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 Post subject: Can sun damage sensor?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:41 pm
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I read somewhere that you should not take photo of sun as it might damage the sensor. Is there a risk of damaging the sensor by taking photos of the sun?

Would an ND3 filter (screw on, no transition) prevent damage to the sensor when photographing the sun? If not then what ND filter would I need?

I am aware that there is a risk to the eye when viewing the sun through the viewfinder so I plan to use the camera monitor.

Thank you for your help.

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Nikon D5100, 18-55mm, 55-300mm
Pentax K1000, 50mm, 24mm, 75-205, 100mm macro


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
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>"Is there a risk of damaging the sensor by taking photos of the sun?"

Yes.

>"Would an ND3 filter (screw on, no transition) prevent damage to the sensor when photographing the sun? If not then what ND filter would I need?"

Depends on time of day, season, latitude, cloud cover, etc. But my GH2 still works fine after taking this.

Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:41 pm
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@Maestro
Good reply, good links, thank you. I can see now how under some conditions the sun could damage the sensor - or even burn a hole in it. This might be especially likely while using the monitor to compose the photo on a bright day.

But I doubt I would ever include the sun in a photo, set the shutter to 3 seconds (re fem2008, fem2008) and assume the result would be a good exposure. Not on a bright day anyway.

In the past I used an SLR with 50mm lens, polarizer (to knock off 1.5 stops) and film to take photos of the sun/sky at @ 1000/second @ F22. The result was acceptable. IIRC I didn’t spend much time looking through the viewfinder and I didn’t look directly at the sun. The sun was slightly (moderately?) obscured but visible through some clouds.

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Nikon D5100, 18-55mm, 55-300mm
Pentax K1000, 50mm, 24mm, 75-205, 100mm macro


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
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>"I doubt I would ever include the sun in a photo, set the shutter to 3 seconds and assume the result would be a good exposure"

Yes. But as you also mentioned, when composing via the LCD (as you plan to do), the sensor is exposed the entire time--from when you first enter "Live View" mode, through framing, focusing, and taking the picture, to when you flip the mirror back down--and that total time could easily be several seconds. (It was for me when I took that shot of Venus' transit.)

Mark


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:39 am
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I think the sun as well as any strong light source can damage the sensor. I used to just take pics of bright lights when I first got my first ever digital camera and it damaged the sensor and all the pics I take looked over exposed regardless of the settings I selected.


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