Know Your Lens-What is “ghosting” and “flaring”

We are often told to be careful of ghosting and flaring when shooting into sunlight, but what exactly are they? In this article, I will explain more about these phenomena. This will help you better understand your camera and lens when shooting such photos.

A lens hood is essential for addressing ghosting and flaring

Flaring is a phenomenon that can occur when light reflects off the lens, or other elements such as the lens barrel and mirror box, making part or all of an image appear hazy or seem to lack in sharpness. Ghosting, on the other hand, is a type of flaring caused by a strong light source being reflected repeatedly, appearing as a clear artefact that can be found located symmetrically opposite to the light source.

Older lenses without an antireflective coating are more susceptible to ghosting and flaring. However, depending on the subject and shooting conditions, it is also difficult to completely eliminate these effects even with the latest coated lenses.

While attaching a lens hood is the very least a photographer should do to address these effects, it is also a good idea to actively cut out flare-inducing light using objects such as your hand, a hat, or a board-shaped object if necessary.

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