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Old September 20th, 2009, 08:40 PM   #1
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How do you Film the Sun?

I've read that if you point your camcorder at the sun it'll damage the CCD chips, but there must be a point ware it won't hurt anything, what is that point? I'm using an XL2 with the standard 20x lens which has two ND filters, will the ND filters keep the sun from hurting anything?

Thanks a Lot,

Caleb
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Old September 21st, 2009, 12:02 AM   #2
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Caleb,

I've shot sunsets and sunrises, but I wouldn't think about shooting midday sun unless you have a whole lot of ND filters on. I'm sure others will weigh in.
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Old September 21st, 2009, 04:32 AM   #3
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I have several times had the sun in my pictures in wide angel. With nd on the filter reel. I have never zoomed in on the sun - only when the sun is near the horizon or when there are heavy clouds and the sun is just visible.
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Old September 21st, 2009, 04:50 AM   #4
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Hi

May be with an astronomical filter used to observe directly the sun, but that could be dangerous for the sensor.
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Old September 21st, 2009, 05:41 AM   #5
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To shoot at the sun you definitely need a filter designed for that purpose, and even then think twice about doing it. When I was a kid we built a telescope for viewing the sun and the front element deflected ~99% of the incoming radiation, which remember is not just in the visible spectrum. Depending on your needs, this might be a good situation to consider buying a stock clip.
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Old September 21st, 2009, 06:05 AM   #6
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Just wait until the sun is lower on the horizon (just after sunrise and leading up to sunset) and it will be OK. I almost always use a Polariser filter on front of the lens and will also include the XL lens ND filters depending on brightness of subject and iris setting.

The XL2 is normally OK when the sun is white, yellow or orange, but it always seems to have a problem with bright red sunsets when it can often lose detail or provides blocks of pixels instead of a smooth transition between colours.
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Old September 21st, 2009, 07:54 AM   #7
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Thanks a lot everybody. It looks like I should just stick to sunsets. Is there some kind rule were if you can bare to look at the sun for 5 or 10 seconds then it's OK for the camcorder?
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Old September 21st, 2009, 08:05 AM   #8
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Caleb,

I posted the video below a short while back and near the end of it, there is a solar eclipse and I had 4 cameras shooting it at the same time. All the cameras had 6 stop or 10 stop ND filters on.

The sun during the eclipse was still really bright and in order to avoid stopping down too much, I used the very strong ND filters. The built-in filters are much of the time not enough and you would not want to play around with the shutter speed. Stacking filters is also what I try to avoid as I would want to get the optimal image quality from my setups.

Wildlife of Singapore..... on Vimeo

Cheers

Weehan
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 06:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleb Royer View Post
Is there some kind rule were if you can bare to look at the sun for 5 or 10 seconds then it's OK for the camcorder?
There is no such rule because it's always a really bad idea to look directly at the sun, even for just a moment. Looking at the sun for just a few seconds can do permanent damage to your eyes, and this damage is cumulative. This means that using your eyes as a means of judging the need for filters could (and most likely would, especially if done regularly) seriously affect your vision. Never look directly at the sun.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 10:01 PM   #10
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I didn't mean look at the sun directly because it's hard to look directly at the sun, so I know better than to force myself to look at the sun, but thank you for your concern:)
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Old September 24th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #11
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Just saying, if you "can't bare it" then you're probably damaging your eyes. If you're looking at the sun by some safe indirect method (maybe you could clarify what this is), then you should always be able to bare it. The LCD and viewfinder on your camera cannot produce bright enough light to damage your eyes, so you will always be able to bare to look at the images of the sun on your XL2 even if it was damaging the sensor.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 03:04 AM   #12
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Well i remember back when i was a pipe fitter asking a welder if he could look at the sun with his goggles and shield and him saying no way the suns far brighter than electric or gas welding.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 04:40 AM   #13
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The recommendation for looking at the sun is a #14 welder's filter. That's what was suggested by the astronomy people at the University of Hawaii during the total eclipse here in the 1990s.

But if you don't have to look at the sun, then don't. It's really, really tough to get a replacement sensor for the Mark I eyeball. :-)
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Old September 25th, 2009, 04:42 AM   #14
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Well i remember back when i was a pipe fitter asking a welder if he could look at the sun with his goggles and shield and him saying no way the suns far brighter than electric or gas welding.
The worst sunburn I got was when I was a teenager and arc welding while wearing only shorts and no shirt. I did have the helmet on. But my chest and the inside of my arms and legs got sunburned! After that I always wore full protective clothing. Including gloves.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Sensui View Post
The recommendation for looking at the sun is a #14 welder's filter. That's what was suggested by the astronomy people at the University of Hawaii during the total eclipse here in the 1990s.

But if you don't have to look at the sun, then don't. It's really, really tough to get a replacement sensor for the Mark I eyeball. :-)
Dean not sure if it was a #14 but no way could you look at the midday sun through it.

Welding with only shorts you were taking a chance mate.But teenagers are teenagers i can just remember.
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