Author Topic: Filters, lens or camera  (Read 9792 times)

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Offline Chris82

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Filters, lens or camera
« on: March 06, 2016, 01:29:55 PM »
 Took my new A7rii out this morning for some serious photography which was a bit of a washout to be honest. To the point, i encountered a problem i have not seen on any of my previous cameras including the A7ii. I use Lee filters and have done for quite some time for my Landscape work.
 I noticed a semi circle of white(ish) lines along the bottom of my pictures which seemed odd to me. At first i thought it may be the white writing on the front of the 16-35mm reflecting off the filters and showing in the image. I covered them up with some black tape but it was still present.
 It does not seem to be visible without filters attached which leads me to think it is the filters which are at fault but i have not encountered this problem before and i'm not really into blending or HDR and have spent a considerable amount on a full set of Lee filters.
 Once home i tried to recreate the issue. It is visible with no direct light in the frame and is visible with any of the filters attached. Is there something about the sensor causing this, is there a fault with the camera or lens or is it simply down to the filters?
 








I don't know what to do. I may contact the shop i bought it from and ask their advice.

Meant to also add it so far only seems to be visible in portrait format/ orientation to which i already know your replies :lol:
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 02:04:45 PM by Chris82 »

Offline AScot

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2016, 07:17:50 PM »
The second last photo shows two heavy curved bands with two lighter ones below. The last photo shows what looks like two rows of reflected letters along the bottom. Very strange! I would go back to the store (shop) where you bought the camera and ask for another camera to compare. It is very unlikely to be the Lee filters.

I have done a Google on this problem and find that there are some complaints about very minor reflections prevalent on all the A7 series cameras but are worse on the A7rII. It would appear that what they are talking about is much less severe than yours and the guesses for the reason range from new copper wiring (only on the A7rII i think) to lens coating incompatibility with the sensors on all the A7 series. I have never notice any problem with my A7, but I no longer use filters on the A7, although I really do not see that as the reason on the A7rii. I think there could be a very minor issue with lens coatings and perhaps the coating on Lee filters acerbate the problem. It's all just guesswork at this time.
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline Chris82

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2016, 08:38:22 PM »
I have contacted both the shop where i got the camera and Lee filters to see if they are aware of any issues. I really need it sorted out as i can't have that in all my images. Certainly not on a £2.5k camera.
Will see what they come up with in the next few days. Not very happy at the moment.

It can't be reflected letters as i covered them up to test for this and it was still present.

Offline Chris82

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2016, 10:37:13 PM »
Spotted a wee strip of sunlight across the back garden today so nipped outside with the camera and lens and a Lee 0.6 hard grad to test again and try to rule things out or find where the reflection is coming from. Also more images to send to Lee filters and the shop i got it from as they are trying to help me work out what the problem is at the moment.

First image is sun to camera right in Landscape orientation, black cloth covering lens, tops of filters and their sides. trying to rule out some sort of light leak. There are some flare spots in the centre and some mushy flare over the fence to the left including the lines with a more golden hue.


Same but in portrait orientation


Shooting away from the sun seems to have turned out ok this time.


Into the sun


Exact same setup on my A99 days before i traded it in without the LA-EA3 of course


This is what i have become use to with the setup and i knew what it could and couldn't do. Now i'm completely stumped. Lens and filters were fine days ago so it's down to adapter or camera in my humble opinion.

Offline AScot

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 06:32:59 AM »
That looks like very bad lens flare in the 1st and 2nd photos and what is that bright blob on the wood fence on the right? The sun is very low and to the right and would surely not cause flare there, its on the other side of the fence. The mushy flare over the fence on the left side of both photos is terrible and is probably the worst I have ever seen. I'm also seeing a very light curved band in #2, similar to what you had on the photos in the previous post. As I'm sure you know, Lens flare will often happen when the sun is in the frame and can often be worse when its coming from the side and low down, but never this bad!

Can I ask what Lens you were using? and were you using the same lens in the previous post? I cant believe it is only the lens that is doing this unless the individual lenses are out of alignment. I assume you had the Lee filter on the lens? or did you have more than one? In your previous post you refer to the filters in the plural. Did you take any photos under the same conditions without the filter/filters? for comparison?

Could this problem possibly be linked to the removal of the anti-aliasing filter from the A7r and A7RII? or perhaps the back side illuminated sensor? Both new design changes. Perhaps Lee filters cause some interaction? Just a thought.
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline Chris82

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2016, 07:45:56 AM »
 Thanks for taking the time to try and help me solve this issue Charles, it is really appreciated. I will try to answer all the questions you have posed.

In the first image the bright blob on the wooden fence to the right of the image i think is a reflection of the setting sun from a window at the top of the street.

 I know flare can be an issue but as you can see with the last image shot on my A99 with the same lens and filter combination it is not something i ever had to concern myself with as it was always generally well controlled.

Lens used was A-mount 16-35mm ƒ2.8. The same lens i use for 95% of my landscape photography. The only other variable here is the addition of the LA-EA3 adapter so i can use it on the E-mount body. Possibly the problem?
With this lens i have shot into the sun as can be seen and with the sun just out of frame never concerned about such flare. Ive posted enough with the combo for it to have been noticed by now if it was a problem.

For the shots where it is visible i had a single Lee filter in the holder. The outdoor ones were a 2 stop hard grad as this is my most commonly used grad filter. In the previous post i referred to them as plural as it does it with any of the filters on their own or with a combination, including the 4, 6 and 10 stop filters i regularly use to blur water etc.
I did take the images with the filters in place and without. Apart from the shot into the sun they show no sign of the problem/ flare. The into the sun shot flare is well controlled and very useable.

Lee filters and WEX (where i bought it) have not seen any issue this bad or like this using the a7rii and Lee filters or the A-mount 16-35mm. They have made some suggestions to try a number of different steps, all of which i generally do in practice anyway. None of which reduced it enough for any images to be useable.

So far i have narrowed it down to either the camera or the LA-EA3 but still cannot rule out any of the other variables at this time as i can't yet find a way of preventing it.

Ideally i would like to try my setup on another body and try the FE16-35 on my body to see if it continues or is resolved with either combination. No shops stock any higher end equipment here in Scotland though.

Offline Chris82

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 05:57:34 PM »
Quick update. Lee have been in touch again and have unfortunately not been able to find a solution as of yet and agree it is some sort of extreme reflection. I cannot shade it enough to stop this from happening without whatever i'm using being in the picture. Wex have been back in touch also and are a little stumped so have got in touch with Lee filters.

Tried it on my A7ii and while the semi circular row of lines are visible they are not anywhere near as prominent.
I tried my 24-70 and the 20mm prime. They show a slight blob of flare with a grad filter in place but no lines when the light source is at an oblique angle.

A bad case of wide angle lens, distance from sensor and lack of AA filter may well be the cause here. Doesn't help me though as the camera is practically unusable for landscape stuff with my wide lens.

Offline AScot

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 10:29:36 PM »
Back in my film days I used to use the Cokin system, Not as high quality as the Lee, but quite versatile. I still have it but never use it now. It was a pain using a graduated filter when many Minolta lenses rotated when focusing and removing it from the lens was fairly time consuming. Now with internal focusing on many lenses it would not be a problem. However I now only use round filters and only those that are needed under certain conditions, like Polarizing, grads etc.

So I dug out my Cokin filters and had a look. Apart from quality I believe they are similar to Lee filters. What I noticed was that the slots that hold the filters in place have an open slot each side (or top/bottom), 25mm long that hold a curved metal spring to keep the filter from sliding out. I installed it on my A850 And noticed that when the sun was at the side it passed through that slot and left a dim reflection on the lens front element. The reflection was a semi curve similar to what you are experiencing. Yours are a bright curve plus a dimmer curve, which you may expect as it is caused by out of focus light. Could that explain part of your problem?

Lens used was A-mount 16-35mm ƒ2.8. The same lens i use for 95% of my landscape photography. The only other variable here is the addition of the LA-EA3 adapter so i can use it on the E-mount body. Possibly the problem?

An extreme wide angle lens, prone to flare, although not to the extent that you are experiencing. I can't see that it is the LA-EA3 as it does not have a mirror or anything inside that would cause a problem. Not like the LA-EA4 which has a mirror that can be knocked out of alignment.

I did take the images with the filters in place and without. Apart from the shot into the sun they show no sign of the problem/ flare. The into the sun shot flare is well controlled and very usable.

That would indicate that the problem lies with the Lee Filter system. Shooting into the sun with any lens may give flare and is not a camera problem, simply a limitation of lens design.

Ideally i would like to try my setup on another body and try the FE16-35 on my body to see if it continues or is resolved with either combination. No shops stock any higher end equipment here in Scotland though.

That is the best trouble shooting answer and if no problems with the second camera, Wex would have to provide a new replacement. Pity you live in an such an underprivileged country. :D When I lived in Scotland, Glasgow had everything except possibly work! :(

Please keep us informed Chris.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 10:51:11 PM by AScot »
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline maxen

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2016, 10:04:49 AM »
I think this one is rather easy.
The rings you see is the front of your lens, reflected in the filter. If your lens looks something like this from the front, it also explains the reflection that looks like letters:


When taking photos at a direct light source you get reflections within the elements of the lens. These elements are concave or convex and the reflections therefore become small dots or at least quite distorted in shape. Usually the elements are coated to supress such reflections, hence the colouring of the flares. You don't have any colour on your filter and it is therefore white-isch.

You have now added a completely flat piece of glass in front of the lens and you therefore get a mirror-effect between the first lens-elements and the front of the lens itself. I think your problematic photos look like you have shot them through a window.
Try to take two shots with the same setup: with and without the filter. I am 99,9% sure your circle-problem is right there.

If you look closely at the photo you took with your a99, you see flares also in that image.

If not taking photos directly at the sun, you might want to consider a mattebox, that blocks stray light from the top and sides, that fall on the front of the lens and directly at the filter, causing the flares.

Have a look at about 1 minute into this clip:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stj4ZXyvWoI

If you're a cheapskate (like me) you can make one out of black painted cardboard. :D
Bodies: A77ii  ///  A700  ///  KM 7D  ///  KM Dimage A1
Lenses: Sigma EX 10-20 f4-5.6  ///  Sigma EX 18-50 f2.8  ///  Sigma DC 18-200 f3.5-6.5  ///  Tamron SP Di 90 f2.8  ///  Tamron SP Di 70-200 f2.8
Stuff: HVL-F42  ///  HVL-F56  ///  Manfrotto XPROB055+488RC0  ///  And some other fun gizmos...

Offline Chris82

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2016, 04:40:31 PM »
Thanks maxen, I have shot all of the shots with and without filter and i know they are part of the problem causing a reflection. First things first, i know shooting directly into a light source can and usually will cause some sort of flare issue but shooting at an angle or away from a light source should not be causing such a problem. I was concerned as to why it was so much worse with this camera and lens combo in comparison to what i had been shooting with for years and the fact there may well have been something wrong with it (14 day returns policy). It has never been such an issue that it has even been remotely noticeable apart from a couple of smallish blobs of flare when shooting into the sun which is to be expected and acceptable.
 The shots with the sun to camera right or left and the first one i posted are what had me concerned as i shoot as i have always done and never had this issue with this particular lens. I have continued testing and the best i have come up with so far is a cheapskate version of the Lee wide-angle filter hood (£180)you have shown. In some circumstances so far eliminating any sign of flare so i'm getting somewhere.
 In the first image i posted the sun had not even risen yet and would do so behind me blocked by a high bank and trees.
 I just want to rule out any issues as the flare is extreme beyond what i have ever experienced in 7 years or so.

Offline maxen

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2016, 07:19:44 PM »
Interesting, really.

I agree the flaring is very different between your photo of the tower and the one above that; the backyard.
If it is the exact same lens, filter and somewhat the same aperture I agree it is strange.

Could it possibly be the camera is trying to "HDR-ish" the image somehow by process the image differently than your old camera? It has a new back-lit sensor (?) that should be better and stuff. Maybe it is more capable of seeing the reflections and then it tries to even it out with rest of the picture??
Does this sensor reflect the light back more than on the a99, causing more flares that way?
Is light leaking internally somehow?
Well, those is your question in other words... Hmmm!

What mode are you photographing in? Jpg or Raw? Any dynamics-setting that can do something strange?

Edit:
Found this. Hmmmm!! (Non-Sony, but problem seem a bit familiar)
http://nikonrumors.com/2014/12/22/nikon-d750-reflectionflare-issue-possible-solution-found.aspx/

I now also agree it would be interesting to try your setup with another camera body (unit and/or model) and see if there is any difference.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 07:50:51 PM by maxen »
Bodies: A77ii  ///  A700  ///  KM 7D  ///  KM Dimage A1
Lenses: Sigma EX 10-20 f4-5.6  ///  Sigma EX 18-50 f2.8  ///  Sigma DC 18-200 f3.5-6.5  ///  Tamron SP Di 90 f2.8  ///  Tamron SP Di 70-200 f2.8
Stuff: HVL-F42  ///  HVL-F56  ///  Manfrotto XPROB055+488RC0  ///  And some other fun gizmos...

Offline Chris82

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2016, 10:18:32 PM »
 First up, yes the exact same lens, aperture and filter used as the tower shot so i was surprised at the difference.

I have all HDR and dro settings turned off and shoot RAW so it's still a bit of a mystery.

Interesting find about the Nikon reflection/ flare issue. I had not come across this during my searches.

I will try to compare the sensor areas of my a7ii and a7rii tomorrow when there is some daylight and see if there is any differences that may be causing this. I will also try my local Sony centre for another body or the FE 16-35mm however they generally don't stock the higher end stuff so will probably be a pointless trip.

Offline AScot

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2016, 12:18:41 AM »
I think maxen has a strong point. If you look at the bottom of this photo, the 4th in your first post, you can see what looks like letters. If you look very close, and with a little stretch of the imagination, it looks to me like ATLONIM or MINOTA in reverse order, right way up and curved. Exactly what you would see after it passes through a lens, except I think it should also be turned upside down. Perhaps not as it may depend on how often it is reflected. Were you using a Minolta lens Chris?

I also think maxen's link to a Nikon reflection/ flare is interesting. My only comment is that my A7 is so uncluttered and free of reflective areas that it is impossible to find a suitable area to put a bit of matt tape, like they did with the Nikon. The A7rII is likely to be the same.

You said "It can't be reflected letters as i covered them up to test for this and it was still present". Apparently not. You also said "it so far only seems to be visible in portrait format/ orientation". Not so, it appears on all your photos in your first post, portrait and landscape.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 12:30:34 AM by AScot »
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline Chris82

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2016, 09:15:19 AM »
I was using a Zeiss 16-35mm lens. With the lettering covered up the lines and flare were still present.



Initially i only noticed it in the portrait format however after many head scratching hours of testing i notice it in all shots.

 Re the Nikon issue, i have taken a few shots of the internals comparing the A7ii with the a7rii. Don't believe there is anything internally causing this.

In all of these the a7ii in on the left, a7rii on the right






There is however something in the sequence of camera, adapter, lens and filters causing this reflection which was not present before.
Thanks again guys.

Offline Chris82

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Re: Filters, lens or camera
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2016, 10:57:32 AM »
 As i thought Sony store were unable to help with another body or wide angle FE lens but seemed to think it points to the adapter being the problem. They have not seen or heard of any such issues to date.