Strange flare with 5dII. Please check.

Started Feb 12, 2009 | Discussions
xLnT Regular Member • Posts: 164
I wish this could be thoroughly investigated.

I am also planning to do a lot of night scenery with streetlights on. But I am also alarmed that this affects everyday daytime shooting (foremost portrait orientation):

I would be truly grateful if some people with much experience would investigate this. (Like Dpreview staff.) I guess that first when there is a debate, Canon will have some decent response. I am actually willing to pay some myself to get this fixed or reduced.

Harry Cheung New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Strange flare with 5dII. Please check.


I can confirm I have the same problem with my 5D2.

A very simple test I did. Put a desk lamp pointing at the camera, focus the camera at the lamp and then move upwards. You can see the flare from the view finder (taking a shot can confirm the existance of the flare). Flipping the camera upside down the flare is gone.

To answer a question raised by some people. It is possible that the hood wasn't working at full function. The reason backing my point is that, I can simply eliminate the flare by using a finger to cover up the bottom part of the lens (it was at 105mm end on my 24-105L while the design of this hood works best at 24mm).

um... this is possibly a design fault on the 5D2...



gilee New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Strange flare with 5dII. Please check.

Hi, I rarely post on this site. just that I am VERY sad on reading this post, asking why Canon can make such a mistake to a 2nd to BEST camera in their DSLR line. very disappointed. and I have to post, because I just keep on questioning, how and why people can keep on denying the problem when it is SO CLEAR it is the problem! And yes, I have 40D and 5DII with 3 L lens. (of course I am no pro, but this is very common sense)

I just want to say one thing. For the people who disagree and complaining how this is normal, and on and on... Tell me. WHY a picture pointing to the SAME spot with same bright light source and the only different is having the camera orientation flipped 180degree will show a significant improvement in flares?

if you still do not agree this is a camera design flaw, saying this is the lens flare or how camera ALWAYS is.. then answer me this. A lens is round, so 360, every degree of the glass in the lens is 100% identical. So how can the flare is 90% eliminated when I flip the camera 180 degree? don't tell me the glass in the lens has more anti-reflective coating on one edge than the other on the same piece of glass.

This clearly show this problem has NOTHING to do with the lens. it has to do with the camera. I don't care what it is, leak from view finder, mirror, sensor edge or whatever.., it is the camera (body) that cause this flare, and since it is the body's fault, it is SURELY a design flaw! Seriously guys.. view finder leaks??? so you saying since I flip the camera 180 degree... there is no more leaks??? use your common sense...

Thanks you.

gilee New Member • Posts: 21
One more thing

Before you guys flame me on what I said previously, I just tested with my 40D and 5DII.

Let me tell you this. in all previous pictures, they are intended NOT to have flares.. but guess what I tested... I intentionally have the 5Watt LED flashlight show at the BOTTOM of my picture. So the super bright light source is actually 50% IN THE PICTURE! that creates a HUGE flare...

I do the same thing with the 5DII flipped 180 degree (upside down) and the flare compare to the first picture is like NOTHING.

So tell me.. is this has to do with the camera or what?
Canon has to fix this.. I am so disappointed about canon.

Everyone thinks this is normal, but this is because it is very rare for people to shoot the picture and again take the same picture with 180 degree flipped and compare to see the OBVIOUS differences! they are SO HUGE... it has NO WAY to be lens related to leakage from view finder BS.

Pat Duffy Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: One more thing

Does anyone know if the Nikons and/or pro Canons do this? My guess is that they all will (to some degree or other) and this may be something we all just have to live with. (I've never seen this in over two years of shooting with my 5D - maybe I'm just lucky?)

bionet Senior Member • Posts: 1,072
What about keeping such nonsense to yourself (n/t)

no text

bionet Senior Member • Posts: 1,072

As I said, painting the backside of the mirror should be easy and yield a noticeable improvement.

gilee New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Makes me sad...

Hey, you hear anything from Canon yet?

I will still LOVE my 5DII, since it is the BEST camera I ever used or owned. (of course I never tried 1DIII) but I love it! So no matter what canon say or do, I will still use my 5DII.

But base on what Canon replies, I might change my faithfulness toward other brands. a brand that doesn't care about their customers or backup their product means they are nothing but a money maker. I won't bet my money into their company or product....

Let us know! and I am very surprised the black dot issue, everything JUMPS into, while this problem, no one cares...

Gary Dean Mercer Clark
Gary Dean Mercer Clark Veteran Member • Posts: 5,606
Re: Makes me sad...

Document the problem in writing, put sample images on a disk and send in the camera to Canon to either repair or replace. It is still under warranty. Let Canon do its job and tech out this problem for you.

Did the problem still occur with the mirror locked up for an exposure?

elgeorgio wrote:

rrcphoto wrote:

elgeorgio wrote:

It does.

I have been very carefull (at least to my abilities) to not offend
anyone and any product.
But it makes me sad when people give excuses for the gear and blaim
the photographer without a second thought.

qballfl, Steven Noyes, jimcreative, Bastian09, Jepe. GaryJP, Please
answer this:

The 40D is vastly improved on this issue over the 5DmkII.
Don't you want at least THE SAME performance (same as a less semi-pro
model) ?

actually it's immaterial.

for all we know .. there was a manufacturing fault with your 5DII ..
the mirror is slightly out of alignment when it flips up, there's a
coating missing from the sensor (it's happened before) or some other
mydrid fault.

what you SHOULD do is take your camera back, which your vendor
already said you should do so, and see if another one does it the

but out of the millions of 5D and 5DII shots, this shooting style
isn't unique, it would have been a common problem.

This is true. I REALLY hoped it was just my 5D because then it would
be fixed. The intention of this thread was to find out exactly this.
But so far I'm not alone.
I'll wait for the response from Canon.


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Harry Cheung New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Interesting

Did you design this camera? Do you know what pupose that face of the mirror doing? Please don't propose any false suggestions...

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Harry Cheung New Member • Posts: 13
Re: One more thing

I don't have a pro camera, but I just checked my 400D. It has the same problem!!


Andre Affleck Senior Member • Posts: 2,362
Re: Try this...

I just measured the diameter of the image circle, and it is over 55mm in diameter at the sensor plane (approximately). Since the sensor is only 24mm tall, this confirms that the part of the image itself is definitely hitting the back of the mirror. The back of the mirror also appears to have micro baffling on the surface to reduce reflections, but even that material is pretty shiny and reflective.

Andre Affleck wrote:

rrcphoto wrote:

for this reflection off the submirror to occur - the light would have
to be bouncing for one .. against the back of the mirror - but that
would tend to be too large of an image circle. and the angle of
exiting the lens and projecting into the sensor, would change with
different lenses.

Think of it this way. If the light can reach all the way to the
corner of the sensor (and beyond to reduce vignetting), it most
certainly can reach directly above the sensor. Different lenses will
have different angles but they all will have minimum image circles in
order to reach all of the way to the corners and beyond. The question
is how large is the image circle.

Try this:

Take a typical lens and hold it directly below a ceiling light in
order to project the image of that ceiling light onto a surface
(white paper on a table underneath lamp for example). Adjust the
distance from the rear bayonet mount to the paper so that it is the
same as camera bayonet mount to the sensor. Adjust focus and measure
the projected image circle. Is it large enough to reach the mirror
edge if it was mounted to the camera? If so then that is your answer.
Try again with other lenses to see differences. Stop down on the lens
(by mounting lens, pressing DOF button and removing lens) and note

Redteg94 Senior Member • Posts: 1,546
Cover your viewfinder

If this is what I think it is, I've had it happen with my 40D; there is light coming in through your viewfinder from behind. Use the cheapo rubber VF cover that comes attached to your camera strap and try again.

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hathawayep Regular Member • Posts: 170
All my DSLR cameras exhibit this flare

I tested all my DSLRs (none are Mark Is) and all exhibit this phenomena. What I would like to know is are the pro grade Canons (Mark I series) able to show the same thing, or, do the have better matt surfaces to prevent internal reflections? This phenomena of light scatter will degrade the image to some extent with any bright light outside the image unless there is better matt surfaces to prevent reflections around the sensor. (Turning the camera upside down helps with the light sorce below the image.) When tested with the light source at the top, (outside the frame) turning the camera upside down caused the same issue) This does seem to suggest the flare is relection off the mirror back. Again, do the pro grade Canons show the same issues?

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Edymagno Veteran Member • Posts: 3,501
Canon fix coming!

I just found out through a Japanese website that Canon is coming soon with a fix. They are releasing an Upside-Down Grip to provide easy 180 degree shooting!
I knew Canon would not let me down.

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sunhorse Senior Member • Posts: 1,670
Than you

George, thank you for letting us all know about this issue. You showed a lot of patience in spite of some of the ridiculous fanboy postings.

I will try this on my 5D II as well, since I bought it only a month ago.

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gilee New Member • Posts: 21
Thank You!

Thanks, try it out on your 1Dx and any camera you want.
I tried 50D, 40D, 5DII, 350D, they are have this problem!!!
Try your 5DII, and you will be VERY upset as well...

Now to another issue.... jesus, I am sick of hearing people's ignorance and stubbornness or even conservative...... I know.. forum is a place of free speech and thoughts... but jesus.. READ THE DAMN POST and use your BRAIN to process what is posted here.... How many times now that I keep saying people say... lens flare, or leaking from view finder. OMG.. .

1) lens flare: This is not as bad, since not everyone understand the lens is round and so it is 360degree identical... so ok if you still think 180degree rotation will make more or less lens internal flare..

2) leakage from view finder: This one is just RIDICULOUS. do the people who post this, do they even know the problem??? so you people saying 180 degree rotation will somehow eliminate the leakage??? or are you saying somehow the light's photon get pull down by gravity, so when the camera is 180 degree flipped, the photon no longer go into the view finder??? oh god.. please....

Read the post, then reply.

And by the way, when the black dot issue arrives.. people reply intelligently. somehow this problem, people just either don't care, try to ignore the problem, or just randomly throw their reply out and have ZERO common sense connection to the problem.

Philip Harle Regular Member • Posts: 245
Re: Another way in which 40D is better than 5D?

Are you sure they are the same? On my 5DII, 5x live view doesn't go anywhere near the edge of the frame, and 10x is even worse.

elgeorgio wrote:
Hi Philip

Philip Harle wrote:

This seems quite an important issue (certainly far more so than the
black dots nonsense) so I am hopeful that if Canon fixed that they
may be persuaded to fix this. It is not dissimilar to the 24-105L
flare issue which I suffered from, being an early purchaser of that
lens. Canon replaced the entire lens under warranty.

I certainly hope that they will fix it somehow.
I e-mailed them (Canon Europe) and got the automated confirmation.
2-3 days they say...

Somewhat off topic, can you, or anyone else with a 40D, please
confirm something else I heard which annoys me about such an
expensive camera as the 5DII (I don't have a 40D and have never used
one). I am told that on the 40D (and I presume 50D) in live view
mode the focus/exposure square can move all the way to the edge of
the image. On the 5DII it stops short of the edge which is really
annoying. It would be even more annoying if this is true and the
"lesser" cameras work better in this respect. Can you confirm?

I just checked and both cameras behave the same way.
on 5x live view magnifications you get to see all the way to the edge
of the sensor. But on 10x you loose some pixels, not many though.

GaryJP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,594
Try other brands.

I don't see a "problem" here, that is not incredibly easily resolvable.

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OP elgeorgio Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: Canon fix coming!

LOL !!!
Nice !

Edymagno wrote:

I just found out through a Japanese website that Canon is coming soon
with a fix. They are releasing an Upside-Down Grip to provide easy
180 degree shooting!
I knew Canon would not let me down.

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