I took these pictures with my Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens this morning:

Would somebody please tell me that what is that white part in the lower right corner of the picture?

EXIF info: F/8 ISO 100 1/125sec Focal Length : 85mm enter image description here

And what are these circles in the center of this picture?

EXIF info: F/8 ISO 100 1/125sec Focal Length: 15mm enter image description here


  • 1
    The top image is clearly a crop. Is there a bright light source visible in the complete frame?
    – mattdm
    Dec 18, 2013 at 20:10
  • @mattdm Yes, it is.
    – Kermia
    Dec 19, 2013 at 6:23

2 Answers 2


It is "lens flare" in the first, but in the second, it is the reflection of the black internal parts of the front of your lens which are illuminated by the direct sun reflecting off the inside of your UV filter.

enter image description here

  • Yes, You're right. I've used an UV filter :)
    – Kermia
    Dec 19, 2013 at 6:24
  • 1
    @Kermia - I have added an image to explain what it happening better Dec 19, 2013 at 9:49
  • 1
    Internal reflections are also a type of lens flare as are reflections off the back of a filter. Once attached a filter in effect becomes the lens' first element.
    – Michael C
    Dec 19, 2013 at 18:03

It is called Lens Flare. This is caused by strong light sources, such as the Sun in your two examples, that are either just outside the Angle of View of the camera lens or in the framing of your scene. Some of the light from the source of the flare is bouncing around inside your lens and reflecting off the surfaces of the lens elements. If the light source causing flare is outside the framing of your scene, the best way to avoid it is with a lens hood.

There are several ways that lens flare can be manifested. This wikipedia article covers the high points fairly succinctly.

  • Starbursts, rings, or circles in a row across the image or view.
  • Haze that washes out the image and reduces contrast.
  • The use of photographic filters can cause flare, particularly ghosts of bright lights.
  • I did, I used a lens hood. And on the other hand I never have had this problem with my Canon 18-200 lens. Why? Don't you think it is a problem inside the lens? Should I return it back or something?
    – Kermia
    Dec 18, 2013 at 10:11
  • 4
    The lens is not defective, it is behaving as expected. Did you ever shoot directly into the mid-day sun with your 18-200?
    – Michael C
    Dec 18, 2013 at 10:12
  • Yep, I did. And by the way I think the 18-200 is sharper. Would you suggest me a way to do a complete test with it? I am still not sure about this lens.
    – Kermia
    Dec 18, 2013 at 10:16
  • 1
    High exposure level also plays a part. Expose several stops darker (these photo are overexposed) and the flare will be much less noticeable. There is flare of some sort present in almost every photo with a strong light source in it, but at normal exposure levels it is often not very noticeable. Please see this answer to a different question. The only difference between the first and last shot was the exposure value. By pushing the RAW file of the first shot of the Moon and Jupiter by 12 stops there would be just as much flare as in the last one. photo.stackexchange.com/a/41724/15871
    – Michael C
    Dec 18, 2013 at 10:27
  • Downvote for the sole reason of highlighting the other answer, which is an amazing observation , while yours is too generic, what I would have said, and you have enough rep that it doesnt matter. Dec 19, 2013 at 18:31

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