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Old May 15th, 2007, 02:04 PM   #1
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Recording Sunrise Without a ND Filter?

I am sure this has been talked about before, but I just don't want to take the risk of my camera getting fried.

I will be throwing it up on a tripod and using a UV haze filter. The camera is a Canon Elura 100. It will be pointing over a lake watching the sunrise past the water through the fog. Can this work without my camera getting toasted?
I will be shooting this tomorrow morning so the more information I can get on this, the better.

Thank you so very much in advance!

~Gabriel
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Old May 15th, 2007, 03:16 PM   #2
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You shouldnt have any problems at all. The UV Haze filter is a great reflector.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 05:17 PM   #3
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The strength of the sun's power is much less at sunrise and sunset then it is a mid-day. If you can look at the sun without frying your eyes, you camera will be just fine. :) The fog will lower the risk even more.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:42 PM   #4
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John,

No offence here but I do not agree with your point about the UV filter being a prevention for the censor getting fried. The UV does not cut any light and "frying of the CCD/CMOS" will still occur. The only way to prevent it will be to use a ND or a polarizer that cuts down the light reaching the sensor.

But as the thread starter has stated, he will be doing it during the earlier part of the morning thus there is no prob with the camera getting fried.

Cheers

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Old May 15th, 2007, 09:03 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info guys! I just needed to see what the "pros" thought.

Sounds like I'll be getting up early.

UWOL, here I come!
~Gabriel
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Old May 15th, 2007, 11:35 PM   #6
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I've shot more sunrises than I can remember using only a UV filter, without ever suffering any damage to the camera/camcorder. I also don't think the UV filter is necessary for shooting into the morning sun, it just keeps the lens clean.

Best wishes,
Peter
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Old May 15th, 2007, 11:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rhalter View Post
I've shot more sunrises than I can remember using only a UV filter, without ever suffering any damage to the camera/camcorder. I also don't think the UV filter is necessary for shooting into the morning sun, it just keeps the lens clean.

Best wishes,
Peter
Hey Peter, thanks!

Thats all I have the filter for at the moment. Its just there to keep the lens dry and clean. But in theory, it should help protect the lens from Ultra Violet light, right?

I'll be sure to leave my feed back on how it goes tomorrow when I get back.
~Gabriel
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Old May 16th, 2007, 03:18 AM   #8
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Hi Gabriel,

The UV filter doesn't really 'protect' the lens from UV, UV doesn't damage lenses themselves rather the filter reflects that UV rays that would otherwise affect the image. A good example of this would be when shooting at high altitude where the increased UV wavelength of the light can make for a 'hazy' image, thus they are useful. Also when shooting arials, and of course as a first line of defence on a lens as they do not really affect image quality and should you get a scratch cost less to replace.

I would err on the side of caution and buy an ND filter for you camera, point taken that normally shooting the sun for a few seconds should be fine. However if you intend shooting for a long time (i.e 'timelapse) then you do risk burning the CCD, I have seen this happen on DSLRs on long exposures as well. Another good reason for using the ND is you will be able to shoot the sun as its brightness goes beyond the limits of the aperture/shutter combination of the camera. Shooting the sun head on with most cameras I have used, I am stopped right down and need NDs to get a correct exposure.

Also you should never really look directly at the sun, even when wearing sunglasses.

Good luck,

James
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Old May 16th, 2007, 04:00 AM   #9
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James, would this hold true for shooting a welder or some other bright, eye-damaging source as well?

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Old May 16th, 2007, 09:41 AM   #10
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Eric,

Shooting a welder will definitely require protection!! for you as well as your camera!!! I shot a welder once and I used two nds and a polizer and it came out fine and no damge to me and the camera. Welding flashes can be ver serious. My brother was blinded for three days due to one, pretty scarey stuff. oh yea, I shot the welding from a distance too, not in tight.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 09:57 AM   #11
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Hey guys, thanks for all the information. And thanks for correcting me James. :)

What grade ND filter would you recommend for doing sunsets/sunrises?
Would something like this work?

I just got back a few minutes ago and all went well.. Well, sorta.

I ended up being to late for the sunrise (Bummer). However, I did get some cool shots of a crane in the morning sunlight! A really beautiful bird in my opinion. It will end up on my UWOL entry for sure! I also got some other "wild" animals in action.. Including a kitten in a field. That was a strange sight for me...
I woke up at 5:15, took a shower, grabbed my gear and jumped in the truck ($7 later I arrive).

I learned alot from it. Including, have all your gear set with filters, a tape and tripod plate the night before you leave. Lets just say it took about ten minutes to set up once I got there... lol.

And I did not even use my UV filter due to dropping it in the sand when I went to put it on! Note to self; buy a lens cleaning pin and cloth!!!

I still had a good time. I wish I could get out there more.

Thanks again to everyone who has helped me with this!
~Gabriel
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Old May 16th, 2007, 11:03 AM   #12
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Because the scenery is somewhat dark before sunrise, using a ND filter may cause your camera to use its gain feature to bring the image up to a normal brightness level. This will degrade the image quality, so I would start with just a UV filter for protection of the lens. As the sun comes over the horizon and everything brightens up, you can put on a heavier ND. For bright sunlight I often use an 8x ND, but 4X is more common and 2X may be fine in the early hours. Even with an 8x filter, however, I would never look, shoot or zoom into the sun. That would require the kind of nearly opaque specialty solar filter that astronomers use.

FWIW, I have shot many sunrises, and never had a problem with my camera. My unscientific rule of thumb is that when it becomes uncomfortable for me to watch the sun, it is time to stop. Incidentally, some of my favorite sunrises were actually shot before the sun came up. 15 to 30 minutes before sunrise, the clouds in the sky are often lit up better than they are when the sun is present.

Best wishes,
Peter
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Old May 16th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #13
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Thanks for the information Peter!

I would love to see some of your sunrises -- Do you have any of them on the web?

Sounds like I need to wake up earlier!

~Gabriel
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Old May 16th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #14
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Young Gabriel,
nice to hear that you've found what it takes to be a wildlifephotographer ;-)
Go to bed late (logging your footage) and wake up early!

I've found that when you plan to shot sunrise you really have to be on the location at least 1 hour before! As Peter says you often get some beautiful colors of the clouds before the sun reach the horizon.
You should also do a reconnoitre the day(s) before, so you are familiar where the sun will rise. This is very important when you shall compose/frame your shot.

When I take sunrise shot, I use a CPL (polarization) and a ND 0.3. Luckily my lens (Canon XLH1) has built-in ND filter so I only need a front mounted CPL. I put the aperture way down to around 8.0 with shutter speed at 1/50 (1/60 NTSC).
This way I know that my CCD are well protected. The picture may be a little dark in your viewfinder before the sun rise but this is the best way I've found to shot sunrises. And when the sun rise above the horizon you get more than enough light! Don't shoot to long after the sun has arrived, a couple of minutes will do.

My UWOL-3 contribution will show you a nice sunrise with the settings mention above!
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Old May 16th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #15
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Thats great Per! Thanks for the comments/advice. Maybe I'll be able to negotiate a time frame to be able to get out there and try to shoot one before monday.

Theres one thing though. The park is "closed" until 7am. I was there before 6, but there was no one around.. What do you do about this? Do you just go anyways, or do you talk to one of the keepers and ask for permission?

I can't wait to see your sunrise! No wait, your hole video, and more! :D

Thanks again!
~Gabriel
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