Apple support document addresses iPhone 5 'purple haze'

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2014
Apple has publicly explained an issue that can result in a purple "haze" or flare that users have discovered can show up in pictures taken with the new iPhone 5.

The official support document posted on Apple's site is entitled "iPhone: Camera image effects." It notes that users may sometimes see "a purplish or other colored flare, haze, or spot" in an image with an "out-of-scene bright light."

"Most small cameras, including those in every generation of iPhone, may exhibit some form of flare at the edge of the frame when capturing an image with out-of-scene light sources," the offered resolution states. "This can happen when a light source is positioned at an angle (usually just outside the field of view) so that it causes a reflection off the surfaces inside the camera module and onto the camera sensor.

"Moving the camera slightly to change the position at which the bright light is entering the lens, or shielding the lens with your hand, should minimize or eliminate the effect."

Purple Flare
Purple flare around sun. | Source: weaksauce12 via Twitter


Days after the iPhone 5 was released, the so-called "purple haze" issue was noted by users online. While some speculated it could be related to a defect with the phone, further investigation revealed the problem is common with many modern digital cameras, especially miniaturized devices.

At issue is a lens array's refractive index which numerically represents the manner in which light, or more specifically wavelengths of light, moves through the optics system. Ideally, a lens will focus all colors, or wavelengths, at a single point on the focal plane, thus creating a near-perfect replication of an image. In practice, however, lenses don't allow for wavelengths to meet at a convergence point, creating what is called chromatic aberration.

Due to a number of factors, including reference tuning, architecture of digital sensors and relatively short focal lengths in smaller camera systems, chromatic aberration usually presents itself in shorter wavelengths like violet.

High-end lenses can be adjusted to deal with axial chromatic aberrations, those that cause color fringing, and are called apochromatic lenses, though these types of systems are costly and bulky as additional glass elements are added to the array. Another form of compensating for the distortion are aspherical lenses that are specially designed to reform light to achieve more accurate focus. These elements are also costly, however, as a multitude of steps are needed to manufacture the glass.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 118
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,461member
    Oh boy, how is this explanation going to assuage the outraged crowd? Not much I'm afraid. It will only fuel their anger and rage. Their veins will pop out more and turn a brighter purple hue to match their defective pictures. Some might even end it all I'm afraid.
  • Reply 2 of 118
    It's just lens flare, every lens will produce it under various conditions ( like pointing into the sun). Every good lens has coating, nikon, canon etc. this is no different.
    Geesh not everything is a scandal. Oh the black iPhone get warmer in the sun than the white version.... Ya just like a car.

    Now apple is paranoid & feels it has to defend every comment even a non issue.

    If its an issue, or other things tick you off about the iPhone..... simply just don't get one..
  • Reply 3 of 118
    Wait... are you saying my iPhone 5 isn't a professional DSLR with a 30,000 dollar lens? I want my money back!

    Or, I suppose, I could take fewer pictures of the sun.

    Interesting article, though.
  • Reply 4 of 118
    Yes lkrupp. At at minimum a few brain aneurysms will blow. Why doesn't Apple come up with an ultra low sensitivity sensor, so that users can point their iPhones directly at the sun or super novas and not suffer the heart break of purple fringe. Mind you normal shots of family and friends will be completely black but I think that is a small price to pay for that perfect picture of an arc welder working.
  • Reply 5 of 118
    Mapgate, Scuffgate, now jimihendrixgate.

    Can't wait for whatsontapfornextweek'sgate. That'll tide us through until it's time for a whole new bunch of iPad Mini gates.
  • Reply 6 of 118
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    bigalmac wrote: »
    It's just lens flare, every lens will produce it under various conditions ( like pointing into the sun). Every good lens has coating, nikon, canon etc. this is no different.
    Geesh not everything is a scandal. Oh the black iPhone get warmer in the sun than the white version.... Ya just like a car.
    Now apple is paranoid & feels it has to defend every comment even a non issue.
    If its an issue, or other things tick you off about the iPhone..... simply just don't get one..

    All this happened because Gizmodo (I think it is) show this compared with iPhone 4 and another camera and both didn't show this "purple" issue but iPhone 5. They don't tell you though that: 1. They never shoot them at the exact same angle. 2. All the lens they tested didn't even have the same focal length. And 3. This kind of aberration can go away even with a slight change of angle (the glare not but the purple tint will). People who see the comparison then freaked out thinking not only iPhone 5 alone produces this but you will get purple tint every time you shoot at the sun. Both are false. I don't know all of this was because of Gizmodo's lack of expertise in this field or their lack of honesty.
  • Reply 7 of 118
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    The whole purple haze thing is a total non-issue. It is obviously just a Google conspiracy to drum up bad publicity for Apple. 
  • Reply 8 of 118
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bigalmac View Post





    Now apple is paranoid & feels it has to defend every comment even a non issue.

     


     


     


    The industry at large is in a state of panic. 


     


    Apple's got all the mindshare, and has got everyone counting their legal chickens. Competitors worried about who will be *next* to get dragged into court kicking and screaming. Because the competition was lazy and stupid at the worst possible time, having also engaged in theft of intellectual property in order to attempt to make up for their deficit in innovation.


     


    The industry at large is paying the price for their collective laziness. To the degree that every "natural event" must be spun artificially by the industry and pundits outside of Apple into an Apple-centric problem.


     


    Of course, it's not going to work. 

  • Reply 9 of 118
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member


    Some people don't need an iPhone, they need a brain transplant.


     


    Apple is basically saying what I said last week, but in a more polite way.


     


    The fact is that whichever retard took that photo, did so deliberately, in order to get the glare.


     


    Just move your iPhone a half an inch and it will disappear, you retard. This is not a phenomenon that is unique to the iPhone.


     


    Go buy a $10,000 camera, if you can afford it, and point it at the sun or a lightbulb and see what happens, you pathetic idiot.


     


    Apple haters have got to be some of the stupidest people ever to exist on this planet.

  • Reply 10 of 118
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    Still no apology for Android-gate, ie the series of crappy Android devices I got at work that weren't worth turning on.
  • Reply 11 of 118
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Mapgate, Scuffgate, now jimihendrixgate.

    Can't wait for whatsontapfornextweek'sgate. That'll tide us through until it's time for a whole new bunch of iPad Mini gates.

    My iPhone is actin' funny and I don't know why
  • Reply 12 of 118
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by quinney View Post

    My iPhone is actin' funny and I don't know why


     


    'SCUSE ME, WHILE I SUE THESE GUYS!


     


    *bow-now-now, class-actION, class-actION*

  • Reply 13 of 118
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member


    AI staff writer,


    You should write much less when you don't know what you are talking about.


    This is not an example of the (axial OR transverse) chromatic aberration you reference. If you look at the hands of the sculpture in this image, you will see an example of the "purple fringing" resulting from chromatic aberration. It is nothing like what people are complaining about with the iP5:


    http://www.tutorial9.net/tutorials/photography-tutorials/correcting-and-preventing-chromatic-aberration/#1


     


    The image used in this AI story is clearly an example of lens flair. The iP5 lens is in no way shielded from off axis light. Clearly light is reflecting off surfaces and lens elements in the lens, causing this purple flair. I had a chance to play with an iP5 yesterday and I can say the camera is quite nice. There is no glaring CA issue with the lens. The lens flair in this image is very pronounced and results from a lack of flair shielding. Why? Mainly because of a design decision to sacrifice flair for a very compact camera depth. There may also have been a lack of attention paid to minimizing reflections off of areas in and around the lens barrel and internal parts of the lens and camera.


     


    This problem arises from deliberate design compromises (which always must be made) and and probably some poor attention to the design as well. That said, I found the camera quite nice and was not able to induce the fault easily indoors. Under certain common lighting conditions though, other similar cameras would perform much better.  And this problem on the iPhone could probably have been minimized greatly with a bit more attention to some details. In the mean time, some third party can probably make a buck selling a small lens shield for the camera. And frankly, it's still a great camera that produces excellent images most of the time (even without shielding.)


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    Purple Flare

    Purple flare around sun. | Source: weaksauce12 via Twitter




    . . .  further investigation revealed the problem is common with many modern digital cameras, especially miniaturized devices.

    At issue is a lens array's refractive index which numerically represents the manner in which light, or more specifically wavelengths of light, moves through the optics system. Ideally, a lens will focus all colors, or wavelengths, at a single point on the focal plane, thus creating a near-perfect replication of an image. In practice, however, lenses don't allow for wavelengths to meet at a convergence point, creating what is called chromatic aberration.




    Due to a number of factors, including reference tuning, architecture of digital sensors and relatively short focal lengths in smaller camera systems, chromatic aberration usually presents itself in shorter wavelengths like violet.




    High-end lenses can be adjusted to deal with axial chromatic aberrations, those that cause color fringing, and are called apochromatic lenses, though these types of systems are costly and bulky as additional glass elements are added to the array. Another form of compensating for the distortion are aspherical lenses that are specially designed to reform light to achieve more accurate focus. These elements are also costly, however, as a multitude of steps are needed to manufacture the glass.


  • Reply 14 of 118
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Apple II wrote: »
    Just move your iPhone a half an inch and it will disappear, you retard.

    Inches aren't a measure of angles. Should you be calling people retards when you can't get that critical detail correct yourself?

    desuserign wrote: »
    The image used in this AI story is clearly an example of lens flair. The iP5 lens is in no way shielded from off axis light. Clearly light is reflecting off surfaces and lens elements in the lens, causing this purple flair. I had a chance to play with an iP5 yesterday and I can say the camera is quite nice. There is no glaring CA issue with the lens. The lens flair in this image is very pronounced and results from a lack of flair shielding. Why? Mainly because of a design decision to sacrifice flair for a very compact camera depth.

    Flare.
  • Reply 15 of 118
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member


    What do people exact from Apple?  This is a secondary feature.  Go buy a real SLR if you want to filter out the light in a sun shot.  

  • Reply 16 of 118
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post



    Flare.


     


    Yeah I realized I miss-spelled it after I posted, but as a terminally poor speller, I decided not to correct it. :)

  • Reply 17 of 118
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post





    Inches aren't a measure of angles. 

     


     


    I never wrote or claimed that angles were measured in inches. 

  • Reply 18 of 118
    normmnormm Posts: 637member
    The article contradicts itself. The Apple source cited, and others I've seen, say the problem is lens flare, which is an issue caused by reflections in the lens system. But after quoting Apple on this, the AI article says it's chromatic aberration, as if it were agreeing with Apple. Chromatic abberation is a completely different thing, that involves refraction, not reflection.
  • Reply 19 of 118
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    normm wrote: »
    The article contradicts itself. The Apple source cited, and others I've seen, say the problem is lens flare, which is an issue caused by reflections in the lens system. But after quoting Apple on this, the AI article says it's chromatic aberration, as if it were agreeing with Apple. Chromatic abberation is a completely different thing, that involves refraction, not reflection.

    Really? Sounds to me like people tried to splitting hair here. Look at the photo, delete the flare (suppose no sun there) what will you get with the black leaves and white sky? Oh, Chromatic aberration around the edge of the leaves. Now put in the sun, we have the flare and this aberration is amplified by the much higher contrast so the tint is much more pronounced and mixed with the flare but we can't call this change in color (from black leaves and white sky to purple) Chromatic aberration? Please...
    You can shoot directly at the sun with no tint. Even iPhone 5 can. The appearance of the tint is what it's called CA. I'm glad I'm not academic person so I don't have to splitting hair in real life.
  • Reply 20 of 118
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Apple II wrote: »
    I never wrote or claimed that angles were measured in inches. 

    Then I don't believe you understand what you're talking about. To alleviate the problem, you need to change the angle (orientation), not position.
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