Fare & Ghosting

Flare & Ghosting / Internal Reflection: Part I

It seemed appropriate to begin a ‘take no prisoners’ final interrogation by making the finalists stare into bright lights – see what they’re made of, what? Here are full frame shots of each: note the differing artefacts produced by each lens. Roll over each image to make an A-B / B-C / A-C comparison.

Flare Test 1: Canon 24mm L
Nikon_Flare1

We’re into the realm of the subjective here, but it doesn’t feel too contentious to award more points to the Canon L than the Nikon AFS, whose invasive ghosting is much less discreet. The little Olympus suffers from a different species of internal reflection, but in practice (preliminary, unpublished flare tests were shot into the sun) it is less distracting than the marching blobs produced by its bigger competitors here.

Nikon: 0 points
Canon: 1 point
Olympus: 2 points

Flare & Ghosting / Internal Reflection: Part II

That critical 20 minutes of blue light (following the grey half hour, which follows the golden hour) favoured by architectural photographers demands a lens that handles point light sources, such as streetlights, with aplomb. This particular aspect of flare control is dear to my heart, so there follows a comparison which may not be of general interest. There is a ‘next’ button at the bottom of the page.

For those who care, the Canon renders point light sources with an eight-pointed star at apertures from f4–f16. The Nikon produces a multi-pronged, finely-spiked starburst even at moderately wide apertures. The Olympus just glows.

CanonFlare2a
Canon 24mm f1.4 L at f8 Nikon 17-35mm at 24mm/f8 Olympus 24mm f2.8 at f8
1 points
2 points
0 points

Perhaps more meaningfully, a close-up (100% actual pixels) view of each shows that the Nikon is retaining better contrast in its flare halo, winning this round not only because it’s pretty but because it captures more information.

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