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Topic Author
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2000 4:48 am

Vignetting Problem

Fri Sep 29, 2000 5:42 am

I have been photographing aircraft for about 12 years. Up until 4 months ago, I was using an old manual focus Canon AE-1. Recently, I purchased an EOS with a new autofocus zoom lens and circular polarizer. I have been experiencing a lot of problems with vignetting that have ruined otherwise perfect shots. The thing that confuses me is I can have two shots in sequence (same subject and light conditions) and one will have it while the other doesn't. I suspect that it has something to do with the polarizer, but I am not sure. Because of the pale sky that often occurs without the polarizer, I am not ready to give up using it if I don't have to. If anyone has any suggestions, I would appreciate the help.

I use a 80-300mm zoom lens, a circular polarizer, and Kodachrome 64 slide film.

Posts: 876
Joined: Thu May 25, 2000 3:08 pm

RE: Vignetting Problem

Fri Sep 29, 2000 8:50 am

I've got a solution for you! Come up here to Canada, and experience blue skies, without having the need for a polarizer to make the sky blue.  
I used a cheap $250US 28-300mm lense, and quite often I'd get the vignetting, which only seemed to appear on the right hand side of the slide... since then I have purchased a $1500US lense, and the vignetting is completely gone. Now, I'm not saying you need to buy the best lense, I'm just saying that the reason why I had vignetting on otherwise perfect shots is because of the lense, not the polarizer, camera, etc. It's only too bad I didn't have my new lense many moons ago.

However, while I had the cheap lense, I learned to adapt to it's level. While the lense was always slow (F4/5.6), I could usually manage to get little or no vignetting when I used F5.6 or F8, albeit I'd be shooting at slower speeds, so for me it was a constant uphill battle. Even if I managed to get a perfectly exposed shot, full-framed, etc, the edges were always a little blurry. My advice to you is save up for the better equipment, and you won't look back, I can reassure you of that.

Here is one of my worst shots, almost ruined by vignetting and lack of sharpness altogether.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Rob Rindt

A shot with the new lense :

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Rob Rindt

Hope this helps in some way.


What other people think of you is none of your business!
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Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Vignetting Problem

Fri Sep 29, 2000 4:55 pm

Does vignetting occur at all focal lengths? Are you using a lens hood?


Colin K. Work, Pixstel
Topic Author
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2000 4:48 am

RE: Vignetting Problem

Sat Sep 30, 2000 2:44 am

I apprecicate your help, Rob. I will give your suggestion a a try while saving up for a better lens.

Take care.

Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 1999 1:49 am

RE: Vignetting Problem

Sat Sep 30, 2000 5:32 am

Tpk: Don't run out and buy a $1500 lens just yet!! I have a similar Canon USM lens (not using a polariser though) and I haven't had a problem...

Are you using a lens hood?
Topic Author
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2000 4:48 am

RE: Vignetting Problem

Sat Sep 30, 2000 10:29 am

No, I am not using a lens hood or anything additional. The thing that I find unusual is that when I had the AE-1, the lens I had was not a particularly good one. I had assumed that the Canon lens that I bought for it would be at least as good.

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