1. JudgeHolden's Avatar
    Hey guys,

    I have a nice, perfectly round discolored circle in all my photos.
    It has been there despite cleaning the lens, and was not there yesterday.

    I'm sort of hoping it's an issue with the new DP update that came out.
    11-14-2014 07:24 PM
  2. lovenokia's Avatar
    can you upload some pictures so we can see what your talking about?
    11-14-2014 08:42 PM
  3. Notre_poubelle's Avatar
    I think I just had the same problem occur to a number of my pictures yesterday. Mine was using a Lumia 1020. I've attached one picture as an example. I've blacked out the child's face for privacy. If you look near the child's head, there is a large circle. There's two more smaller circles on the opposite wall (not as obvious). These circles are not reflections from the balloons, as the same thing happened in other pictures (that did not have balloons). I did have the flash on, for what it is worth. Not all pictures exhibited this problem, but many did.

    Any ideas?
    12-14-2014 11:14 PM
  4. gernerttl's Avatar
    Those circles are probably reflections from the sensor back on to the lens.

    Addendum: The technical term is "ghosting." This usually occurs with cheaper optics or if you are using a filter. Although the Icon has Carl Zeiss optics, the outer piece of isn't ,so that is why you could be getting ghosting. Ghosting doesn't occur in the same spot all of time though.

    If they are in the same spot in all of your pictures, then wipe off the outer lens with a microfiber cloth. You may have spots on it. Worst case is that there is actual dust on the sensor itself.
    Last edited by gernerttl; 12-15-2014 at 12:58 AM.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    12-14-2014 11:37 PM
  5. Notre_poubelle's Avatar
    Thanks gernerttl for your reply! I wasn't using a filter, nor any case on the Lumia 1020 (I don't have an icon; the original poster did). I didn't see the spots on the same place on all my pictures. And I didn't see it all the time, just for some pictures.

    I googled ghosting, and that sounds like when an old image is remains on the screen. I see these circles on different places in different pictures, and I see it on the pictures even after transferring to my PC, so it's not some kind of burn in thing :(

    I'll try wiping the lens with a microfiber cloth...

    12-15-2014 10:45 PM
  6. gernerttl's Avatar
    Ok. Since it is not in the same place then it is ghosting. What that means is that the light coming through the lens reflects off of the sensor (or film) back on to the lens. The circle is essentially a reflection of the aperture that is why they are round. The type of ghosting you are referring to is what happens on a TV screen or a monitor.


    But wiping the outer glass will help reduce that somewhat. If you need to use a lens cleaner as well.
    12-16-2014 12:28 AM
  7. Notre_poubelle's Avatar
    Thank you for spending the time to answer my question, and for the link. Although I don't see any circles in the article that look look quite like what I'm seeing, I guess it's the most likely explanation. I'm also a little confused on whether one should expect to see ghosting if there isn't a significant light source other than the camera's flash itself.. (in the example picture above, the only light came from the flash itself and possibly an incandescent light -- I think it may have been turned on at that point after blowing out the candles).

    Thank you again!
    12-17-2014 11:14 PM
  8. gernerttl's Avatar
    Yes. Ghosting is generally caused by a really bright light source like the sun shining directly into the lens. It is a problem more common with digital cameras. A digital camera's sensor is more reflective than film. If you look at the set of four photos in paragraph 1.2, you will see the circles I'm talking about.

    In your case the ghosting is coming from the flash. The flash is right next to the lens and the light is reflected straight back at the camera. Although the focusing elements are Carl Zeiss, the outer glass is NOT part of focusing, it is just protective in nature. Therefore, since the outer glass is protective in nature, the quality of glass is not the same as the lens elements themselves and doesn't have the same coatings as the lens elements. The light from the flash reflects straight back onto the sensor then back on to the outer glass which then reflects back onto the sensor, thus causing ghosting.

    Does that make a little more sense?
    12-18-2014 12:27 AM
  9. Notre_poubelle's Avatar
    Yes, it does makes sense. Although it makes me sad to think Nokia cheaped out in that area. I know you are the messenger (and I'm not trying to shoot you), but if one of the main selling points of the 1020 is the xenon flash, but it can cause ghosting, then it seems its value is much diminished. I know the 1020 supposedly has good low light capabilities (relative to most other smart phone cameras) but there are many indoor situations with kids that don't sit still long enough for a long exposure time - the xenon flash seems to be the only way to get the action.

    In terms of mitigating the ghosting effect, you mentioned I could clean the outer glass with a microfiber cloth and potentially use a lens cleaner. That makes sense in terms of avoiding dust, but if the light is reflecting back into the cheap protective outer glass, I would think both sides of that glass don't have the special coating (and I can't wipe the inside). I will try it though. Another option, it would seem, would be avoid using the flash. I'll try to see about learning the low light manual controls better. I don't think I'll be able to get my kids to sit still though :)

    I was following the advice of setting the shutter speed to 1/125s, as suggested on a site (I don't have enough posts to be allowed to include a link -- weird). I did this on many of the indoor photos in my photo shoot, many of which had those circles. Do you think changing the shutter speed would make the ghosting problem worse?

    I suppose the other option is to keep using the flash when I think it is necessary, and try to edit the photos to try to remove the circles. I haven't tried that yet, so I'm not sure how successful I'll be.

    Thanks again for your time, patience, and sharing your knowledge.
    12-18-2014 10:56 AM
  10. gernerttl's Avatar
    No worries. Just keep in mind ghosting happens on ALL cameras... even my $5000+ Canon EOS-6D w/ EF24-105mm (L lens) set up (Canon's L series are the top of the line lenses). So don't feel bad that your phone's camera is prone. Also, although the you can see ghosting in SOME of your photos, it's not enough to worry about. At least in my opinion. Overall the photos looked fine and the artifacts caused by the ghosting are not significant enough to take away from the overall quality photo. Again that is my opinion. Unless you are planning on making large prints, I wouldn't worry overly much about it.

    Try a slightly faster shutter speed. As fast as you can go without under exposing. Unfortunately, most camera's on phones are fixed aperture so you can adjust shutter speed and ISO. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

    And yes, always use as much natural light as possible. I only use the flash when I feel I need a fill light to brighten the subject slightly without affecting the background; or if I have no choice because of low light conditions.

    I'm glad I could be of some help.
    Notre_poubelle likes this.
    12-19-2014 01:18 AM

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