View Full Version : Lens flare

01-11-2013, 01:40 PM
Hi guys,
I took this image with a NIKON AF-D 50mm prime lens at f1.8, 1/30s, iso 800 with UV filter, no lens hood.
As you can see there are a couple of weird light signs (eye-shaped, next to the giant silver ball).
They seem to me like lens flares but I'm not sure how to avoid it, It's not like shooting against the sun, in this case I think the tree lights produced the problem. But as you can see, not all the lights caused a problem.

Is a lens hood gonna make a difference at all? Should I just drop the aperture to something smaller like F4?

Thanks for your help and happy new year!


01-11-2013, 02:14 PM
Try the same shot with no UV filter as often it's the filter that's the guilty party.

Ron Cardinale
01-11-2013, 02:58 PM
Marko is correct. The flare that you are seeing is ghost images caused by the filter.
This always happens but it's often more obvious at night because night shots are frequently large dark areas with bright spots. During the day, the real image usually overwhelms the ghost images.

01-12-2013, 02:13 PM
Thanks a lot, I'll give it a try;
now I just have to unpack the Christmas tree again :laughing:

03-14-2013, 05:13 AM
Thank you all very much, it was definitely the filter!
I made a few trials in the same conditions as before without the filter and got no flares at all.

As per what Ron said, it souldn't be a problem with my filter in particular but it could happen with any filter, correct?
Do you guys leave the lenses "unprotected" while shooting at night?

03-14-2013, 06:09 AM
I put on a circular polarizer and ND filters from time to time when shooting for specific results but otherwise I have no filters on my lenses. I'm relatively careful with my camera and don't really see the point.

03-14-2013, 08:28 AM
I shoot at night often and 100% of the time with a naked lens.
In the day a polarizer is on my lens 95% of the time If im shooting outdoors.

Ron Cardinale
03-18-2013, 10:55 PM
Yes, this happens with any type of filter not just UV. Some filters are worse than others, though. There is a very obvious difference in how severe the problem is depending on the quality of the filter’s antireflection coatings. I did some tests many years ago and it makes a big difference.

The only time I use a filter for protection is if I’m in an environment such as at the ocean and the wind is blowing salt water spray/mist at me.
In my opinion, if you’re reasonably careful with your equipment, the need for a “protective” filter is vastly overblown and can cause more problems that it solves.:twocents: