Purple Lens Flare Problem Occurs Because You’re Holding Your iPhone 5 Wrong, Apple Says

Purple Lens Flare Problem Occurs Because You’re Holding Your iPhone 5 Wrong, Apple Says

Last week a number of people noticed that the lens flare on their iPhone 5 is really purple. When you have an off-screen light source the iPhone 5’s lens turns the light into a purplish hue, rather than the bright white color the light would be when it’s on-screen. All lenses have lens flare, and sometimes it’s purple, but the iPhone 5’s seemed to be more pronounced that others.

Apple support has officially responded to the purple lens flare issue and said that it’s totally normal, you’re just holding your iPhone wrong.

A Gizmodo reader has been talking to Apple support and received this answer from Apple Support:

“Dear Matt,

Our engineering team just gave me this information and we recommend that you angle the camera away from the bright light source when taking pictures. The purple flare in the image provided is considered normal behavior for iPhone 5’s camera. If you wish to reach me regarding this case number *********, please contact me at 1-877-***-**** ext. *******. I currently work Thursday-Monday: 7:00am – 3:30pm Mountain Time. If you reach my voicemail, please leave your name, phone number, case number and the best time to reach you. Email is (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address).

Sincerely,
Debby
AppleCare Support “

So there you have it. The iPhone 5 lens is just a little bit worse about lens flare than previous versions and distorts light into a purplish hue at certain angles, like some people initially explained.

  • James N Kristal Padilla

    That purple lens flare is actually a feature…because you need more purple. Apple please tell us more about what we’re doing wrong.

  • Tony Mitchell

    here is a thought: Quit taking pictures of the sun…….. Quality control or not common sense plays a role as well

  • Daniel Muñoz

    This isn’t an iPhone 5 problem, I’ve seen this problem in my iPhone 4S. My brother’s 4S has the same issue too.

  • Daniel Muñoz

    This isn’t an iPhone 5 problem, I’ve seen this problem in my iPhone 4S. My brother’s 4S has the same issue too.

  • robert_walter

    W O W. I can’t believe all the quality control issues with this iteration of the iPhone. It’s alarming.

    I was thinking the same thing… Not really sure that it is production QC issue, however, but rather a problem with design, specification and prove out testing affecting s/w (maps) and h/w (lens & external coatings)…

  • ElVox

    Hadn’t this already been debunked?

    http://thenextweb.com/apple/2012/09/26/the-iphone-5s-camera-suffering-purple-haze-flaw-not-fast/

    There’s no such thing as a “bug” on the camera, it’s normal…which means that if you don’t want purple haze on your pics you should, indeed, point it somewhere else.

  • JohnWilson

    Yeah, Buster I don’t understand your articles. Taking from Gizmodo whole cloth without explaining that 1) they tend to be full of it; and 2) the purple hue is entirely normal lens flare and happens on dedicated cameras that cost far more than an iPhone, is ridiculous on your part.

  • Atienne

    “You’re holding it wrong…” LOL Where have we heard it before….. hahahahahahaha

    Tim is channelling Steve.

  • Atienne

    That purple lens flare is actually a feature…because you need more purple. Apple please tell us more about what we’re doing wrong.

    Apple is a Vikings fan…. Purple Pride Baby… Purple Pride. :-)

    That purple lens flare is actually a feature…because you need more purple. Apple please tell us more about what we’re doing wrong.

  • RadTech5000

    I also noticed the purple lens flare and I’m not happy about it, but not nearly unhappy enough to ever convert over to a horrible copying company like Samsung and their Droid operated Galaxy junk phone. Nothing is ever perfect there’s going to be flaws everything just pick your poison and stop trying to convert other people to your beliefs.

  • easydone101

    Oh god not again

  • Cgs101

    totally “non-issue” I say

  • SkolVikes88

    SKØL!!!!

    That purple lens flare is actually a feature…because you need more purple. Apple please tell us more about what we’re doing wrong.

    Apple is a Vikings fan…. Purple Pride Baby… Purple Pride. :-)

    That purple lens flare is actually a feature…because you need more purple. Apple please tell us more about what we’re doing wrong.

  • dick_richie

    Isn’t it Photography 101 Day 1 that teaches us to not shoot with the light source in front of us? To not shoot directly into the sun and to make sure the subject is lit from behind or the side? How is this even news?!?!?

  • Dan Miller

    So Apple can take iPhone 5 photos of bright scenes but it’s customers can’t? Maybe that pano shot of San Fran at the keynote was not from an iPhone 5.

  • Shaun Green

    “You’re holding it wrong…” LOL Where have we heard it before….. hahahahahahaha

    Tim is channelling Steve.

    LMAO

  • Bryan Dobson

    Isn’t it Photography 101 Day 1 that teaches us to not shoot with the light source in front of us? To not shoot directly into the sun and to make sure the subject is lit from behind or the side? How is this even news?!?!?

    Not sure if you’ve been paying attention. Yes, this is typical of cameras but why is it so much worse with the 5 in comparison to the 4 or 4S?

  • DdeviTo_3
    W O W. I can’t believe all the quality control issues with this iteration of the iPhone. It’s alarming.

    @ddevito troll keeps getting banned, and THIS is your best effort? Dumb fandroid. Another ban coming your way.

    Please don’t judge us android users on this persons behavior. He’s obviously a sick person.

  • Takeo Apitzsch
    If you want to see real innovation and progress, watch the video below.
    Please watch until the end, Apple-faithful or not, you will have to admit that this is absolutely amazing.
    True multitasking! Picture in picture, … WOW!
    All hail SAMSUNG — the new leaders in technology!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOX3HYDwTCY

    I laughed a little. You can’t honestly be thinking that this is good?

  • DdeviTo_3

    W O W. I can’t believe all the quality control issues with this iteration of the iPhone. It’s alarming.

    Not sure what you’re talking about. Used my friends iPhone 5 this weekend and I’m afraid to say, it put my galaxy s to shame. But any photographer knows that when shooting at the sun, you’ll always get lens flare. Purples a new one. I’m in two minds about switch over and getting myself one now.

  • DdeviTo_3

    If you want to see real innovation and progress, watch the video below.
    Please watch until the end, Apple-faithful or not, you will have to admit that this is absolutely amazing.
    True multitasking! Picture in picture, … WOW!
    All hail SAMSUNG — the new leaders in technology!

    You’re not doing our android community any favors by acting like this. I’m a bit of a fandroid, but you make us look like children with dumb stuff like this. Grow up.

  • RaptorOO7

    Didn’t we hear Apple say the same thing two years ago “You are holding it wrong”, yeah it was a real problem then and its a real problem now. What did Apple do to the camera to cause this issue, it was present in the iP4 or iP4S both of which I owned.

  • Stephen Daugherty

    I eliminated the problem in one example photo by using the magic wand to select the flare, and applying a colorized hue saturation adjustment layer. I wouldn’t be surprised if you can fix this in regular consumer software or in an iOS update the way you fix a red eye.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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