5 common lens problems (and how to solve them)

5 common lens problems: Lens flare

Lenses don’t always perform flawlessly. By understanding when they’re likely to let you down, and knowing how to take corrective action when taking the picture, or in software later, you’ll get results that meet your expectations. And don’t forget that lens problems can also be embraced as creative solutions in their own right…

5 common lens problems: Lens flare

Problem No. 1: Lens Flare


The problem
Include a bright light source in the frame or allow stray light to glance across the front element and you’ll end up with pictures that have a ghostly, contrast-reducing sheen to them.

You may also notice polygonal bright spots in the viewfinder (find out how to use your viewfinder more effectively), which can be distracting in the final shot.

Use a lens hood to combat lens flare

The solution
If possible, try to keep the front element spotless and fit a lens hood. If you don’t have one, or it’s not deep enough to be of use, hold your hand or a piece of card out of shot just to the side of the end of the lens to shield it from the unwanted glare.

PROBLEM No. 1: Lens Flare
PROBLEM No. 2: Vignetting
PROBLEM No. 3: Converging Verticals
PROBLEM No. 4: Barrel Distortion
PROBLEM No. 5: Lens Diffraction


DO or Di? Your lens markings explained
How to find your lens’ sweet spot
Test your lens’ sharpness
Old lenses: how to use, choose and adapt old film lenses for your DSLR
9 things you should know about using super-telephoto lenses