Is this a lens defect (coma like)? Olympus 17 f/1.8


New to Mu-43
I just got an Olympus 17mm f/1.8 a week ago. I haven't shot a lot of frames, but I noticed that in a few pictures I got this comet shaped flare in dark areas. Is my sample defective, or is this particular to this lens, or is this something that could happen with any other lens (flare)? I don't recall noticing this before with any other lens. I need to decide whether to return this lens or exchange it for another copy.
I uploaded 2 pictures. They are crops so that you can see the coma like flare. Let me know if I should upload the entire frame. Thank you for any comments.


Larry H-L

Mu-43 Regular
Looks to me to be the result of a back-lighted situation, a bit of sun could be clipping the front element, or, your filter if you have one on the lens.

You could test by shooting a similar scene, but shade the lens with a hat or hand. If the blue orb disappears, the lens is probably OK.


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Are you using a filter? or do you see a spot that looks iridescent on the surface of the lens itself (more-so than the entire surface)...? Are you using a lens hood?

I used to get a similar flare effect when I used Tiffen filters back in the film days. Tiffen filters are great for durability, but lousy for image quality.


New to Mu-43
No, there was no filter and no hood. I never use a filter for protection, and I almost never use filters, period, except for a polarizer on some rare occasions. I shot for years with a Canon EF 24 f/2.8, EF 35 f/2, EF 85 f/1.8, and kit lens since my film days, then for the last 2 years with a Sony NEX kit lens, 16 f/2.8, Sigma 30 f/2.8 and I was unhappy with those, so 2 months ago, I switched to Olympus and bought the 45 f/1.8, 12 f/2, and last week the 17 f/1.8 because of the $100 off promotion, basically duplicating my Canon EF set up. I normally use a hood with all my lenses, but haven't bought one for this lens (or the 12) yet. It's interesting that I don't recall ever seeing this on my pictures with any previous lens. The 12 f/2 doesn't seem to suffer from this.


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Was it wide opened? Like others mentioned, perhaps a back-lighting, try a hood or hand to cover or step down see what happens. Hopefully it's not the lens.

I too ordered the 17 1.8, $100 off promotion. I also ordered an after market hood. I have all hoods for my 12, 45 and coming 17.


Mu-43 All-Pro
It is an unusual looking flare. Exchange it if you can. Better safe than sorry, and we cant say for sure either way if there is an issue.


Mu-43 Veteran
My P14 does that in bright lights and its really annoying. These small lenses look dumb with hoods IMO. I have not seen this problem with my 17/1.8 yet.

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Mu-43 Veteran
Like otyhers already wrote, this is is normal flare from a light shining into the lens (in this case the sun). A good hood might help, but sometimes it is unavoidable. In those cases I resort to holding my hand up top shade a lens, right up to the point where my hand might be in frame). The fact that the contrast of your pictures is ok is a tribute to the flare resistance of that 17mm... With many lenses you not only get those weird lights from flare, but lose a lot of contrast as well.


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
You are dealing with a lot of vehicles in bright light. Lots of reflective surfaces/chrome. Most likely intense reflective light is finding its way into the "wrong" position and causing the flare you are seeing.


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Normal. Comes from shooting into the sun, which is usually to be avoided. Is it detrimental to the photo? I'd say no, in this case, mostly because the subjects are all shadowed against the harsh light, so the shot really isn't going for technical excellence, more like documentary/street. Optical perfection has never been a prerequisite for those sorts of genres. Shooting something that is not striaght into glaring light, preferably with a hood, shouldn't result in this flare.