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How to fix lens flare in the studio

A common question we get here at our studio is how to fix lens flare created by studio lights.

Our first response, a reflexive one, is to use a lens hood. Often the photographer is stepping a bit too far forward on their set and their lens is catching the side of their main light. The light streaks across the front of the lens, causing lens flare.

But today's example is far worse, and pretty common here at our rental studio. Let's take a peek.

The photographer came into the office and showed me this image of his son:

 

 Yup, that is lens flare. I would call this is a level seven lens flare emergency.

Step One: Clean your lens.

In this case, the photographer's front lens element was... dirty. "Filthy" is another word, as would be "well handled". It had more finger prints and smears than the arts and crafts table at the Children's Museum.

I took a moment to clean it thoroughly with a bit of Eclipse cleaning fluid and a PEC pad.

In this next image you can see that we have...

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