASA 800, 50mm.............with two huge stain glass windows pouring in light in the background, I don't think we can simply blame a UV filter for the problems.​
    I'm not sure why manual exposure mode was selected in the first place. In an extreme backlighting situation, putting the camera in Fully Automatic mode and adding fill flash will avoid most of the problems that I see here. One can adjust Exporsure Compensation and Flash Compensation to fine tune the results, but the camera's metering system would get you most of the way there.
     
  26. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "Yes, that's the lens I shot with. I switched cameras with my assistant a couple of times during they day and he didn't seem to be getting as much of the ghost window, but now that makes sense because he doesn't ever use as large an [aperture] as I do."
    Yes.
    I tempered my answer because I did not want to get into any side argument with my colleagues.
    For the record: I have seen Inverted Ghost Images from lenses WITHOUT a filter being used.
    I am acquainted with the LENS DESIGN of the EF50mmF/1.8MkII.
    So, IMO, it is possible to get a ghost image with that particular lens if it were used at a very large aperture and in certain lighting conditions.
    That said, the FILTER is the MOST LIKELY and the MAJOR contributor to any Inverted Ghost Image – that is mainly because the glass on the filter is FLAT, which is conducive to bouncing the image back into the lens and onto the film or the sensor.
    So good practice demands, in these shooting conditions, the filter be removed first - for any lens.
    WW
     

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