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Exposing the sensor to sun/bright light

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sybersitizen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2011 at 15:32
Originally posted by mewe mewe wrote:

The manuals for the A33/55 and the NEX-3/5 clearly state that one should avoid exposing the camera sensor to direct sunlight/bright light, else it may be damaged.


This is the statement: "Do not expose the camera to sunlight or shoot sunward for a long time. The internal mechanism may be damaged. If sunlight is focused on a nearby object, it may cause a fire."

So, what is Sony's idea of a long time here? I don't know...
 



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DeX View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DeX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2011 at 22:24
It makes sense, because of the live view, but I too have no idea about how much that long time means... I guess we'll just have to see what happenes with time...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PieterB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2011 at 08:34
I once took a shot of the sun (not intentionally) and all pics turned up purple after that. Once I removed the battery, they went normal again.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mikethelaserman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2011 at 17:46
Long-time exposure (months/years) might fade the coloured dyes/pigments in the bayer filter
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fem2008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2011 at 22:46
This has made me curious. I have my Min 50mmF1.7 with me and I just did a quick test. I cut a piece of 2" tubing to 43.5mm length (flange-back distance) and stretched a piece of light yellow paper over one end (I did not have green to simulate the sensor). I propped the aperture wide open and taped the tube to the flange end of the lens. I set the focus to infinity and pointed it towards the sun.

The sun is starting to dip low right now and we have thin layer of clouds. Nevertheless, I put my finger on the paper over the sun spot and it got hot pretty quickly. It was not enough to scorch the paper though. I'll have to try again tomorrow in bright sun conditions.

Keep in mind that you don't have to get the temperature hot enough to actually burn something. All you have to do is bring the temperature of the silicone junction to above 150 for over 10 seconds in most cases, to create damage. The Silicone in the sensor, esp. in live view already runs hot, (probably on the order of 50-70C). So, the extra heat rise needed is not huge.

Also, the Bayer mask and IR filter could be made of polymer materials and could be damaged at lower temperature.

Hopefully I'll have a chance to repeat tomorrow.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DeX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2011 at 23:11
So the lesson to be learned is don't use a tripod in broad daylight with the SLT's (like that happens often).

While the sun is moving throughout the frame that shouldn't be a problem, but if you keep it in the exact same spot then you might melt your sensor :)

I wonder how they solved this problem in camcorders.... or compacts. Doesn't anybody have a crappy old compact to test this theory?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fem2008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2011 at 23:40
Originally posted by DeX DeX wrote:

So the lesson to be learned is don't use a tripod in broad daylight with the SLT's (like that happens often).

While the sun is moving throughout the frame that shouldn't be a problem, but if you keep it in the exact same spot then you might melt your sensor :)

I wonder how they solved this problem in camcorders.... or compacts. Doesn't anybody have a crappy old compact to test this theory?


I think that the trick here is actually having the lens pointing directly at the sun, such that the sun image is perpendicular to the sensor. That produces maximum heat. I am not sure just having the sun the in the frame is sufficient. Anyway, not a good idea to do in midday sun for more than a few seconds.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2011 at 23:49
Actually, I remember a similar unofficial warning being given for film SLRs. You can just as easily burn a hole through your film this way. Even when an SLR is not being used, you can burn the shutter if you leave mirror lock-up engaged with the lens pointed toward the sun.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fem2008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 June 2011 at 19:54
Update: The sun finally came out and I was able to do my test (see my previous post above). The Min 50mm was able to burn a hole in the paper in less than 10 seconds (7-9 seconds Typ.) The CZ85 did it in 3 seconds!

For Mythbuster fans, I would call this one: Confirmed!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote matthiaspaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 June 2011 at 09:38
Originally posted by sybersitizen sybersitizen wrote:

I remember a similar unofficial warning being given for film SLRs. You can just as easily burn a hole through your film this way. Even when an SLR is not being used, you can burn the shutter if you leave mirror lock-up engaged with the lens pointed toward the sun.

Yes, this was even more of a problem when clothed shutter curtains were still common, in particular when the mirror would not return into the down-position after a shot (f.e. with MLU, and very old SLRs didn't have instant-return mirrors at all).

But I have also seen this damage on more modern cameras. I particularly remember my first 9000 AF, where I was once shocked to discover that the black plastic sheet covering the metal shutter frame in the mirror box showed strange deformations I could not explain. After a while I realized that it must have been partially molten by the burning-glass effect. Fortunately, the camera still worked fine (metal shutter blades), so in this case this was only a cosmetical issue.

Greetings,

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jocelynne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2012 at 04:54
Thank you to all for the discussion about shooting the sun in the course of the solar eclipse.   

I appreciate.


Edited by Jocelynne - 17 May 2012 at 05:06
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Post Options Post Options   Quote winkosmosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2012 at 21:45
It doesn't matter where in the frame the sun is. If it's focused on the sensor it will damage the sensor. The only question is the amount of time.


And of course you shouldn't look at the sun with your eyes either. A retina burn is permanent and incurable. That includes at sunset. Don't look at the sun. Wait until it has gone down past the horizon.

I have no idea how people with SLR cameras take sunset photos, or pictures of things reflecting the sun. Do they not mind retina burns?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mike77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2012 at 22:01
I would be careful.

I can inflame a piece of paper if I let sunlight shine through the Rokkor 58/1.2 on it. Same effect as with a magnifying glass.
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