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UV filter causes lens flare?


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wong1979

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Aug 16, 2005
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#1
Hi, just bought a new 70-300mm lens with UV filter. During night photography, for example, if I focus a strong spot of light in the center of my lens, I noticed a flare near to it. When I removed the UV filter, it is clear from my viewfinder. It couldn't be dust, dirt on the lens and filter as I checked and cleaned both the filter and front element thouroughly. Thus I can only conclude that UV filter causes the lens flare. Am I right?
 

fWord

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Jun 23, 2005
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#5
To add on, filters may not actually cause lens flare by themselves, but they do seem to produce reflections.

For example, when photographing a birthday cake on a few occasions, I noticed a ghostly 'copy' of faded-looking flames from the candles in my images.
 

wong1979

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Aug 16, 2005
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#6
ricohflex said:
you need a lens hood
the filter is ok
Nope, with lens hood or not, still the same. The flare is directly from the light source from the center.
 

wong1979

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Aug 16, 2005
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#7
nightwolf75 said:
which brand of filter is it? some brands dun come with coating, hence lens flare.
B+W UV filter
 

#8
wong1979 said:
Hi, just bought a new 70-300mm lens with UV filter. During night photography, for example, if I focus a strong spot of light in the center of my lens, I noticed a flare near to it. When I removed the UV filter, it is clear from my viewfinder. It couldn't be dust, dirt on the lens and filter as I checked and cleaned both the filter and front element thouroughly. Thus I can only conclude that UV filter causes the lens flare. Am I right?
You don't need a UV filter for night photography. I suppose the UV filter is there for lens protection? Remove it when you're taking the photograph (be it daytime or night photography), don't be lazy. :eek:
 

Reno

Senior Member
Jan 22, 2005
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#9
Try clean your filter with the lens liquid... both side of the filter.... it should help. Last time i encounter similar problem and I tried clean the filter, the effect disappear.
 

wong1979

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Aug 16, 2005
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#10
Hitman said:
You don't need a UV filter for night photography. I suppose the UV filter is there for lens protection? Remove it when you're taking the photograph (be it daytime or night photography), don't be lazy. :eek:
Yes, I'm going to remove it when I take night scenery. But I feel cheated by the sales person who said I should not remove it once I put it on to prevent dust from getting on the front element !!!
 

wong1979

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Aug 16, 2005
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#11
Reno said:
Try clean your filter with the lens liquid... both side of the filter.... it should help. Last time i encounter similar problem and I tried clean the filter, the effect disappear.
He also told me that I shdn't use lens sol on the lens as it will spoil the coating? So if I use the solution on the filter, the filter won't spoil?

But anyway, I doubt it's any grime on the filter. As I've taken it out and wiped it with a lint-free cloth thoroughly and the flare still appeared exactly as it was.
 

#12
wong1979 said:
Yes, I'm going to remove it when I take night scenery. But I feel cheated by the sales person who said I should not remove it once I put it on to prevent dust from getting on the front element !!!
Oh dear, that's a sales person who doesn't know much about photography and lens giving some bad advice :( But it's okay, at least now you learn something. :)

Merry Christmas!!
 

fWord

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2005
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#13
wong1979 said:
Yes, I'm going to remove it when I take night scenery. But I feel cheated by the sales person who said I should not remove it once I put it on to prevent dust from getting on the front element !!!
Actually, I have to agree with the sales person, based on my personal experience. As far as I know, UV filters have little effect at night. Even in bright daylight, the effect is slight, and leads to a removal of the slight blue cast that usually occurs in daytime photos.

A quality filter like that from B+W shouldn't cause too much problems, considering a Hoya has done very well for me.

My personal recommendation for night photography is to avoid including strong light sources in the frame or even just outside the edges of the frame. A strong light source tends to end up producing a huge 'halo' of light around itself especially if the lens is used wide open. If you stop down, it will probably form a more attractive 'star-like' appearence instead.

If you really want to include strong lights in your photos, why not go for a starlight filter? I've used a cross-screen (produces 4 pointed stars) and had good fun with it. Check here for some samples:

http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=165931

As others have pointed out, do be careful too when using the starlight filters. Although you can now use strong light sources to your advantage, avoid including too many in your frame.

I would advise that you keep a UV filter on your lens AT ALL TIMES. A filter is easier to clean than the lens itself, and you don't have to be overly careful with it. If you scratch it, just shell out another dozen bucks and get a new one. Of course, B+W ones are much more expensive. Be extra cautious with your lenses...you'll never know when the next bugger will come along and swing a bag right across your lens glass and gouge it to oblivion.

Or when photographing animals, one dog will suddenly come up from nowhere and nose your lens. :bsmilie:
 

billpepsi

New Member
Jan 2, 2005
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The 3rd Rock
#14
wong1979 said:
Yes, I'm going to remove it when I take night scenery. But I feel cheated by the sales person who said I should not remove it once I put it on to prevent dust from getting on the front element !!!

The sales person statement is true about the dust on the front element.
 

Jul 17, 2005
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Clementi
#15
from experience it does cause flare if you're shooting directly into sun. well..its not exactly flare, but rather its an internal reflection. this is especially so for non multi coated filter. i think your B+W is a normal B+W filter. the multicoated version is the MRC one which costs much more.

i use Hoya HMC. and there is a noticable lack of reflection as compared to my normal Hoya UV Guard (single coated)
 

Jan 23, 2005
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Singapore
#16
fWord said:
For example, when photographing a birthday cake on a few occasions, I noticed a ghostly 'copy' of faded-looking flames from the candles in my images.
I'm curious why one would use an UV filter when taking candlelight photos. Candle flames are hot, but not that hot. Very few people ever got sunburn from birthday cake candles ;).
 

Jan 23, 2005
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#17
Hitman said:
I suppose the UV filter is there for lens protection? Remove it when you're taking the photograph (be it daytime or night photography), don't be lazy. :eek:
I think this idea is very reasopnable. Now, here's a secret tip (it's so secret that camera sales people usually won't tell you): most lenses come with a little accessory called "lens cap" that doesn't add extra cost, protects the lens even better than a UV filter, and is easier to remove and reattach than a threaded filter.
 

fWord

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Jun 23, 2005
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#18
LittleWolf said:
I'm curious why one would use an UV filter when taking candlelight photos. Candle flames are hot, but not that hot. Very few people ever got sunburn from birthday cake candles ;).
:bsmilie: I actually take all kinds of photos (including night photographs) with a UV filter on. The filter is just a lens protector and it always stays on. Since buying the starlight filter not too long ago, that is set to change. For general walkaround (handheld) night photography, the starlight filter goes on.
 

wong1979

New Member
Aug 16, 2005
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#19
To me, I guessed the only plus point is that you get to filter out harmful UV rays when photographing sunset. However, if it degrades photo images, esp during night scene, I think I'm going to forgo it. Dust on lens is not much of a problem, oily grime is more of a concern I think.

So to put it on 24/7, nope, or maybe never if I can't find any advantages to outweigh the flare or ghosting factor.

I was hoping that someone could say that it could be a faulty UV filter, and then I won't feel so wasted on having spent that $ on this. But it appears to be something that cannot be rectified.
 

Reno

Senior Member
Jan 22, 2005
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Land of the Teddy Bear
#20
wong1979 said:
He also told me that I shdn't use lens sol on the lens as it will spoil the coating? So if I use the solution on the filter, the filter won't spoil?

But anyway, I doubt it's any grime on the filter. As I've taken it out and wiped it with a lint-free cloth thoroughly and the flare still appeared exactly as it was.
I don't think the lens solution is capable of spoiling the coating, if it can spoil the coating easily, it won't call the lens solution. Same for those who using lens pen and lint-free cloth, you used it to clean your filter or lens, the cleaning is done by wiping off using lens pen of lint-free cloth. During cleaning, friction occurs and won't this remove the coating too?
 

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