I can’t remember exactly when it happened, but one day a few months ago I noticed there was a big dark spot in the middle of the photos I took on my iPhone 5. It was one of those things you didn’t really notice in a photo with a lot of ‘stuff’ it in (trees, buildings, traffic, etc.), but if you pointed the camera at something with a single color it became glaring. This photo is what shows up if I take a shot of a beige wall. If this was a picture of just my face, the spot would have been the size of my nose.
It was easy to see this if I took a picture of a gorgeous blue sky, closeup of a face, or most any other photo with a singular color in the middle. I could see it while using the camera, and it looked identical on the final photos. My lens appeared clean and the dark spot never moved. It actually seemed to be getting bigger over the course of a few months.
Searching on the web revealed a number of similar issues. Most people felt it was a buildup of something on the inside of the lens – using common sense one could easily agree with that. Some people suggested thunking the iPhone against a flat surface to shake it loose, and others were rather drastic such as taking your iPhone apart to clean it out. No way would I try that!
The nearest Apple Store is about an hour away and I didn’t want to drive there for this – at least not quite yet. I was using Touch Retouch to remove the dark spot in some of my sky shots and that was good enough for the moment. Luckily I was heading up to Boston for a science teacher conference the other day and my hotel was near the Apple Store on Boylston Street. I stopped in and they replaced my iPhone 5. I asked how common the problem was and as I would expect they said they’d seen it ‘once or twice’ and didn’t think it was a big concern. My iPhone 5 is about 1.5 years old but I had the extended warranty, so the replacement was free.
How common is the problem? Hard to say, but I’m glad I got a replacement iPhone. The dark spot is gone and the sky seems flawlessly blue.