Sony Admits the A7 and A7r Have a Light Leak Problem, Here’s a Temporary Fix


The relatively new Sony A7 and A7r are in the news again, only this time it’s not for a good reason. It seems a good number of users are experiencing light leak issues, so many that Sony has actually come out and officially admitted there is a problem and a fix is in the works.

The leaks, which become particularly apparent when shooting long exposures, seem to spring from the lens mount. The lenses aren’t sealing well enough, and as a result sample images posted to the Sony forums show an obvious ‘crescent leak’ that is particularly bad in the top right of the image.


The interesting news is that, unlike some companies in the past, Sony has readily admitted there is a problem. According to SAR, Sony responded to a user complaint by saying it “is aware of and acknowledges this light leak problem with the A7 and A7r” and that its engineering department “is currently researching a solution.”

Sony will be sure to let you know just as soon as that solution comes up, but if you’re doing long exposure photography with the A7 or A7r, there are a few DIY fixes suggested by users that should tide you over.

The obvious fix is to put gaffer’s tape around the mount, but photographer Ferrell McCollough had something easier in mind. He used hair ties instead. Just pick yourself up some black hair ties at WalMart (preferably without the metal connector) and place them around the lens mount.

The sample before and after images on McCollough’s blog show this one working pretty well, and there’s no tape involved.

(via sonyalpharumors)

  • superduckz

    Hey Nikon! Did you see how Sony did that?

    They admitted to having a design flaw and are working on making it right for their customers (all the while keeping communication open) instead of ignoring it and hoping it would just go away.

    What a crazy customer service policy!! You should try it sometime.

  • Eric Saffron

    Granted Sony makes more than just cameras. One could assume they want to do right by their camera customers so that the overall brand reputation stays safe. Even funnier is that Sony doesn’t even tap the (what some would argue) pro market like Canon and Nikon. I’m an Olympus guy myself (gotta love the OMD-EM series). Though no one will ever let Nikon forget its folly with the D600 and D610.

  • The_Nexus

    I own a D600 (haven’t sent it in yet since I have never experienced the “splatter on the shutter” issue – but I *will* send it in….) and even though I’ve shot Nikon for the last 7-8 years (since moving from Canon) I don’t think people should let Nikon forget about that fiasco.

    They (Nikon) had an opportunity to fix/correct things up front. Most people are willing to “forgive” these sorts of problems/discretions/manufacturing faults IF they are handled properly from the beginning. Not owning up to the issue, avoiding the issue, deflecting blame etc. does nothing to help your brand and can make your current customers feel like they’re being patronized rather than being treated like intelligent consumers.

    Good on Sony for doing the right thing (it appears… so far). Hopefully everything will work out for the best in this case.

  • Sky

    “He used hair ties instead” – How about socks?

    Sony A7: Fixed with socks.

  • Tobias W.

    And this is why I refrain from buying anything expensive that hasn’t been on the market for at least a year.

  • Adam Correia

    Looks like the brand new Fuji X-T1 also has a light leak problem.

  • Alan Klughammer

    I get the Nikon bashing here (I own a D600 that Nikon has fixed) but a light leak? that seems much more like a basic engineering mistake than an over-lubricated shutter.

  • SeoulFood

    Sony learned a lot from the PS3 network hack a couple years ago.

  • jgarcia9211

    I am so glad there is a fix. I can now shoot photos with 30sec exposure at 25600 iso within 3 inches of an incandescent bulb. My world has been saved.

  • greenarcher02

    Sony always had the better customer service, even with their laptops when the Vaio brand was still alive, and their Xperia line as well.

  • Colin Peddle

    To be fair to them, Nikon did have a light leak on their 24-70 and did address it.

    It just took them a while… :-D

  • Russian Photographer

    And that is why Canon is number One.

  • sean lancaster

    Sony taps the “pro” market plenty as their sensors are the best in the world. Look inside the Nikon D800/E and D610 and you’ll find a Sony sensor. Look at the upcoming medium format Hasselblad H5D-50C and you’ll again find a Sony sensor (along with a few other medium format cameras coming out this year also with the same Sony sensor).

    The Sony A7R is a landscape camera that rivals anything on the market.

  • joshsouzaphotos

    No consumer should let companies have a pass because of their silly brand loyalty. I have an A7, and though I haven’t had a chance to notice light leak yet (too damn cold for long exposures right now) I’ll likely seek out whatever remedy they have when they figure that out.

  • lallo

    everything? try a fuji xt1 you fool ;-)

  • lallo

    yeah they repair those overpriced toys! and fuji is fast biting their head

  • Eric Saffron

    I meant mostly with regards to their actual camera sales, not sensors in other manufacturer’s cameras. I won’t deny that some of the best cameras have Sony sensors.

  • sean lancaster

    The Fuji XT1 is a very nice camera. Even this “fool” considered it. But it’s not going to compete with the A7R for landscape, which is what I specifically noted about the A7R. If a person wanted faster AF then sure, the XT1 would be preferable over the A7R in many situations if the person was happy with an APS-C sensor.

  • sean lancaster

    I bought an A7 a few weeks ago as well. I tested for light leak yesterday. My first attempt demonstrated light leak. I then covered the end of the lens with a leather glove and tried again. No light leak at all. So, I get light leak through my lens cap, but I can’t imagine ever needing to shoot a photo with my lens cap on again. ;~)

  • sean lancaster

    If they decide there is an issue, then they’d likely have to recall and replace the lens mount on the camera. That’s likely much cheaper than replacing the D600 shutter mechanism. In fact, rather than just fix the D600, Nikon elected to create the D610 and tried to ignore the issue until class action lawsuits started cropping up. For what it’s worth, When I went full frame, I decided on the D600. It arrived with a bunch of spots on the sensor and I sent it back days later and bought a Canon 6D (last May). I really wanted the D600 to work, but I didn’t want to deal with Nikon trying to resolve it. I am glad they’re finally going to address it, though.

  • TSY87

    just wait till lens cap photography takes off!!!

  • byoung328

    You do realize that Fuji doesn’t have a plant to make sensors, and that the XT1 either has a Sony or Toshiba sensor in it? The older one used a Sony sensor with an improved processing engine.

  • Omar Salgado

    Fanboyism? “And I say: No, no, no!”

  • Zos Xavius

    for people doing ultra long exposures in daylight (with ND filters,etc) this is actually a real problem.

  • Alan Klughammer

    My point is that designing a light tight lens mount is pretty simple. Just have a tongue and groove or something to block the light (depending where the light is coming from. A permanent repair may not be so simple. A gasket or glue may break down in time and your problem is back.
    The engineers should have realized the potential problem in the design phase. That they did not is more worrying than having an assembly line screw up IMHO.

  • StonehamMel

    I’m not so sure Sony has admitted to the light leak. The SAR posting attributed it to something an unnamed Sony tech rep supposedly said to a customer named “Bart.” That sounds more to me like something a tech MIGHT have said to get someone off the phone- far from an official Sony admission of a problem. I tested my A7 for 20 seconds with a lightproof bag over all but the mount of my kit lens. With ISO set to 25,600, I tried to induce a leak by rocking the lens in all 4 axes, out in the bright sunlight bouncing off the snow in my yard. Nada.

    Like the old game of “telephone,” this SAR claim bounced around, supported by trolls and “dump the hump” advocates who restart new threads as soon as one maxes out.

  • Kirk Bruner

    I’ve been using a-mount cameras since the Minolta Maxxum days with never any kind of problem. I just wish Sony hadn’t bailed out on DSLRs. The last DSLR they made was the a580, a 16mp camera, albeit one with one of the best aps-c sensors in the business. Why in the world they didn’t update the a900 I’ll never understand. I’m just kind of unsure about SLT technology, ever since seeing Kurt Munger’s SLT site page regarding CA when compared to DSLRs with the exact same copy of the exact same lens. To jump ship, I’d have to deal with selling all my Minolta glass and a world of stuff. I’m not getting much in the way of reassurance from SLT users with regard to the fringing problem, since none I’ve heard from have seen Munger’s article. The a7 models are too small, and once an adapter is fitted to accommodate a Maxxum lens, they become big all over again-and with more things to go wrong. I’d LIKE to think that the a99 is the go-to camera, but has anyone here had any experience with the CA issue on an a99?