I have a Nikon D3000 that I use frequently on my trips. It takes wonderful photos, but at times, especially in direct sun light, I see a flare showing up.

Someone mentioned that a filter would resolve this. I am a complete novice when it comes to photography, and I know next to nothing about filters.

What type of filter should I be looking for?


3 Answers 3


Honestly I would not expect any filters to help compared to not using one, since they add a flat reflection surface.

However, some filters add more flare than others. A filter that is multi-coated or - even better- super multi-coated adds less reflections and therefore less flare.

To reduce flare if the sun is not shining directly into your lens, try a lens hood first. If it does not enough, then you need additional shading. Anything that does not obstruct the subject will do (hand, hat, a friend, etc).

Keep in mind that if you use a full-frame lens on a cropped-sensor camera, the hood supplied with your lens cannot be adequate. This is also the case for a zoom lens at any focal other than its widest point.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ thank you for that explanation. So it's an erroneous belief that lenses prevent lens flare? What are they for, then? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mohamad
    Feb 17, 2011 at 1:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mohamad - For info on filters and purpose, have a look at this question: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/1872/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Feb 17, 2011 at 1:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Itai has it right, the best filter for preventing lens flare is no filter. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shizam
    Feb 17, 2011 at 1:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just a minor comment on your final sentence, Itai... some lenses such as the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L actually zoom "the wrong way", it is physically longest at 24mm and shortest at 70mm. Since the lens-hood is fixed to the rear tube of the lens, not the front tube, this means that the hood is actually quite effective throughout the zoom range. Clever, clever Japanese engineers... \$\endgroup\$
    – Staale S
    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Staale That is clever. \$\endgroup\$
    – Evan Krall
    Feb 17, 2011 at 6:49

A linear polarizing filter can conceivingly do the trick in the right orientation but if your camera contains any kind of beam splitter (for mirror reflex or exposure metering) or phase-based autofocus, it might mess up the result.

The more complex (but nowadays more common as many analog cameras used some sort of beam splitting and/or mirror for something) circular polarizer consists of a linear polarizer on the outside and sort of a polarisation scrambler on the inside so that the camera does not get to see polarized light. Which means that it will be just as susceptible to lens flare as without.

Of course, the main cause of lens flare is an often comparatively cheap protection or UV filter screwed to the front of your main lens. Either replace it with a higher quality filter (you need really good coatings for mostly removing flare from a planar piece of glass) or remove it temporarily.


A polarizing filter may help in many situations. How to best use it is well beyond the scope of this answer block. But that's the only type of filter I would expect to be of any help. It wont eliminate a flare, but may reduce it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A filter, any filter, is a flat pane of glass precisely parallel to the image sensor in the camera. This situation is just asking for flare... no filter will do anything at all to prevent flare, but some are worse than others. A polarizer is a useful filter, yes, but will potentially flare just like any other. \$\endgroup\$
    – Staale S
    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:51

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