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EOS Rebel SL3 Dark Circles on Photos




Happy Friday! I purchased an SL3 in 2019, but I haven't used it a lot, since I have mostly been home for the last couple of years. I have an issue with random shadow-looking dark rings appearing in my photos. My lenses are compatible with the camera and are all Canon EF or EF-S. I've search the forum but only found an issue with third party lenses that didn't look like this one. I'm attaching an example, and sometimes is much more prominent than this one. Is it a setting or anything I can fix? I'm hoping it's not a defective camera since it's out of warranty. Thank you. 



It looks like a hair or similar sitting loosely on the surface of the sensor.  Look in your manual (the advanced user guide which you may need to download from the Canon website) for manual sensor cleaning and follow the instructions to look carefully for anything stuck to/directly in front of the sensor.  NOTE!!!  Be sure to have a fully charged battery in the camera for this because you don't want to have the battery expiring and the mirror moving back into position.  Use a lens blower to remove anything sticking to the sensor.


EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

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i agree with rodger that it might be a hair or eyelash.  use a camera specific blower and not anything with compressed air can.


Rebel XT, 7D, 5Dm3, 5DmIV (current), EOS R, EOS R5 (current)

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"Thank you all very much! I'll get a lens blower and try to clean the sensor."

Not so fast!

I don't want to throw salt on the wound but I doubt you did correct the ring issue. Why, because it looks to be a  perfect circle. It would be an almost impossible coincidence if it was a random hair making a perfect circle. I hope it was for your sake.  I would take Rodger's advice and clean the sensor but have a pro do it for you. Rocket blowers are nice but they do not clean the sensor.

Did you say it happens with all your Canon brand lenses? Because a ring like that looks like a lens issue. If you have any lens correction or optimizer on, turn all that off. Perhaps a full reset to factory default of the SL3 is in order.

Does the ring move or is it in the same place every time?

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I had another small spot appear when I tried taking pictures today. I used the blower again, and a similar hair-looking image appeared in a different shape. I did manage to get it back out of view again but don't know how long it'll last. I appreciate your post too, so I knew to check it again. I have a vacation planned in a few days, so I'll try to get it professionally cleaned sometime after it. I think the cheap blower I bought is just moving  it around. It had great reviews, but you can't trust them anymore. Thanks again!

While you can't always remove everything, if it is moving around you should have good success by engaging manual sensor clean and performing the blowing while the lens opening is pointing down. Gravity is your friend. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

That's what I've been doing. I think I wasn't doing it aggressively enough at first, because it made me nervous. I sincerely appreciate everyone's advice. 


"Then it is a failing shutter."


I very much doubt that. I would put that in last place as a cause.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


"It had great reviews, but you can't trust them anymore."


And, that a fact, Susan.

Do you change lenses a lot? Do you leave the rear cap off your lenses or the camera lens opening uncovered a lot? If you do stop doing that.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I do change them often, but I try to be sure to replace the cap every time. We have multiple animals, so I'm thinking I held it up against my clothes uncovered while replacing it. Lesson learned. It's just odd that I had my first generation Rebel for many years and never had it happen. Thanks again. 

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