Sony A7 and A7R Red Dot Flare Issue

Just as I have suspected, the Sony A7 and A7R cameras are not immune to the Red Dot Flare issue, thanks to the short flange distance. The effect of the red dot flare can be significantly reduced if the rear lens element has non-reflective coating applied to it. In the case of the two below, the Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 ZA handles flare a little better due to its optical design, but the red dots are still all over the place. Both shot at f/16, pointing directly at the sun.

Sony A7 and 28-70mm Red Dot Flare

ILCE-7 + FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS @ 28mm, ISO 100, 1/60, f/16.0

Sony A7R and 35mm f/2.8 ZA Red Dot Flare

ILCE-7R + FE 35mm F2.8 ZA @ 35mm, ISO 100, 1/60, f/16.0

Just remember to keep this in mind when shooting against the sun with the Sony A7/A7R. At larger apertures like f/5.6-f/11, the red dots are much larger in size and less noticeable to see in images.


  1. December 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Nasim, hope to see your review of these cameras soon. Personally I’d like to pull the trigger on one of these to replace my nex-5n; would like to hear ur thoughts before doing so.


  2. 2) Mark
    December 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    How will the new group of lenses for these a7/a7r cameras preform on my NEX6 ???? Thank you

  3. 3) whisky
    December 26, 2013 at 7:06 am

    measles flare. it’s not a bug, but a feature. :)

  4. 4) lensanity
    December 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Similar to the Nikon D600 dust issue. Sony should recall their A7

  5. 5) Joohan
    December 29, 2013 at 12:05 am

    I’m afraid I don’t know what to look for. What red dots? The photos look beautiful. Could you pinpoint the problem?

  6. 6) JamesV
    December 31, 2013 at 3:43 am

    Seems to be a common problem among the new crop of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. Great pity because a lot of the pics I would take with one are going to be sunrise and sunset landscapes. These will often be shot with small apertures for the depth of field requirement and also for the starburst effect on light sources like the sun.

    Shooting with wider aperture does not stop the problem, it just makes the spots bigger and more diffuse, due to even more internal reflection – an effect that will rob clarity and contrast.

    Agree that decent anti-reflection coatings on the rear element should help. Do the sensors have any type of anti-reflective coating, because the light bouncing back off the rear element can only be coming from the sensor?

    Since this phenomenon originates with reflections, is there any chance a polariser could be used to reduce it? Obviously, pointing straight into the sun, it won’t give the normal polarising filter effect but by polarising the incoming light, it would surely affect the intensity of subsequent internal reflections?

  7. 7) alun g
    January 19, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Going off the beaten track a little, but I cannot make up my mind whether to purchase a Sony A7 or a Canon 70D. I have held both cameras in hand and they are different animals. On the one hand the A7 is full frame and small in build and lightweight and the 70D is is not full frame, large and heavyweight. I am fully aware of both camera specifications and to be honest I know I would be happy with Either. I shoot a Canon 30D at present, so I would be able to use my lenses on the 70D with no problem and at no extra cost. While the shortage of lenses for the A7 concerns me, especially the lenses on the horizon will be fairly expensive. To make my choice a little more difficult, I asked for advice in two different shops where one technical sales person advised me to purchase the Sony and the other technical sales person advised me to purchase the Canon. I am swinging towards Sony 60% and Canon 40%. I would use the camera for 65% still photo and 35% for video. I must confess the 7A excites me more than the 70D. Any advice on the subject would be welcome, thank you. Kind regards

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