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Author Topic: Reducing sun stars and lens flares at sunset  (Read 2946 times)
eyan
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« on: June 16, 2014, 07:13:38 PM »
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Hi all - I'm still a relative beginner, but learning quickly, so forgive me if this is an obvious one! Only been shooting a short while, but having lots of fun so far.

I went out this evening to capture the sunset (first time I've shot the sun directly), however when shooting straight into the sun, I was getting a little lens flare, but LOTS of sun star effect. Whilst this can be pleasing sometimes, in the shots I took it's far too much and kind of ruins the photo in my opinion.

The shots were taken on a Sony NEX-6, kit lens with circular polariser, bracketing 5 photos, all at F16, combined in photomatix and a little dabbling in lightroom to bring the colours out. The processing isn't the issue, as the flares are all over my raw files.

I've read that opening the aperture can reduce this, but I don't want to lose my depth of field?
Is the kit lens the issue (I know the one that comes with the NEX-6 isn't renowned as being amazing...)?
Is there some way in post processing to reduce this effect?

Any helpful tips would be much appreciated!
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Ed B
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 09:44:57 PM »
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The small aperture is what is doing this, opening up the lens is the only way I know to get around it. If you find you can't get high enough shutter speed, use a neutral density filter. Focus stacking will give you greater depth without the star effect. Google it for a tutorial. FWIW, I agree with you about sunstars, they ruin an image as far as I'm concerned.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2014, 12:29:53 AM »
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1. You don't need f/16, you can use a wider aperture plus hyperfocal focusing.

2. Wait a few seconds or minutes for sun to get lower and weaker and you won't have the flare.
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Slobodan

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wolfnowl
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2014, 12:47:35 AM »
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Don't do this: http://www.mattk.com/2014/06/13/qa-get-starburst-sunstar-effect-photos/

Mike.
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trevorjchapman
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2014, 07:31:20 AM »
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A technique I have used in the past is to take one photo with the sun in the frame...don't worry about the sun star or flares.  Take a second photo, at the same settings, but this time block out the sun with your hand.  In post you can blend the two together to eliminate the flares and stars.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2014, 03:07:51 PM »
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A technique I have used in the past is to take one photo with the sun in the frame...don't worry about the sun star or flares.  Take a second photo, at the same settings, but this time block out the sun with your hand.  In post you can blend the two together to eliminate the flares and stars.

This works very well and is a technique I use. It also helps remove the flare spots also. 

I tend to prefer the sun stars but the hand or finger block allows you to go either way.

Paul
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Paul Caldwell
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2014, 06:32:10 AM »
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I would also not use a PL filter. It is ineffective and worsens these effects.

Multi row stitching helps a lot also since you can shoot the upper row including the sun at a wider aperture minimizing these effects. Of course you need a lens keeping a very high levl of image quality at wider apertures.

Cheers,
Bernard
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