What will cause a washed out spot in the centre of an image?

I thought it was light leaking in through the viewfinder, but these were taken with it completely covered.

It only happens sometimes, and I've only noticed it when I'm trying to get some macro/extreme macro shots. I sometimes use extension tubes and reverse lenses.

For a while, I thought it was my cheap extension tubes. But I bought some expensive ones of much better quality. Every now and then it still happens.

Here are some examples; shot with a reversed Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM, on tubes (I know they're not great photos, but they illustrate the problem):

fly isopod spring

I've noticed it in regular wide angle shots too. Here's an example of a photo sequence in which the aberration occurs; taken with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM:

pre-spot spot post-spot post-spot2

  • \$\begingroup\$ What kit are you using??? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20, 2017 at 9:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Various lens configurations. Canon EOS 650D DSLR body & MR-14EX Flash. Happens without the flash too. I thought it was a hardware problem at first, now I'm not so sure. \$\endgroup\$
    – voices
    Aug 20, 2017 at 9:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've seen similar spots when using a microscope with a T2 adapter. For some stupid reason the adapter was not matte black inside but shiny metal. Are your extension rings too shiny on the inside? \$\endgroup\$
    – Gerhardh
    Aug 21, 2017 at 11:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ if you are using a reverse lens, you should make a "reverse lens hood" in order to avoid light coming from the sides. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 24, 2017 at 7:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't always mount my lenses in reverse, but yeah, I use something like that when I do. \$\endgroup\$
    – voices
    Aug 24, 2017 at 7:37

1 Answer 1


Looks like classic "blue spot" where flat (or near flat) optical surfaces are reflecting light back onto the sensor which was reflected from the sensor itself.

It's pretty extreme which may be due to the fact you're using the lenses reversed (i.e. not as designed).

The MR-14EX ring flash would make things worse - very bright light source.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't find anything about this "blue spot" phenomenon. Can you point me to some information on it? \$\endgroup\$
    – voices
    Aug 20, 2017 at 19:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ That proved harder that I expected. There's a mention of it in a post on this dpreview.com forum in connection with an older Tamron 90mm macro lens (my old 90mm f2.5 had the same issue, BTW). Later versions had a curved rear element and this removed the problem. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20, 2017 at 19:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.