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Old August 6th, 2006, 08:41 PM   #1
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Welding Flame

Is shooting a mig welder gonna blow my ccd's? Just use a ton of ND?

Anyone wrecked there camera this way?
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Old August 7th, 2006, 01:41 AM   #2
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I shot one with an XL1 once. No damage afterward. Treat it like you're shooting the sun, iris way down. It'll end up looking like you're shooting in a dark room with the welding torch as the only light source.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 03:17 PM   #3
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Never had a problem with the camera. Just don't directly look at the welding arc yourself - it's ok down the video camera's viewfinder.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 05:41 PM   #4
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Yeah, make sure you keep your right eye tight in the viewfinder (not the LCD!) and the left eye tightly closed. You'll still be seeing light through your closed eyelid, too.

An iris trick I used when I shot it was to ride the iris so it wouldn't turn into inky blackness when the welding torch turned off. If you leave it irised for just the torch it looks like you're shooting in a dark room. If you ride the iris a bit to show what the regular lighting looks like and how it compares with the torch's light I think it communicates a little better how bright the thing actually is.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 10:03 PM   #5
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I've never had a welding flame damage a CCD block, but some lasers will destroy them. I've shot many laser medical procedures without a problem over the last 2 decades. But last year, one of our Sony D-30's was damaged by the reflective light of a laser used for cosmetic skin resurfacing. I would imagine that laser would damage any CCD camera, rendering it destroyed.

The laser never was directed at the camera, just the reflected light from the laser aimed at a patient burned a neat dead spot into the CCD. It's a sad but funny story. The operator noticed the shots from the camera were bad a few days later on another shoot. Upon reviewing the laser shoot, we actually caught the frames where the burn in happens.

Just thought I'd pass it along as a warning for others. The D-30 block is around $4,000.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 11:34 PM   #6
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I would be inclined to investigate the LCD? based welding helmets.

These have a viewing glass which is electronically controlled. It is transparent in normal light but goes dark when the arc is struck. Shooting through this would be of most advantage when framing closer on the welding operator and the workpiece.

Use the auto gain function on the camera at its fastest setting.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 07:05 AM   #7
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A welding arc was death and destruction on the (seems like ancient) tube video cameras, but I've shot all types of welding processes with a number of CCD cameras with no problem. But as Brian said, be sure to protect your eyes, hard to be in the biz without them.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 08:21 PM   #8
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In May I shot a story in LA about a doctor who uses lasers to remove tattoos.

I shot with a Sony Z1 and had no problems, though I was a little worried because a the doctor I was doing the story on told me a friend had burned out his CCD trying to film the prodcedure. This doctor was using a green laser.

My camera held up pretty good. It was hard to focus through the brown colored glasses I had to wear. Autofocus jumped all over the place, so I had to use manual which I usually do anyway. Just that the glasses made it hard to focus.
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Old August 9th, 2006, 12:30 AM   #9
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If you want to see the details, use an extra ND filter and a polariser.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 02:22 AM   #10
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The welding shoot went well.......
POV shot thru the 'speed glass' is a cracker...!
Camera is fine except for the burn mark ruined 82mm clear i had on the front and a melted cokin plastic ND filter....

Tight shots of electrified molten steel solidifying........ now thats what im talkin about!
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Old August 10th, 2006, 02:53 AM   #11
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Jeez, how close were you getting to it?!
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Old August 10th, 2006, 09:14 AM   #12
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i was messing around a bit, once i got a few spark marks in the plastic cokin filter it was screwed so i put it up real close and shot thru it...... lasted about 5 seconds.....
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