I have a Canon 60D and recently bought a Canon zoom lens EF 24-70mm 2,8L USM. Bright colours seem to "glow" or are blurry when I take photos. It does not seem to be blurred because of movement or focus. I am a amateur and consider my self a beginner so this might be a easy question. I will show a photo with this "glow":

Glowing photo 1

Glowing photo 2

  • 9
    I'm not seeing the glow. Feb 9 '15 at 14:10
  • 5
    Yeah, I'm not seeing what you mean either. Could you describe more specifically what you are seeing and where it occurs in the images?
    – mattdm
    Feb 9 '15 at 14:34
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    viewed at full size, i believe i can see what you mean. could it be that your lens was smudgy/foggy?
    – ths
    Feb 9 '15 at 16:04
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    To me, it looks like you're on EV+1 - these look slightly over-exposed. It's easy to accidentally set that exposure compensation.
    – Jasmine
    Feb 9 '15 at 16:44
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    Do you have a protective filter on the front of the lens?
    – mattdm
    Feb 10 '15 at 1:07

The first shot is front focussed and looks like it was shot wide open, so a lot of the main part of the image is out of focus, which can result in glowy halos around highlights.

However the effect is more extreme than I would expect, so my guess is the front element is dirty/greasy. It also looks quite a bit like spherical aberration to me which would indicate that there is something wrong with the lens, e.g. it has taken a knock and some elements are out of alignment.


The lens your are using and how clean it is are heavily contributing, but the basic answer is how wide open you are shooting, the increased angle is allowing heavy light scatter present in the shooting environment to blur highlights.


Many lenses with faster apertures (F2.8 and faster) "glow" when used wide open, especially in bright light with high contrast. It is likely associated with spherical aberration and is typically reduced or completely gone when the aperture is closed a stop or two. Increased familiarity with the lens' behavior and characteristics will allow you to predict when the glow will and won't be present. You will then be able to select aperture to match your artistic intent.

The glow in your pictures is very mild, and I would expect it to be absent at F4. Since these pictures were taken outdoors in apparently good light, you should be able to stop down even further to F5.6 or F8, where lenses tend to have optimal sharpness. The subjects appear to be a considerable distance away, so there is no need to use wide apertures for background blur.

Consider reserving F2.8 for when you need the additional light gathering ability or when you have clear artistic reason for its use. Glow contributes to a lens' character.

Steinheil-Munchin Cassarit 50/2.8

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