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01-19-2010, 10:58 PM   #1
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Orbs and flare..just a crappy lens or technique? Pictures attached.

Is it my lense or the camera?

Heres what I tried to fix the problem:

1) stopping down
2) "flagging" the area where the flare was occuring to cut it down with palm of hand.
3) removing lens filter
4) metering for the absolute brightest portion of the lit area aiming camera directly at light, locking the meter and composing a shot.
5) moving around thinking the flare was just the direction the light was coming from.
6) Shooting in Manual mode thinking the camera just wasn't smart enough to figure stuff out in this kind of lighting scenario

You can see where I got it to improve a little in the car shot, as I moved from one side to the other and in the street shot I had no idea what to do. How do I keep the lights like are in the street shot from "blooming" and flaring like this??? How do I get the ray of car light in the fog and not get these weird reflections????

Lens I used: Samyang Auto, 18-28 zoom lens.

Camera used: K10D in Manual and Av mode

I was just experimenting and wasn't really interested in shot quality so much as how to deal with the lighting so if its a little blurry or something thats why.

Thanks folks!

Attached Images
 
01-19-2010, 11:02 PM   #2
Damn Brit
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Not necessarily a crappy lens, just something that happens with a lot of wider angle lenses. You have two options 1) learn to make artistic use of the flare or 2) work out at which angle to shoot from to avoid the flare (in some situations you won't be able to avoid it, in that event, see option 1).

For the example you show, the only way to avoid that blown highlight would to take multiple exposures and blend them in PP or have nothing exposed apart from the lamp and whatever is in it's immediate vicinity and that's true for any lens.


Moved to lens forum.

Last edited by Damn Brit; 01-19-2010 at 11:09 PM.
01-19-2010, 11:04 PM   #3
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car shot:

I couldn't get a couple of the shots to upload for some reason but I guess these give a good enough idea of what I'm talking about.
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01-19-2010, 11:10 PM   #4
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Were you using a filter for that shot?

01-19-2010, 11:12 PM   #5
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I've seen "Ghost Hunters". Did you try to contact the spirits behind these orbs? Check your SD card for EVPs.

When the bright light source is in the frame, shading or hood techniques stop working. Removing the filter should have helped. Your other techniques to alter exposure might change the look of the flare, but the exposure difference between the streetlight and the rest of the image can't be overcome. You'll ultimately end up with a great streetlight photo and a dark frame around it. The best solution here might have been switching to the kit lens. SMC coatings can make a spectacular difference.
01-19-2010, 11:18 PM   #6
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Are you using a hood with the lens as well? That's plays a big part in preventing some flare.
01-19-2010, 11:22 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Not necessarily a crappy lens, just something that happens with a lot of wider angle lenses. You have two options 1) learn to make artistic use of the flare or 2) work out at which angle to shoot from to avoid the flare (in some situations you won't be able to avoid it, in that event, see option 1).

For the example you show, the only way to avoid that blown highlight is to take multiple exposures and blend them in PP.


Moved to lens forum.

Thanks! Really appreciate the quick response. I was afraid you were going to say I would have to blend shots There's gotta be a way to get the shot in one shot though. My film cameras seemed way less likely to bloom out lights like this though! I mean I got this flare on EVERY shot. With my film cameras, the film seemed a lot more tolerant of this kind of lighting condition. Is this a problem with digital cameras in general or something?

If I can find the picture, I'll post it. I have a shot taken with a film camera in this EXACT same kind of lighting, and while the lens did flare I didn't get this crazy orb effect I'm getting, and I was able to get flare out in later shots of the same subject by just flagging the light source.


This is not a lens question at all... I merely mention the lens because its an ebay lens that I had my doubts about, and didn't want to rule out the possibility of cheap glass having adverse effects in this situation..
01-19-2010, 11:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Were you using a filter for that shot?

At one point I removed the filter, but got about the same results, just less pronounced.

01-19-2010, 11:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raptorman Quote

This is not a lens question at all... I merely mention the lens because its an ebay lens that I had my doubts about, and didn't want to rule out the possibility of cheap glass having adverse effects in this situation..

It is a lens question (from a placing it POV especially), there is no real technique for flare apart from using it artistically or avoiding it. Even good glass can be prone to it, like Dave said above, coatings can make a difference bit is no guarantee of immunity.

The blown highlights aren't about technique either, that's physics and we don't have a forum for that.
01-19-2010, 11:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raptorman Quote
At one point I removed the filter, but got about the same results, just less pronounced.
Filters will magnify the effect because there's an extra level of refraction. In some cases they can be the sole cause of it.
01-19-2010, 11:30 PM   #11
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Have you tried the shot with a different lens? I've done a few shots like this myself, and all my lenses behave differently with really bright lights in the frame. But I guess my point is that in my experience, flares like this are more of a lens issue than a camera issue.

The floating orbs look like ghosting from either the filter or because the lens you're using doesn't have the coatings that help reduce those. Just a guess, as I haven't run across those myself.
01-19-2010, 11:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I've seen "Ghost Hunters". Did you try to contact the spirits behind these orbs? Check your SD card for EVPs.

When the bright light source is in the frame, shading or hood techniques stop working. Removing the filter should have helped. Your other techniques to alter exposure might change the look of the flare, but the exposure difference between the streetlight and the rest of the image can't be overcome. You'll ultimately end up with a great streetlight photo and a dark frame around it. The best solution here might have been switching to the kit lens. SMC coatings can make a spectacular difference.

This is interesting to hear, because I have been wondering why I can't get sun rays to expose. I can see it with my eye, so why can't the camera??

Heres a pic for reference, and by my eye, the ray was definetly seen clearer than this but it wasn't super dramatic. Is capturing something this subtle just not possible?
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01-19-2010, 11:44 PM   #13
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Good point about trying some different lenses. I'll try these shots with my good 50mm M lens and post up the results.

Brit: Makes sense why you moved it now, I didn't really think the lens was the entire cause here.

I did remove the filter for the majority of the streetlight shots I took, as I had a similar problem when taking a a shot of the moon and removing the filter fixed it. I can't say as I took that picture with or without the filter though, because out of the 8 shots I did of that street scene, I know at least 6 were done without the filter.
01-20-2010, 06:08 AM   #14
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That's a tough place to shoot. Strong light source coming straight into the lens is a recipe for flare. Some lenses are better at handling flare. I find, in particular, that some of the newer DA primes are excellent. The DA 35 is hard to get to flare. The more glass is in a lens, the more likely it will flare. You definitely want to lose the filter for these photos and look for an angle that minimizes it. Also, make sure there isn't any dirt or dust on your front element. Normally you won't notice it in photos, but in this situation, it will magnify flare.
01-20-2010, 06:58 AM   #15
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You've made a lens flare.
It happens when you put light sources in or near the picture.
Badly coated lenses (I'm thinking Samyang isn't at the forefront of lens technology) makes it worse.
One of the reasons to buy Pentax lenses is that they are nowhere near as prone to flare as other brands.
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