shooting at the sun at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 24th, 2005, 08:28 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 15
shooting at the sun

What is the ideal (not to mention safe) shutter speed for filming the sun?
Steven Jonze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 24th, 2005, 08:45 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sherman Oaks CA
Posts: 255
Hey Steven,

Gone are the days when you had to worry about burning orbs in your camera tubes while shooting the sun. I've personally never used shutter when shooting the sun. And I "think" the mechanics of the viewfinder will protect your eyes...Is there a doctor/videographer on board?

But if you're still concerned, lock down the shot and stop looking through the V.F. or if your trying to follow a rising/setting sun you may want to set up a monitor and do your tilting using that image.

Good luck,

Steph
Stephanie Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 24th, 2005, 08:53 PM   #3
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 15
The booklet for my camcorder says its bad for the camera if you shoot at 1/1000 or higher.
Steven Jonze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 24th, 2005, 09:03 PM   #4
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,543
I don't think you need to worry about your eyes if you're only looking into the viewfinder. You will need to worry about burning your camera's CCD's however if the sun is bright. You'll want to buy some heavy neutral density filters for that, possibly several of them stacked together. You can then adjust shutter speed as needed if you can't get proper exposure using the iris control.

I've filmed a lot of sunsets without problem, but have used multiple ND filters as protection. But just realize, you run a very real risk of damaging your camera when doing this sort of thing, especially if the sun is still high in the sky.
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 25th, 2005, 12:44 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sherman Oaks CA
Posts: 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
I don't think you need to worry about your eyes if you're only looking into the viewfinder. You will need to worry about burning your camera's CCD's however if the sun is bright. You'll want to buy some heavy neutral density filters for that, possibly several of them stacked together. You can then adjust shutter speed as needed if you can't get proper exposure using the iris control.

I've filmed a lot of sunsets without problem, but have used multiple ND filters as protection. But just realize, you run a very real risk of damaging your camera when doing this sort of thing, especially if the sun is still high in the sky.
Hello Boyd,

Man, I am quickly and painfully (to the ego), learning that my years of experience haven't really taught me s--t. At least regarding the intelligence and experience on this board...

If you have a moment please explain why the CCD elements of our cameras could be damaged by the sun. Also do ND filters affect preset color temps?

Thanks for your reply,

Steph
Stephanie Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 25th, 2005, 04:37 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Auburn, Washington
Posts: 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephanie Wilson
my years of experience haven't really taught me s--t... please explain why the CCD elements of our cameras could be damaged by the sun. Also do ND filters affect preset color temps?
Well, 1. You are focusing the SUN onto the CCDs (have you never fried ants with a magnifying glass?); 2. Sunlight is very strong in the infrared, to which CCDs are very senstive; 3. Neutral density filters are so named because they do not affect color.

Have you ever seen the inside of a viewfinder that has been carelessly aimed at the sun? Not a pretty sight...
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759
Doug Boze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 25th, 2005, 07:09 AM   #7
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,543
Yep, Doug's right. My personal rule of thumb is that if the sun is too bright to look at with your naked eye then it's also too bright to point an unfiltered camera at.

I haven't had any problems, but have read about them. And as Doug says, a number of people have damaged their viewfinders by leaving the camera in a position that the sun shone through the eyepiece and fried the LCD or CRT inside.

Also I've read several posts of people with damaged CCD's from lasers shining directly into the lens at a concert. Careful what you point that thing at!
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 25th, 2005, 11:24 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,152
Back when I had my first camcorder, a Sony Hi8, I used to film scenes with the sun - including zooming into the sun - without problems (though none of the shots was held for a very long time). Until, that is, I videotaped an eclipse once. The sun was high in the sky, and I had the camera locked down on a tripod and zoomed in. No ND filter. Sure enough, the CCD was damaged, with a round, fog-like circle showing up on subsequent footage.

Ever since then I've avoided shooting scenes with more than a passing glimpse of the sun, especially with my VX2000. If I do shoot any footage in the future with extended sun exposure I will be sure to use ND filters, and probably throw on my polarizer for good measure. Still, after getting burned once, I'm wary of shooting such scenes.
__________________
Christopher Lefchik :: My Spot on the WWW

:: Got questions? Need answers? Try a DV Info search! ::
Christopher Lefchik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 25th, 2005, 05:01 PM   #9
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 15
Can I have the full name of the filters I should use and the recommened shutter speed?
Steven Jonze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2005, 03:04 PM   #10
Wrangler
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 4,093
Here's a similar thread from a few months ago:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...&highlight=sun

In short, you won't hurt your eyes by looking at a DISPLAY (CCD or CRT) of the sun or other bright source, but could be permanently blinded in a flash if you look at the sun directly or through any direct-view lens system, including direct viewfinders.

In line with the comments from the other gents here, camera manufacturers generally caution against pointing the camera directly at the sun or other very bright objects. Obviously, people get great shots of the sun but it needs to be done very wisely to protect both your equipment and your eyes.
__________________
Pete Bauer
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. Albert Einstein
Trying to solve a DV mystery? You may find the answer behind the SEARCH function ... or be able to join a discussion already in progress!
Pete Bauer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2005, 03:46 PM   #11
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Southwest Idaho, USA
Posts: 3,063
I agree with Pete and all the others giving caution. A couple weeks ago I shot the sun high in the sky with nothing but the ND filter on the XL1s. I was really nervous about it and never let the camera rest--just did a slow pan through.

I got away with it (slowed it down in post to make it stand still), but I could tell it wasn't a good idea looking at the sun through the viewfinder.

Sunsets/sunrises are a different matter, but even then I think people need to be careful. I only shoot those if there are natural "filters," such as dust in the air and clouds.
__________________
Lorinda
Lorinda Norton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28th, 2005, 04:16 PM   #12
Tourist
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4
filters for shooting the sun

Check out this company:

http://www.thousandoaksoptical.com

They make extremely well regarded solar filters for telescopes, cameras, and video equipment. I have a pair of their filters for my Fujinon 10X70 binoculars. Their filters are very color-neutral, and will not impart any distortion to the image.

-jimk
Jim Kavitsky is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:15 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network