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huge amounts of flare... thoughts?


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#1 schwett

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:18

i really love the fuji 35mm f/1.4 x lens - but i have NEVER seen a lens that flared so much when there were bright light sources in the frame. even little point light sources.

is it possible there's something awry with my copy? otherwise it seems right on, sharp, great color, mechanically smooth (not that you'd know with these by-wire designs). i've also noticed that the front element is hard to keep clean, perhaps because of the coating or lack thereof. related?

a few examples.

point sources in the frame, otherwise dark
Posted Image

indoors, high contrast, backlit
Posted Image

outdoors, backlit - this shot had very little contrast, presumably from the flaring/ghosting, and required a lot of added punch in ACR.
Posted Image
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#2 nfoto

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:57

I'd designate this ghosting rather than flare. This because of the strongly defined detail (bands & sharp edges). Typically flare is well, just flare, more evenly spread out.

Don't use a filter. And do use the longest possible sunshade that won't vignette.

Unfortunately, fast lenses can flare and ghost more easily than their slower siblings. In this case, Fuji might pay more attention to the internal blackening of the lens cells and lens element edges.
Bjørn

#3 schwett

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 18:16

I'd designate this ghosting rather than flare. This because of the strongly defined detail (bands & sharp edges). Typically flare is well, just flare, more evenly spread out.

Don't use a filter. And do use the longest possible sunshade that won't vignette.

Unfortunately, fast lenses can flare and ghost more easily than their slower siblings. In this case, Fuji might pay more attention to the internal blackening of the lens cells and lens element edges.


ghosting - i was not sure of the correct terminology. no filters in use in this case (or ever, really), and use of the provided shade doesn't make much difference unless the culprit is direct sunlight off to the side. i haven't tested if a different shade would vignette, or help the situation, but i would have to assume (?) that fuji's designers made the shade with as much coverage as possible. it's not the same shade included with their other lenses, but it's a very different design than nikon's typical petal or barrel hoods.

might having the front element ultra clean at all times help? standard methods seem to leave a sheen behind on this lens.

Edited by schwett, 20 January 2013 - 18:17 .

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#4 bjornthun

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 20:17

Is your smple bad or lacking in some way? Is it possible for you to compare yours to an other sample of the lens?
Bjørn T

#5 schwett

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 21:52

Is your smple bad or lacking in some way? Is it possible for you to compare yours to an other sample of the lens?


that's what i'm wondering - i haven't seen a case where a 'bad sample' was sharp across the frame, generally contrasty and good but simply ghosted a lot. there are nearby shops with the lens, i'm sure. next time i'm near one with the camera i'll give it a try, but i'm doubtful.
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#6 Alan7140

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 21:55

For what it's worth, I just did some gymnastics involving an oak tree and a rising sun in various combinations of backlight, side light, all apertures from f/1.4 to f/16 covered, lens shade on, lens shade off, and whilst I could certainly induce flare I simply could not replicate those straight-line ghosting bars on the X-Pro1 with 35/1.4 lens.

I might add that I ditched the standard shade almost from the outset for its stupid rubber fall-off cap and bought a screw-in hood with viewfinder venting similar in shape to the shade which comes with the X-100 (from China, of course), into which the 52mm center-pinch lenscap fits tightly and doesn't fall off.

Don't know that this solves anything, other than indicating you should perhaps find the exact conditions this occurs under and try another copy in the same circumstances, as well as a different camera body as well if possible. If it is internal reflection causing the problem it could also be something in the camera body causing the problem. Looking at my X-Pro1, the sensor cover-glass is held proud of the sensor itself by a black frame with rounded edges. Being straight, they are the only thing I could see that would cause such straight ghosting lines, perhaps if the paint was not properly applied they might reflect more than their designed intent. As the ghosts are oblique, though, it is unlikely the cause as the frame is vertical & horizontal lines only, but it can't hurt to double check all possibilities.

#7 schwett

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 22:14

^^ thanks fred. it's a pretty unusual kind of ghosting and fairly easy to provoke with the right light on my sample. it sounds from your test that you would have been able to reproduce it pretty easily. it's most noticeable on a close subject, backlit or sidelit by low light.

the camera itself looks clean and orderly and all true, and i haven't seen this on any other lens. i've only tried the 18mm fuji and a few nikkors on a cheap adapter. no problems anywhere else.

i'm going to try and give it a very thorough cleaning front and rear and see if that does anything.

thanks for all the input.

(and yes, that rubber cap is a joke. i just don't use it)
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#8 nfoto

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 22:21

My suspicion is directed at the lens elements and their edges as these and the lens cell itself need to be properly blackened. There seems little doubt the cause lies inside the lens so I for one wouldn't give scrubbing lens front and rear much of a priority.
Bjørn

#9 schwett

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 22:47

looking inside the lens, there are some very tiny burrs or unsmooth bits on the various black metal rings and baffles. it's hard to tell at what point in the assembly they actually are, but they do appear from certain angles as very tiny bright bits. when i say tiny, i mean perhaps 50 microns. difficult to photograph and share, but it does point to trying another sample.

Edited by schwett, 20 January 2013 - 22:48 .

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#10 Alan7140

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 23:41

I pretty much replicated your lighting conditions, sunrise, oblique from the left, subject in shade with rimlight from sun, and I didn't come close to getting anything at all like what you've got. As Bjørn says and you deduce, it really points to your particular copy of the lens at fault, particularly if there is no problem with other lenses. I'm really puzzled by that straight line ghost, though - most unusual, but I guess with all the light bending going on within the optics, anything is possible, just that I've never seen anything quite like that before.

#11 schwett

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 23:45

interestingly, the straight line is always pinkish and seems always accompanied by a pair of curved yellowish lines in about the same configuration each time. they rotate around, suggesting they are incited or caused by something attached to a moving element of the lens?
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#12 nfoto

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 23:48

Again, reflections off an edge of a lens element (possibly a semented one) can be a culprit.
Bjørn

#13 Alan7140

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 00:02

I must be the luckiest purchaser of lenses around - I've never once, in over 40 years, had a lens which acted strangely or didn't perform as expected when bought new. The only lens I've had trouble with as far as unexpected flare or ghosting is concerned is my 16/2.8 AF-D fisheye, but that was bought second hand from B&H and turned out to be a case of "buying someone else's troubles", I guess. The expense involved in returning it wasn't worth the effort, so I persevered for years, along with lots of unwanted Photoshop time. Having effectively replaced it with the X-Pro1 & 8mm Samyang and a 10-17 Tokina zoom-fisheye for the D3s, I don't have the lack of morality to sell it to some other poor sucker, so it sits on the shelf doubling as a paper weight now.




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