Hoping to get some advice on whether my lens is bad (or just my abilities are)

Started Jul 2, 2013 | Questions thread
OP adad98 New Member • Posts: 8
Re: I think your lens is OK...

Wow, really and truly thanks for that tremendously detailed response and sample photos that show some of the halo-like effects that I thought were due to a bad lens. For one thing, I didn't think that this kind of high contrast shot is not a normal kind of picture.

Last, can I ask for your help to define what DRO and ECU1 stand for? I'm betraying my utter ignorance by asking, I know, but I didn't quite follow what you meant when you talked about those. I think it's a setting and equipment add-on, respectively, but I don't know.

zackiedawg wrote:

The 16mm lens is a solid performer for the price - it's a bargain and many of us find it can be nice and sharp and certainly worth the money. But that doesn't mean it's one of the greatest lenses made - and one thing many or even most wide angle lenses can be susceptible to is flare and light bleed when overexposed or shooting into a source of light. The 16mm is certainly a lens that can suffer a little in harsh situations like this...so it becomes up to the photographer to try to counter it as much as possible. If you don't have a high experience with controlling your exposure, then you may just need to learn when you are shooting in such situations to try exposing more for the light and use DRO or HDR if possible to help bring the shadows back to reason. By underexposing a bit to reign in the bright area and meter off it, you can reduce that heavy soft glow that results around it and lessen or avoid the effect.

Even when you know what you're doing, sometimes the conditions are so horrid that it cannot be avoided. I love my little 16mm lens, and used it a lot on a trip last week - most of the shots from it were fine, but there were a few situations where the light was so unbelievably harsh and bright that almost nothing I did could avoid some of this effect - even underexposing by 2-3 stops and bringing shadows back up, or metering off the highlights and using HDR, still suffered a little of this light bleed. While I know some of my other lenses could have handled it a little better, and wouldn't have this problem, they're also not as wide. This is something that can be fairly common to wide lenses. My Tamron 10-24mm does a better job, but it also does better with flare and side light mostly due to a huge lens hood...whereas my 16mm lens had the ECU1 attached, which meant no hood at all - with the curvature on the end of the .75X converter, and no hood, it was unavoidable sometimes.

Note the effect here - this is with the 16mm and ECu1 - the exposure was fine, but that darn boat was so bright it was blowing out the scene - and even metering down it still got a bit of that glow soft effect in the center.

Here's another where I used HDR to counter the effect a bit - most of the scene along the fence and sky are fine, and nicely exposed, but that bright yellow wall was so bright, it caused the two side windows to lose their contrast a bit and get softer.

In your sample shot, it would be easily avoidable by underexposing about a stop, maybe a stop and a half, which would have reduced that glare coming in through the window. By using DRO, the camera's processing could have recovered the dark interior a bit more and brought it back up, and HDR could have done even better set to about 3 stops, so the interior could be nicely exposed. Or in post processing, you could easily bring up a low ISO shot by as much as 2 stops with no real ill effects.

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