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09-22-2012, 12:14 AM   #1
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Unexpectedly heavy flare/ghosting on new K-5

So, I just received my K-5 today and took it out for a spin this evening. Things were going great until I noticed (both in live view and through the viewfinder), that all my lenses are exhibiting way more flare than I've ever seen them show in 2.5 years of shooting with my K-7. There are prominent ghosts on any moderately bright light source in high contrast situations. This doesn't seem normal to me, but here are some example shots....


FA43, f3.2


FA43, f2.2


DA15, f/11

The flare on the DA15 surprised me in particular, because I use this lens all the time and have grown used to it being pretty impervious to all forms of flare except in very long exposures, when overexposed, or if a bright nearby light source is hitting at a shallow angle. Case in point, here is a shot from same location as the last one, taken last year with my K-7, with the same lens (DA15) at the same aperture:



The starbursts are way cleaner with the older camera.

Particularly worrisome is the strongly purple/green tint of the ghosts on my K-5. The flare is stronger at wider apertures for a given scene with a given lens, but persists clearly even stopped way down.

Should I return this camera? This doesn't seem right.


Last edited by v5planet; 09-22-2012 at 12:59 AM.
09-22-2012, 12:41 AM   #2
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Really dumb question, but did you get a camera with something on the mirror? Or possibly did you go from one extreme temperature to another so the mirror would of fogged mildly?

Thats the only thing I can think of that would account for that across all your lenses. Also, the flaring is pretty wierd as well - you could have a screwy camera on your hands after all.
09-22-2012, 12:54 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
Really dumb question, but did you get a camera with something on the mirror? Or possibly did you go from one extreme temperature to another so the mirror would of fogged mildly?

Thats the only thing I can think of that would account for that across all your lenses. Also, the flaring is pretty wierd as well - you could have a screwy camera on your hands after all.
Hi Sagitta-

I took a look at the mirror when I got home and didn't see anything off with it. Compared against the one in my K-7 side by side. The temperature outdoors was very mild tonight, and there was no condensation on the camera...
09-22-2012, 01:00 AM   #4
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Anything on the mirror would show in the viewfinder, but not in the shot or liveview (cause the mirror is up out of the way -- the mirror is only for the optical viewfinder). So it would have to be something with or on the sensor. Go to "sensor cleaning" in the menu so the mirror goes up and you can see if anything looks weird with the sensor. Did someone at the factory forget to take off the clear tape? (Kidding, but I have no explanation.)

09-22-2012, 01:14 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Anything on the mirror would show in the viewfinder, but not in the shot or liveview (cause the mirror is up out of the way -- the mirror is only for the optical viewfinder). So it would have to be something with or on the sensor. Go to "sensor cleaning" in the menu so the mirror goes up and you can see if anything looks weird with the sensor. Did someone at the factory forget to take off the clear tape? (Kidding, but I have no explanation.)
Sensor looks completely clean to my eyes. Looking into the camera, beneath the mirror and sensor there is a recessed, convex (glass?) component, present in both the K-5 and K-7. The shape of the recession differs between the two cameras, and the glass (?) component seems to jut out more in my K-5 than the K-7...
09-22-2012, 01:18 AM   #6
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It needs to be asked: are you using any filters (UV, protection, etc) on your lenses?
09-22-2012, 01:27 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
It needs to be asked: are you using any filters (UV, protection, etc) on your lenses?
Yes, I am. That was my first thought -- I removed them and the ghosting persisted, undiminished.

It probably bears mention that I shoot with filters on 99% of the time, and have never had ghosting like this from these lenses. In certain, limited situations I've had filters create a bit more glare than the naked lens would on its own, but tonight's artifacts were present for almost every light source in the frame, while shooting subjects down the street I've photographed countless times without issue. I'm very familiar with this equipment, save the new camera itself, so I don't know what to blame other than the K-5...
09-22-2012, 01:31 AM   #8
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the spots in the first two images look like ones I get with the A 50/1,7, a lens that does not have digital-friendly coating on the rear element
the third image shows the coma of the 15/4 limited, which is quite high and measured for this lens in Lenstip`s test
but of course, that doesn`t explain why you don`t get those with the K7...weird

09-22-2012, 01:37 AM   #9
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Setup a few tests in a dark room with a LED torch or something similarly bright and focussed. See if there are specific circumstances where you can induce the flare (or not) - eg specific angles of illumination onto the lens, hood on/ hood off, viewfinder covered/ viewfinder uncovered, specific lenses, specific patterns etc.

Another (random) thought - is the flare visible in RAW or JPEG only?

EDIT - Thinking of physical issues: my first K-5 had a scratch on the focus screen and a big finger smudge on it too. It's not impossible that perhaps your sensor has a scratch on it, or there has been some assembly fault in the camera (or some poor handling by camera store staff). This may include the possibility that there is something reflective in your mirror box that is not supposed to be reflective, and is bouncing these ghosts onto your sensor.

Try a few more things, then send it back if nothing obvious comes up from your own tests.

Last edited by rawr; 09-22-2012 at 01:56 AM.
09-22-2012, 01:48 AM   #10
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Yeah, I'm starting to think light leak around the mount or some stray reflective bit somewhere in camera body -- underside of flipped up mirror, something around the mount, I dunno -- see anything reflective in there that shouldn't be, or a bit of shrinkwrap stuck or something? Some sort of internal reflection seems to be happening.
09-22-2012, 02:28 AM   #11
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I did some slightly more controlled tests with a few of my lenses on both the k-7 and k-5, with and without filters, pointed at a bright camping headlamp in a dark room. I can definitely get the K-7 to ghost with similar patterns in that setting, and it is more prominent with the filters than without. Still, the visual artifacts are all seemingly much more obvious on the K-5 than the K-7, overall, for most of the lenses. Perhaps part of this is due to the K-5's much higher dynamic range for mastering those high contrast situations the K-7 failed in.

I suppose what has me most concerned is that bridge shot with the DA15, where the top-leftmost light is spitting out a series of neon purple polygons, something I'd never seen before tonight. I will return to that location tomorrow evening with both cameras and do some tests to see how they compare, weather permitting.
09-22-2012, 02:50 AM   #12
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Ideally, to test your K-5 DR idea, it would be useful if you knew someone else with a K-5 who might let you mount your lenses on their K-5, to see if the same peculiar flares show up.

If yes, it's not your K-5 at fault, but perhaps a lens issue after all, or an issue with all K-5's paired with those lenses.
If no flares show up with the 2nd K-5, it's just your K-5 with a problem of some sort.
09-22-2012, 08:16 AM   #13
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combination of higher resolution and greater dynamic range on the K-5?
09-22-2012, 08:55 AM   #14
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What lenses are these? I don't think those UFOs should be there -- still looks like some kind of internal reflection...
09-22-2012, 09:48 AM   #15
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I love the 1st image with Saturn showing up quite well on the lower right side. My K5 has nowhere near that kind of resolution.
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