iPhone 5 or earlier Dark spot on all pictures taken with rear camera on iPhone 5

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Maverick1337, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. Maverick1337 macrumors 65816


    Nov 4, 2008
    I just noticed I have a dark spot on all my photos and I tried to clean the lense but it is still there. I have a genius appointment but I don't want a refurb phone but a new one. I bought it at AT&T though and they told me I would have to pay a restocking fee if I returned it. Can I take it to apple to get a brand new one without paying a restocking fee?

    Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    The phone came out a week ago, there are no refurb units.
  3. marco1313 macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2012
    Having the same issue...dark spot appears centered at the bottom of every image, and can be seen on the screen in the camera app.

    Did the geniuses solve your issue?
  4. chaskinsnc macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2011
    I just noticed the issue today. Heading to the Apple Store this evening. Anyone have luck correcting?
  5. danielxute macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2011
    Had this on my 4s. Went to the apple store and they tried everything. Cleaned the lense, changed the back plate, changed the camera, restored my phone and it still came up. So they just switched my phone out.
  6. AbblePC macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2009
    Well? What's the outcome?

    I find it annoying for two reasons, one that people make posts and never return back to post the results or what they do to fix something and two, that I also have this black spot on the iPhone 5 back camera lense.

    I just noticed it today Thanksgiving day 2012 and its almost dead center of all photos and shows constantly when in the camera app preparing to take a photo.

    It looks almost like a dark blurry smudge, which I cleaned the lense with a soft q-tip and looked as closely as possible using a flashlight and can not see any mark or defect through the lense cover or down in the lense.

    I'm calling Apple tomorrow to discuss exchange and thusly will probably be making the 3 hour drive to the Lancaster Park City Mall, which is the closest store to me other than Pittsburgh, Pa.

    I will be highly annoyed, even angry if I have to accept a refurbished unit. Only because I recently swapped out my iPad 3rd gen due to a screen rotation issue and they couldn't resolve it and exchanged the unit for me while in store.

    I didn't notice right then but after I got home I saw a nick, actually felt it with my fingernail which made me notice it, down the right edge of the iPads outter bezel. Now it just annoys me to think besides the rotation screen issue, that my original 3rd gen iPad had no dings, scratches or otherwise.

    Hopefully with all the stories I've seen on iPhone 5 stock limitations for the 2012 holidays, I will get a new phone and not some one else's old hat.

    It's these kinds of things that make me feel somewhat reluctant to even call for service in the first place. If I had a local Apple store it wouldn't be a big deal, but taking a day to travel there and back not counting time in store is just aggravating . I won't mind near as much if I get a new device.

    Other than those pet peeves, I'm very happy wih all my iOS devices and have owned every model of both iPhone & iPad since the beginning.

    As far as my guess as to what made the black blotch on the camera lense, it's as though it looks like some sort of residue as if bacteria grew inside the lense.
    This phone had never been in or used near damp conditions nor has it ever been dropped let alone been laid onto any damp surface. It's always in my belt holster as I use a Bluetooth headset with it.

    Simply pit I've used all my iOS devices with kit gloves compared to what I see others do with their devices. Hence my confusion when I see something magically appear like this for no good reason or explanation.

    Ill be back shortly to explain the outcome or if I find the underlying reason behind this blemish in an otherwise new, clean and protected phone.
  7. Taustin Powers macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2005
    Well, so much for that... ;)

    I just discovered I have the same problem. Can it be fixed?
  8. Jalopybox macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2012
    Can it be fixed? Yeah, you take your phone to an Apple store and they give you another one. :confused:
  9. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    There are three possibilities for such blotches from a digital camera:


    Software is not the problem, few people have it, and we all have the same software. Lens, presumably you cleaned it. That leaves a bad sensor, internal dirt issues, or a cracked lens, any of which require phone replacement.
  10. vtran macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2009
    I had the same problem as described so I took it to the Genius Bar and got a replacement. However, like everyone says beware that any replacement might have damages to the device so be sure you check the phone before you leave. I had to get 3 swaps before I got a good one. The first had a lot of scuffs then the second had adhesive or something on the glass of the camera so they gave me one more replacement and it was fine. They told me all the units are "new" but they told me the 3rd one I would be getting is the last swap they would do because they have "limited quantities" so if the 3rd one had any scratches or something was wrong then I would have to keep it as is.
  11. LostMyiPhone macrumors 6502

    Dec 19, 2012
    This is ************ IMO. I don't care HOW many times they have to "swap" it out... I'm not paying nearly $1000 for something in a condition less-than-advertised. Sorry... this is an unacceptable answer IMO.
  12. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Mine has a speck of something in the camera that pretty much ruins every shot, but there's no way I'm swapping it for another one at the store. There's nothing else wrong with it, and I have zero faith I would get a "perfect" one.

    I'll do the repair myself: http://www.ifixit.com/Device/iPhone_5

    A new rear camera is $40, the tools to do the replacement cost about $30, and the step-by-step guide is free. I'd rather do that then play the Apple lottery all over again.
  13. vtran macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2009
    Yeah I had that mindset as well. I was extremely upset when the Genius told me that because it does not make sense. My phone before swapping was completely fine but the only flaw is when it was lighter background there would be a dark circle in each picture. Why should I take a "new" replacement phone with scratches or clear visible damage when my original phone was fine? It just wow'd me when I was there.. I have never had to play this exchange game until the iPhone 5. Not to say iPhone 5 is a bad phone but I swear the excuses sometimes at the Genius Bar just amazing me
  14. Daniel Walsh macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2014
    Hey guys, I'm a bit late in responding, but I just encountered the same problem on my iPhone 5, and discovered a solution that worked for me. Upon looking carefully at the lens of my camera, I noticed that there was a piece of dust on the iPhone's lens, but underneath the glass cover. My idea was to dislodge the dust from the lens. Essentially I banged the rear face of the iPhone against a table, which dislodged the offending debris, and deposited it somewhere else in the enclosure where it was no longer visible.

    Details: I placed a piece of printer paper against a very flat table to act as a shock absorber and to avoid scratching. I then placed the bottom rear edge of the iPhone flush against the paper, with the rear of the phone at about a 45 degree angle to the paper and table. At this point the rear camera is facing toward the table (at an angle).

    Now hold the top of the iPhone (by the earpiece and sleep button) with one hand while applying a downward force (toward the table) with your other hand on the front display (the forces cancel). Then suddenly release the hand holding the top of the phone and allow the phone to accelerate due to the downward force of your other hand toward the table. What will happen is the entire flat backside of the phone will hit the table simultaneously. Repeat as necessary, And between each try, check the camera app to see if the dust spot has disappeared.
  15. squishybrain macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2014
    Great Solution, Daniel Walsh!

    Daniel Walsh. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I had a dark spot showing up on the upper right corner of my pictures. Tried your suggestion and the spot disappeared after the first try!

    I can't tell you how relieved I am, believing that I was going to have to open my iPhone and replace my camera.

    Again, thanks.
  16. PsykX macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2006
    Sorry to bring back an old topic... but dude... IT FRIGGIN' WORKED!

    I just bought all the tools needed to clean the lens and it didn't work. Your trick did it.
  17. yeahitdid macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2015
    Yeah it did!!!

    That's the only reason I registered …*to let you know that worked! I was super bummed … dark spot on all my pictures and I couldn't do online banking because the spot rejected the checks.
    A few good old fashion whacks of the camera (I used a stack of papers already on my desk, and the kind of "pinch/slam" method), and now spot is gone, and my camera is like new.

    YOU ROCK!!!!
  18. Skeeven macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2015
    Wow!! I am indeed speechless!!
    I was so annoyed when that spot appeared! And then I found this thread in hopes of finding an answer! I even got to think it was a flaw in the newest iOS, but as it turns out it was just this little spec of dust!
    At first I was a bit skeptic, then when I saw 3 positive replies I thought I HAD to give it a try.

    I just banged it, enclosed in the protective case, against my table a few times (say 3) using the method that Daniel suggested, and boom. The dark spot was no longer.

    I was amazed! Hahaha!!
    Thanks for the silly, unorthodox, yet great idea! =D

    EDIT: By the way I also registered only to post this reply.
    People who solve problems need to be repped up. xD
  19. Uncle_Keith macrumors newbie


    Jun 26, 2015
    Millersville,MD 21108 
    so I`m having the same issue with the spot on the camera. I noticed it the other day, which was very upsetting. After reading I too will have to try this method. Once I have tried this I will return with my results. ( fingers crossed )
  20. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    You guys can also try placing an electric razor against the camera lens, with something between them obviously.
  21. wlsmith15 macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2012
    My iphone 5s camera has those infamous round smudges, but I am out of warranty. So I popped the case and cleaned out the dust using online instructions and prescribed iCracked tools. Closed phone and all is good...EXCEPT the same round smudges are there in the same places. So I begin to think this problem is not ON the camera but IN the camera. If so, then I am really disappointed. This is the exact same routine I went through with my iphone 4. Took it to Apple. The Genius said sorry, you are out of warranty. Cough up big money. I took it instead to a real-people repair shop that extracted half as much money and replaced the camera. But AGAIN?! Two phones, two cameras, two expired warranties, and two camera replacements? This is just plain bad quality manufacturing.

    Attached Files:

  22. khanm macrumors newbie


    Nov 1, 2015
  23. Saif . 7 15 9 macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2015
    Just so u know I only signed up on here to thank u... U are the best I love u man! It worked!!!
  24. Cryozeal macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2013
    Daniel's method worked !!
    I just fixed my iPhone 6S with a few tries (the dust moved around).

  25. Redrum_39ca macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2015
    Daniel Walsh, you're a genius. I have an iPhone 6+. Not sure how you figured this out but it does indeed work. I must say I was a bit skeptical, someone suggesting I drop my phone...... I had already tried banging it against my hand and banging lightly on the table, neither worked. I tried your method. Held the phone a couple of inches from the table, with the camera on, and dropped it. The spot immediately moved to another location. I dropped it again, the spot moved again. On the 4th drop the spot disappeared. I now have clear pictures. Thank you very much.

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