I recently observed a strange flares appearing on my pictures. Can someone please help me what it is?

  1. I use clean lens with UV filters
  2. The dot/flare is constant across all the lens I have.
  3. The camera service center has no clue what it is.
  4. How to get rid of it.
  5. I am observing this when there is a light source in the foreground.

Extra info:

IMG_0176, IMG_0179 & IMG_0191 have the green curved line. IMG_0181 doesn't have it. Images 0176,0179,0181& 0191 are long exposure shots.

IMG_5328(this is photographed with another lens) & IMG_9566 are not long exposure shots, yet they have a dot.

Please find the images in the link here

Any help or suggestions will be greatly helpful.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi gopalsunny, Welcome to Photography StackExchange. We hope you enjoy yourself here sharing knowledge and experience with us. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stan
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 5:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Stan, I believe that a new contributor to the site is not yet authorised to add images to their questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 13:27
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of is it normal to get significant lens flare with a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ We have several existing questions with the ghosting tag. They all pretty much explain what you are observing. Flat filters and their reflective surfaces are the primary culprit of most ghosting issues. When shooting a dark scene with bright light sources in the frame, you'll almost always see ghosting with a flat filter on the lens. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 15:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: To filter or not to filter, that is the question \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


The pictures with the girl is obviously a long shutter and some kind of light doing light painting.
It looks like it's one white light and one green that is used.
Apart from that, I can't see any abnormalities on those.

The picture of the sun is directly in to the sun so lens flares are common.
I see a slight lens flare below and to the left of the sun.
Normal in my opinion.

Then there is the picture with the crowd.
There are a few green dots, not sure what they are.
It's not a long exposure picture, so the light has to be rather intense in real life to be that visible on the picture.
I would say Lazer pointers, but that many in such a small area is not likely.
In my opinion the color of the green dots look the same as the girls green light, maybe you could ask her?

Now with the added information it's quite obvious what the issue is.
This is a reflection either inside the lens or between the lens and the UV-filter. As you can see from the first picture of the girl the green is the exact opposite of the white.
The white is strong at the bottom and fades in a circle, the green is strong at the top and fades in a circle.

I still can't see it in the image with the sun, I find that quite normal. But maybe I'm missing something.

The crowdphoto is most likely a reflection of the bright lights on the right.
If you compare the angles from the photo with the girl it's the same offset.


Take off the UV-filter, most of the time they are not worth it.
They can create a flare/reflection as these pictures show and have very little other positive effects.
The change in color suggests to me that it's reflections between the filter and lens since most lenses are very carefully made to limit the amount of reflections and color shifts.

You probably heard the advice to use a UV-filter to protect the front lens?
While it has some truth, a lens hood is better.
The lens hood will protect the front element from bumps and give a positive effect of blocking light coming from the side. Light coming from the side can make the colors look faded and less contrasting.
Also if you did bump the front element in to a wall with the UV-filter on, the filter would most likely crack. That would mean you knock sharp glass pieces on to the front element of the lens, and that for sure would scratch it.
A typical lens (i.e. not a cheap unbranded one) will have a front element that is tougher than a UV-filter.
Just try it yourself, knock with your fingernail on the front element of the lens and compare the sound with knocking on the UV-filter.

  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. We did try a long exposure shot with a white light source bu the green one appeared in the photograph. We did not use a green light source. 2. There were no laser pointed anywhere near, the place where the photograph was taken has a lot of lights, but then again it should be uniform flare if that's the case. 3. I have used a different lens in the photo of the sun but the flare seemed constant even after the change in lens. \$\endgroup\$
    – gopalsunny
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 8:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @gopalsunny I edited my answer below the line. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andreas
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 9:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will take your advice and try the same photo without the filter. May be with a lens hood some other, will add the observations again once I have them. Thank you for the insights. \$\endgroup\$
    – gopalsunny
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 9:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ When the strong light source is inside the frame, a hood will make no difference. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 15:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's very obvious in the images linked to the OP. All you have to do is look at them to see that the artifacts are all mirrored/reversed images of light sources visible in the photo. Have you looked at any of the other [ghosting] questions? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 10:28

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