Lens flares

There was quite an interest few weeks ago when Shoot Blue decided to offer uncoated Samyang lenses for hire and they showed their lens test video. Coatings from the front and rear element were removed by Duclos lenses. As I did some lens flare tests for my self a few months ago I decided to shere the results with you.


This is my lens arsenal at the moment (I am waiting for another special lens, but I can’t tell you about it yet so come back later). Nikon 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.4, 17-55mm f/2.8, 80-200mm f/2.8 (all F mount); SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 (M mount); Sony 16mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8 (both E mount); MIR-I 2.8/37, Helios-44-2 2/58, TAIR-11A 2/135 (all M42 mount); Fujian TV LENS GDS-35 f=35mm 1:1.7 (C mount) and Samyang Mirror lens 500mm 1:6.3 DX (T mount).

All lenses were at their wides aperture and pointed to a 500W spot light that was about 4 meters away. I shot the tests on Sony NEX-FS700. The only colour correction I did on the footage is set the shadows and highlights to 0 and 100 IRE respectively.

2012-08-31 21:25:14

Older lenses have fewer coatings and are more prone to flare. Such are all M42 mount lenses and Nikon 50mm. HyperPrime also has a beautiful flare. Zooms obviously also flair more because of their more complicated design. Sony’s have the worst flares. Samyang mirror lens has very particular flare as is because of its special lens design. The most beautiful flare for me was from old russian MIR-I 2.8/37. Front convex element and poor coatings are perfect flare hunters. It is a copy of the Carl Zeiss Jenna Flektogon design and is’t build like a tank. It won the Grand Prix award at the Brussels World Fair in 1958. I don’t even know when and where I got the lens but you can find quite a few on ebay for cheap. It was originally made in M39 mount so be careful when buying. At the end I also did a test closing the aperture all the way and you can see that the flares almost disappear at f/16.

Option of using all those different mount lenses (M42, M mount, F mount, C mount, T mount) on Sony NEX-FS700 E mount camera is another proof of its versatility and it opens the door to all those old and inexpensive lenses with great organic characteristics. But be careful as there are also lots of rubbish out there.