Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue

Started May 7, 2015 | Discussions
t3cnica New Member • Posts: 7
Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue

Hi all, this is my first post here so please pardon me. Oh by the way, I am a Singaporean.

I have recently discovered a reflection issue with the FE 16-35 which I have been using for ~6 months.

This is the setup which I used for the photos below:

Sony A7R + FE 16-35

100mm Haida ND 1.8 and 0.9 slot in filters respectively

As you can see, there are words being reflected off the filter and I supposed these words came from the metal piece which surrounds the front element. I have been using the filters for more than a couple of years and even on my then-5DMK3+16-35L II, I never once have such issue.

I have had contacted Sony Singapore and they told me it was not a filter nor lens problem, more of extreme front light condition which I was shooting in. However, even without the sun in frame aka diffused light, I am still getting the reflection as seen in the second photo. I have looked into my archive and realised that a lot of photos were plagued by this issue. I strongly believe that this is a lens design issue due to the reflective surface of the metal piece surrounding the front element and I have a few other friends who are also facing the same problem.

I am wondering if any of you guys here is experiencing this problem? Or can I take the liberty to request the friendly members here to test out their FE 16-35 especially for waterscapes where this issue is especially glaring?

Will appreciate your insights and comments.

Sony a7 Sony a7R Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS
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Trollmannx Senior Member • Posts: 5,466
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue
2

This is normal - especially at the wider settings and shooting into the sun will bring out some flare and reflexes. Recompose or live with this lens character.

The FE 16-35 lens have lots of strong points but it is not the best lens in the world when shooting straight into the sun. Think others will confirm this.

RichardLarssen
RichardLarssen Senior Member • Posts: 1,154
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue

t3cnica wrote:

Hi all, this is my first post here so please pardon me. Oh by the way, I am a Singaporean.

I have recently discovered a reflection issue with the FE 16-35 which I have been using for ~6 months.

This is the setup which I used for the photos below:

Sony A7R + FE 16-35

100mm Haida ND 1.8 and 0.9 slot in filters respectively

As you can see, there are words being reflected off the filter and I supposed these words came from the metal piece which surrounds the front element. I have been using the filters for more than a couple of years and even on my then-5DMK3+16-35L II, I never once have such issue.

I have had contacted Sony Singapore and they told me it was not a filter nor lens problem, more of extreme front light condition which I was shooting in. However, even without the sun in frame aka diffused light, I am still getting the reflection as seen in the second photo. I have looked into my archive and realised that a lot of photos were plagued by this issue. I strongly believe that this is a lens design issue due to the reflective surface of the metal piece surrounding the front element and I have a few other friends who are also facing the same problem.

I am wondering if any of you guys here is experiencing this problem? Or can I take the liberty to request the friendly members here to test out their FE 16-35 especially for waterscapes where this issue is especially glaring?

Will appreciate your insights and comments.

i have noticed the same thing with my 1635. Other lenes was not that bad....

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olstrup Veteran Member • Posts: 3,731
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue
6

With many lenses, especially WA lenses, it's advisable to remove the filter when shooting into a strong headlight. I don't thik you can call these reflections an issue with the lens. If anything, it's more an issue with the filter. You may be able to deminish the issue by using a filter with more effective coating, but I doubt it can be completely avoided unless you remove the filter. Part of the problem is the very short focal length of the lens which has a very wide DOF, so dust and other blemishies - like these reflections - on the filter can actually be seen. You'd never have this issue with say a 200mm lens.

The Nikon 17-35/2.8 (including my sample) is known to produce a green blob in the picture when shot into the sun with a filter. The blob comes from the dipped center part of the aspherical front lens surface which reflects the sun from the dip onto the filter and back into the lens.

blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,792
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue

I stopped using the filter, and keep it in the bag, rather than on the lens.

Shots like yours into the sun, shots at night, indoor shots with lamps, they all worsen due to reflections from the filter.

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Cheers,
Henry

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Stflbn Veteran Member • Posts: 3,643
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue
1

You could try putting some Gaffer's tape over the lettering on the front of the lens...

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OP t3cnica New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue

Thanks all for the replies so far.

I understand that shooting into concentrated source of light(the sun) will result in lost of contrast and lens flares. However I really do not think the reflection in this case is normal, and if you look at the second photo with no sun in frame, the reflection is still there.

Basically I cannot shoot any form of waterscape during day time, whether the sun is behind me, in the clouds etc, the reflection will almost always be there. I have more photos to show but they will just illustrate the same thing.

Furthermore, that had been zero issue with the filters as I have been using them the same way(shooting into hard light) before I had gotten the Sony setup. The 16-35L II performed flawlessly until I decided to switch camp.

I really cannot tape up the area due to the residue from the gaffer tape and also the fact that the metal surrounding extend all the way to the front element which I do not want to get in contact with the gaffer tape.

olstrup Veteran Member • Posts: 3,731
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue
2

t3cnica wrote:

However I really do not think the reflection in this case is normal, and if you look at the second photo with no sun in frame, the reflection is still there.

Believe me or not - reflections are normal when WA lenses are used with a filter. It has been good advice for many years that filters should be removed from the lens when shooting into the light with such lenses. As I wrote, my Nikon 17-35/2.8 also has reflections with filters when shot into strong light.

FWIW, I tried to reproduce your problem with my sample of the Sony 16-35/4. With a Hoya Pro 1 Digital UV filter, I could see reflections in the periphery of the frame when shot into the (overcast) sky at f/22 and closest focusing distance - and boosting the exposure in PP. I couldn't identify the reflections as lettering, but they may be. I couldn't see the reflections when shooting at normal conditions (farther distance setting, f/8). The reflections were also absent when I repeted the "test" without the filter.

My conclusion is that it may well be your filter which is not sufficiently AR coated. I can recommend the best grades of Hoya or B&W filters. They are more pricey than lower grade filters, but once bought they last a lifetime. If it isn't enough, shoot without a filter. Or blacken the lettering on the lens ring with a fine tipped marker pen.

Like I said, reflections is a well known phenomenon when using filters on wery wide angled lenses. It's not an issue with the lens. It's the laws of physics.

ricleo Regular Member • Posts: 343
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue

that's definitely a problem with the filter and not the lens. The square filters add another layer of glass that is prone to reflections, especially when there is a strong light source. if you want to get rid of the reflections, try using black tape to cover up all the white wordings, or use a marker to go over all the words. make it a stealth lens!

t3cnica wrote:

Hi all, this is my first post here so please pardon me. Oh by the way, I am a Singaporean.

I have recently discovered a reflection issue with the FE 16-35 which I have been using for ~6 months.

This is the setup which I used for the photos below:

Sony A7R + FE 16-35

100mm Haida ND 1.8 and 0.9 slot in filters respectively

As you can see, there are words being reflected off the filter and I supposed these words came from the metal piece which surrounds the front element. I have been using the filters for more than a couple of years and even on my then-5DMK3+16-35L II, I never once have such issue.

I have had contacted Sony Singapore and they told me it was not a filter nor lens problem, more of extreme front light condition which I was shooting in. However, even without the sun in frame aka diffused light, I am still getting the reflection as seen in the second photo. I have looked into my archive and realised that a lot of photos were plagued by this issue. I strongly believe that this is a lens design issue due to the reflective surface of the metal piece surrounding the front element and I have a few other friends who are also facing the same problem.

I am wondering if any of you guys here is experiencing this problem? Or can I take the liberty to request the friendly members here to test out their FE 16-35 especially for waterscapes where this issue is especially glaring?

Will appreciate your insights and comments.

 ricleo's gear list:ricleo's gear list
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olstrup Veteran Member • Posts: 3,731
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue

ricleo wrote:

The square filters add another layer of glass that is prone to reflections, especially when there is a strong light source.

Ah, now I understand the OPs problem better. He uses a square filter in a filter holder, not a screw in filter. Such a square filter is farther from the front lens than a screw in filter and is even more prone to reflections. I should have googled his mention of Haida filters from the start and I would have got it. Thanks for clearing that up. Whatever, I still think my previous posts apply to filter use on WA lenses in general.

OP t3cnica New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue

Seriously if there is a problem with the filter, I would have noticed it years ago.

Look at the image below which I took with the Haida ND 0.9 on the 16-35L II. Sure there are some light orbs and lens flare on the left side of the frame, but that is really fine by me as I would have expected it when I shot the camera into the sun. You can see for yourself, there is zero reflection from the words from around the front element.

Haida ND 0.9 + 16-35L II

Now, some say maybe a 'higher quality' filter may help. The image below was taken with the Lee Big Stopper on the FE 16-35. I did not expect to see the reflection coming up but it did.

Lee Big Stopper + FE 16-35

So with all conditions being equal; shooting into hard light, using the same Haida ND filter, the only variable comes down to the lens. How can I be convinced that this is not a lens design issue? If you look at the very first photo which I posted in the first post, you can even see the metal itself being reflected off, not just the words only. :\

PastaSource
PastaSource New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue
1

I recently saw exactly the same using the Lee 100 system (little/big stopper), (shooting toward the sun). It is not so noticeable the wider the aperture is, at f5.6 it was not visible, at f22 it's awful - if you focus too close (bringing the filter well within the dof, it obviously makes it worse (sharper) too.

For shots like these, if not long exposure, I'd try the thumb trick next time, and eliminate the lens element reflection in post (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9DggKGiLb8). But I was using filter because I wanted long exposure, so yes, disappointing...

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Seeky Senior Member • Posts: 1,065
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue
2

t3cnica wrote:

Seriously if there is a problem with the filter, I would have noticed it years ago.

Look at the image below which I took with the Haida ND 0.9 on the 16-35L II. Sure there are some light orbs and lens flare on the left side of the frame, but that is really fine by me as I would have expected it when I shot the camera into the sun. You can see for yourself, there is zero reflection from the words from around the front element.

Haida ND 0.9 + 16-35L II

Now, some say maybe a 'higher quality' filter may help. The image below was taken with the Lee Big Stopper on the FE 16-35. I did not expect to see the reflection coming up but it did.

Lee Big Stopper + FE 16-35

So with all conditions being equal; shooting into hard light, using the same Haida ND filter, the only variable comes down to the lens. How can I be convinced that this is not a lens design issue? If you look at the very first photo which I posted in the first post, you can even see the metal itself being reflected off, not just the words only. :\

The confusing element here is that often reflections or abberations from filters screw up the image. In these cases, of course the filter is to blame. In this particular case, of course the filter causes the reflection to end up in the image, because without filter there wouldn't be a reflection. But this reflection "image" originates from the lens' front, and not directly from light sources in the frame. So the conclusion must be that the front of the lens reflects too much light and/or in a wrong direction.

A solution could be found in a different filter. Maybe a simple DIY solution by putting a light absorbing paper ring over the reflective lens front can do the trick.

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OP t3cnica New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue

PastaSource wrote:

I recently saw exactly the same using the Lee 100 system (little/big stopper), (shooting toward the sun). It is not so noticeable the wider the aperture is, at f5.6 it was not visible, at f22 it's awful - if you focus too close (bringing the filter well within the dof, it obviously makes it worse (sharper) too.

For shots like these, if not long exposure, I'd try the thumb trick next time, and eliminate the lens element reflection in post (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9DggKGiLb8). But I was using filter because I wanted long exposure, so yes, disappointing...

Hi, thanks for the suggestion however it is not applicable in this case. For those images which do not have the sun in frame but are having reflections, what exactly can my thumb cover?

OP t3cnica New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue

Seeky wrote:

The confusing element here is that often reflections or abberations from filters screw up the image. In these cases, of course the filter is to blame. In this particular case, of course the filter causes the reflection to end up in the image, because without filter there wouldn't be a reflection. But this reflection "image" originates from the lens' front, and not directly from light sources in the frame. So the conclusion must be that the front of the lens reflects too much light and/or in a wrong direction.

A solution could be found in a different filter. Maybe a simple DIY solution by putting a light absorbing paper ring over the reflective lens front can do the trick.

FINALLY, somebody who gets what I am driving at!

Taking away the filter is not solving the problem at all, you are just running away from it. The real problem lies in the reflective surface around the front element which is getting into all my images.

Sure I can do some DIY or whatever, but since this is a Sony problem, I would really want Sony to provide me(us) with an official solution, rather then me trying to gaffer it up and potentially ruining the front glass.

Pieterbaan
Pieterbaan Contributing Member • Posts: 915
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue

t3cnica wrote:

Seeky wrote:

The confusing element here is that often reflections or abberations from filters screw up the image. In these cases, of course the filter is to blame. In this particular case, of course the filter causes the reflection to end up in the image, because without filter there wouldn't be a reflection. But this reflection "image" originates from the lens' front, and not directly from light sources in the frame. So the conclusion must be that the front of the lens reflects too much light and/or in a wrong direction.

A solution could be found in a different filter. Maybe a simple DIY solution by putting a light absorbing paper ring over the reflective lens front can do the trick.

FINALLY, somebody who gets what I am driving at!

Taking away the filter is not solving the problem at all, you are just running away from it. The real problem lies in the reflective surface around the front element which is getting into all my images.

Sure I can do some DIY or whatever, but since this is a Sony problem, I would really want Sony to provide me(us) with an official solution, rather then me trying to gaffer it up and potentially ruining the front glass.

Lenses are normaly tested without filters, it is hard to test a lens with all the filters arround.

There are some things you could do to elliminates the problem:

1. use good filters that are as close as possible to the lens. this will help in two ways: good filters use better anti reflective coatings, reducing your problem. As the filter is closer to the lens there will be less reflection from the lens in the filter.
2. You could als blacken the letters on the front ellement of the lens as some propsed you could do it with none reflecting paper and some small pieces of two sided adhesive tape, avoiding any risk to damage your lens.3. Avoid shooting direct in the sun or with the sun just outside your picture, this will reduce the reflection enough to make it none visible.
4. You could write Sony about it, and who know if they can and will do something about it when they come with new lenses, but they won't refund your lens, as it works just fine...

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ricleo Regular Member • Posts: 343
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue
3

it's really not sony's problem because the Haida filter is not from sony. You dont get reflections from normal UV or CPL filters as they are very near to the front element.

the square filters on the other hand are much further in front. and as they are not from sony... you would have tough luck convincing sony that it is their problem

t3cnica wrote:

Seeky wrote:

The confusing element here is that often reflections or abberations from filters screw up the image. In these cases, of course the filter is to blame. In this particular case, of course the filter causes the reflection to end up in the image, because without filter there wouldn't be a reflection. But this reflection "image" originates from the lens' front, and not directly from light sources in the frame. So the conclusion must be that the front of the lens reflects too much light and/or in a wrong direction.

A solution could be found in a different filter. Maybe a simple DIY solution by putting a light absorbing paper ring over the reflective lens front can do the trick.

FINALLY, somebody who gets what I am driving at!

Taking away the filter is not solving the problem at all, you are just running away from it. The real problem lies in the reflective surface around the front element which is getting into all my images.

Sure I can do some DIY or whatever, but since this is a Sony problem, I would really want Sony to provide me(us) with an official solution, rather then me trying to gaffer it up and potentially ruining the front glass.

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CraigArnold Contributing Member • Posts: 697
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue
2

t3cnica wrote:

Hi all, this is my first post here so please pardon me. Oh by the way, I am a Singaporean.

100mm Haida ND 1.8 and 0.9 slot in filters respectively

Will appreciate your insights and comments.

So you have a problem with those filters and this lens in combination.

I guess you need to decide which you like better the filter or the lens and change the other.

There is no way either party can be expected to test or anticipate infinitely far into the future every possible permutation of lenses and filters.

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OP t3cnica New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue

CraigArnold wrote:

t3cnica wrote:

Hi all, this is my first post here so please pardon me. Oh by the way, I am a Singaporean.

100mm Haida ND 1.8 and 0.9 slot in filters respectively

Will appreciate your insights and comments.

So you have a problem with those filters and this lens in combination.

I guess you need to decide which you like better the filter or the lens and change the other.

There is no way either party can be expected to test or anticipate infinitely far into the future every possible permutation of lenses and filters.

Since Sony cannot test all combinations, why are they so resistant to issues raised up by their users?

I am not expecting any form of refund or compensation. All I want is Sony to acknowledge this issue and provide an official fix, just like how they did for the light leak issue on the A7 series bodies.

Pieterbaan
Pieterbaan Contributing Member • Posts: 915
Re: Sony FE 16-35 reflection issue
1

t3cnica wrote:

CraigArnold wrote:

t3cnica wrote:

Hi all, this is my first post here so please pardon me. Oh by the way, I am a Singaporean.

100mm Haida ND 1.8 and 0.9 slot in filters respectively

Will appreciate your insights and comments.

So you have a problem with those filters and this lens in combination.

I guess you need to decide which you like better the filter or the lens and change the other.

There is no way either party can be expected to test or anticipate infinitely far into the future every possible permutation of lenses and filters.

Since Sony cannot test all combinations, why are they so resistant to issues raised up by their users?

I am not expecting any form of refund or compensation. All I want is Sony to acknowledge this issue and provide an official fix, just like how they did for the light leak issue on the A7 series bodies.

It is very easy: The light leak was a problem with a Sony camera, and was there when you used a Sony lens, that makes it a Sony problem.

You on the other hand have a problem that only occures when you use one type of filters on a Sony camera/lens combination. It is like when your car has bad steering when riding in a hard cross wind, after you added a spoiler that was from an oother brand, not supported by the car you have.

Again there are a few solutions you can do, do them, it is the only way. Sorry for that, but it ain't Sony's case to solve this for you...

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